Vegan Product Review: Cocoa Butter Coffee Scrub

Hello readers! Today’s product is a bit different from past reviews, as I am delving into the world of vegan skincare. I’m starting off with a locally made product that’s easy to love- The Purple Urchin Cocoa Butter Coffee Scrub!

Cute packaging that's environmentally friendly too!
Cute packaging that’s environmentally friendly too!

Purple Urchin has it’s roots in Sault Ste. Marie and Ottawa, where they created vegetarian and vegan friendly soaps. Though they initially sold their products online and at craft shows, they now have their very own storefront on Somerset. They got their start making soap from only vegetable oil and essential oils and high-quality fragrance oils, no lard or tallow. Purple Urchin has stayed true to their mission to stay natural and environmentally friendly, though their product range has expanded significantly. They continue to use Ontario suppliers whenever they can, as well as using mainly compostable packaging. I was interested to know that they even refrain from using palm oil due to it’s impacts on forests in Indonesia and Malaysia. Now that’s an environmentally conscious company!

I should note here that there was some controversy in the vegan community surrounding the use of Purple Urchin soap-making tools to create soap made from leftover lard from the culinary students at Algonquin College. The final soap product is sold at the college to help pay for bursaries. Some customers were upset that Purple Urchin had delved into an animal-based venture, and not without cause. However, Purple Urchin emphasizes on their site that they clean the equipment thoroughly and do not sell this animal-based soap under the Purple Urchin brand. My take on it is that I will put my money where the vegan products are. The fact that P.U. is locally owned and environmentally conscious as well as putting out a mostly vegan brand of skincare and hygiene products is filling a part of the market that I’d like to be a part of.

I'm realizing now it looks vaguely like dirt. I assure you it smells and feels amazing!
I’m realizing now it looks vaguely like dirt. I assure you it smells and feels amazing!

And with all that back story, on to the scrub! The Cocoa Butter Coffee Scrub has to be my all-time favourite P.U. product. The scrub is described as “leave(ing) your skin smooth and perfectly hydrated!”. The description isn’t lying. I tend to use the scrub on my legs, arms, and back, as it’s far too granular for facial use. With a quick scrub, my legs actually come out of the shower feeling moisturized. In this sense, I’d say it’s comparable to Lush’s You Snap the Whip body butter. The granular aspect of the scrub helps with ingrown hairs, where the cocoa butter moisturizes against all odds. The website also states that the scrub helps with varicose veins and the appearance of cellulite, but I cannot attest to either of these effects.

A test for consistency, conducted on my arm: a granular and dense scrub.
A test for consistency, conducted on my arm: a granular and dense scrub.

The scent is a wonderful deep aroma that smells mainly of coffee and cocoa butter. It’s masculine enough for my partner to occasionally use, making it a product that isn’t particularly gendered. My partner also finds that floral or artificial scents send him into full on allergy symptoms, so his enjoyment of a scrub that’s so strongly scented sans-sneezes is pretty cool!

At 13.99 for 284 grams of product, it doesn’t come cheap! For a responsible local company with a great vegan product, I tend to be willing to pay more. I certainly haven’t made it a part of my daily shower routine, but that just makes it all the more of a treat to use on my legs after shaving, or after a windy winter day outside walking. Give it a try and you won’t regret it.

Find out where to purchase Purple Urchin products here.

Ingredients: cocos nucifera (coconut oil), theobroma cacao seed butter (cocoa butter), oryza sativa bran oil (rice bran oil), coffea arabica seed (ground coffee), sucrose (brown sugar), sucrose (white sugar), cinnamomum zeylanicum (ground cinnamon), fragrance.

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