Please Don't Pay $65 For A Sugar Scrub

I have to get this off my chest: the Brown Sugar Body Polish from Fresh costs $65 and is a waste of money. Why? It's mainly oil and sugar. Why do I care? I don't like consumers being duped that paying more for something means it is higher in quality.

THE CLAIM: this is the ultimate and unrivaled source for supremely soft, silky skin. (that's cuz of the oil) In just one use, the gentle combination of real brown sugar crystals and a blend of nourishing natural oils smoothes and polishes (thats true. But don't think it's smoothing out any wrinkles). Its luxurious, fragrant scent transforms your shower and lingers on skin for hours. (that's what you are paying for)

First off, anything to be used in the shower or bath and then washed off, can only have limited benefits for the skin. There's not a lot of time for the top layer of skin to absorb the nutrients that are inherit in some oils.

Secondly, a lot of it falls to the shower floor during use, whereby you lose expensive product and make the tub dangerously slippery. Bad

Thirdly: when someone says "I love how it makes my skin feel afterwards", that's just the left over oil on your skin - a good thing, but the oil in your kitchen cupboard could do the same thing

Let's break it down by their ingredient list:
  1. Sugar
  2. Sweet Almond Oil (very common oil, readily available, not expensive. It's 2nd in the list, and I bet their oil mixture is mostly made up of this)
  3. Apricot Kernel Oil
  4. Jojoba Oil (a great oil that mimics the sebum structure of the skin)
  5. Evening Primrose Oil (a great oil full of nutrients, and can be on the expensive side)
  6. Passion Flower Oil
  7. Gingseng Extract (most probably used at 1% of the recipe. They say it "stimulates" the skin. But remember, you'll be washing it off in about 3 minutes)
  8. Tocopherol (1% of a type of Vitamin E, used to keep oils from going rancid)
  9. Sunflower Seed Oil (since it comes after Tocopherol in the list, it's less than 1% of the recipe)
  10. Grapefruit Peel Oil (used for scent. Again, claims to stimulate skin at less than 1%)
  11. Lemon Peel Oil (scent)
  12. Orange Oil
  13. Bergamot Oil
  14. Lemon Oil (a different kind)
  15. Litsea Cubeba (a citrus essential oil)
  16. CYMBOPOGON SCHOENANTHUS OIL (a grass that a Geranium-like essential oil is created)
    LINALOOL (all derivatives of citrus, to create the fragrance. Radical overkill)
  18. Phenoxyethanol (a newer preservative without parabens)
    PROPYLPARABEN (oh well, they added all the parabens anyway. More radical overkill. Made to stay "fresh" for 5 years on a store shelf)
  20. BHA (an artificial preservative added to oils to slow down deterioration)
  21. BHT (more of the above)
So what does that leave us with? Sugar, some readily available nut oils, some exotic flower oils, A LOT of citrus oils to give it it's distinctive scent.

How to make this yourself: Put brown sugar, white sugar, or fine salt in a bowl. Add any oils you like (olive, wheat germ, jojoba) to cover the sugar, add a few drops of Bergamot & Lemon essential oils.....and you have the Brown Sugar Body Exfoliator by Fresh, for about $2 in ingredients.

So, in the end, the consumer is ripped off, and Fresh makes a lot of profit on this product. Profit is good. Ripping off customers is bad.


Anne-Marie said...

Great post. It's a good study on "perceived value."

Brigette said...

Love your post. I think the same one and I get so frustrated when I see pricing on products like this. There is no reason for it. Glad you wrote it. Very well done!

Sara at Soap Rehab said...

Nice breakdown. Well said!

Kathy said...

Great post! Thanks for the breakdown!

ZAJA Natural said...

Wow, a lot of different types of preservatives there.

They price like that because they can, and they know someone out there will pay it. Kind of sickening.

Botany's Desire said...

Happy that you explained this to consumers. This is one of the reasons I have never ordered that line to sell in my boutique and why I will be ordering from you for my store.

Karley said...

I totally agree! The name "Fresh" makes one believe that the line is pure and, well--FRESH. It gives the illusion of goodness.

In addition to paraben overkill, they include two of the worst possible ingredients BHT and BHA (not to be confused with beta hydroxy acid), both of which are banned in the EU. That's not fresh, that's scary.

Christina said...

Totally agree - great post! I make scrubs and soap myself, and am shocked at Fresh's profit margin when I look at the ingredients that go into their Brown Sugar Scrub.

Anonymous said...

I understand your reason for doing it, but isn't it up to consumer whether or not they purchase it?

Like Anne-Marie said "perceived value" Someone is/must be willing to pay the price since they are selling it.

To some people unless it is expensive they won't buy it. I'm sure no one including myself that has responded is their target market.

Anonymous said...

LINALOOL (all derivatives of citrus, to create the fragrance. Radical overkill)
naturally occurs in essential oils it is information that has to be on the label.