I Tried Trader Joe’s Facial Scrub and the Hype Is Legit

updated May 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Jelisa Castrodale)

Early last week, a friend texted our unending group thread with a screenshot from Weather.com — one suggesting that our section of North Carolina would be getting two winters’ worth of snow over the course of one day. I responded with some variation of “WTF,” before reminding myself to pick up an extra half-gallon of milk before the Snowday Preppers cleared out the bread aisle and all the dairy cases. (ALL MILK SANDWICHES, ALL THE TIME).

By Thursday, a foot of snow was looking like a real thing that could happen, so I did what every well-adjusted adult does when facing the possibility of extreme weather: I updated my Netflix to-watch list, charged my Kindle in case of a power outage, and went to Trader Joe’s immediately.

I’d recently read some of the Insta-hype about TJ’s own Blueberry & Açaí Facial Scrub, so I picked one of those up while I was in the store too, throwing it on top of, like, 14 packages of frozen sweet-potato gnocchi. (And the hype is real: I looked for this earlier in the week, and it was temporarily sold out at my closest Joe’s).

Although the scrub has been available for more than a year — it was in the What’s New category on TJs.com last May — I hadn’t heard of it until TRENDMOOD featured it in a recent Instagram post. The commenters who’d already swooped this off their local shelves just nodded enthusiastically, like THANKS FOR JOINING US. “That facial scrub is so good,” one person responded. “Anyone who is spending high end money without trying the Trader Joe’s mask first is a FOOL.”

I recently gave my own skin-care shelf an overhaul, and this scrub’s $5.99 price tag is less than I paid to have some of that other stuff shipped. I had modest expectations that night when my boyfriend and I gave the scrub a go, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the mirror, passing the jar back and forth. The first thing you’ll notice when you unscrew the lid is the very fruity smell. “This is like a pastry for your face,” he said, smearing above his cheekbones. He’s right: the second ingredient listed on the box is blueberries. (The first is water).

“The Scrub’s formulation includes U.S.-grown blueberry purée, açaí fruit extract, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) to gently exfoliate the skin, and colloidal oatmeal to soothe it,” TJ’s writes on its website. “We’ve also included shea butter, meadowfoam seed oil, and various plant extracts to pamper that beautiful mug of yours.”

TJ’s doesn’t lie: both of us commented about how smooth our skin felt immediately after rinsing the scrub off, but that was nothing compared to the next day. My skin — which tends to get very dry, very quickly during the winter — still felt ultra-soft, and the stress-related blotches in the center of my forehead had calmed down completely. (There was also a lingering scent of blueberry muffin, which may or may not be a selling point for you). I was completely sold after the first use — which hasn’t been the case with some of my other recent skincare scores.

Fast forward a couple of days, and we did get all of that snow, I did get that half-gallon of milk, and we’ve had gnocchi for two meals and counting. Right now, I have no idea when my car will be visible, let alone driveable, but when I head out, I fully expect someone to comment on how amazing my skin looks. Or at least to say something about how good it smells.