Like It Rough? Try Zia Skin Basics Bamboo Exfoliant with Rice Bran

Published in: Product Reviews, Skin Care

zia bamboo exfoliant review

Criminy, and I thought my awkward tween years were rough, but Zia’s Skin Basics Bamboo Exfoliant with Rice Bran ($25) = even rougher.


Zia designed their creamy, non-foaming face exfoliator to slough off dead skin, stimulate cell turnover and remove surface toxins, and although the product’s not new, it contains an interesting list of ingredients, among them plant extracts like grape seed, soybean, rice brain, lemon peel, yucca and ylang ylang flower (no paraben as far as the eye can see!).

New to Zia? The botanical-based skin care and makeup line can be found at natural food stores like Whole Foods. Their products are free of harsh chemicals and artificial colors. Tabs loves that they’re also cruelty free.

Bamboo Exfoliant is part of Zia’s Skin Basics family of cleansers, treatments and moisturizers created for skin beginning to show the first signs of aging.

Using it for the first time, one word kept coming to mind: invigorating!

zia bamboo exfoliant review

zia bamboo exfoliant review

zia bamboo exfoliant review

The fine exfoliating grains, which I’m guessing are crushed bamboo leaves and stems (the rice bran in the product is mentioned as an oil), HELLA HURT. I felt like I was polishing my sensitive, acne-prone face with sandpaper. ๐Ÿ™

It was a little much for Karen v.3.5, but I probably would have really liked this back when I was in my early twenties and had much oilier, stronger skin. The stuff does clean and exfoliate like nobody’s business (albeit painfully)!


For kicks, I also tried it on my feet, knees and elbows, and I’m very glad I did. The gritty grains worked like a charm to soften rough spots. I found I was able to tolerate the texture on most of my body, where the skin isn’t as sensitive as the skin on my face. After rinsing, my skin felt considerably softer and smoother, too (refreshed, but not tight).

Ignoring the fact that Zia didn’t design Skin Basics Bamboo Exfoliant with bodies in mind, it’s official. I’ll be keeping this bottle in my shower. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, one more thing — this reminds me a lot of another exfoliator famous for its rough grains — St. Ives Apricot Scrub. If you’re a fan of that, or if you’ve got really sturdy, durable skin and you’re looking for a no-nonsense exfoliator, you might like Zia Skin Basics Bamboo Exfoliant a lot. Available at Whole Foods and online at Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 19 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Sounds painful! Karen,have you ever tried JUARA skincare products? I love the Rice Facial Scrub, gentle, smells divine and gets the job done! They have lots of great products!
    Cindy (Prime Beauty) recently posted … Prime Beauty Buzz

  2. Heidi says:

    Glad to read this review. I’ve been wanting to try this as I really like the cleanser I’ve been using from Zia, but sounds like it would be a bit too intense for me as well.

    I’ve been using 100% Pure’s Pineapple Juice Scrub and really like it. The “scrubby” parts are very smooth, not scratchy at all.

    • Karen says:

      Ooh, does it smell like pineapples?

      • Heidi says:

        Yes, it does! They might have it at ULTA, otherwise I’ve seen it at Beauty 360, I think you have one in Marin, don’t you? Bon Air Shopping Center, I believe! They also have a carrot juice scrub that’s for more sensitive skin. My mother likes that one. And yes, it smells like carrots!

  3. Did someone say rough scrub??? *Slides into the room a la Risky Business* Right I’m getting my cousin onto it pronto! Scrapping off layers of dead skin is what I live for! Thanks Karen!

  4. mint says:

    great review! thanks!! although I’m not a fan of very graining scrubs. I’m surpised it’s like that because the swatch on your hand looks so smooth and white. not grainy at all.
    mint recently posted … French Coquettes- Lancome Fall 2010 Color Collection

  5. Lisa says:

    I have been using this for three years now. Actually I use all of Zia’s product for that long. And I can safely say that my skin has never been better. I only use this exfoliant once a week tho. I have combo skin and it moisturizes where it needs to and clears flake skin flawlessly.

  6. Nina says:

    Cue in DuranDuran’s Some like it Rough (hot) … ๐Ÿ˜€

    Love this entry, and im interested. I do lurve it rough … scrubs, that is! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Karen says:

      They’re good for day removing the flakes, that’s for sure!

      How’s your Sunday going? I just got back from walking Tabs and now I’m eating a late breakfast (leftover noodles from dinner last night).

  7. Nimmi says:

    Actually, a really good exfoliant to use on your face is oatmeal. You just apply some EVOO or Almond oil, grind up some oatmeal and then just scrub it on. It’s just as good as any other exfoliant!

  8. Kim says:

    I think I’d be with you on such an aggressive scrub. I love the idea of deep cleaning, but have a feeling that my “maturing” facial skin wouldn’t enjoy it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Ali says:

    The best exfoliating scrub Ive tried is by dermalogica, their daily microfoliant is amazing, gentle enough to use everyday, it has rice powder and salycilic acid but its not harsh at all. For a more intense bi-weekly scrub I love Zirhs Aloe scrub. My wife swears by it as well!

  10. Amarya says:

    Great (even though painful) article! As the saying goes “love hurts” and this relates to loving your body.

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