Sonia Kashuk claims her Resurface Gentle Exfoliating Wash "gently polishes away dead skin cells," but her definition of gentle differs greatly from ours. Not only can this cleansing scrub end up irritating skin via its gritty particles, it's also fragranced. Fragrance isn't great news for any skin type, especially sensitive skin.
So how does Resurface Gentle Exfoliating Wash work? It contains diatomaceous earth (ground-up porous rock composed of the skeletons of sea creatures) to allow you to manually scrub skin. It's a mildly abrasive scrubbing agent but even at that, it can end up causing tiny, micro-tears in skin due to its gritty particles—very light pressure as you're it into massaging skin is a must, or you risk damaging skin's protective barrier.
The emollients in the formula and the somewhat creamy base help cushion the abrasive action, but we noticed that after we rinsed our skin clean, some of the exfoliating particles remained. In fact, we had to do a second rinse with a washcloth to get our skin completely particle-free.
On the plus side, Resurface Gentle Exfoliating leaves skin feeling smooth and the formula is workable for both oily and dry skin or anywhere in between. Just don't count on it to stimulate cell renewal as claimed—while the formula contains some beneficial ingredients such as vitamin B5 (listed as panthenol) and other antioxidants, their effect is near nil in a rinse-off product such as this.
That brings us to the fragrance. The formula is scented potently enough to waft as you apply it, but thankfully, the scent fades as Resurface Gentle Exfoliating Wash is rinsed down the drain. Because the fragrance has such brief contact with skin, we aren't overly concerned about its potential to irritate, but if you have sensitive skin that would be a compounding reason to avoid this product altogether.
All in all, Resurface Gentle Exfoliating Wash turns out to be a gamble for skin. Considering there are better options out there, why take the chance? See our list of Best Cleansers for superior options, or if it's the exfoliation you're after, consider trying a leave-on AHA or BHA exfoliant for truly effective yet gentle results.
Sonia Kashuk At-A-Glance
Strengths: Affordable and widely available (though exclusive to Target stores); good makeup remover; the makeup is still the star attraction, with impressive options for foundation, powder, blush, lip color, eyeliner and especially makeup brushes.
Weaknesses: The concealers, eye pencil, and brow shapers are a letdown; the makeup palettes may seem convenient, but several of the included products perform poorly.
Perhaps best known for her years of work with supermodel Cindy Crawford, makeup artist Sonia Kashuk's well-chosen selection of makeup has been available exclusively at Target stores since the mid-1990s.
Kashuk's brushes have been a strong point, and now that they've been redone they're better than ever, and still affordable. This is definitely a makeup collection worth visiting, and you'll find some premium options among Kashuk's powder foundation, regular powders, and blush. Several other products, from foundation to lipsticks, are also worthy of attention, though this is not a line that caters to darker skin tones. Ironically, it's the latest cosmetic products that met with the most critical reviews, largely due to poor execution or their gimmicky nature.
Note: Sonia Kashuk products are also available at select Bloomingdales locations in New York and California. The company also maintains freestanding stores in New York and New Jersey.
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