I was chosen to review the Astara Citrus Lavender Sea Salt Scrub ($39 in the shop) for the Dare to Try program, which made me really excited as I know and like Astara as a brand and I'm something of a body scrub junkie. I'm in my late 40s and have slightly dry skin from a medication I take, so I love a good scrub.
For those unfamiliar with the company, Astara uses organic and botanical ingredients in all their products. This is important as you can use these products without worrying about them containing ingredients than may be harmful to you or to the environment. I did a little research on the ingredients in the scrub and the only two that show the slightest concern (very low for both) are carrageenan, which is actually disputed as to whether or not it's possibly toxic (and that would be in very large amounts), and sodium stearoyl lactylate, which has a very low probability of possibly being an environmental toxin.
This scrub is also full of essential, great smelling oils, like lavender (obviously!), bergamot, eucalyptus and others. The smell if very much a sort of herb-y, lavender smell, but it's definitely not overwhelming or too floral. The biggest difference I see between this scrub and traditional salt scrubs is the addition of papain. Papain is a fruit enzyme which is a very good exfoliator. This ingredient is pretty far down the ingredients list though, so I honestly don't know how big a part it plays in how the scrub works.
As for how the scrub pans out, the first thing I noticed is that it's not as "scrubby" as others I've tried. I actually used it with my nylon bath cloth a couple of times, which is exfoliating on its own. I also used it just in the shower, and on dry skin and then left it on while soaking in a warm bath. Using it first and then soaking is really nice and very relaxing. It leaves the skin soft and with a nice fragrance after (although this fades pretty quickly).
I don't think Astara Citrus Lavender Sea Salt Scrub is really for rough skin, like feet, or for people who really like that feeling you get while using a coarser grained scrub. I do think it's a lovely scrub for summer (I'm not sure how well it would work for me in winter, but may be fine for others who don't have dry skin issues). I really like the not too powerful floral scent. My only caveat is that those with sensitive skin could have a little skin irritation from one of the essential oils, so be aware of whether or not you're sensitive to one of these ingredients. Overall I definitely recommend this scrub; I quite enjoyed it!
Ingredients in Astara Citrus Lavender Sea Salt Scrub: Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Water (Aqua), Sodium Cocosulfate, Polyglyceryl-10, Pentastearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Citrus Arantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Numphaea Alba (Water Lily) Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Oleoresin, Thymus Vulgaris Leaf Oil, Dead Sea Salts, Papain, Algae Extract, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Caramel