The first facial scrub you probably used was St. Ives Apricot Scrub, a viscous, gloppy paste speckled with granules of crushed walnut shells that you rubbed on your teenaged visage in an attempt to sandblast your way out of acne, operating under the assumption that it was good for you. As it turns out, that might not be the case and Unilever, the parent company of St. Ives, is facing a $5 million lawsuit.
As reported by TMZ on Wednesday, the lawsuit was filed by two women who claim that washing their face with the scrub was akin to taking “sandpaper to the skin.” Their main quibble with the scrub is essentially false advertising: “the St. Ives product says it’s “dermatologist tested” — which is misleading, they say, because it is tested ... but NOT recommended.” Okay, then!
The scrub is cheap, widely available and serves as entry-level skincare, right alongside Noxzema and Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque. Lots of people grew up using it, but if you dip your toe into the wild and wooly world of skincare Reddit, you’d discover that the scrub is, uh, not particularly well-liked. A Slate deep dive into /r/SkincareAddiction turned up a dark underbelly of skincare devotees vehemently opposed to the idea of rubbing their faces with ground nut shells, claiming that the “micro tears” the shells leave on your face lead to infections and your entire face melting off, probably.
While it’s nice to have the validation of the madding crowd behind your choice not to use something on your face, maybe consider the fact that rubbing ground nut shells into your face like you’re Lady Macbeth is not the best idea in the world.