Product Review: HQ Gel “Effetto Lifting”

hq gel effetto lifting 02

Name: Gel “Effetto Lifting”
Brand: HQ
Size: 15ml
Price: €2,80

From the packaging:
Gel “Effetto Lifting” helps to smooth out skin and reduce micro wrinkles, brightening up the complexion.

What I liked:
– hydrating, makes skin soft and smooth
– temporarily, slightly reduces the appearance of wrinkles
– gel texture is just right, and absorbs quickly into the skin
– practical packaging

What I didn’t like:
– basic formula, can only hydrate skin

HQ Crema Idratante Intensa wasn’t the only skincare product I left lying in a drawer for ages, neglected and forgotten. Fellow HQ Gel “Effetto Lifting” suffered the same fate too.

I’m glad that I rediscovered it when the weather is still cold, though, because that’s when my combination skin, which tends to get a bit dryer in winter, appreciates hydrating humectant-based gels like this the most. Humectant is a fancy word to define those ingredients, like Glycerin and Sodium Hylauronate, that have the ability to draw moisture from the environment into the skin.

This added moisture helps keep skin hydrated. And hydrated skin feels softer, and looks plumper and smoother. As long as the hydration lasts, wrinkles and fine lines look slightly smaller, giving your face a more youthful appearance.

I was pleased Sodium Hyaluronate was added to this formula. It’s one of my favourite humectants because it works well both in high and low humidity conditions. And it can hold 1000 times its weight in water! Impressive, isn’t?

hq gel effetto lifting 01

Instead, I was frustrated by the inclusion of Ammonium Acryloyldimethyaqua. Why? Because I have no idea of what it is and what it does. I’ve consulted all my usual sources, but nothing. None mentioned it. My guess is that it’s used to adjust the consistency of gel products, but I can’t be 100% sure about that. If anyone has any information about it, please let me know. :)

The rest of the formula is quite boring. It contains a couple of antioxidants, but not in concentrations high enough to do much for the skin. HQ Gel “Effetto Lifting” is a simple humectant treatment that keeps dry skin soft, smooth and well-hydrated when used regularly. Just don’t expect anything more than that.

The gel consistency is just right. Not too runny, not too thick, it spreads easily on the skin, sinking in quickly. Because a little goes a long way (unless your skin is super dry), the gel will last you more than the 10 applications guaranteed by the packaging. The satchel is also convenient to bring on your trips with you. It doesn’t take up much room and, if you go somewhere with a harsh climate that sucks the moisture out of your skin, its contents helps you replenish it.

Ingredients
Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyaqua, Glycerin, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Buddleja Davidii Extract, Thymus Vulgaris Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum, Mannitol, Dextrin, Disodium EDTA, Saccharide Isomerate, Dextran, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Xanthan Gum, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 II, Ceramide 1, Cholesterol, Phytosphingosine, Carrageenan, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamol, Limonene, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, CI 16035, Methylsothiazolinone, CI 17200.

Available at: Beauty 2 Buy

Summary
HQ Gel “Effetto Lifting” is a humectant-based gel that hydrates skin well. As a result, skin looks softer and plumper, and the appearance of wrinkles is reduced.

Rating: 3.5/5

Product Review: HQ Crema Idratante Intensa

hq crema idratante intensa 01

Name: Crema Idratante Intensa
Brand: HQ
Size: 15ml
Price: €1,60

From the packaging:
Signs of premature aging look less obvious. Skin is brighter, smoother, and more hydrated.

What I liked:
– moisturises skin, leaving it soft and smooth
– lightweight texture, sinks in quickly without leaving a greasy residue behind.
– satchel packaging is very practical for travelling

What I didn’t like:
– basic formula can only moisturise skin, so don’t expect anything more
– if your skin is very dry, this won’t be moisturising enough for you
– unpleasant scent

Jar packaging is a waste of money (it doesn’t keep antioxidants stable and effective for long). But opaque tubes have their disadvantages too. The worst one? You can’t see how much product is left inside. You use your cream for weeks and then, one morning, you press the pump dispenser and nothing comes out. Nothing. Not even a drop. Argh!

