I’m a big, big fan of exfoliating treatments. I think it’s important for everyone to properly exfoliate regularly (“regularly” being different for everyone. Generally, the older you are, the more you will benefit from frequent exfoliation. The younger you are, the less often you need to), but given that I have been “blessed” with oily, acne-prone skin, I think it’s especially important for me. I’ve tried it all: super fine (and super potent!) micro-dermabrasion scrubs, gentle chemical exfoliants, and all assortments of exfoliating masks. What I’ve found is that you don’t necessarily have to have a very rough or sandpaper-y scrub in order to get results (I wish my 15-year old self knew that…). Same goes for chemical exfoliants that rival industrial-grade battery acid–definitely not necessary! Great things come in gentle formulations too…like the Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel, for example.
Amore Pacific describes this product as:
“[a] water-activated botanical enzyme treatment to effectively eliminate excess surface cells and toxins responsible for irregularities in texture and tone and optimize penetrations of all skincare products which follow.”
“Papain, a plant based enzyme, is micro-encapsulated and activated upon contact with water to thoroughly dissolve impurities and cellular build up without harsh AHA’s and abrasives found in more traditional formulations.”
The product is a fine, yellow-ish powder that just looks like flour or maybe detergent. It comes in a cylindrical tube with a cap that is supposed to dispense a pre-measured dosage into the palms of you hand. I don’t know if I’m just challanged, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how the measuring cap works–so I just dump a tiny bit into my hand. Problem solved.
Treatment Enzyme Peel is essentially an exfoliating face wash without harsh chemical exfoliants or the scrubbly bits found in a traditional exfoliating facial scrub. At first, I thought it would be a gentle scrub in the vein of Dermalogica’s Microfoliant and bareMinerals Exfoliating Treatment Cleanser. The steps are the same (pour out a small amount, mix with a bit of water, apply to skin), but the results are very different. With the Dermalogica Microfoliant, you get a gentle yet effective exfoliation, with the very fine grains providing a thorough buff (just like with sandpaper, the finer the grit, the more refined the finish). But the powder product of the Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel actually dissolves and lightly froths up with the addition of water. All the grit vanishes and you’re left with a rich, silky lather. After I got over the initial disappointment (after all, I rather like the concept and feel of the Dermalogica Microfoliant), I rather enjoyed the creamy, silky-smooth texture. It felt really nice on my skin and washed off easily, leaving my skin feeling clean but not stripped.
I didn’t notice any real exfoliation with this product, but that’s probably because it’s so gentle and my skin is used to a thorough exfoliation on a regular basis. But, I gave it to my mom and she loved it. She doesn’t often exfoliate because she has extremely sensitive skin that becomes irritated at the drop of a hat. She said that after using this for a few weeks, she noticed her skin was much smoother and less flaky around her nose area (where she has a problem with dryness). She says she can use it regularly and her skin doesn’t get irritated, unless she uses it every night. If you want to get a bit more exfoliation out of it, I suggest leaving it on your skin for a minute before washing it off.
The only real con (besides the price) is the scent–but it’s a pretty big con, in my opinion. Like most Amore Pacific products, this has a very strong perfumey scent to it. It is the same fragrance that accompanies products like their Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel, Rejuvenating Cream, Natural Protector SPF 30/PA+++ sunscreen, and Rejuvenating Eye Treatment Gel. It’s very hard to describe, but suffice it to say it is quite strong. It’s not the scent that I don’t like (I actually rather like it), but it’s that I don’t want this kind of perfumey fragrance in my facial skincare–especially this strong! I mean, it is seriously powerful. For this reason, I highly, highly recommend that you take a sniff at the product in-store prior to purchasing. Even if you don’t have a particularly sensitive nose, try it first. I am not sensitive to scent, but the first time I smelled an Amore Pacific product I was overwhelmed–and not in a good way.
It’s pricey, but you also only need a very small amount (less than the size of a dime) to create a rich lather to cover your whole face, so it will last you a while. It’s a nice product–but I don’t know that I like it enough to buy it again. The lather of the product is extremely silky and very nice on the skin, but I didn’t get very noticeable results from regular use. Then again, I exfoliate thoroughly on a regular basis. My mom, on the other hand, loved the product. It works well for her sensitive, dry, mature skin–so she will be repurchasing. I really like it as a cleanser, but I didn’t buy this to replace my regular cleanser (plus, I wouldn’t want to spend $60 every 3 weeks on a cleanser!). As an exfoliating treatment, I think it could definitely use a bit more oomph. All in all, good–but not a must-have by any means.
Pros: has a lovely, silky, rich consistency; gentle; you only need a small amount per use, so it will last a while; works well for all skin types (my mom has dry, sensitive mature skin and I have oily skin); packaging is lovely and simple (though I couldn’t figure out how it was supposed to pre-measure the dose for you)
Cons: scent is incredibly overpowering–proceed with caution, especially if you are sensitive to fragrance; pricey
»»Pricing: $60/2.5 oz.
»»Recommended for: sensitive, mature skin types
»»Overall Rating: B
PS: sorry for the crappy pics today, guys! It’s my boyfriend’s birthday today so I admit, I kinda rushed trying to get this post up so I could go get ready! Stay tuned for some bareMinerals Ready shadows, a French pharmacy-style haul, and more! And as always, thanks for stopping by! ♥ Becca