Smoothing Facial Scrub
Simple's original version of Smoothing Facial Scrub contained plastic microbeads as the scrub component. Those are fine for skin, but the previous version didn't rate highly with us because it also included potentially aggravating fragrant plant oils. The latest version eliminates those oils, but trades one problem for another, which is why it earns the same rating.
This scrub comes in a convenient plastic tube with a flip-top cap. It's now fragrance free (always good news for skin) and contains some skin-soothing and skin-replenishing ingredients.
The initial version's smooth beads provided gentle manual exfoliation, but this formula's exfoliation comes from rice powder. Although rice powder is a less abrasive alternative to salt or nut shells in scrubs, it can still feel harsh, as is the case with this retooled scrub. Even after rinsing, skin feels abraded; using this can result in micro-tears, which are not good for skin.
- Fragrance free.
- Contains some skin-soothing and skin-replenishing ingredients.
- Rice powder is abrasive enough to cause micro-tears in skin.
- Skin feels aggravated after use.
Launched in the United Kingdom in the 1960s, the general philosophy of the Simple skincare brand is, well... simple! Back then and presently, the brand's claim to fame is that all its products are designed with sensitive skin in mind (as all skincare products should be), omitting fragrance and other ingredients that can potentially cause reactions.
For the most part, we're happy to say Simple gets it right. A series of reformulations in 2015 resulted in a nearly across-the-board improvement in its products. Although they remain decidedly no-frills, they are indeed suitable for sensitive skin.
That doesn't mean there aren't a few missteps in the bunch (you can learn more about this in our individual reviews), but for the most part Simple is a good, reliable, inexpensive line, particularly for facial cleansers and makeup removers.
Note that if your sensitive skin is accompanied by redness, Simple simply doesn't go far enough. Minimalist formulas are one thing if you're operating on the principle that for sensitive skin, fewer ingredients are better; however, to alleviate redness you need proven soothing ingredients present in concentrations that are highly likely to make a visible difference. That's one area where Simple falters. Maybe the next revamp will correct this deficiency; what's been done to date has us encouraged.
For more information about Simple (owned by Uniliver) products visit www.simpleskincare.com. Because Simple products are sold in mainland China, where animal testing is required on imported cosmetics, we do not consider them to be a cruelty-free brand.
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.