It’s at times like that that I’m grateful for being a beauty junkie. I have a drawer full of creams that haven’t impressed me enough to use them daily but will do in a pinch, lotions that I still have to test, and moisturisers I’ve completely forgotten about. HQ Crema Idratante Intensa (Intense Hydrating Cream) falls into the latter category. While I was busy ignoring it, HQ changed the packaging, but the cream inside wasn’t revamped. Is it good?

It depends on what you’re looking for in a moisturiser. If that’s a basic, simple formula that will only moisturise your not too dry skin, you should check it out. It features mineral oil and meadowfoam seed oil, two occlusive oils that form a barrier on the skin, thus helping to prevent moisture loss. As a result, skin is well-hydrated, softer, and smoother.

hq crema idratante intensa 02

Mineral oil gets a bad rep because it is derived from oil. But the type used in cosmetics, cosmetic grade mineral oil undergoes a strict refining process that eliminates all toxins and other impurities, making it safe to use. It doesn’t clog pores either, at least not on its own. Only when you use it with comedogenic ingredients, breakouts can occur. I didn’t get any from using this cream.

Despite its name, Crema Itensa Idratante doesn’t provide intense hydration. Just hydration. The lightweight, fast-absorbing texture is usually enough to keep my skin soft and moisturised but, on very cold days, I need something richer for my dry cheeks (my t-zone is oily and this cream works well for it whatever the weather). That doesn’t bother me much. Unlike the scent, which is quite strong and unpleasant, but at least, disappears quickly.

HQ creams come in big satchels that contain 15ml of products. Although not as practical as a tube, these satchels are perfect to bring on planes with you. They contain enough cream for several weeks of use, don’t exceed airport limitations, and barely take up any room in your carry-on luggage. And, when nothing comes out of the dispenser anymore, you can always cut the satchel and scoop up the product left inside. You can’t always do that with a tube.

Ingredients:
Aqua, Paraffinum Liquidum, Limnanthes Alba Seed Oil, Stearic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Glyceryl Stearate, Lanolin Alcohol, Petrolatum, Astrocaryum Murumuru Butter, Passiflora Edulis oil, Theobroma Grandiflorum Butter, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Parfum, Disodium EDTA, PEG-4 Dilaurate, PEG-4 Laurate, PEG-4, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, CI 18035.

Available at: Beauty To Buy

Summary
HQ Crema Idratante Intensa has a lightweight, fast-absorbing texture that moisturises skin well, leaving it softer and hydrated. But it doesn’t do anything more than that. And it’s not moisturising enough for dry skin either.

Rating: 3.5/5

5 New Skincare Products For Spring 2015

skincare products spring 2015

Makeup shopping can be a lot of fun, but when it comes to skincare, trying to decide which moisturizer or serum is best for our skin can be quite frustrating! New products are released every day, but are they worth a try? I skimmed through the latest releases and found five that certainly are:

PURITY OF ELEMENTS RADIANCE FACE SERUM ($60.00)
This serum features a blend of rose hips, honey, and sweet almond seed extract that moisturizes skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is also infused with pretty much any antioxidant you can think of, such as vitamin E and green tea, and even a small amount of vitamin A, to help keep wrinkles at bay. Available at Nordstrom.

DERMA DOCTOR KP DUTY DERMATOLOGIST FORMULATED AHA MOISTURIZING THERAPY FOR DRY SKIN ($90.00)
Suffering from dry skin? This moisturizer features a blend of glycolic acid, green tea extract and urea to help exfoliate, calm and hydrate it. It makes skin soft and smooth, improving the appearance of dry patches. And can be used all over your body, hands and feet included. Available at Derma Doctor.

