The Body Shop's Vitamin C Cleansing Facial Polish smells just like crushed up Vitamin C pills, with a hint of mango. It's promoted as an antioxident cleanser with mild scrubbing action, suitable for everyday use and for all skin types.
Looking at the contents, there are relatively few grains compared to an actual facial scrub. The orange grains are set in a translucent, somewhat peachy matrix. The gloppy mixture spreads nicely on the face and has a mild lather. I like the feel of it when cleansing my skin, but am not thrilled with the scent - there are much nicer smelling exfoliating facial cleansers made by Lush (Ocean Salt), Origins (Modern Friction)and Crabtree and Evelyn (La Source).
To cleanse my face, I wet my skin with warm water, took a dab onto my fingertip, and spread the cleanser around. A little went a long way, which is nice. Then I gently massaged the grains and the lather onto my face, giving extra care to my T-zones. I let it sit on my face a few minutes while I more firmly massaged the mixture into my hands. Then I rinsed in more warm water and patted dry.
The Result - the tops of my hands feel nicely smooth, and look lighter and more even-toned. I noticed the freckles are somewhat lighter and faded - a good thing, and perhaps due to the ascorbic acid action?
My face is clean and smooth, but feels stretchy, which I don't like. It's just a little more astringent than I prefer. This would be an excellent exfoliating cleanser for teenage, oily or troubled skin. For that kind of skin, this is probably suitable for daily use. To protect your skin from drying too much, I'd follow use with a hydrating facial spritz and light moisturizer.
I really do love The Body Shop and have been a product fan for literally decades, based on their environmental, fair trade, and no animal testing policies. They have recently been bought by French cosmetic giant L'Oreal, which does not have the best environmental record. I will be taking a look into the situation to consider whether the Body Shop will spread it's good influence to L'Oreal, or whether their values are to be compomised.