I mentioned a little while back that I’ve been testing out some St Grape products*. Having had a good old wallow and a few foot spas, I’m ready to share my thoughts.
Top of the list was the Himalayan Bath Salts, enriched with seven essential oils (geranium, wild mint, basil, lavender, spearmint, eucalyptus and peppermint) and by far my favourite product in the set. The smell is just wonderful – outdoor spa on a hillside overlooking the ocean wonderful – and the salts have a soothing, softening action on the skin. Because I wanted to eke them out a bit, I put in less than the recommended amount each time and got the same spa-like, aromatic experience regardless.
St Grape include a little muslin bag and recommend that you can put a scoop of the salts inside and use it as a scrub while you’re in the bath. I haven’t done this yet but I’m quite sold on the idea and it’s a nice USP.
I’ve actually used the salts the most in a foot spa (or co-opted washing up bowl on the living room floor, before you get too exotic an impression). Baths are wonderful but time-consuming and I never have as many as I think I will. But equal parts kettle and cold tap in my low-frills washing up bowl and my living room was a paradise that no scented candle could match. Plus there’s the added bonus that after my feet were dry and lathered in moisturiser (Lyonsleaf Calendula Balm was my first choice most times), I could just slither back into my sofa nest and stay there all warm and snug until bedtime.
Surprisingly, I also really enjoyed using the Ancient Foot Scrub. Foot scrubs are normally the type of product that I have every intention of using and never, ever touch. But I found myself craving the ritual of exfoliating every little bit of my feet before immersing them in the bowl, with the added bonus that the salts and oils in the scrub melt into the water and add to the overall mix. My tip would be to wet your hands before scooping. The salts are quite dry and even if you apply them to damp feet, they’ll drop right off without a bit of moisture to clump them together. And hold your feet over the water so any littering just scents the water below. The foot scrub smells a little more tropical and floral thanks to the blend of lotus, jasmine, lavender and rose essential oils; I loved it.
I wasn’t as sold on the Aqua Bliss Face and Body Scrub (which I didn’t try on my face), but that’s because the smell got even more tropical and seemed to just tip over into the artificial. Oddly, it has exactly the same blend of oils as the foot scrub but it must be heavier on the lotus/jasmine end of the spectrum because it really did have more of the air-freshener than the fresh floral. Performance-wise I have no complaints. Do follow the advice on the tub though. It’s a very gooey scrub, for want of a better word, that is MUCH better as a treat in the bath than an invigorating exfoliator in the shower. The scrub action is very gentle and melts quickly into a scented oil that disperses in your bath water. While it was lovely to use, I wouldn’t repurchase because an indulgent scrub really needs to tick all the boxes and the smell would be a stumbling block for me.
Last up was the body oil and I rather unfairly put this aside in a slightly petulant way when it leaked a little around the seal and got all messy. Once I finally cleaned it up a bit and gave it a go, I was impressed. It contains 9 essential oils – lavender, lime, basil, grapefruit, wild mint, geranium, eucalyptus, roman chamomile and rosewood – but it’s the mint that comes through strongest. I found that the oil absorbed quickly and was really hydrating – the fresh, slightly menthol scent made it perfect after my morning shower. My one gripe is the bottle. I hate oils in pouring bottles (i.e. without a narrowed dropper or nozzle). It’s impossible not to pour half the bottle into your hand each time, which is needlessly messy and wasteful.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with St Grape. They’re a newish brand and perhaps still finding their feet a little. On behalf of all of those who scrutinise ingredients lists – whether because of allergies or an interest in more natural options – St Grape really need to get full ingredients lists up on their website. Based on the products I received, the ingredients aren’t anything they should feel the need to hide. I also felt like the packaging, while stylish and with attention to detail, made the products look as if they could have come from different brands. Perhaps a more cohesive brand identity would help? Similarly, there’s an odd approach to pricing. I think the products are all priced on a similar spectrum but it’s hard to tell because of the difference in the size of the packaging. For example, the foot scrub retails at £25, which seems pricey compared to £12 for the face and body scrub. Until you realise you’re getting 500g of foot scrub and just 150g of body scrub.
Having said all that, I’d definitely buy the Himalayan Salts again and I’d be interested to see what St Grape do next.
Exotic Soaking Bath Salts, £15 for 600g
Ingredients: Himalayan pink salt, pelargonium graveolens flower oil, mentha arvensis leaf oil, ocimum basilicum (basil) oil, lavandula dentata (lavender) flower oil, mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf oil, eucalyptus polybractea oil, mentha piperita leaf oil.
Ancient Foot Scrub, £25 for 500g
Ingredients: Aqua, sodium chloride (sea salt), cocos nucifera, coconut flour olefin sulfonate, nelumbium speciosum (lotus) flower extract, jasminum officinale (jasmine) flower oil, rosa damascena flower oil, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower oil.
Aqua Bliss Face and Body Scrub, £12 for 150g
Ingredients: Aqua, sodium chloride (sea salt), olefin sulfonate, nelumbium speciosum (lotus) flower extract, tocopheryl acetate, jasminum officinale (jasmine) flower oil, rosa damascena flower oil, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower oil.
Invisible Skin Massage Oil, £25 for 120ml
Ingredients: Camellia sinensis seed oil, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, lavandula dentata (lavender) flower oil, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, ocimum basilicum (basil) oil, citrus paradisi (grapefruit) peel oil, mentha arvensis leaf oil, pelargonium graveolens flower oil, eucalyptus polybractea oil, anthemis nobilis flower oil, bois de rose natural oil.
All available from St Grape’s website.
*PR samples – all opinions are my own