I have not been shy about my opinion on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop. The public has an increasing distrust of traditional medicine and science, and in that regard, Goop has come across in a time where people are looking for someone — especially someone who looks thin, youthful, and sophisticated and has access to very expensive health and wellness experts — to guide them. I’m not the kind of person to buy the Goop “clean beauty” line but I like to keep an open mind for treatments that seem like they might have some degree of scientific validity or promise. Enter the G.Tox Malachite Tonic, the newest exfoliating toner from Goop. According to the brand’s website, this is a “daily-use, highly active pore-refining treatment made with detoxifying malachite plus glycolic, phytic, and fruit acids help clear pores and refine texture. Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3, and mineral-rich deep-sea water from France help replenish and soften skin, and over time, pores appear tighter and skin appears visibly more clear and radiant.”
How does it measure up? Let’s take a look
The hero ingredient in this toner is malachite extract. But what is it? Malachite is a gemstone that was traditionally used by ancient Egyptian healers to balance, harmonize, and protect the body.
But what does it do in skincare? Scientists have found that malachite extract contains trace elements of zinc, copper, selenium, and manganese. These compounds have antioxidant properties that target free radicals and inhibit superoxide while increasing the production of glutathione (a potent antioxidant that is naturally found in the skin). The copper found in the malachite extract has also been found in some studies to stimulate even greater procollagen synthesis than potent anti-agers like Retin-A (tretinoin) or ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Although the exact mechanism of action is not known at this time, it is known that copper is involved in the formation of the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which serves as a potent antioxidant in the skin. Copper is also essential for the enzyme lysyl oxidase, which is involved in the cross-linking of elastin and collagen, so it is possible that these are at least partially responsible for the increase in collagen synthesis.
Colleen McCann, the founder of Style Rituals, explains to the website Well And Good that malachite‘s benefits include “strengthening skin’s natural defenses, acting as a sun-exposure-recovery ingredient, being antioxidant-rich, and fighting free radicals. It also contains a high copper content that stimulates collagen production, which improves skin elasticity and combats wrinkles.”
While the research here looks promising, and malachite extract does contain some very beneficial compounds, I’m going to reserve my excitement until I see more research and stick with well-researched antioxidant powerhouses like L-ascorbic acid.
Deep Sea Water
Deep sea water (DSW) is one of those ingredients that sounds really gimmicky but actually has research backing it up! In a study involving patients with atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS) treated with DSW, they saw an improvement of skin symptoms such as inflammation, lichenification, and cracking of the skin. AEDS patients typically have an imbalance of various essential minerals, so using DSW helped to restore some of the essential minerals such as Se and reduces the levels of toxic minerals such as mercury and lead in the treated patients. An in vivo study showed that DSW can improve skin symptoms like dryness, itching, and transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
If you’re looking for an ingredient that not only calms and restores your skin but also helps to hydrate it, you can’t go wrong with deep sea water! It works great in the G.Tox Malachite Tonic from Goop, as there are a number of exfoliating ingredients and fruit extracts here meant to increase cell turnover and eliminate dead skin cells which can be potentially irritating for some. Deep sea water will help relieve some of that irritation!
Niacinamide is an amazing ingredient. It has been shown in studies to be a superior hydrator (with results similar to hyaluronic acid) and hyperpigmentation treatment (with results similar to 2% hydroquinone). It’s a favorite of mine so I am thrilled that it has been included in the G.Tox Malachite Tonic!
Personal Use and Opinion
Although it says that this can be used morning and night, I chose to use it only at night as I don’t like to use exfoliants during the day. I only used this on nights that I wasn’t using retinol as I don’t like to use AHAs at the same time as retinoids. Some think it’s fine and this is gentle enough not to cause any irritation but I just don’t like to chance it. This smells delightful and went on with no problem. Overall I enjoyed it!
While I am still unsure about malachite acid, I think this is a solid toner overall! It contains effective acids like glycolic and phytic which exfoliate the skin and hydrators like deep sea water and niacinamide to keep it soothed and hydrated. If you’re someone with dry, sensitive skin but still want to give a gentle chemical exfoliator a try, I would recommend this one!