PAULA’S CHOICE RESIST 25% VITAMIN C SPOT TREATMENT ($55.00)
This powerful spot treatment enriched with 25% stabilized vitamin C (ascorbic acid) promises to get rid of stubborn brown spots and post acne marks anywhere on your face, neck, and body. And like that weren’t enough, it can improve the appearance of deep wrinkles as well. Its texture? Silky smooth. Available at Paula’s Choice.

INDEED LABS RETINOL REFACE ($24.99)
Retinol is one of the most effective ingredients in the fight against premature aging. It can really reduce wrinkles, but it works very slowly. In the meantime, the serum is also infused with dimethicone, a silicone that can temporarily fill in fine lines and wrinkles, making them look smaller. And all without suffocating skin. The formula is pretty basic, so I would recommend it only to young women looking for their first, and affordable, retinol serum. Available at Ulta.

DERMA DOCTOR PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY AGE SPOT ERASER & SKIN BRIGHTENER ($60.00)
Hydroquinone is the most used skin-lightening agent in skincare, and there’s a reason for that. It works really well. But not everyone likes it. If you want to try an alternative treatment, why not give this lotion a go? It is infused with Azelaic Acid, licorice and mulberry extracts, all of which have been proven to treat hyperpigmentation. They’re not as potent skin-lighteners as hydroquinone, though, so it may take longer to see an improvement. Available at Derma Doctor.

Are you going to try any of these products?

Product Review: Ten Instant Lifting Cream

ten instant lifting cream 01

Name: Instant Lifting Cream
Brand: TEN
Size: 50ml
Price: £23.99

From Clever Skincare’s website:
TEN-™ Anti-Age Instant Lifting Cream ’lifts’ the face making it appear more youthful and counteracts the signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. Using a formula rich in antioxidants and Hyaluronic Acid (HA), this anti-age face cream rejuvenates cells for a smoother, younger complexion.

What I liked:
– lightweight texture sinks quickly into the skin
– moisturizing, makes skin soft and smooth
– plumps skin, temporarily reducing the appearance of wrinkles
– most people will love the subtle shea butter and coconut scent

What I didn’t like:
– jar packaging
– doesn’t contain many antioxidants

Humectants are a must have in any well-formulated moisturizer. They draw water from the environment into the skin, thus helping to keep it moisturized. When skin is moisturized, it is softer, plumper, and looks younger.

TEN Instant Lifting Creams contains two: glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is particularly effective because it can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water and, unlike glycerin, works well both in high and low humidity conditions. That makes it a great choice for women all over the world, regardless of the climate they live in. Besides, hyaluronic acid has also been shown to improve skin’s elasticity a bit.

The rest of the cream is made up of emollients, such as Glyceryl Stearate, which acts like a lubricant, giving skin a soft and smooth appearance, and forming a barrier that prevents water loss, and Diethylhexyl carbonate, which is often used in place of silicones for the light emollience and good spreadability it provides.

Of course, like most moisturizers these days, TEN Instant Lifting Cream contains a peptide. It’s called Palmitoyl Pentaptide-4, also known as Matrixyl, and consists of five amino acids linked together and attached to a fatty acid to enhance its penetration into the skin.

ten instant lifting cream 02

Although whether it can really do so is still debatable. Peptides are usually too big to penetrate skin, but they could still work even when left on the surface. According to this theory, the signal to receptors present there how cells should behave.

Palmitoyl Pentaptide-4 is said to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, much-needed substances to keep skin elastic and firm overtime. Although the results of the studies are promising, they were all conducted by the company that makes this peptide. Another concern is the small amount of this peptide in this formula. Even if it works, it’ll do so very slowly.

But moisturizing skin is something this moisturizer does very well. It has a fairly lightweight consistency that sinks very quickly into the skin, leaving both my oily t-zone and dry cheeks soft, smooth, and hydrated for most of the day.

