In either one of my monthly Birchbox subs or one of their mystery sample packs, I got this sample of ClariSEA Sea Salt Solutions Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant for the Face.
When I think of sea salt, or salt, in general, I get wary and cautious if it pertains to skin. I know how drying sea salt can be both to the skin and hair, not to mention just thinking about it brings to mind curing meats and preserving foods with salt – if that’s what happens to those things, what does it do to our skin? Of course, that doesn’t stop me from adding salt to my foods when I’m not supposed to because I have high blood pressure… SMH, I’m just a walking contradiction sometimes! And I often wondered how Epson Salt baths aren’t drying to the skin, as well? – That’s one I’ll have to research … But anyway, back to this product. In an effort to give this product a proper and fair go, I tested it.
Product description via Birchbox: “Blackheads beware: This unassuming bottle holds the key to smoother, brighter skin—in the form of scorched bamboo. Made from the eco-friendly plant, this special soot is known for absorbing impurities and clearing pores in a single wash, while salt in the formula banishes blemish-causing bacteria. Together, these two put pollutants in their rightful place: down the drain.”
Wish I had read that product description before testing, then I would have concentrated it around my nose instead of full-face!
It looks like a seasoning that I’d use on my food, but smells like salt and clay. The salt smell kind of makes my lips get that funny feeling when you’ve eaten something too salty, do you know what I mean?
The ingredients: Sodium chloride (sea salt), sodium chloride (mineral salt), prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) nut powder, activated bamboo charcoal powder.
I’ve seen a lot of products lately containing activated bamboo charcoal powder. I use it as an alternative to toothpaste every now and again. It’s supposed to be antibacterial and also supposed to draw out toxins and impurities. BUT be careful not to ingest as it used to used as an emetic (to induce vomiting) – you can read up on side effects here, being that we’re using this on our skin instead of in our mouths, there’s a slim chance that we’ll swallow any. It’s still good to be aware of these things anyway!
This exfoliant is different in that you have to mix the product with another product – one of your cleansers, rather than directly applying it to your face. Which I think is an interesting approach.
When you choose your cleanser, make sure you choose something you KNOW for sure is moisturizing. I just grabbed what I had handy… I put my cleanser in my palm and then poured about a quarter size amount of the exfoliant over that (I’d say approximately a teaspoon) and used my fingers to mix it. Then I gently rubbed that all over my face and neck in small circles, avoiding my eyes and eyebrows. Then rinsed it off.
While it did exfoliate my skin, I guess my skin is too sensitive, as it created dry spots, especially around my eyebrows and in between my eyebrows and along my nose. So where exfoliants go, I think I’ll stick to sugar based ones or ones without salt as a base. HOWEVER, this would make a great exfoliant for feet, considering that feet can take more of an abrasive exfoliation that the face can – it would still be drying and they’d still need to be heavily moisturized afterward, but just think of all the dead skin you’d be scrubbing away! 😉
If you want to try it for yourself, Birchbox sells a 5 oz bottle for $18, link.