I totally missed out the when Volcanic Ash Exfoliator first debuted so I had to see what all the hype was about this time around. I didn't want to miss out again on this Limited Edition item.
"A highly effective, dual-purpose foaming, cleansing and exfoliating scrub blending natural Volcanic Ash with fine sugar crystals. Refines and unclogs the skin, adds instant moisture: leaves skin feeling soft and comfortably clean. Mineral-rich. May be used effectively on any part of face or body. Rinses off with warm water." ~from MAC's website.
The directions say to smooth this over the skin and then rinse off with warm water 1-3x a week. I tried it that way and I didn't like it because the second this stuff touches water, it's GONE. Instead I spread it all over my skin and then with moisten hands I "scrubbed" it around. See the next set of pictures below to see how it transforms.
Here's some of the exfoliator right out of the tube. It's jet black with large flaky grains.
When the water is added, it gets a bit foamy and a bit thinner. See the grains? It looks a lot like kosher salt but I'm not brave enough to find out. If I were to keel over I would just hate to go like that.
Working it in a bit more... you can see it's starting to turn grey as it dissolves.
Ok at this point the "salt" grains have completely dissolved and this is when I finally rinse it all off with warm water. I use this for my face about 1-2x a week and on patchy dry areas of my body whenever.
I love when MAC takes a departure from their usual black boxes. The outer packaging of the Volcanic Ash Exfoliator is a white box with a raised MAC monogram all over.
I've no issues with the packaging of the actual product. They improved it this time and put it in a plastic squeezy tube. It makes it easy and mess-free to get the product out.
The Verdict: A+
This stuff really rocks! It leaves skin so clean and soft. What really sets it apart from other exfoliators is the foaming action. Even though it only foams a little bit, I think foaming makes the exfoliating process feel bubbly. It's a really nice unique feeling. Most other exfoliators just feel like I'm sandpapering my skin.
There is a strong smoky smell to this and it seems it's either a love it or hate it type of scent. I personally do not mind the smell, but I'm really super sensitive to smoke - I blame my weak nasal passages. When I use this on my face I have to work fast or else I get a tickle in my throat and feel like coughing.
Shipping Experience - Macy's: A+
I bought just 1 bottle of Volvanic Ash at MAC's boutique because I wanted to be sure I really liked this exfoliator before stocking up. Since I ended up loving it, I turned to Macy's to stock up. They were the only store I could find that would allow me to purchase 6 items of these at once.
So here's the stash of my precious Volcanic Ash until MAC re-releases it or better yet makes it part of their permanent collection!