Paula’s Choice UnScrub

Paula Begoun, the queen of chemical exfoliation has always been vocal about her distaste for traditional face scrubs. She still is. But only when they’re really scrubby. At the same time and since Paula’s Choice is all about options (choose from a dozen BHA formulas and half of them in AHA), the brand recently launched UnScrub, a new non-scrub/no scrub scrub intended to provide a mild form of physical exfoliation using biodegradable jojoba oil beads. Emphasis on mild.

(Very) First Impressions

After I applied UnScrub to the back of my hand (like any normal skincare obsessive does when opening something new), I concluded that the product’s name is as intriguing as it is confusing. A total mindfuck. Yes, there are beads. The beads are perfectly round. Scrub-like material for sure. I found the consistency to be more cleansing balm than scrub. As in step one of a double cleanse. In other news: it’s not a bad thing.

Confession time

I love scrubs. The grittier, the better. My easily congested combination skin cannot get enough of the Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub Advanced (ruby crystals) or ARCONA Cranberry Gommage (jojoba beads and volcanic minerals). I also understand that many people risk being scrubbed raw were they to indulge in my favorites. Enter Paula’s Choice UnScrub. For those with complexions sensitive to exfoliators, Paula’s Choice UnScrub is definitely worth a try.

What’s in it?

The aforementioned jojoba beads dissolve within seconds of your massaging the product onto the skin. In addition to a handful of gentle yet effective cleansing agents, UnScrub highlights antioxidant rich Green Tea Extract and Vitamin E as well as skin soothing Chamomile. UnScrub is fragrance free and has been created sans essential oils, both moves are a trusted Paula’s Choice signature. Love the lush gel-balm texture.

How do I use it?

Surprise, surprise, I prefer to apply UnScrub to a dry face as my morning cleanse, especially now that the weather has gotten colder. Indoor heating has me awakening with parched skin sometimes. I massage Unscrub in for a minute before hopping into the shower. It liquifies with water and rinses off beautifully — no flannel required. At the end of the day, I use it to remove my SPF and tinted moisturizer (also applying it to dry skin) as the first step in a double cleanse. If you follow directions — on wet skin, the jojoba beads actually feel more effective as they ‘roll around’ the surface of the skin before dissipating.

Do I love it?

I like it a lot, even more so now that I have facial hair and am no longer in risk of the scrubbing particles sticking to my skin or taking forever to rinse. They are the worst in brows, too. Do I get enough exfoliation from UnScrub? No. I wish the brand would consider adding fruit enzymes to up the resurfacing game of this creamy balm. I’m definitely enjoying it as a moisture replenishing cleanser. A very good cleanser.

$29 (4 oz.) at


Leave a Reply

Read previous post:
Pai Carbon Star Detoxifying Overnight Face Oil

Over the years, I’ve tried a number of face oils formulated specifically to be used overnight. It all started with...