beauty

ROAD TEST: The Aussie-made exfoliating body scrub that contains actual volcanic ash.

Mention the words ‘volcanic ash’ to anyone who’s planned a trip to Bali in the last 12 months and you’ll likely be told never to speak of it again.

But aside from stranding people in airports and ruining Balinese holidays, there’s one benefit of volcanic ash beauty lovers froth over.

The ash, which is created during explosive volcanic eruptions, is said to have mystical powers. Rich in antioxidants and minerals, volcanic ash skincare products claim to clear even the dullest, clogged skin. Which I am so up for because sweat plus humidity equals more bumps and sore spots on my skin than usual.

Enter, what I hoped would solve my skin woes. The Volcanic Sea Salt + Coconut Scrub from Sass + Co. Body.

“Volcanic rock is created during explosive volcanic eruptions. Boom! May every shower you take have the same effect. Expect an exfoliant of volcanic measures,” the Australian company’s website reads of the 250 gram tub of goodness priced at $45. My expectations reached explosive heights immediately.

Featuring a bunch of natural, no nasties ingredients like Hemp and Argan Seed oil, Cocoa and Shea Butter, and of course, volcanic ash, this 100 per cent natural and vegan scrub promises softer skin with a side of adventure.

So I put it to the test.

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First thoughts

The first thing I noticed is no, literal volcanic ash does not blow up in your face when you open the packaging. It does look kind of space agey and mysterious though.

The scent is a mixture of sea breeze (that’d be the sea salt), and a zesty citrus (lemon essential oil). No smoke, but does anyone really know what volcanic ash smells like?

I was also expecting it to be red, because lava is red, yeah? But it was actually a lemony yellow with lots of visible black speckles. Not as explosive and threatening as I first thought.

The application

Much to my disappointment, I did not blast off into the atmosphere and away from my problems in a puff of volcanic ash. But the exfoliation process did feel a tad more adventurous than my run-of-the-mill scrub.

I grabbed a decent sized blob out of the tub, and rubbed it between my palms before applying to my dry skin problem areas – legs, knees, backs of thighs and elbows. The product warms up in your hands, which is clearly the magical lava particles doing their thing.

Applying the product was easy – I rubbed it on damp skin in circular motions, let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing off. I also rubbed any extra into the backs of my hands, which are also flakier than I’d like to admit.

No, the volcanic ash scrub doesn't look so explosive once you open it. Image: Supplied.

The scrub is quite thick and tacky, so a little goes a long way, and it also wasn't as abrasive as some other scrubs, meaning the exfoliating beads won't make it look like you've been attacked by a cat in the shower.

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Post-scrub, my skin felt soft and moisturised thanks to the nourishing oil residue, but not irritated. After using the product for a week, I definitely noticed a difference in the scaliness of my skin.

Final verdict

Was a blown away, as in literally blown away by volcanic ash? No. But was it that little bit extra special and interesting than your average scrub? Yes.

It's the kind of product I'd add to my rotation of weird and wonderful beauty products. Sure, you come for the gimmick - in this case, volcanic ash - but you keep using it because it does what it says it does on the packaging.

The price point may be a little steep for beauty novices or or those on a tight budget, but if you're looking for a quality Aussie made, vegan friendly, natural product to add to your skincare routine, chuck this one to your list of ones to try.

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