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Trader Joe's Skin Care

Blueberry & Acai Facial Scrub

2.00 fl. oz. for $ 5.99
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Trader Joe’s has some surprisingly good skin care products, but Blueberry & Acai Facial Scrub isn’t one of them. In short, this formula is rife with issues that negatively impact skin.

Housed in a frosted jar, the thick cream texture looks and smells like a delicious blueberry smoothie. Unfortunately, that’s not such a good thing in this case. One of the problems is that the formula is infused with abrasive blueberry seed particles, which can cause tiny micro-tears that damage skin.

Complicating matters, the formula’s fragrance components increase the irritancy potential. Granted, the fragrance is less of an issue in a rinse-off scrub than it would be with a leave-on product, but in unison with the abrasiveness, it’s not worth the gamble for skin (see More Info).

What about the acclaimed alpha hydroxy acids in this formula? Technically, the pH range of this scrub falls within the range needed for AHAs like the lactic acid this scrub contains to exfoliate skin. However, you’re better off getting those benefits from our top-rated AHAs that don’t subject skin to this much irritation.

Lastly, this scrub’s jar packaging is another disappointment because it allows the antioxidant and nutrient properties of the berry to degrade prematurely (see More Info). We suggest perusing our top-rated exfoliators for superior options.

  • None of note.
  • Infused with abrasive scrub particles that can impair skin.
  • Fragrance components increase the irritancy potential.
  • Jar packaging prematurely degrades the formula.

More Info:

Irritating Ingredients: We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, abrasive, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice!

Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.

Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.

A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for your skin to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don’t get lulled into thinking that if you don’t see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.

Generally, it’s best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there’s no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.

References for this information:
Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385
Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: Beneficial anti-aging ingredients, which include all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight also is problematic for these ingredients.

Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.

Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin!

References for this information:
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–1

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: No

Blueberry and acai berry nutrients combine with alpha-hydroxy acids to remove dry, dull skin cells and refresh the appearance of your complexion.

Water (Aqua), Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit, Colloidal Oatmeal, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Lactic Acid, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Stearyl Alcohol, Flavor, Polylactic Acid, Vaccinium Corymbosum (Blueberry) Seed, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Ceteareth-20, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Leuconostoc/Aloe Barbadensis Leaf/Sorbus Aucuparia Fruit Ferment Filtrate, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Acacia Senegal Flower/Stem Extract, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract.

Trader Joe’s is a California-based grocery chain best known for its eclectic mix of gourmet, organic, vegetarian, and staple food products, most sold under the Trader Joe’s name. Its stores are generally no-frills and utilitarian, with a focus on lower-priced products that are still of high quality.

That same low price, high quality philosophy informs the store’s house brand of personal hygiene products, including its skin care line. There isn’t a lot that’s flashy or innovative; rather the focus is on staples, with some skin-boosting products in the mix as well.

For the most part, Trader Joe’s gets it right, with basic but reliable ingredients. There are a few items that include fragrance ingredients (including a face wash and rose face mist that absolutely should be avoided), but overall, if you’re looking to pick up a does-what-it-says, stripped-down moisturizer while you’re out shopping for groceries, the options here are better than you might expect given their prices.

You can find out more about Trader Joe’s as a store at Its skin care products are sold in-store only.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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