Sensitive skin can be a pain in the rear – you want to use a retinoid, but your skin peels. You want to try a chemical peel, but you look like a lobster.
Luckily, for those of us who have sensitive skin but want the skin-renewing benefits of a scrub, there’s the new Pro+Therapy MD Gentle Skin Polishing Exfoliator ($40.00, Skincarerx.com and select physicians’ offices). Recently, the company’s PR rep sent me a sample, and it left my skin softer and smoother, but not irritated. Here’s the full analysis:
A Scrub With a Timer?!
All products have a “hook,” if you will, but Pro+Therapy MD Gentle Skin Polishing Exfoliator is actually pretty neat. The exfoliating beads dissolve after 2 minutes in water. So, essentially, you know that you are receiving the full benefits of the scrub, because you have to use it until it turns into a smooth cream. On the other hand, you couldn’t overexfoliate, because the beads are gone after about 120 seconds anyway. Pretty awesome!
How It Works
Propol®, the SMART exfoliator, is composed of glucomannan beads covered with an elastic jelly-like layer.
After about 2 minutes in the presence of water, the beads turn themselves off by dissolving in water. Simple, elegant – but pretty innovative and fairly genius. I. Like. It.
Kinetin has often been touted as a “sensitive skin alternative to retinoids.” In a 2004 review, comparisons of a product with 0.1% kinetin, Kinerase, and prescription Renova found that signs of photoaging (skin roughness, mottling, and fine wrinkling) were two times greater for Kinerase than Renova. This was something else – the Renova in question was a prescription 0.02% tretinoin (retinoid) cream! Unfortunately, no one ever compared Kinerase to higher-strength Renova with 0.04% or 0.1% tretinoin.
With that said, however, kinetin has a few benefits of its own. For one, kinetin can fight against DNA damage. It does so by increasing the synthesis of DNA repair enzymes within the skin (Cosmetic Dermatology).
For another thing, kinetin is associated with a much lower irritation potential than retinoids. In at several peer-reviewed studies, kinetin has been associated with low rates of erythema (redness), edema (swelling), dryness, and peeling conditions (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2007; Annals of the New York Academy for the Sciences, 2006).
In a wash-off product like Pro+Therapy MD Gentle Skin Polishing Exfoliator, 0.1% kinetin is beneficial, but not as beneficial as if you had applied it in a leave-on formula. So while I would purchase Pro+Therapy MD Gentle Skin Polishing Exfoliator expecting the benefits of gentle scrubbing action, I would not expect the full anti-aging benefits of 0.1% kinetin.
Opuntia ficus indica flower extract
We’re likely to hear a lot about Opuntia in the future, and not just in our skin care. More commonly known as the cactus pear, Opuntia has been shown to have antioxidant activity (American Chemical Society, 2002).
However, taking a Opuntia supplement before meals has been shown to lower blood glucose levels (JPACD, 2003), similar to apple cider vinegar or cinnamon supplements. I have a feeling we’re going to be hearing a lot about it in coming years for that reason!
In like Pro+Therapy MD Gentle Skin Polishing Exfoliator, expect Opuntia to provide some antioxidant activity. Again, not as beneficial as in a non-wash-off formula, but a nice addition anyway.
My only warning? While it says on the tube it is suitable for everyday use, I would use my own discretion on that point. If you exfoliate for 2 minutes a day, that’s 14 minutes per week. Even with a gentle scrub, that’s a lot! I’d start out at every other day and see how your skin tolerates it!
As you may be able to tell from this website, I want the most from my skin care, hair care, and cosmetics! That said, if you want to use a regular exfoliant, the Propol® in Pro+Therapy MD Gentle Skin Polishing Exfoliator is an awesome new way to know you’re using enough to get benefits – but not so much you’re going to abrade your skin. I really love it, and highly recommend it.
Product Rating: 10/10
- High or optimized concentration of key ingredients: 3/3
- Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3
- Value: 3/3
- Sunscreen: N/A (I gave it a bonus point because I love it)
Purified Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Propol ISLB (Glucomannan), Glycerin, Sorbitol Solution 70%, Exfolactive (Hydrolyzed Opuntia Ficus Indica Flower Extract, Phenoxyethanol, parabens), Glyceryl Monolaurate, Kinetin (0.1%), Zeatin (0.1%), Polyethylene (21) Stearyl Ether, Phenoxyethylene, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Stearyl Alcohol, Polyoxypropylene-polyoxyethylene block copolymer, polyethylene (2) stearyl ether.
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