A cheaper alternative to face scrubs and exfoliants: The Sephora Cleansing Pad

Now that my skin has calmed down, is “normal” (not oily or dry) and is relatively clear, and a bit sensitive to all harsh or irritating chemicals, I am loathe to do anything to it that will destroy its balance.

For once in my life, my skin is CLEAR!

To keep my skin clear, I do the following:

  • nothing too fatty, oily, deep fried or buttery — makes me break out like mad*
  • no processed or fast foods — my skin is allergic to SOMETHING in them & I break out*
  • avoid putting on too much junk on my face (serums, eye creams, wrinkle whatevers.. I avoid all of it)
  • exfoliate my skin regularly to get rid of dead skin cells

*I’ve always believed that nothing you ate made a difference to your skin or your body, but that is a BIG FAT LIE (for me anyway).

I believed for years that oils and junk food do nothing for ruining your skin, and only if you touched your face with grease, you could get pimples.


BF has a theory on this — he says that if I eat too much butter or oil, my body may not be able to process it as efficiently, and it shoves all the extra oil, butter and fat up to your skin in the form of huge pimples.

He says my skin is trying to expel all the excess oil up through my face (as my skin is a huge organ as well) in reaction to everything clogging up my internal organs.

Some people have no problem chugging down grease in the form of potato chips followed with a huge greasy hamburger with mayonnaise, but my body in particular cannot handle so much fat/oil at once.

I also cannot eat processed or fast foods because something in the preservatives, or the mix of ingredients in there makes my skin react violently.

A good example of this is if you look at poorer countries that don’t have the luxury of fast or processed foods. Their skin is generally super clear, smooth and as beautiful as it can be.

Even the teenagers there don’t get breakouts like we think we’re supposed to as our hormones change!

Exfoliation has two types: Deep and Surface

(Yes, this is everything I’ve learned from Pure and Simple so far.)

Deep exfoliation is when you get down to the deeper layers of your skin.

You want to make sure the pores stay unclogged and clear. If you have dead skin cells lying around, it could build up, trap dirt and oil and cause a bump to appear.

It’s kind of like getting to the source or the root of the pimple to keep the pipes clean and stop the problem before it starts.

It is usually achieved with an acid of some sort, like the Lactic Acid I recently purchased for $50:

Pricey, but worth it as far as I can see. It’s really keeping my skin clear in stopping the major breakouts before they happen.

Surface exfoliation, is just to get rid of the dead skin cells lying on top.

I used baking soda in the past (bad idea!!!), I tried scrubs with shells in them, or little jojoba beads.. and nothing seemed to really work to my satisfaction without hurting, and making me feel awfully guilty for sending yet ANOTHER beauty product down the sewage pipes and causing environmental problems.

Enter the Sephora Cleansing Pad for $7, picked up with a bunch of enablers who started asking for a review before they bought it 😛

It feels soft and delightfully smooshy, and I was kind of afraid it wouldn’t do anything to my skin.

See, when things are too soft, it means it doesn’t really have the power to scrub anything, so I’d just be wasting $7 on some perverse-looking item that won’t do anything.

Side note: Arianne from Glitter Geek thought the bristles felt like a kitten’s fur coat.

So being the guinea pig of the group I bought it and brought it home to give it a try.

I squeezed on a TINY amount of cleanser on it and started scrubbing at my face.

For the record it feels NOTHING like a kitten 😛

The bristles are surprisingly strong on your face, but there was no pain involved like there was in the past with surface exfoliants containing walnut shells and other painful crystals.

You put your two fingers around that kind of dirty looking knob at the back to use it. The cleanser on the pad foams up nicely and goes a long way.

I wouldn’t say it will turn your skin into anything as soft or smooth as a baby’s belly the way a harsher exfoliant or scrub would.

It felt like it was getting rid of the dead skin cells that are easy to remove but not forcing my skin to give up a layer of healthy cells.

VERDICT: I liked it, but it won’t give you an ultra smooth face

Overall I liked it, but if you’re the type that needs to feel super soft skin afterwards (too harsh for my face), then keep buying your current exfoliant.

For me, it seems to work so far and traveling with it will be a lot easier than packing another tube of something.

That said, I like it because:

  • it feels like a kitten
  • it travels well
  • doesn’t take up liquid/gel space
  • it’s a gentle surface exfoliant
  • it was only $7 not $17
  • it isn’t another product to spend money on
  • … or tax the environment with
  • I can use my own cleanser with it

The only con?

  • it may be too gentle for some skin types

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.