Out of all the skincare products out there, the one’s I find most alluring are those little multitasking facial-in-a-jars. They essentially promise all the benefits of a visit to an esthetician – from exfoliating peels to rejuvenating masks – in one simple step (and at a mere fraction of the cost to boot!).
Now, these multitaskers aren’t exactly new to my skincare routine. For a while there, I had been using Tammy Fender’s Epi-Peel ‘facial-in-a-jar’, which more than impressed me results-wise. It transformed my rough, uneven skin, making it soft, smooth, and oh so glowy after the first use, and most impressively, with zero irritation.
Then, lo and behold, we have a new facial-in-a-jar that’s entered my skincare routine (thanks to The Detox Market’s amazing clean beauty bundle for February) – this time from a brand that I’ve surprisingly never tried out before – goop by Juice Beauty skincare. It’s called their Exfoliating Instant Facial, and those three little words had me more than excited to give it a whirl…
Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial
Talk about exfoliating, goop’s Exfoliating Instant Facial contains a whopping six acids, including alpha and beta hydroxy acids, plus glycolic, lactic, malic, tartaric, and salicylic acid. These chemical exfoliators work together to sweep away dead skin cells, revealing fresher, smoother skin and a more youthful, glowing complexion. Meanwhile, plant-based cellulose beads provide physical exfoliation to smooth away dry flakes while releasing vitamin B5 to help sooth and soften skin.
Similar to the rest of goop’s clean skincare line, the Exfoliating Instant Facial is formulated with natural, USDA-certified organic ingredients (an estimated 86% total organic content went into this formula). Organic aloe leaf juice, grape juice, lemon juice, and apple juice (all rich in chemical exfoliants) are at the very top of the ingredients list, along with organic sunflower seed oil to help hydrate, and a toning and soothing essential oil blend.
Meanwhile, all the potentially harmful ingredients they left out, including parabens, petroleum, pesticides, propylene and butylene glycols, phthalates, sulfates, PEGs, TEA, DEA, GMO, silicones, gluten, artificial dyes, and fragrances.
Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice*, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Juice*, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Juice*, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Lactic Acid, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cetyl Esters, Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Glycolic Acid, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Diheptyl Succinate, Coco-Glucoside, Essential Oil Blend: Monarda Didyma (Bergamot) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, and Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Oil, Iris Pallida (Sweet Iris) Leaf Cell Extract, Narcissus Poeticus (Poet’s Daffodil) Flower Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Fruit Extract, Malic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Gluconolactone, Tartaric Acid, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Titanium Dioxide, Hydroxypropylcellulose, Sodium Benzoate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Panthenyl Triacetate.
*Certified organic ingredient. This product is formulated with 86% organic content.
How to Use
This one-step facial is as easy as it sounds: simply apply a thin layer over freshly cleansed skin, let it sit for up to 3 minutes (be sure to watch the clock!), then finish up with a little massage using gentle, circular motions. Rinse with warm water (not hot as it will sting!), then pat your face dry. Use up to 2-3 times per week.
For those of us with sensitive skin, goop recommends doing a small patch test first to see if any reaction occurs. If it appears you’re in the clear, they suggest taking it easy for your first couple treatments by leaving the mask on for only 30-60 second, until your skin ‘gets used to it’.
Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial Review
To start off, I have combination skin that’s slightly sensitive (I can’t use anything with super potent scents or high concentrations of essential oils). My biggest skin care concerns at the moment are dry spots, and their unfortunate consequence, congested pores (thanks to all that dead skin and oil/sebum). After reading rave reviews about this magic instant facial, I was more than curious to try out a more intensive mask, but also a bit hesitant about the whole ‘sensitive skin warning’.
To my surprise, my skin was able to tolerate it. I did notice some stinging about a minute in, but it never got worse than that. The slightly grainy, paste-like formula sat comfortably on my skin throughout the entire facial, never drying out, and the tiny cellulose beads gently polished the surface at the close of the treatment.
Once the mask was off though, well that’s when the redness started to develop all over my face. I admit, I got scared, but fortunately all the red patches subsided after about 15 minutes, and my skin was left with an all-over healthy glow. It also feel incredibly smooth and baby soft, with all the rough spots and dry flakes effectively polished away.
Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial Before & After
Skin is a little red, but noticeably smoother in texture in the after photo!
Because of the mask’s reddening effects, I only ever use it in the evenings. After rinsing off, I’ll do a quick wash with a gentle facial cleanser (to remove any leftover essential oils that might irritate my skin). Then I’ll apply a hydrating face oil (I’ve been using this one lately and I love it!) and let my skin rest overnight. The next morning, it will look completely refreshed and refined, and so glowy and healthy that I often find myself doing double-takes in the mirror!
One thing to note is that, because this mask is so powerful, it can sometimes cause a bit of flaking 1-3 days afterwards. Some bloggers have complained about this mask breaking them out, which I suspect is due to this residual dead skin getting into the pores. To prevent this, I’d recommend keeping up with a daily exfoliation routine – it’s as simple as using a washcloth to smooth away flakes.
I’ve been using goop’s Exfoliating Instant Facial for the past three weeks now, and I have say, between this and the blackhead-extracting Art Natural’s mask (which I’ve also been using once weekly), my pores have been visibly clearing up and shrinking down in size!
Overall, if you have combination to normal skin that’s not super sensitive, I highly recommend picking up a little jar for yourself. It comes in two sizes – the o.5 fl oz travel size one I have here, which I expect to last for at least 15 facials, and a larger 1.7 fl oz one for those who are really committed! (If, however, you have very dry and/or sensitive skin, I’d recommend trying out Tammy Fender’s Epi-Peel – it exfoliates, detoxifies, and rejuvenates, all through a much gentler formula.)
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Have you tried goop’s Exfoliating Instant Facial?