Hype or Hit: St Ives Apricot Scrub

From beauty magazine editors to beauty junkies and a slew of your favorite bloggers, St Ives Apricot Scrub gets a strong yay and approval all around.

This cult classic is cheap as chips and as hyped as the legendary Maybelline Great Lash Mascara.

But is it a hit or a miss for you?

It is all hype?

Or it something that actually works?

St Ives Apricot Scrub is made up of walnut shells and cornmeal, pretty abrasive for most skin types. I’m not most skin types by the way and my dry skin can take it on with out a problem but….. The amount of sodium lauryl sulfate (this is basically detergent which is added into most shampoos, body washes, etc…to get that foaming action) in the mix makes my skin so amazingly dry after use. I imagine if you have oily skin it’s an absolute God sent but if you have dry skin oh lordy wait for the flaking to begin!

Needless to say used once a week it will scrub away dullness and dry flaky areas but even once a week it’s still a tad too much for my dry skin.

St Ives markets it as an everyday scrub, I suspect they were on crack when they pitched those directions to the world (kidding, kidding!).

I think it’s an effective scrub but way to harsh.

I’m leaning towards hype.

I’m not sure how this continues to get as many raves as it does but it seems to be a huge hit with many beauty lovers just not with this one.

What do you think?

Is it a hype or a hit?

Do share!

  • 3/14/12 11:17 DivineMsN:

    This is my back-up face scrub. I mostly wash my face with Angels on Bare Skin by Lush. I use this maybe once a week. It’s cheap, fairly available and keeps for a while. It must sell well because it’s been around forever!


  • 3/14/12 11:18 Maggie:

    Urgh, no thanks. The shells are SO bad for your skin!


  • 3/14/12 11:21 Prudence:

    It’s a hit for me. Been using this for a long time.


  • 3/14/12 11:28 Amber:

    This is actually my absolute favorite scrub from anything else I’ve ever tried. I prefer my scrubs on the more abrasive side so I can get all those annoying flakes off my skin. I have really dry skin too, but it doesn’t dry me out. I immediately follow it with L’oreal’s Hydrafresh Toner and Garnier’s Moisture Rescue Cream-Gel Moisturizer, so I don’t know if that’s why it doesn’t dry me out or not.


  • 3/14/12 11:37 Tracy:

    I’m with you Muse ! I have combination skin, and this thing scrubs more than some dead skin ! When I tried it, my face was so dry and irritated, I stopped right away ! Way way way too harsh. I don’t get why it’s everyone’s favourite.


    • 3/14/12 11:41 the Muse:

      I actually wanna like it b/c all that scrubby action is great at removing my flaky, patchy bits but damn it dries my skin OUT awful which just leads to more dry, flaky skin lol! irony right? I feel your pain Tracy!


  • 3/14/12 11:44 Grace:

    I use the blackhead scrub once a week or for a week if im breaking out really badly since im 13 and it prevents me from having any blackheads:)


  • 3/14/12 11:51 Rachel:

    What I find funny is that if you ask any esthetician they’ll all cringe at most of st Ives products because if used as directed its terrible or your skin, especially as you get older. I prefer saving it for my body if I have serious rough patches and even then I’d only rec it once a week.


  • 3/14/12 11:54 rebecca:

    i have been using Apricot Scrub since i was 14 (though I have now started using the Timeless Skin version for “firming”). Have you thought about trying the version for sensitive skin? I have never tried it out, as i have stuck to the original until recently, but maybe that would be your best bet!


    • 3/14/12 11:57 the Muse:

      hmm no maybe I’ll give a whirl rebecca! 😀


  • 3/14/12 12:00 Freddie:

    Miss. I don’t like having it tear my skin.


  • 3/14/12 12:22 Lisa:

    I use this once in a while, and my face feels refreshed, but I would not use it as directed. I like their Green Tea one a lot more because it feels less harsh on the skin.


  • 3/14/12 12:52 sammie:

    I fell prey to all the hype, and forgot momentarily that I have the driest, most sensitive skin ever. Woops. I used it one time and what a disaster! I won’t even bring this stuff to my legs — it’s that rough and drying. Oyyyy.


  • 3/14/12 13:04 JoElla:

    I love this stuff for my body and my feet. It totally wrecks havoc on my face.

    The one scrub I love from St Ives is the Green Tea scrub. It is fantab and isn’t too much but just enough for my skin.


  • 3/14/12 13:08 Mia D:

    It was a hit for a while for me. Then my my pores started getting larger, my skin angrier, my skin produced more oil and my pores were majorly clogged. All thanks to this scrub. I’ve stopped using it and I still have spots of acne but everything else is resolved. In fact my pores look smaller and my skin barely produces oil (compared to what it was when using the scrub).


  • 3/14/12 13:17 Coral:

    I think it’s hype. I haven’t used it in a long time but I do remember how abrasive it was. That definitely was not something I wanted to use every day.
    On the other hand, their green tea scrub is wonderful! The particles are much smaller and it smells great. It costs a smidge more but it is still inexpensive.


  • 3/14/12 14:05 eight:

    I like it, but I think I’m going to try their Green Tea scrub instead, which I think is gentler on the skin. It doesn’t bother my skin but I’m afraid of it will lead to problems!


  • 3/14/12 14:33 Quinctia:

    I’ve used it before in the past, it didn’t really seem like it did much of anything. My skin is really weird and soft, and I have trouble physically exfoliating with anything, though.

