If you're a big fan of facial cleansing then you've probably come across St. Ives Apricot Scrub.

I've never been all that knowledgeable about the world of skincare, so when I started trying to take better care of my face I asked my friends and colleagues for their recommendations and literally all of them recommended St. Ives to me. But here's the thing, whenever I used it I used to find myself breaking out in tonnes of spots afterwards. So then I'd stop for a little bit, and my skin would clear, then I'd try again, same thing.

I assumed it was just because I was having some kind of allergic reaction to it. However, according to some people, the issue goes much further. In fact, there's a whole legion of people on the r/SkincareAddiction subreddit who accept it as fact that St. Ives is actively terrible for your skin.

In fact, people believe that St. Ives is so bad for your skin that they have taken Unilever (who make the product) to court, claiming that the face-wash is 'unfit to be sold or used as a facial scrub'. Oh snap.

Here's the thing, despite not containing the microbeads that are poisoning our oceans, St. Ives does contain walnut shell powder as its active exfoliating ingredient. But according to some dermatologists and skincare fans, walnut shell powder is actually ripping your skin open. Apparently the powder makes tiny holes in your skin when you scrub it on your face and these lead to irritation and infection.

St. Ives is so loathed by people on the aforementioned subreddit that it is known as 'St. Ives Devil Scrub'. In fact, Slate quotes on reddit user as saying 'You may as well go and rub gravel or crushed glass on your face.' Jesus.


The plaintiff who has taken St. Ives to court say the following:

Unfortunately for consumers, use of St. Ives as a facial exfoliant leads to long-term skin damage that greatly outweighs any potential benefits the product may provide. St. Ives' primary exfoliating ingredient is crushed walnut shell, which has jagged edges that cause micro-tears in the skin when used in a scrub.

They are demanding that Unilever acknowledges that St. Ives Apricot Scrub is harmful to be used on the face and reflect that on their packaging. We can't imagine this fight is going to end quite like that, but who can tell?

The whole case isn't a sure thing yet either, it might get thrown out of court if the judges decide that the effects of skin care products vary from person to person, but plenty of people on the subreddit are rejoicing at the news!

What do you think? Have you ever noticed any issue with St. Ives Apricot Scrub or does it work just fine for you? Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image Credit: Amazon

Jack Rear

Jack is a writer at Pretty52. He's a got a lot of enthusiasm for video-games, superheroes, and reading. He's not above dishing out some serious sass either.

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