I didn’t detect any brightening effect, but the fine lines around my eyes looked a bit smaller. The effect, though, is only temporary. Once the cream is removed, they are still there. But I don’t mind that. It’s the scent I can’t stand. It’s a subtle blend of shea butter and coconut most people will find pleasant, but I don’t. My nose rarely likes coconut scents. I’m weird like that.

Ingredients:
Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, PEG-100 Stearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Hamamelis Virginiana Water, Phenoxyethanol, Tapioca Starch, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Olus Oil, Parfum, Steareth-2, Carbomer, Polyacrylate-13, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Sodium Hydroxide, Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol, Polyisobutene, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Polymethylsilsequioxane, Simmondsia Chinensis Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Hydrogenated Lecithin, PVP, Decyl Glucoside, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Propylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Xantham Gum, Hexylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Palmitoyl Pentaptide-4

Available at: Amazon and Clever Skincare

Summary
Ten Instant Lifting Cream has a lightweight texture that sinks quickly into the skin, leaving it soft, smooth, and moisturized. I just wish it contained more antioxidants and that it weren’t packaged in a jar.

Rating: 3.5/5

Disclosure: this item was sent by PR for consideration.In addition, the review contains an affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Can Perricone Cold Plasma Really Correct The Ten Most Visible Signs Of Aging?

perricone cold plasma

Cold Plasma, one of Perricone’s best-selling products, makes some high claims. Created after five years of research, it contains a powerful cocktail of antioxidant, peptides, and other goodies touted to be capable of correcting the ten most visible signs: wrinkles, enlarged pores, dryness, redness, discolouration, uneven skin tone, impurities, loss of firmness, loss of smoothness, and loss of radiance. But does it really work?

What Perricone Says

A revolutionary anti-aging product represents Dr. Perricone’s most comprehensive research to date and is the result of five years of development. Through Dr. Perricone’s patented delivery system, Cold Plasma offers the skin all it needs for optimal health. Cold Plasma helps correct the ten most visible signs of aging: wrinkles, enlarged pores, dryness, redness, discoloration, uneven skin tone, impurities, loss of firmness, loss of smoothness, and loss of radiance. Whatever your age or skin type, Cold Plasma delivers extraordinary results. A patented, revolutionary delivery system that drives essential nutrients deep into the skin and acts as an ideal base to layer targeted treatments for enhanced results.

Ingredient Analysis

tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate vitamin c

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate and Ascorbyl Palmitate

Vitamin C is one of the most beneficial ingredients used in skincare. Studies have shown that it can fight free radicals, boost collagen production, enhance the effectiveness of sunscreen, brighten skin, and even reduce dark and sun spots. Cold Plasma contains two forms of Vitamin C, Ascorbyl Palmitate and Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate penetrates more deeply and is more stable than other forms of Vitamin C. Even so, no form of Vitamin C (or any other antioxidant for that matter) should ever be packaged in a jar. That’s because these ingredients degrade, losing a bit of their effectiveness, whenever they are exposed to light and air.

I know some people who love this moisturizer and, to keep it stable and effective, pour its content in an opaque, air-tight bottle but, at this price point, that shouldn’t be necessary. The brand should take care to package it properly.

Retinyl_palmitate

Retinyl Palmitate

Retinyl Palmitate is a combination of retinol (pure Vitamin A) and Palmitic Acid. It is easily absorbed into the skin, where it is converted first into retinol, then retinaldehyde, and finally into retinoic acid. Because it undergoes so many conversions, it is less effective, but gentler, than other forms of Vitamin A.

Like all forms of Vitamin A, retinyl palmitate is an effective antioxidant that can fight the premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles, and dark spots. But it, too, needs to be packaged in an air-tight, opaque tube or bottle to remain stable, and effective for long.

palmitoyl oligopeptide

Peptides

Peptides are very popular at the moment. Cold Plasma contains quite a few. Oligopeptide-17 and Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 are said to fight wrinkles by inhibiting muscle movement; Palmitoyl Oligopeptide stimulates collagen production; and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3 reduces inflammation.

