Our Rating: 5 stars

by Nisha

Sometimes a product turns out to be awesome when you least expect it to be. I had only just heard of the Stemulation skincare line after reading Marta’s review of the Rescue Repair Hand and Body Treatment ($96 in the shop). I’ve tried a ton of scrubs over the years and while some are better than others, none have exactly rocked my world, so when my editor handed me the Stemulation Micro Derm Scrub ($34 in the TIA shop), I wasn’t exactly psyched to try out another one. In fact, I didn’t even bother to use it for a few days. However, the morning that I did use Stemulation’s scrub, I immediately emailed my editor to notify her, “I just used the Micro Derm scrub and the stuff is the bomb!”

I was genuinely surprised at how well this gentle scrub left my skin looking and feeling after just one use. I had only lightly massaged the scrub – which also formed a nice lather – onto moist skin. My pores appeared to be noticeably cleaner and my skin felt incredibly smooth; the way it looks and feels post-chemical peel. Upon closer examination of the scrub’s formulation, I found the majority of the ingredients to be natural and relatively mild.

The second ingredient is aloe, which is known for its soothing properties. There are several skin-beneficial extracts including green tea, bilberry and ginko biloba. An intriguing ingredient in the formulation is diatomaceous earth, a naturally occurring, soft siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine powder and is very light as a result of its high porosity. Vitis vinifera or grape seed extract not only serves as an anti-inflammatory and a natural preservative, but also contains malic acid, aiding in exfoliation. Sodium lactate, a natural salt derived from lactic acid, plays double duty as a preservative and an exfoliant. There is also sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate, which Marta found to be benign and gentle. Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate serves to clean skin by mixing with oil and dirt and enabling them to be rinsed away. It is Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) approved when used in rinse-off products. Potassium sorbate is a mild, natural paraben alternative.

A little of this scrub goes a long way, and I’ve found myself using it every night during the current heat wave in New York City. I use the tiniest amount to lather up on moist skin, always rinsing off with cool water. My skin feels refreshed and looks radiant after each use. For a superior product, it’s a generous sized tube for the price and I imagine that the tube will easily last for several months so I think it’s definitely a good buy. A final housekeeping note –  the formula is a bit runny so I keep the tube upside down (with the cap side upright); otherwise, I find that the product can accumulate and dry out in the lid and I don’t want to waste a drop of this lovely potion!