Organic Bath Co. Body Scrub in Stress Less

Organic Bath Co Scrub
Organic Bath Co Scrub (close-up)

During the school year, my shower was my break from my nightly homework session. In an attempt to sleep as early as possible and therefore finish my work as soon as possible, I would shower furiously fast. Shampoo my hair, condition my hair, wash my body, quickly scrub down 2-3x a week, hop out, oil up, and get back to the grind.

Having come home for the summer break, I was showering a glorious two hours before my school average when I had a simple revelation. I didn’t have any buggy code or listening exam studying to rush back to. I could take my sweet time. And I did (with the water turned off, of course. No water in Cali 🙁 ).

How much more pleasant it is to scrub off excess dead skin cells and give your body a nice rub-down in slow motion. It’s like satisfying the whole days’ worth of itches.

When I get lazy or absent-minded and skip a week or two of scrubbing, without fail, I notice the familiar scales building up on my legs. Oil up as I like, the scales will stubbornly stay unless I scrub down, and Organic Bath Co’s body scrubs do the job.

The ingredients list is wonderfully simple. Sugar (fair trade) + moisturizing oils + fragrance from essential oils. It’s brilliant–the sugar (with your hands’ help of course) rub away dead skin cells while the oils (sweet almond, apricot kernel, and sunflower oil) stay behind to moisturize your gams. The sugar is pretty coarse (not to the point of causing distress or inflammation though), and if you store your scrub in the shower like I do (though do your best to not drip water inside), the texture becomes a bit clumpy–nothing a stir with the included wooden spoon (adorable, isn’t it?) or a recycled ice cream spoon doesn’t fix.

In the winter, I usually layer on an oil or butter post-shower for extra moisture, but in the summer, my scrub session also does double duty as my body moisturizing and softening session. In all the seasons, I like to scrub before shaving, as the oil leftover leaves behind a protective layer, making my shave smoother and usually less irritating. I also like to scrub before I self-tan to make sure I don’t have any dry skin patches lingering to funk up my tan.

Now whether this scrub helped me to stress less? I’d like to think somewhat so during my 5-10 minutes under the showerhead, but stress is kind of a monster. While the exact composition of the scent is under wraps, I mostly get lavender from Stress Less. Lavender is usually the essential oil suggested for calming down, and it certainly didn’t hurt. Scent-wise, I may prefer the coffee-minty Java Jolt and minty RefreshMint, the other two scents that I own–I never thought coffee and mint would be a combination, let alone thought I was a minty person.

I suppose in a way the product, being a body scrub, has helped me stress less. Sure, you could rush through the process, but I like it so much better done slow and mindfully. Now, when I start grad school in the fall? We’ll see if I will keep up my turtle pace, but it’ll depend on how buggy my code gets…

Have you tried this scrub before? What are your thoughts? If not, what is your go-to for sloughing off your scaly gams?

Ingredients: Fair Trade Certified™ Sucrose (Sugar)*, Prunus Amygdatus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot Kernel) Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, Essential Oil Fragrance*.  *Certified Organic Ingredient

Disclaimer: While I was initially gifted two scrubs by the kind Gianne of Organic Bath, I purchased Stress Less, the scrub pictured above, myself from Organic Bath’s website. Since my purchase last fall/winter, Organic Bath updated their branding, so my tub, as cute as it is, will look a little different than its updated counterpart.

Tweet

Organic Bath Rice Bran Cleansing Beauty Oil

Two absolutely necessary staples of my life are rice and a good cuppa green tea. A close third, since going green, is a good cleansing oil. Recently fulfilling that role is Organic Bath’s newly released Rice Bran Cleansing Beauty Oil.

My history with cleansing oils ranges from the very simple one-ingredient oils to my favorite Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Cleansing Oil. I’ve used coconut oil (skin did not like), jojoba oil (skin liked), and sweet almond oil (skin liked) which were all great at removing makeup when paired with a warm, damp muslin cloth. I repurchased jojoba oil and sweet almond oil multiple times because they were simple yet effective–they each have moisturizing benefits, easily remove makeup, and got along with my skin. I’ve also repurchased the ED4OLO oil at least four or five times by now (and that’s not even including my sister, who’s also hooked). It’s got more frills than jojoba or sweet almond (maybe even throw in a tutu skirt)–having a tropical pineapple scent and the ability to be washed off by water–no cloth needed.

The Rice Bran Cleansing Beauty Oil stands somewhere in the middle. You’ll need a washcloth to gently massage off the oil and grime, but it’s definitely fancier than your average jojoba or sweet almond oil. When I first saw the ingredients list, I zoomed in on the manuka essential oil and the sweet orange essential oil. Manuka essential oil has super strong antimicrobial effects–studies have been done on its antimicrobial activity against staph (excellent, by the way) and various oral bacteria (manuka was the strongest out of tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary). Sweet orange essential oil has also been proven in studies to not only have strong antimicrobial effects against microorganisms , but also to potentially have an anxiety-reducing effect when smelled. It also happens to be anti-inflammatory. For someone who thinks about acne on a daily basis like me, this is poetry.

