Polaar ‘IcePure Gentle Scrub with Arctic Cotton’ Review

My skin is pretty awful after yesterday’s travel and tiredness, so I think it’s time to give it a little TLC with the Polaar scrub. This scrub was the second sneak peek from Birchbox ahead of their April box. My Birchbox card says:

“Never heard of Arctic cotton? It’s a powerhouse ingredient known for its moisturising properties meaning that this double-action exfoliator both smooths and softens the skin.”


This is a 25ml sample of the face scrub. The full size tube is 75ml, and I couldn’t find it for sale many places online. This it is available from Birchbox.co.uk for £23.50, and as the sample is featured in this months box shipping is free for this month. Assuming the sample is based on a similar pricing structure to the full size tube, this scrub costs 31p per ml, or £7.83 for the sample.


The scrub is packaged in a glossy white plastic tube. On the front of the tube is a pale pink circle, and the brand and product information is cut out in white text. The back of the tube contains the company contact information, place of manufacture (France), and states that it is tested under dermatological control. It also states that it is alcohol free and does not contain mineral oils or paraben.

Ingredients: Aqua (water), dicaprylyl carbonate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, silica, dimethicone, pumice, simmondsia chinesis seed oil (jojoba seed oil), parfum (fragrance), jojoba esters, benzoyl alcohol, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, eriophorium spissum flower/extract, allantoin, dehydroacetic acid, tocopherol acetate, sodium hydroxide, d-limonene, linalol.

On social media Birchbox has been recieveing a few negative comments from subscribers asking whether this is a product that contains microbeads. Microbeads have received a lot of media attention recently about the environmental impact they have on our oceans and ocean life – so much so the UK government has moved the ban them completely by the end of 2017, and many other countries have already done so, or are following suit. I haven’t seen an official Birchbox response to whether or not this does contain microbeads, so I did some investigation of my own. Beatthemicrobead.org has a list of 67  ways of describing microplastics that can be found on labelling of products that contain microbeads. I’m pleased to say that none of the ingredients on that list are contained in the list of ingredients above – and whilst I’m no expert it’s reassuring. If you have concerns about the ingrdients listed you can also Google them. I checked a few things that looked similar to names on the list of microbeads, and it turns out they are completely different. I should say that I didn’t check every ingredient, so if you find anything suspicious please do let me know!

Directions: Use twice a week on cleansed, damp skin, avoiding the eye contour area. Exfoliate with light, circular movements without rubbing. Rinse well with warm water.


Unscrewing the cap of the tube I squeeze out a small amount of white cream, which contains pale blue dots. The cream smells really light and flowery, it’s very pleasant. I follow the instructions and apply the scrub to my face. I can see why it states on the directions not to rub, this is a really rough exfoliator (which I love, but be careful on sensitive skin). I leave for a few minutes and rinse.

My skin does feel really smooth afterwards, and is definitely a little more refreshed than it was earlier today. For me, I would love for Birchbox to officially respond to the microbead questions on social media, despite my research I find the silence a little off putting. If they do and this scrub is bead free, then I will be happy to finish the sample in the knowledge that I’m not adding to the layer of plastic at the bottom of the ocean.

Edit: 18.04.17 – GREAT NEWS! I’ve had a response from Polaar and there are NO plastic microbeads in this scrub. They use natural jojoba which is completely biodegradeable. I’m so pleased to have had a response, and glad that I can continue to use the product and enjoy the benefits. Faye 💕

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