Quinoa Night Peel Gentle Night Peeling Serum
Revolution Skincare Quinoa Night Peel Gentle Night Peeling Serum claims to transform the look of skin with quinoa husk to “lift dead skin cells”. The problem? Quinoa cannot do that and there’s no research proving otherwise. We suppose they’re inferring that the husk could function as a scrub agent, but this is a serum that doesn’t feel the least bit like a scrub.
What this does feel like, especially for those with sensitive skin, is irritation because of the high amount of denatured alcohol it contains. Its inclusion negates the claim of gentleness but does allows the product to dry quickly and avoid a greasy, slick feel. However, as we explain in the More Info section below, this type of alcohol is trouble for all skin types.
The lightweight serum’s mix of sugars and citrus extracts are often touted as being natural alternatives to exfoliating acids like glycolic and lactic. We’d love it if these natural ingredients could exfoliate skin but in truth they don’t do that, not to mention this product’s pH is too high for them to have this effect. That’s disappointing, but it’s a double letdown finding out the citrus extracts pose a risk of irritating skin (but hey, at least this is otherwise fragrance free).
The only other plus this serum offers is a potentially helpful amount of vitamin C (in the form of ascorbyl glucoside). You may see some skin tone and dullness improvement for this ingredient, but you can find it in numerous other vitamin C products, and those treat skin to a much broader array of beneficial ingredients than what’s included here.
Note: The frosted glass bottle should be stored away from natural light, as routine exposure can cause the vitamin C to break down. It’s possible the glass bottle has a UV coating; we have reached out to Revolution Skincare several times and not received confirmation of this.
- Contains antioxidant vitamin C (ascorbyl glucoside) to improve skin tone.
- Fragrance free.
- Amount of irritating alcohol negates the “gentle” claim.
- Quinoa husk cannot lift away dead skin cells.
- The sugar and citrus ingredients cannot function as exfoliants.
Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Research makes it clear that alcohol, as a main ingredient in any skincare product, especially one you use frequently and repeatedly, is a problem.
When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we’re referring to denatured ethanol, which most often is listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat., denatured alcohol, or (less often) isopropyl alcohol.
When you see these types of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question the product will irritate and cause other problems for skin. There’s no way around it—these volatile alcohols are simply bad for all skin types.
The reason they’re included in products is because they provide a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it’s easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. If only those short-term benefits didn’t lead to negative long-term outcomes!
Using products that contain these alcohols will cause dryness, erosion of skin’s protective barrier, and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.
The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from the alcohol can actually lead to an increase in breakouts and enlarged pores. As we said, the alcohol does have an immediate de-greasing effect on skin, but it causes irritation, which eventually will counteract the de-greasing effect and make your oily skin look even more shiny.
There are people who challenge us on the information we’ve presented about alcohol’s effects. They often base their argument on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 2007, pages 74–81) that concluded “alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing….” But, the only thing this study showed was that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash, which contained sodium lauryl sulfate. So, the study is actually just telling you that one irritant, sodium lauryl sulfate, is worse than another irritant, alcohol.
Not all alcohols are bad. For example, there are fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be beneficial for skin. Examples that you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol, all of which are good ingredients for skin. It’s important to differentiate between these skin-friendly alcohols and the problematic alcohols.
References for this information:
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, pages 1–16
Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, pages 542–551
Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366
Alcohol Journal, April 2002, pages 179–190
Forget superfoods, our super serum transforms the look of lacklustre skin. Using gentle quinoa husk extract, this lightweight liquid lifts away dead skin cells and boosts the skin’s natural cell turnover as you sleep for softer, fresher looking skin when you wake. Quinoa is rich in Vitamin B, to help brighten and rejuvenate, and riboflavins, to help give skin elasticity and softness.
United Kingdom-based Revolution Skincare is the skin care branch of Revolution Beauty (who also has a color cosmetic subbrand, Makeup Revolution). Launched in 2018, the brand’s founder, Adam Minto, says the line’s ethos is the same as its parent brand; providing inexpensive, fast-to-market options designed for a wide range of people.
This skin care collection isn’t exactly a “revolutionary” concept, per se – the brand has a lot in common with other up-and-comers such as The Ordinary and Good Molecules. All of these products have a focus on stripped-down formulas featuring key ingredients (such as hyaluronic acid, for example) that can be mixed, layered, and alternated in to a complete skin care routine based on personal preference and occasional needs.
Revolution’s skin care products are something of a mixed bag. There are some true winners in the bunch (among them a couple of interesting retinol alternatives), but there are also quite a few missteps. Some of the products contain the skin-drying type of alcohol and irritating citrus extracts. Then there’s the concern that most of the products are housed in frosted bottles that need to be stored away from daylight, since the packaging puts their delicate ingredients at risk of light exposure that can cause those ingredients to lose their effectiveness. Side note: We reached out to the brand several times to inquire about whether their glass bottles have a UV light coating, but we have not received a response so far.
Overall, we appreciate the approach of potent skin care at bargain prices – we just wish the execution were a bit better! You can find our more about Revolution Skincare at https://www.revolutionbeauty.com/en/Skincare/c-58.aspx.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.