the microdelivery exfoliating facial wash
philosophy’s the microdelivery exfoliating facial wash has been reformulated, but only slightly for the better, earning an upgrade from two to three stars. Despite our overall disappointment, this has a few nice traits worth mentioning.
Sold in various sizes (the 8-ounce size is the middle option), each packaged in an opaque white bottle with a dispensing cap, this water soluble face scrub cleanses thoroughly without drying skin.
The smooth gel texture softens and refines skin’s texture and rinses cleanly without leaving a residue. It’s laced with exfoliating particles known as diatomaceous earth, essentially crushed skeletons from the fossilized remains of diatoms (small organisms found in waterways).
The problem with this ingredient is that it’s impossible to get perfectly rounded particles; some jagged pieces remain, which makes for a scrub that feels overly abrasive. Such scrubs risk damaging skin’s barrier because they literally tear at skin even if you’re extra-careful during use.
Adding further problems is the inclusion of orange fragrance and the fragrance ingredient limonene. Both are less concerning in a rinse-off product but given the already abrasive nature of this face wash, they also have a greater tendency to trigger lasting damage.
We still can’t recommend this over the gentler options on our list of best face scrubs.
- Provides thorough cleansing without drying skin.
- Softens and refines skin texture.
- Refreshing gel rinses completely.
- The abrasive ingredient’s irregular shape can be too rough on skin.
- Natural orange fragrance and limonene pose a risk of irritating skin.
Our best exfoliating face wash is designed to effectively cleanse the skin while providing resurfacing benefits. This unique formula helps to polish and scrub away impurities and the buildup of dead skin cells. Skin feels clean and hydrated and looks more even-toned.
Strengths: Relatively inexpensive;some of the best products are fragrance-free; very good retinol products; selection of state-of-the-art moisturizers; innovative skin-brightening product.
Weaknesses: Irritating and/or drying cleansers; average to problematic scrubs; at-home peel kits far more gimmicky than helpful; several products contain lavender oil; several products include irritating essential oils;the majority of makeup items do not rise above average status.
Believe in miracles. That's the "lifestyle" branding statement philosophy makes, which is an approach that is decidedly different from their former positioning, which encompassed family values and spirituality along with a dash of department-store lan and endearingly clever quips. The miracle angle may grab your attention, but the company is also quick to point out that its history is steeped in providing products to dermatologists and plastic surgeons worldwide (so, in addition to miracles, philosophy has a serious side, too). Although its heritage may have included providing clinically oriented products to doctors,we have yet to see or hear of any medical professional retailing philosophy products. And that's a good thing because, by and large, most of philosophy products are resounding disappointments. Moreover, several products, including almost all of their sunscreens, contain one or more known skin irritants. We would be extremely suspicious of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who recommended such products to their patients, and even more so if they actually believed some of the more farfetched claims philosophy makes.
Interestingly, when you shop this line at department stores or at the cosmetics boutique Sephora, what you'll notice is the preponderance of food- and drink-scented bath products, all in vivid colors or cutely boxed for gift-giving. It seems that somewhere along the way, the company decided to promote these nose-appeal products while downplaying their more serious-minded, simply packaged skin care. Perhaps the body lotions and bubble baths have become philosophy's bread and butter. Given the hit-or-miss nature of their facial-care products, that's not surprising. Then again, they've also heavily promoted their anti-aging-themed Miracle Worker products...
So what's to like if you're into the vibe philosophy puts out? Well, this is still a line with some well-formulated staples, including an AHA product, some retinol options, and a handful of state-of-the-art moisturizers. The products that get the most promotion at the counter are the ones you should avoid, such as the at-home peels, scrubs, pads, and anti-acne products. However, the somewhat confusing, conflicting image philosophy presents shouldn't keep you from considering their best products, but it's not a lifestyle brand in the sense that using the entire line will somehow bring you a more joyful existence, or significantly improved skin. The philosophy line is now owned by Coty, a cosmetics brand primarily known for their fragrances. Their acquisition of philosophy is their first major foray into a widely-distributed skin care brand.
For more information about philosophy, call (800) 568-3151 or visit www.philosophy.com.
Note: philosophy opts to use lowercase letters for every product they sell, so the listings below are simply following suit.
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.