Before we delve into this review, let's set one thing straight: The "Multiberry Yogurt" part of this exfoliant's name is dead on—it smells divinely berrylicous with a hint of yogurt yumminess, but that isn't good news for skin. As lovely as it may smell, the lingering amount of fragrance in this formula can potentially irritate skin, both on the surface where you can see it as well as below the surface where you can't (see More Info for the full scoop).
So, how does the rest of the formula pan out for skin? Not the best. While we appreciate the gentleness of the Konjac beads (made from mannan), they do a subpar job of exfoliating skin, and in the milky gel base they don't rinse off as easily as they should, leaving little remnants behind. Scrubs in general are inferior to well-formulated AHA (glycolic or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliants, which go beyond to address issues like sun damage, wrinkles, blemishes, and uneven skin tone.
Otherwise, true to its name, Multiberry Yogurt Peeling Gel does indeed contain yogurt (powder), although research is scant in showing it can do much of anything for skin when applied topically. The multitude of fruit extracts, including raspberry, blueberry, and cranberry, are a nice touch for their anti-irritant/antioxidant properties, but in a rinse-off formula like this, skin doesn't have much time to reap the benefits.
All things considered, this is an OK manual exfoliant for normal to dry skin, but there are certainly more effective ways to exfoliate, such as with a well-formulated AHA or BHA product for softer, smoother, more radiant skin.
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 (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008; and American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012; and Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
Strengths: SPF-rated products provide broad-spectrum sun protection; utilization of some intriguing melanin-inhibiting ingredients.
Weaknesses: Highly fragranced formulas put skin at risk of irritation; use of see-through bottles and jar packaging weakens the potency of the beneficial ingredients; claims for “mineral water” don’t stand up to the research; despite a higher-than-average drugstore price point, Laneige products aren’t superior to their competitors.
Laneige is a South Korean brand owned by high-end cosmetics company, AmorePacific. Launched in 1994, the story behind this brand centers around mineral water—which they tend to label “Optimal Mineral Water”—harvested from the snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas. They allegedly spent 20 years perfecting its scientifically engineered properties for skin and, according to Laneige, this “superior water” is the secret to hydrating, protecting, and revitalizing skin.
Here’s what we really know: All water that’s included in cosmetics, regardless of the source, must go through a rigorous purification process, and there isn’t any research showing that water from any one source is better for skin than water from any other source. More to the point, repairing and hydrating skin is not as simple as adding water. Even Laneige’s highly touted mineral water won’t retain moisture in skin unless the outer barrier is reinforced with ingredients like antioxidants, emollients, and skin-repairing ingredients—all of which are required or the water just evaporates. So, does Laneige deliver in that regard? Yes and no.
The problem is that their products tend to include beneficial ingredients right alongside potentially irritating ingredients (including fragrance), which detracts from what the good ingredients would otherwise be able to do for skin. In some cases, the jar or clear bottle packaging further impedes the potency and stability of the formula because many of the superstar ingredients break down in the presence of air and/or light.
As far as Laneige makeup goes, at the time of this review they sell only a BB cream in the United States, but it is also plagued by the inclusion of potentially irritating ingredients.
In the end, despite their highly touted Korean brand prestige and steeper-than-average mass-market price point (the line is sold at Target stores in the United States), Laneige ends up being more about marketing fluff than what’s actually good for skin. Beyond the mineral water, Laneige products would have merit for their anti-aging prowess, but their inclusion of potential irritants and the use of packaging that compromises the stability of the beneficial ingredients renders the products generally unworthy of consideration.
For more information about Laneige, visit www.us.laneige.com.
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