Buffy: The Dry Skin Slayer
Day 4: Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains For Face
When I was a teenager, my Mom used to buy a little canister of facial scrubbing grains for my sister and me. We mixed them with water and rubbed them on our faces, making a facial scrub to try to rid ourselves of teenage oily skin and the occasional pimple breakouts. They were a product from Helena Rubenstein. What a fascinating woman, that Helena! If you are at all interested in the history of beauty products, you have to read about Madame Helena. Look for her biography by Patrick O'Higgins for a real peek at one of the first ladies of skincare. She was innovative, smart, and her products changed the way women took care of their skin and revolutionized the cosmetic skincare industry. She was a true pioneer, and a very quirky lady, to say the least.
Skincare scrubs and exfoliators have taken a fast turn from that old cannister of grains. Chemical exfoliators such as AHA's, glycolic acids, and pore-clearing BHA's along with mechanical scrubs like the venerable St. Ives Apricot Scrub have become popular now, and can be very effective once you find the right ones for your skin situation. I've used them all, to varying degrees of success. But when I saw these Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains, I was feeling a little nostalgic for my old Helena Rubenstein scrubbing powder, and so I forked out the outrageous $40 for a jar. Yes, $40. For ground up adzuki bean powder. I bet I could make my own for about a dollar. And yet I caved.
The dry grainy product comes in an elegant glass jar, and under the cap, the grains can be poured out a little at a time thanks to the nicely designed small opening in the jar. It's designed to be mixed with just about anything, facial cleanser, toner, or just plain water. I prefer the latter. With many scrubs having a cream-type base and leaving my skin feeling as if there's a coating of cream on it, I like the fresh feeling of nothing but the damp grains and I think they work better than a cream-based scrub. Pour a little bit of grains into the palm of the hand, and add a drop or two of water. As you rub in the dampened product, you can feel it gently removing rough patches and giving a thorough exfoliating cleansing. It's almost impossible to over-scrub. The grains are gentle, not sharp or scratchy, and they roll around the skin easily. And unlike a cream-based scrub, it's so easy to remove the grains when you're done. Just rinse with water, or use a damp warm washcloth. Nothing remains on the skin, no residue at all. I follow this scrub immediately with a good treatment product, usually Lauder's Perfectionist CP+ (former version, not the new serum.) My skin looks fresh, rosy, glowing, and smooth as glass, with no irritation at all. The effect of the scrubbing lasts for several days, too.
What these Buffing Grains won't do is deep-clean pores. This is strictly a surface-smoothing exfoliant. But with this terribly cold Winter, and being indoors most of the time in artificial heat, my dry, parched skin gets flaky and dull-looking. I use the grains once a week to refresh and renew my dry skin. Very little product is needed, and I think my expensive purchase will last quite a long time.
Maybe Bobbi Brown is following in Madame Helena's footsteps! I like to think it's possible that she used the Rubenstein scrubbing powder when she was a young girl, too. It might have been a little seed planted in her mind. A little adzuki bean seed.
Disclosure: This product was purchased by the reviewer
Photo Credit: Cavewoman for Blogdorf Goodman
Credit: Melanie Parker/Veronica Lake in I Married a Witch.