Natural Product Review: Garden Apothecary’s Vanilla Sugar Scrub

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When I first discovered Garden Apothecary’s Vanilla + Balsam Sugar Scrub I was excited to try it out. The packaging is adorable and the ingredients are all natural. But I never could have imagined the joy that would overtake me as soon as I opened my jar. Upon removing the lid I was hit with the wonderfully delicious scent of vanilla. I don’t mean to sound cheesy, but I was immediately transported to my kitchen baking Christmas cookies I couldn’t wait to share with friends and family.

Vanilla Sugar Scrub 

Garden Apothecary’s Vanilla Sugar Scrub Ingredients

If you are not a vanilla fan, then this vanilla sugar scrub, which even contains a whole vanilla bean pod, is not for you. The winter oils comprised in this sugar scrub offer a bevy of benefits. Vanilla oil (Vanilla planifolia) is a natural antioxidant, sedative and aphrodisiac. This scrub also features balsam oil (Myroxylon balsamum), a natural stimulant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Often mistaken for brown sugar, organic turbinado sugar is also used in this scrub to exfoliate skin. Here is a full list of the ingredients:

Organic turbinado sugar, organic almond oil, vitamin e, organic vanilla beans/powder/oils, organic balsam oils

After double checking the safety of these ingredients on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, I confirmed that none of these ingredients show any signs of concern. Use this product to your heart’s desire!

My Thoughts

Not only do I love this sugar scrub, but I love this company. Launched by professional horticulturist Jennifer Lee Segale in 2008, Garden Apothecary offers organic bath and body products made with whole botanicals in Half Moon Bay, California. All Garden Apothecary products are handmade in small batches to ensure quality and freshness, and can last for up to two years.  

I highly recommend this scrub, especially for wintertime use. Its vanilla scent evokes the holiday season and candy cane cocktails. That being said, I would use this scrub any time of the year. Scrubs help rid complexions of dead and flaky skin, and sugar scrubs in particular are great for cleansing and softening dry skin. This one from Garden Apothecary is too abrasive for facial use, but feels great on the rest of the body, especially rough patches such as elbows and heels. Plus, smelling its intoxicating scent generally lifts my spirits. Apply it to damp skin, massaging until the grains dissolve into the skin. You can then further massage the oil left behind into your skin, then rinse. The scrub won’t leave your skin feeling sticky—only well-nourished.

To care for your skin with this vanilla-y treat, buy a 9-ounce jar of this vanilla sugar scrub online for $25


Gina DeBacker HeadshotGina DeBacker is the associate editor at Mother Earth Living. She loves that part of her job entails testing beauty products enriched with natural ingredients.