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.
Thanks for this review, Lucy! I'm in the market for a new scrub, and this sounds like just the thing. If I'm not mistaken, I believe I've also seen Alba products in the drugstore, maybe Walgreen's? I could be wrong, too, it seems as though there are new product lines cropping up everywhere.
I have not been in Walgreen's but I know Alba is owned by Avalon with a large range,including Jason's, so it could be that they are carried at Walgreen's, too…but they are more in the health food store line because of the organic ingredients and non animal testing, and some of their products are vegan. I must say this is more of a highly moisturizing product so if you are looking for a purely cleansing scrub, it might not be the one for you. It all depends on what you are looking for.
I've tried this, and it was a bit oily feeling for my skin. This time of year, I'm using the hot chocolate sugar scrub by Giovanni – it smells like the real thing!
Chocolate aroma sounds great. I love the Alba Sugar Cane, though, my dry skin soaks in those nut oils right way…
Thanks for the review! I've seen this at target and meant to try it. I've been using tree hut's sugar scrub – it rinses really clean, so no trouble with a clogged or slippery tub. It smells so good and is about $6 a tub. Variety is the spice of life, so I'll give the alba a try next time I see it too.
I recommend it highly! Tho it is very rich, so don't expect a very squeaky clean feeling afterwards. For me that is a big plus, I need all the moisturizing I can get…
Thanks for the review! I'm a huge fan of Alba & Avalon products. Alba has a nice facial scrub made from pineapple which I cannot live without. I've also been using Avalon's Vitamin C facial cleanser & moisturizer for ages (highly unusual for me to stick with one thing). If you love the smell of fresh oranges, this is a line to try!
Thanks C — for the tip on the facial scrub and the C cleanser and moisturizer — I am always looking for things that really actually work, and it's very good to get the tip…the natural aspect feels very wholesome to me, so it gives me the added psychological boost of feeling I'm doing something good for myself…
The hot choco is simply divine…I highly recommend it.
I will look for it, you have me intrigued…
Whole Foods has it, if you have one near you.
O yeah! Huge one with an extensive personal care section. Thanks again for the tip!
While we're talking about Alba, I have to give kudos to their leave-in conditioner. I buy three bottles at a time – it's great for winter.
Interesting that you should mention leave-in conditioner — I have to use it for my flyaway fine hair that can get super static-y in the winter, so it's good to have a reliable recommendation…