Peptides are a bit controversial because no one knows exactly how they work yet. Their molecules are too big to penetrate skin, but it is suggested they are effective even when left of the surface on the skin, where they signal to skin receptors present there how cells should behave.

DMAE

Dimethyl MEA (DMAE)

Touted as a “facelift in a jar” for its ability to firm skin, DMAE is quite a controversial ingredient. Why? Because we don’t know how it works exactly nor how safe it is. A 2007 study has found that DMA can damage skin cells, suggesting that it’s as a reaction to this damage that skin thickens.

A later study, performed in 2009, confirmed that DMAE thickens skin, and found that it increase skin’s hydration as well, but didn’t detect any side effects. Further research on DMAE is needed to figure out just how good (or bad) it is for skin.

But there’s another concern. According to Paula Begoun, DMAE, to be effective, must be formulated at a ph of 10, which is highly alkaline (not good for skin) and can cause dryness. Skincare products are formulated at a much more skin-friendly ph (5.5-6.5 range), and, if Cold Plasma is too, then DMAE won’t be able to do much anyway.

Isopropyl_palmitate

Further considerations on the formula

The revolutionary delivery system used by Perricone in Cold Plasma is simply Phosphatidylcholine, which has the ability to help other ingredients better penetrate into the skin. Glycerin, drawing water from the environment into the skin, provides some hydration.

I was less thrilled to see Isopropyl Plamitate on the label. This ingredient, when used in high doses, never fails to break me out. Yet, I know many people who can use it without experiencing any side effects. Still, if you have oily skin, you may want to avoid it, just in case.

Full Ingredient List

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Phosphatidylcholine, Isopropyl Palmitate, L-Tyrosine, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Oligopeptide-17, Ceteareth-20, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Dimethyl MEA (DMAE), Docosahexaenoic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycolic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Saccaromyces Ferment, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Tocotrienols, Copper Gluconate, Polysorbate 20, Sorbic Acid, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Astaxanthin, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3

Avaibility

You can buy Perricone Cold Plasma at Sephora. A 1oz jar will set you back a whopping $155.00!

The Bottom Line

I would be a lot more impressed with Perricone Cold Plasma if it were packaged in a tube or bottle. The formula is good, but the jar packaging compromises the efficacy of its most beneficial anti-aging ingredients.

K6: An Effective Aloe Vera Based Skincare Line For All Skin Types?

k6 aloe vera based skincare

Organic skincare brands are popping up everywhere at the moment. I can’t say I’m thrilled with this trend. You’re gonna miss out on a lot of effective and safe synthetic goodies if you limit yourself to plant-derived ingredients (although because the definition of organic is quite vague, synthetic ingredients still often find their way into these products).

One thing I noticed is that a lot of these brands use the natural, much loved by everyone, aloe vera. K6 Skin Care, a new organic aloe-vera-based line designed to accommodate all ethnicities and skin types, is one of these. But how effective is it? Let’s take a look:

What does aloe vera do?

Aloe vera has been used for centuries for its anti-inflammatory properties. Although the jury is still out there on whether it can actually help heal wounds, aloe vera can soothe irritations and reduce redness, making it a great option for people who suffer from psoriasis.

Aloe vera can also hydrate skin. A 2006 study has shown that “formulations supplemented with 0.25% and 0.50% (w/w) of Aloe vera extract increased the water content of the stratum corneum […] possibly through a humectant mechanism” (ie by drawing water from the environment into the skin.

The problem with aloe vera is that the mucilage derived from the plant and used in skincare products is 99.5% water. The part full of goodies is only 0.5%. What is it made of? That’s a “combination of mucopolysaccharides, choline and choline salicylate“. Therefore, for aloe vera to work its best, a generous dose must be added to creams and lotions. Luckily, it tops of the list of all K6 products.

k6 clean antioxidant face cleanser

Clean Antioxidant Facial Cleanser ($25.00)

Suitable for sensitive skin, the Clean Antioxidant Facial Cleanser contains a gentle mix of surfactants (Disodium Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, PEG-18 Glyceryl Oleate/Cocoate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate) that help water mix with oils and dirt so that they can be rinsed away. But, while it does a great job at cleansing your skin in the morning, it may not be strong enough to remove makeup at the end of the day.

