Health Is Beauty

Miss the Body Shop’s Japanese Washing Grains? Osmia Makes an Even-better Version, Smooth Skin Guaranteed


When I was a teenager, I was almost as obsessed with skin care (and smooth skin) as I am as an adult, and one of my favorite early products was the Body Shop’s Japanese Washing Grains. They came in a canister with a cute illustration on the front, they were inexpensive, and lasted forever. Made with just a couple of ingredients, mostly adzuki beans, they were one of my first must-have beauty products. Of course, the Body Shop makes a ‘new and improved’ version of this product, but it’s got a bunch of chemical junk, fillers, fragrance and other nonsense that is totally unnecessary and not the same as the original product (we all know the Body Shop went downhill when L’Oreal bought it from original social entrepreneur and all-around badass Anita Roddick, who I met once and was as cool as you’d expect).

So was I thrilled when I popped open a bottle of Osmia’s Protein Exfoliating Mask. It looked and smelled just like my old favorite and it works just as beautifully, both exfoliating gently and, if you leave on as a mask (sometimes I use it simply as an exfoliator and then just rinse right off in the shower), it makes skin super-soft. Yes, this product is great for sensitive skin, and it has just a very slight fragrance; mostly it smells—in the most mild way—of beans!

Ingredients couldn’t be simpler: adzuki beans*, quinoa*, wildcrafted pterocarpus soy auxll (red sandalwood) powder, proprietary blend of essential oils* [* means the ingredient is certified organic]


Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.