    I’d probably avoid it now because I’ve mostly switched over to natural skin and hair care, and SLSs are too harsh to clean off my silicone-less conditioners and moisturizers.


  • 3/14/12 15:57 Sheepy:

    The green tea one is better. I use this one for bacne haha


  • 3/14/12 16:09 Barb:

    I too like the Green Tea scrub :). I like to mix the Apricot Scrub with a little shaving cream and shave my legs with it. Totally silky smooth.


  • 3/14/12 19:21 Jacquelyn:

    i LOVED this in middle school… when i had like, nearly perfect and useful skin hahaha. they changed the formula some time when i was in 8th or 9th grade and it broke me out so badly… the scrublets actually are angular and cut your skin ): futurederm did a blog post on it!


  • 3/14/12 19:32 winni:

    The green tea one is awesome, Muse!


  • 3/14/12 20:02 Denise:

    I’ve used it almost everyday since late 2003 (the whitening and the pictured 1 above). It is indeed a hit for me, but on 2010 I had to look for a new facial wash since it really thinned out my face.

    Now, I still use this like 2-3x a week, and if the facial wash I’m using is a miss.


  • 3/14/12 21:06 Amy:

    I picked up a travel size of the St. Ives Scrub, and so far so good – but I use it only twice a week at most. The directions suggest 3-4 times per week….and I have to agree – that’s crazy. I have oily skin and that sounds like they were on something while writing the directions.

    Overall, I think it is a pretty good, inexpensive scrub for exfoliation, but it tends to run on the harsher side. Sensitive and dry skin types beware XD


  • 3/15/12 1:05 Megan:

    I used it once a week for about a year, but stopped immediately when I read a ton of dermatologists/estheticians slamming it for causing tiny tears in the skin.

    Apparently, the exfoliating bits in the apricot scrub are jagged and that’s what does the damage. I’ve been told you’re better off using an exfoliator with round beads.

    I’ve got a good suggestion for a replacement, though: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub. Costs about $7-8 I think? A little more than St. Ives, but feels just as exfoliating.


  • 3/15/12 3:00 Melissa:

    I have used this product for nearly 25 years. (since I was in grade school). I currently use it once maybe twice a week in the shower on dry eczema skin patches and maybe once a week on my face. I have sensitive allergy prone skin from head to toes.Don’t rub too hard is my advice for this scrub. I get the monster size jar once every months and it says in the shower under my lush goodies.


  • 3/15/12 8:14 Melanie:

    I absolutely love it! I use it everyday and it makes my skin so soft! I actually have to hide it now, because if I don’t my brother uses it on his face, and we run out way to quickly.


  • 3/15/12 17:32 Michelle:

    Kind of a hype, but also kind of a hit. o_O I use the anti-blemish kind with salicylic acid, and I never actually use it as a scrub. I just gently spread it over my T-zone (where my blackheads all like to pop up!) and leave it on for 5 minutes like a mask. Works like a charm! My favorite scrub is actually another from St. Ives called Daily Microdermabrasion. The grains are sooooooo fine and work really well for removing flakiness. I think they discontinued it, so I’ll have to find some replacement when my last tube is gone. :(


  • 3/15/12 20:44 Stephanie:

    I use it evey day,but I have very oily skin.


  • 3/16/12 1:24 katchimo:

    I only use these as a body scrub in the winter and it works well. This definitely ain’t going on my face though, I like exfoliating gels more.


  • 3/17/12 21:16 ruthless:

    I think a lot of people, including myself have a tendency to really grind exfoliants into our skin when you only need a gentle pressure. I really like this scrub, it’s cheap and effective. I have oily skin, so ex foliating every day doesn’t really bother my skin. They’ve got different kinds with smaller particles for sensitive skin.


  • 3/19/12 11:53 Sarah Bellum:

    I love your clever hype or hit name for this article!


    • 3/19/12 11:55 the Muse:

      aw thanks sarah ;D


  • 3/23/12 20:31 Avalith:

    I have the everyday scrub from St. Ives in Green Tea, but I can’t use it every day… my nose peels off and gets oily and flaky (… from over scrubbing)


  • 3/24/12 17:56 Soo:

    I used to love this when I was younger and in high school, but it’s too much for my dry skin to handle now as well. so I don’t like it much anymore, but I do like their Green Tea scrub which seems to be much gentler on my face!


  • 3/17/13 17:54 Shawn:

    I agree that this version of their apricot scrub is too harsh. I was sooo happy that they re-did the formula for the sensitive skin version. It is so much better, softer and not abrasive at all. I know several people who don’t have sensitive skin and they say that version works better than the original. I definitely would suggest trying out the sensitive version. You won’t be disappointed. I also agree that using it once a week is sometimes too much so I use it every other week and it works just fine that way for my skin. Again, go grab the sensitive skin version and do a review on it!


  • 4/7/13 7:58 Citygirl907:

    Have you tried the st ives green tea scrub? it is seriously amazing, I use it twice a week and love it!!! Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already…


    • 4/16/13 11:55 the Muse:

      i haven’t…will have to check it out :)


  • 11/1/14 13:10 nox_lumen:

    I love this stuff. My skin has never shed right, so rather than break outs from to much oil, I get pores clogged on my own skin. On my combination skin, I find it really helpful for keeping blemishes to a minimum, and it leaves my skin clean without feeling striped. For my skin, it’s just right and needs no follow up with toner or moisturizers, just a splash of cold water.

    I can’t help but wonder how many people with trouble with abrasion are just getting to rough with the product. Even the best pumice stone can leave feet bloody if you over do it.


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