But to be honest, as Gianne told me, the inspiration for this oil was Asian culture. She loves their usage of rice bran oil and camellia seed oil, which were the second things I zoomed in on. Grapeseed and sweet almond oil are typically recommended as single-ingredient oil cleansers or makeup removers, and they have their own perks (antioxidants, moisturizing), but camellia seed oil and rice bran oil are pretty special. Camellia seed oil, or green tea seed oil, has good whitening and antioxidation, anti-permeability, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anticancer properties thanks to high levels of catechin, polyphenols, saponin and squalene. Rice bran oil also contains squalene, fatty acids, and antioxidants which means hydration, protection from free radical damage, and encouragement for the skin to naturally regenerate itself.

On nights where I’m exhausted, I’ve been flying for a day, or I can’t be bothered to use a washcloth and wash my face and the washcloth afterwards, I will still reach for the ED4OLO oil because it is quick, convenient, and my face still loves it. But on other nights when I’m ready to give my face some loving, or something is getting ready to erupt on my face, I reach for this one and give my face a good 5-minute lymphatic massage, Into the Gloss style. The ingredients are lovely, and by lovely I mean a great combination of moisturizing + anti-acne, and I want them to spend a little longer time on my face before I wipe them off with a damp cloth.

Pre-final packaging and release, I found the oil a bit strong on the orange scent (it takes a delicate balance to cover up the apparently stinky manuka essential oil), but Gianne of Organic Bath wanted it to have a soft and uplifting scent, so she adjusted it just a little bit. And she hit the spot–I think it’s perfect. And I just started eating oranges a year ago after turning up my nose at them because I used to think they were smelly (sad true story. Also my parents broke to me and my sister that what we thought was “orange” in Chinese actually meant “mandarin” and the word for “orange” sounds pretty close to the one for “bug”…). But it’s more than just a scent. As she said:

“My hope is to scent everything softly and exquisitely. But I want each scent to have a purpose. I love that the organic Sweet Orange essential oil is known to be uplifting as well as anti-inflammatory.  My hope is that I can sneakily hook my family and friends onto cleaner, greener beauty options..and a lot of that will do with things not smelling too ‘earthy crunchy’.”

I seriously love that she wants each scent to have a purpose–that’s one of the things that I love about green beauty–how scents are seen not only as something nice for the nose, but also something purposeful for the skin and body.

Before final packaging, I was using maybe a generous 70% full dropper to massage the day from my face, and now with the pump, the equivalent is about 5-6 pumps, which sounds like a lot, but the pumps are a little miserly and it is worth it. Paired with gentle hands, the oil glides smoothly over the face without sinking in too early (so no tugging on the face) and easily takes off all of my makeup.

I took a break from my foundations with coconut oil at about the same time I switched to this, and the combination has left my skin really, really happy (sorry rms and Kjaer Weis–more on this later). When I came home for summer break three weeks ago, upon reuniting with friends and family, one of the first things many have said has been, “Your skin looks so much clearer!” (*beams and rainbow eyes) Granted, nothing stopped my hormonal visitors (also it was around my sister’s birthday and ice cream was involved), but they were fewer and less severe than they usually are.

tl;dr Beautiful balance of moisturizing + anti-acne ingredients with a purposeful, anti-inflammatory, citrusy scent. Washcloth needed. Helps bring out happy skin. Great when paired with massage.

What is your current fave for removing makeup? Think you’ll be trying out the new kid oil on the block? And for fun, do you try to sneak friends and family onto green beauty via scents that aren’t too earthy crunchy?

Ingredients: Organic Oryza sativa (Rice Bran) Oil, Organic Camellia oleifera (Camellia Seed) Oil, Organic Vitis vinifera (Grapeseed) Oil, Organic Prunus dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Organic Manuka Essential Oil, Organic (Sweet Orange) Essential Oil.

Disclaimer: Gianne from Organic Bath kindly sent this product to me five weeks ago in the last week of April and I have been using it every night since minus maybe 3-4 nights. Quote taken in its unadulterated form from our email correspondence with her permission. I am not being compensated in any way for my words. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Additional Sources
Feás, Xesús, et al. “Triacylglyceride, Antioxidant And Antimicrobial Features Of Virgin Camellia Oleifera, C. Reticulata And C. Sasanqua Oils.” Molecules 18.4 (2013): 4573-4587. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 June 2014.

Goes, Tiago, Costa, et al. “Effect Of Sweet Orange Aroma On Experimental Anxiety In Humans.” Journal Of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 18.8 (2012): 798-804. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 4 June 2014.

Neng-guo, Tao, Liu Yue-jin, and Zhang Miao-ling. “Chemical Composition And Antimicrobial Activities Of Essential Oil From The Peel Of Bingtang Sweet Orange ( Citrus Sinensis Osbeck).” International Journal Of Food Science & Technology 44.7 (2009): 1281-1285. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 June 2014.

Song, Chi-Youn, Eui-Hwa Nam, Seol-Hee Park, and Cheol-Yong Hwang. “In Vitro Efficacy of the Essential Oil from Leptospermum Scoparium (manuka) on Antimicrobial Susceptibility and Biofilm Formation in Staphylococcus Pseudintermedius Isolates from Dogs.” Veterinary Dermatology 24.4 (2013): 404-E87. Web.

Takarada, K., R. Kimizuka, N. Takahashi, K. Honma, K. Okuda, and T. Kato. “A Comparison of the Antibacterial Efficacies of Essential Oils against Oral Pathogens.” Oral Microbiology and Immunology 19.1 (2004): 61-64. Web.

Tweet