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La Roche-Posay

Ultra-Fine Scrub

1.69 fl. oz. for $ 17.99
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La Roche-Posay's Ultra-Fine Scrub's had a facelift, but in this case, it's not an upgrade, so its rating remains the same.

The main change is that the original polyethylene scrub beads have been replaced with perlite and pumice, both of which are volcanic by-products. The scrub itself has some grit to it now, but it's not overly abrasive. When you use this, skin will certainly feel immediately smoother, which is the desired outcome.

More pressing of an issue is that this includes fragrance, which risks irritating skin, as well as the buffering ingredient hydroxyethylpiperazine ethane sulfonic acid (also known as HEPES). While there isn't a lot of research determining its impact in skincare products, there are studies indicating it can generate free radical damage in the presence of oxygen. There are other buffering agents available without this potential issue, so there's no reason to use a product that contains this one.

Skip this problematic formula, and instead opt for one of the gentler options available on our list of Best Scrubs.

Pros:
  • Provides good manual exfoliation.
Cons:
  • Scrub particles could be gentler.
  • Contains fragrance, which can irritate skin.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

Smoothes and gently exfoliates skin, while respecting its physiological balance.

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylpeperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Perlite, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Sodium Hydroxide, Pumice, Poloxamer 184, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, T-Butyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-47, BHT, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Myrtrimonium Bromide, Fragrance.

La Roche-Posay At-A-Glance

L'Oreal-owned La Roche-Posay has a pharmaceutical lineage based in France, and the company speaks of their thermal spring water as the cornerstone of their commitment to dermatological skin care. In fact, the name La Roche-Posay comes from the French town that is the source of this water, which is said to be a rich in selenium. While selenium is an element that has potent antioxidant ability, it's unclear how much the water La Roche-Posay uses contains, since all water has to go through purification processes to be to used in cosmetic products.

That aside, this brand does have a number of standout products, including some good sunscreens and anti-aging treatments. Another positive: All of its skincare is packaged in containers that will keep beneficial products protected from light and air (no jar packaging here!). Unfortunately there are some missteps, namely that some otherwise-excellent products include potentially-irritating amounts of alcohol, fragrance, or other irritants. The line could also benefit from additional products that contain more state-of-the-art ingredients. Still, for a no-frills approach to serious skin care, there are some finds to be had!

For more information about La Roche-Posay, owned by L'Oreal, call (888) 577-5226 or visit www.laroche-posay.com.

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.

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