Marini Instant Refining Exfoliator promises to exfoliate and refine skin via three methods—a physical exfoliant (scrub), plant enzymes (primarily from papayas), and chemical exfoliation courtesy of glycolic acid. While this formula is within an effective pH range for the glycolic acid to exfoliate skin (pH of 3.6), a few substantial flaws make it one not worthy of consideration.
The first flaw is its potent, powerful fragrance courtesy of the irritant cinnimal and added perfumes—it will knock you over upon opening the lid to the jar. This combination is trouble for skin; see More Info for additional details. Because glycolic acid must remain on skin to do its work (this is a rinse-off scrub), any AHA benefit goes down the drain before it has a chance to work.
What about the claim of exfoliation via plant enzymes, specifically papaya and papain extract (also from papaya)? Enzymes in moisturizers and other leave-on treatments can have potential benefit for skin (for example, superoxide dismutase is an enzyme and it's an excellent anti-aging ingredient), depending on their variety and how they are used. However, what they cannot do (at least not very well and not reliably) is exfoliate skin. Simply put, enzymes are not effective alternatives to an AHA (or BHA) exfoliant.
Research is extremely limited on papaya enzymes, and only pure concentrations demonstrate some exfoliation benefit (i.e. nowhere near the levels used in skin-care formulas.) That fact aside, papaya enzymes and papain extract can result in serious skin irritation and allergic response, especially for anyone allergic to latex (papaya is a natural source of latex). Another issue is jar packaging; enzymes are notoriously unstable and difficult to stabilize in cosmetic formulations. In all likelihood, any enzymatic action will be lost shortly after you open this product.
Marini does use a novel combination of silicone polymers to form beads that provide the physical exfoliation side of this formula. However, given the major drawbacks of this product (not to mention its price tag), there is no reason to consider it on the merits of its physical exfoliation alone. Instead, consider any of the effective scrubs or AHA/BHA exfoliants recommended in the Best Products section.
Irritation From Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Marini Instant Refining Exfoliator is a clinical-strength resurfacer that immediately refines skin texture and follicle size and leaves the skin with a radiant, polished glow. Uniquely designed spherical dissolving bead technology, proteolytic enzymes and glycolic acid eliminate harsh abrasives (common within typical exfoliators) to gently and safely scrub and resurface the skin. Combined with potent antioxidants, the Marini Instant Refining Exfoliator combines a smooth, glowing complexion with significant anti-aging benefits.
Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycolic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol, Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, Sorbitol, Sodium Hydroxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Lauryl Glucoside, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Juice Concentrate, Pectin, Papain, Bromelain, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Retinyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Cinnamal, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Fragrance (Parfum), Propylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Caramel, Yellow 6.
Jan Marini Skin Research, Inc. At-A-Glance
Strengths: Most of the products are fragrance- and colorant-free; excellent AHA and retinol options, including an AHA combined with sunscreen; the water-soluble cleansers.
Weaknesses: Expensive; some categories contain ingredients (growth factors, hormones, and interferon) with unreliable track records or whose long-term risks, if any, remain unknown; sunscreens that lack sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients; jar packaging; Marini Lash isn't as exciting as Marini’s former lash-enhancing products.
Jan Marini Skin Research, Inc., was founded, of course, by Jan Marini, who originally started out marketing products for M.D. Formulations. Thus, it isn't surprising to find that her own line is also aimed at dermatologists, aestheticians, and plastic surgeons, much the way M.D. Formulations is. In direct contrast to many of the other skin-care lines in this niche market, Marini’s line stands out with its selection of far more realistic and varied skin-care products. First, there are no spiraling-out-of-control ingredient lists where everything is thrown in except the kitchen sink. Then, and more important, you will find some well-formulated products that include sunscreens, skin-lightening options, vitamin C products, and good glycolic acid–based alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) products, along with some outstanding retinol options.
It is interesting to observe that Marini attributes the research for her "topical form of lipid (fat) soluble Vitamin C that is stable and able to be absorbed" to the form "developed in conjunction with physician researcher Nicholas Perricone, M.D." Of course, Perricone has his own version of vitamin C products, which are quite similar to Marini's in that they also contain ascorbyl palmitate. That being the case, given that he claims his are the best ever with the highest concentration of the stuff, we wonder if she would now agree with his findings? At least compared to her former partners at M.D. Formulations, Marini's information about vitamin C is more accurately based (it's backed by published research) and there's only a minimal amount of hyperbole. In fact, when it comes to the information Marini and team present to the professionals who retail their products, this line wins high marks for its close-to-accurate information about how skin ages, what can be done to minimize and prevent future signs of aging, and the effects various products have on skin. Of course, you're supposed to believe her products have all the answers, but that's what the reviews below will elucidate.
For more information about Jan Marini Skin Research, Inc., call (888) 695-2611 or visit www.janmarini.com.
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