The cleanser also contains humectants aloe vera and glycerin, which help to keep skin hydrated and soft during and after washing. The mix of antioxidants, such as green tea and retinyl palmitate, instead doesn’t do much in a cleanser but increase the price tag. That’s cos they just end up down the drain.

Verdict

A gentle and effective, if a bit pricey, morning cleanser suitable even for very sensitive skin.

Ingredients

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Disodium Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, PEG-18 Glyceryl Oleate/Cocoate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Glycerin, Camellia PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract Blend, Butylene Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid. Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Soapbark Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract,Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid

k6 preserve anti-aging moisturizer

Preserve Anti-aging Moisturizer ($39.00)

Can you guess what my problem with the Preserve Anti-aging Moisturizer is? Yep, the jar packaging. Housing antioxidants (and this moisturizer contains quite a few of them, including green tea, topcopheryl acetate, and retinyl palmitate) in a jar is a waste of good ingredients and money. That’s because they degrade a bit every time they are exposed to light and air, until, after a while, they completely lose their anti-aging properties.

But if moisture and hydration is all you want, you may still enjoy this moisturizer. Aloe extract, glycerin and hyaluronic acid (it can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water!) all attract water from the environment into the skin, increasing its hydration levels. Cetyl Alcohol and Cetearyl Alcohol, two moisturizing fatty alcohols, and Squalane, instead, have emollient properties that leave skin soft and smooth.

Verdict

A basic moisturizer that leaves skin soft, smooth and hydrated. Unfortunately, its anti-aging properties are compromised by the jar packaging.

Ingredients

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Squalane, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Soy Fiber, Glycereth-26, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearic Acid, Ceteareth-20, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycosaminoglycans, Soluble Collagen, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Anogeissus Leiocarpus Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract Blend, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Triethanolamine

k6 reveal active enzyme peel

Reveal Active Enzyme Peel ($36.00)

According to K6, Reveal Active Enzyme Peel contains an “organic active enzyme peel that is a safe and natural way to exfoliate dead skin cells with no harsh chemicals”. But exfoliants with AHAs (such as glycolic and lactic acids), and Salicylic Acid, which I guess are what the “harsh chemicals” refers to, are actually one of the gentlest way to exfoliate skin, and cause problems only when used in too high amounts.

In any case, papain, the enzyme extracted from papaya used in Reveal Active Enzyme Peel isn’t a safer option. It can cause irritations and allergies too. If you are allergic to papaya or pineapple (papain can be derived from that too) you should stay away from it. There’s more bad news. Papain woks by dissolving old skin cells, but, according to Paula Begoun, it is effective only in pure concentration.

Aloe vera and a few antioxidants included in the formula can, thanks to their soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, help prevent and reduce any irritation that may occur. But I certainly wouldn’t recommend this peel over AHAs or BHA based exfolianst, especially not to those with sensitive skin.

Verdict

Forget papain and stick to a gentler and more effective AHAs or BHA based exfoliant instead.

Ingredients

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Water, Carbomer, Hyaluronic Acid, Papain, Linoleic Acid, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract Blend, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Panthenol Phospholipids, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide

The Bottom Line

Personally, I would never buy a skincare product just because it contains aloe vera, unless my skin were sunburnt or otherwise irritated. It’s a beneficial ingredient, just not miraculous enough to justify splurging on it. Having said that, K6 Skincare has potential. The peel is a disappointment, but the cleanser is good, and the moisturizer is well-formulated too. It just needs to be repackaged in an opaque, air-tight tube or bottle.

Have you ever tried K6 Skincare?