This is an ordinary, highly fragranced scrub that cannot detoxify your skin; there are no toxins lurking in your skin that can be scrubbed away or exorcised. This an OK option for normal to oily skin.
- Cleanser and scrub in one.
- Contains rounded polyethylene beads as the scrub particles.
- Rinses easily and leaves skin soft and smooth.
- The fragrance is overpowering, and fragrance, whether synthetic or natural, is never good skin care.
- There is no published research proving that southernwood extract has any benefit for skin (and in a scrub, any benefit is rinsed down the drain).
- This scrub cannot remove toxins as claimed.
This scrub's claim of removing toxins is dubious because your skin does a good job of removing toxins on its own via natural bodily processes, such as through perspiration or, more important, with help from your liver and kidneys. Unless Aveeno really does think that dirt and excess oil are toxins, the claims they make for this scrub are merely to make it sound special, but the formula is quite standard.
Southernwood (another name for the plant wormwood) extract is listed by its Latin name Artemisia abrotanum. It is the active ingredient in the alcoholic drink absinthe. Consuming wormwood via absinthe offers a mix of pros and cons for your health, with the cons dominating (e.g., kidney failure and brain damage are possible outcomes of excess wormwood consumption). With no research proving it does anything helpful for your skin, a “smarter” choice would have been to include plant extracts that have proven benefit, such as antioxidants or anti-irritants; but again, any potential benefits are rinsed down the drain.
Formulated with antioxidant Southernwood extract, Smart Essentials™, daily detoxifying scrub helps keep what’s good for your skin in and what’s bad out. It gently polishes away debris, revealing a brighter, smoother look.
Water, Glycerin, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Polyethylene, Glyceryl Stearate, Lauryl Glucoside, Acrylates/ C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance, Sodium Hydroxide, Cetearyl Olivate, Oryza Sativa Bran Wax (Rice), Luffa Cylindrica Fruit, Cocos Nucifera Fruit (Coconut), Chlorphenesin, Sorbitan Olivate, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Capryl Hydroxamic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Artemisia Abrotanum Extract (Flower/Leaf/Stem), Hydrolyzed Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum
Beginning with its first product in 1945, Soothing Bath Treatment, still sold today as part of the company's Baby line of products, Aveeno has prided itself on using natural ingredients. In some ways, they were a pioneer in the field, though for years the only natural ingredient of note in their products was oatmeal. Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson purchased the brand in 1999, and wasted almost no time expanding it. A handful of bar cleansers and bath products were spun off into complete collections of facial-care products and an ever-growing number of body lotions and washes, not to mention shaving gels (Aveeno is one of the few companies whose shaving gels are truly fragrance-free).
Not surprisingly, many of the facial-care products from Aveeno are similar to those from Johnson & Johnson–owned Neutrogena. The differences typically lie in the natural ingredients each brand promotes. A cornerstone ingredient for Aveeno is soy, while Neutrogena has experimented (with varying degrees of success) with copper, retinol, salicylic acid, and melibiose. Overall, Neutrogena has a much larger and more comprehensive selection of products, though their formulas are also more problematic. Aveeno would do well to diversify a bit, or at least acknowledge that it takes more than a single star ingredient to provide superior skin-care products. As is, most of their anti-wrinkle products don't compete favorably with the more well-rounded options, not just from Neutrogena but also from Olay, Dove, and, in some respects, L'Oreal.
Getting back to the issue of soy, you'll see from the reviews it is indeed a helpful ingredient for skin—just not in the same multifaceted, does-everything manner Aveeno touts on each soy-containing product's package. A big proponent for Aveeno's use of soy is dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf. She is quoted on Aveeno's web site, stating that "It is now clear that the ability of natural soy to deliver multiple benefits to skin plays a lead role in high performance skin care." That sounds great but it doesn't explain why Aveeno ignores research on countless other antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients, all elements Dr. Graf uses in her separate, namesake product line. Interestingly, with Graf's own products relying on a blend of efficacious ingredients, including soy, it's a good question why she decided to endorse Aveeno's one-note soy products.
The bottom line is that when it comes to shopping for skin-care products at the drugstore, Aveeno, for all its talk of being a leader in "Active Naturals," doesn't have the all-inclusive product assortment needed to take the best possible care of your skin. However, paying attention to their top offerings is time (and money) well-spent!
For more information about Aveeno, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (866) 428-3366 or visit www.aveeno.com.