Exfoliating and polishing
Pumice is the cooled, hardened and ‘frothy’ part of volcanic lava, a pyroclastic, igneous rock. Liquid lava is ejected into the air as froth, containing masses of gas bubbles; as the lava solidifies, the bubbles are sealed into the rock.
Pumice is very porous and lightweight; it is the only rock that can float on water until it becomes water logged.
Various minerals occur in the many types of pumice, the most common are feldspar, augite, hornblende and zircon.
The word pumice is derived from the Latin word 'pumex', meaning 'foam'.
As pumice has no crystal structure, it is considered to be a glass.
In ancient Greece and Rome, it was used for the removal of excess hair, and was also used in toothpaste.
It has long been used as an abrasive in cleaning, polishing and scouring, and as an additive for lightweight construction materials.
Pumice is a powerful exfoliant; it is excellent for removing dead skin.