I confess I stalk the aisles of the personal care sections of health food stores, and I feel well rewarded when I discover an affordable product that works as well as Alba Botanica's Sugar Cane Body Polish. It is like comfort food for dry skin. There is the high sugar and fat content (Hawaiian sugar cane juice, honey, kukui nut, macadamia nut and sunflower oils with vitamin E). And there are no unpronounceable or mysterious ingredients whatsoever.
Sugar Cane Body Polish's large sugar granules are suspended in an rich, slushy base of sugar cane juice and nut oils. They dissolve slowly in a hot shower, and have a gently exfoliating effect, hence the term "polish". I like it most as a rich, in-shower moisturizer, and it leaves my dry skin comfortable for hours without any further moisturizing. Go lightly or you may clog your drain — I find it a good idea to occasionally pour boiling water down the drain afterward, but it is well worth the effort.
The scent is proprietary, so no notes are listed for the "botanical fragrance", however, they do use only "natural aroma compounds" without added phthalates or animal byproducts. What I get is a soft scent of honey, blended into deeper nut tones of macadamia and kuikui and the tiniest of citrus tangs, making for a very soothing effect. The fragrance is distinctive but doesn't linger on the skin after rinsing, so it will not clash or interfere with perfumes applied afterward.
Sugar Cane Body Polish is part of Alba's Hawaiian home spa range. It is incredibly well priced considering the quality of the ingredients and the generous size: 10 oz. is $10.95. You can find it at Whole Foods or other large health food stores, or online at albabotanica.