Move Over, Bath Beads: Meet The Pebble

The ’90s soaking staple has been reimagined as a gentle hydrator and exfoliator.

by Eleonore Condo

an image of a box of bath "pebbles" (small, round beads made with natural moisturizing oils)
Courtesy of Kate McLeod
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I can trace my obsession with baths back to a specific object: The size of a dime, sometimes the shape of a dolphin or a star, they came in brilliant colors, often alluringly transparent, but every now and then, you’d get a pearlescent gem. The bath girlies know what I’m talking about, of course, but if you were born after 2000–I’m talking about bath beads. Eventually, I grew out of bath beads; the synthetic fragrances and dyes were not particularly nourishing, and the oils inside were greasy rather than moisturizing. I didn’t, however, grow out of my passion for elevating the bathing experience. Enter: Kate McLeod’s Pebble.

The Pebble is a smaller, more effervescent take on McLeod’s iconic Body Stone, a solid moisturizer. Launched this past November, the Pebble has quickly become a staple in my bath routine. Formulated with cocoa butter and kukui nut, jojoba, and baobab oils, it delivers all the nourishing hydration you need in a sweet, tiny tablet. Along with its moisturizing properties, the Pebble also contains baking soda and citric acid which work together to gently exfoliate, unclog your pores and add a little fizz to your tub. I like to drop one or two Pebbles into my bath and let them do their thing until they eventually bob to the surface. Then I grab them and gently rub against my skin, focusing on drier areas like my elbows. The grit is subtle and not painful like other exfoliants and the results are smooth and unbelievably silky.

Although I am a bath devotee, one of the things that drew me most to the Pebble is that it also works in the shower. After I wash (but before I rinse out my conditioner) I take one of the Pebbles and use it all over, the way I would a bar of soap. It gets fizzier and foamier in my hands than it does in the tub so the experience is somewhat quicker than a soak, but it gives you just enough time to focus on yourself. Again, I leave the shower hydrated, soft and smelling amazing.

Let’s talk about the scents, because in many ways they are just as important as the ingredients. The Pebble comes in four therapeutic fragrances: Daily, a bright, energizing rose, Sleep, a cozy lavender, Breathe, a eucalyptus perfect for when you’re feeling congested post-workout, and Forest, a transportive, woodsy hinoki. All of the scents come from essential oils and create the most beautiful aromatic experience. I’ve been partial to the Daily but there’s something very healing about Forest during these cold winter days.

Sometimes graduating from the things I loved as a child makes me feel old. But while I’ll always cherish the bath beads of my salad days, the Pebble has made me relish being an adult. A long soak after a long day in ingredients I can get behind? Being a grown-up is not half-bad.