Review: O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Peel
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Is it weird to have so many obsessions that you need a waitlist for new ones? That’s sort of where I’m at, which I’m not sure what that says about me. A thing I’ve been wanting to delve into for a long time is Korean skincare, since I’ve heard nothing but raves about it. I even walked right by The Face Shop when we were in New York a couple months ago, but it was something like 2AM and I didn’t end up making it back over there with all the other things on our schedule. Next time, for sure. Anyway, a little while ago O.R.G. Skincare rang me up and asked if I’d like to try out their Mineral Peel spray. Um, yes. The company and the product have both been around for a while, but they’re new to me. To fill you in, O.R.G. is a skincare brand bringing products based on Asian skincare to the US market, starting with spray-on mineral peels for face and body. I’ve been testing out the face one; the body version is similar, but without some of the brightening and moisturizing ingredients.
For all that it’s just a spray bottle, I’m a pretty big fan of the packaging. For one thing, the tube it comes in was promptly converted to vanity storage – q-tips in the lid, and nail brushes in the main part. The airy, simple design meshes well with the overall brand message. I realize that doesn’t influence the effectiveness of the packaging or the product whatsoever, but I’m one of those people who can be manipulated into buying stuff with great design.
The bottle itself is great. It’s frosted glass, which gives it a luxe feel. I somehow haven’t accidentally pushed it off the edge of the counter (yet), so I’m not sure how it would hold up to a fall. I could test that for science, but I’d rather wait until I’ve used it up, just in case. It uses a regular spray cap and shoots out a fine, even mist. With a little bit of control you can even do a half-pump. It takes me about 3 pumps to get an even layer of the product over my entire face. Based on the amount I’ve gone through so far, I’d expect the whole bottle to last 2-3 months.
Ingredients & science
Being the skincare skeptic that I am, the first step in my testing was making sure you’re not just seeing the product itself balling up on the skin. I mean, it happens accidentally when I use certain sunscreens and primers together, so what’s to stop a company from making a product that intentionally balls up? Nothing, that’s what. It took me a minute to figure out exactly how to test that but I eventually settled on using nitrile gloves. That way it would still be exposed to body heat (does heat make it clump up? I have no idea but figured I should eliminate as many variables as possible) but not to skin and oils. After one spritz and 20 seconds of rubbing it in, this is what I had:
A really creepy picture of my hand that only shows a few tiny grains. That leads me to believe the product does, in fact, actually do something. Following the directions – spray generously, wait three seconds then rub gently – this is how it looks in action:
I don’t get the huge amount of granules they show in their product photos, but I exfoliate pretty aggressively anyway (AHA’s plus a gentle scrub cleanser). If I use it on skin that’s slightly more neglected like my hands or chest, a lot more ickiness appears.
Unfortunately I’m having a little trouble pinpointing exactly which ingredient actually causes the peeling effect. Mainly because when I plug the ingredients into PubMed the results look like some sort of medical vocabulary test. My bet, though, is on the carbomer, which is a thickener/emulsifier. Surely one of you out there has more knowledge about cosmetic ingredients than I do, so please feel free to correct me in the comments if I’m totally off base.
Aside from the whole peeling-off-the-skin-debris thing, the mineral peel is also loaded with moisturizing and anti-inflammatory ingredients, with some brightening agents and anti-oxidants thrown in for good measure. Notably missing are denatured alcohol and sulfates, which my skin doesn’t usually play well with. It’s free of parabens too, though I still think the anti-paraben craze is a little misguided. The brand is also cruelty-free, so no need to stress over the bunnies.
What it doesn’t do is cause faster skin cell turnover the way AHAs and retinoids do. So if you’re using those in your routine already, this isn’t really a substitute. Apples and oranges, ya know?
Ingredients: Mineral Water, Glycerin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Carbomer, Octandiol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Allantoin, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Simmondsia, Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Angelica Archangelica Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Sodium Chloride, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Tocopheryl Acetate, Omega 3, Artemisia Vulgaris (Mugwort) Extract.
Use & results
And now for the million dollar question (cue dramatic music) – does it work? After a couple weeks of use I’ve concluded yes, yes it does. Here’s a before and after. Hint: you can click the photos to enlarge them.
My skin looks clearer and brighter after using it, and it feels much more smooth. I’ve actually been using this in the morning to prep my skin for makeup. I haven’t had any irritation or breakouts from it (my skin does have a few breakouts going right now, but those predate the arrival of this product). It also helps in my never-ending battle against redness. My skin does flush a little bit right when I rub it in because my skin is a total diva, but after a few minutes there’s an obvious calming effect. Best of all it doesn’t make my skin feel tight or crackly, just soft and hydrated. Almost like an all-in-one toner and exfoliator. And who doesn’t like multi-use products?
In Short: Overall, a great addition to any skincare routine.
O.R.G. Mineral Peel ($44) is available at dermstore.com
This product was generously provided for consideration by O.R.G. Skincare. Just like all my reviews, all the opinions here are mine, all mine.