I shed tears (almost) when The Body Shop discontinued their Aduzki Bean Facial Scrub. Ah, the nostalgia of the talc-dispenser tub, the technicality of mixing powder with water to a skin-smarting consistency. Adzuki treated your face like a meanie but boy did it get a dull complexion looking lively. This was an iconic, tough love scrub and there has forever been a gap in my beauty treatment arsenal. Until now...
Pukka Nourishing Brightener is nowhere near as abrasive as Adzuki (which is probably a good things since Adzuki was a baaad thing), but it's the nearest I've come to grain-based exfoliation in a long time. It leaves your skin seriously soft, matte - something that I've never come across in an exfoliant before - and as smooth as a baby's bottom.
Pukka Skincare follows the principles of Ayurveda, reflected in the concentrated herbal blends. To smell (and in the case of Nourishing Brightener) feel something that is proudly pungent, earthy and slightly twiggy, we're talking ground roots, spices and nuts here folk, and to then contemplate rubbing it onto your face seems refreshingly back to basics and novel.
Of course, you do need to mix it with a carrier before putting 'soil' to skin. The directions recommend water or cleanser but I would definitely advise mixing one teaspoon of powder with a good dollop of cream cleanser before you set to work. For me, the water option is a little too scratchy. How times have changed.
There are some really interesting potent ingredients packed into the pot. Almond seed powder - the base of the brightener - replenishes, moisturises and is probably the ingredient that leaves the skin feeling so matte and silky smooth. Bilberry fruit extract and Licorice root powder have an antioxidant and brightening effect whilst Gotu Kola, Manjishtha root powder and Asparagus powder all have anti-inflammatory, purifying properties. Neem leaf powder has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial benefits whilst turmeric helps to even skin tone and fight acne infections. Finally, Nourishing Brightener also contains Spirulina, an all round skin superfood.
On the downside, this exfoliator doesn't apply to the skin in a particularly aesthetically pleasing way. Mixed, it has the appearance of the end result of a dog's troubled digestive system after eating berries. It also turns the sink/bathwater green-ish.
On the upside, it is one of the best exfoliators I have ever used. Like compost for your complexion every ingredient - did I mention it's 100% organic - is there for the greater, face-fuelling good. There are no fillers or chemical synthetics.
I'd highly recommend a look at Pukka if you fancy slotting some genuinely high-percentage organic products into your regime or, if what you put on your skin - for whatever reason - matters. x
Pukka Ayurveda Nourishing Brightener is £13 (15ml) from www.pukkaherbs.com