I have read the same beauty stories you have. In fact, maybe I’ve written some of them. I know that there are roughly 17 of the best body exfoliators to get soft, smooth, silky skin. I know that exfoliating is meant to be a full-body practice. I know that if you’re truly a devotee to the temple of soft skin, like most beauty enthusiasts are, you should be scrubbing, sloughing, and dry-brushing all over, all the time.
But I don’t like to. And the simple reason for that is: I am lazy. Exfoliating your body feels like exercise. The other reason is that most body exfoliators are unpleasant, and leave behind an oily residue that makes me feel like I need to shower again. The very popular, very trendy brown sugar-type body exfoliators also feel like something I could make in my own kitchen and thus, are a waste of money to buy. But (you must have known there would be another “but” in there), there is one body exfoliator I like using.
Bloomeffect’s Royal Tulip Polish is a really nice body exfoliator that makes me feel like I’m maximizing my limited time in the shower. It boasts not just one type of exfoliator (physical, via sea salt granules), but two (14 percent alpha hydroxy acid). The salt granules don’t have sharp edges, and the dual exfoliator combo both lifts and scrubs off dead skin and hyperpigmentation (meaning it does great things for mosquito bites and acne scars). I like that the granules are fine and are noticeable, without being too in-your-face (sort of like Keanu Reeves). And I really like the base of the exfoliator—it’s a cream, made of hyaluronic acid—as well as the brand’s proprietary tulip complex (made from actual, imperfect tulip bulbs) that transforms into a fluffy, not-too-rich lather when you add water. The combination leaves my skin feeling moisturized and soft (and, most importantly, clean) at the same time.
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The brand’s founder, Kim van Haaster, also has a real love story that I like telling people because it sounds like something out of a Canadian Lifetime movie—Canadian, because the Lifetime movies are better there (ask any native). She was living in New York, working in beauty, and went on a trip to Ibiza with her girlfriends, when she met a man in a club. As Usher sings, they fell in love in this club, and the man turned out to be a fourth-generation tulip farmer. Haaster then created her brand based on the tulip waste byproduct she observed at his family farm. Currently pregnant with sensitive skin to boot, she recently discovered that Bloomeffects’ Royal Tulip Polish is gentle enough for her skin, and, she promises, even for your face and hair. I haven’t tried it on my face and hair yet, but I do get a kick out of using the tulip-decorated wooden spoon that comes with each jar. And the super-soft skin after application, of course.
Kathleen Hou is the beauty director at Elle Magazine.