Anyone living in a chilly climate can attest to the many ways in which winter weather can ravage the skin. For me, dry, dull skin is one of my major complexion complaints brought on by this snowy season. Luckily, I've found Amala's Cocoa Bean Rejuvenating Face Polish, an exfoliating scrub that softens skin, and claims to restore elasticity and stimulate cell renewal.

Amala, which means "most pure" in Sanskrit, and "love her" in Spanish, creates cruelty-free, certified natural and organic personal care products, from which 5% of the profits are invested into fair-trade farms. For the aesthetically inclined, these products are also quite enticing with their stylish recycled cardboard and cork containers.

The scrub contains cocoa seed extract, a key ingredient in a number of Amala's products, including their facial mask, which was tested and recommended by TIA earlier this year. Two of the formula's main components are jojoba seed oil and jojoba seed wax, effective emollients that can help decrease skin irritation. The scrub also contains licorice root extract, which may help treat dermatitis and decrease inflammation, and  decyl glucoside, a cleansing agent gentle enough to be used even in baby-care products.

The exfoliating particles in the scrub are slightly coarser than those found in synthetic cleansers, but the rich formula in which they are immersed keeps them from feeling scratchy when applied to skin. The formula was light and easy to apply, but managed to totally knock out the dry, uneven patches on my face. Once I had given my face a thorough rinse, I found that my skin felt incredibly smooth and supple, although I did notice that it also seemed a bit oily, something I have no reason to complain about during the dry winter months, but would definitely be a drawback in hot or humid weather.

The only other downside I can see is the price tag, which, at $68 for a 1.7 ounce tube, seems a bit hefty.


Water (aqua), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba ) seed wax, alcohol*, theobroma cacao (cocoa) extract*, glycerin, decyl glucoside, polyglyceryl-3 stearate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, stearic acid, xanthan gum, thobroma cacao (cocoa) husk, amaranthus caudatus seed oil*, malpighia punicifolia (acerola) fruit extract*, carapa guaianensis seed oil*, hippophae rhamnoides oil*, bertholletia excelsa seed oil*, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract*, fragrance (parfum), vanilla planifolia fruit extract*, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil*, rosa damascena flower oil, cananga odorata flower oil*, citrus auratum bergamia (bergamot) peel oil*, plantago lanceolata leaf extract*, certraria islandica extract*, salix alba (willow) bark extract*, tocopherol, silver sulfate, lactic acid

*ingredient produced by organic farming