Monday, 26 July 2010

Review: Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel

Disclosure:  PR sample

Did you know that Philosophy claim to have pioneered the first medical microdermabrasion machine that exfoliates while delivering Vitamin C deeply into the skin?  This product, the Microdelivery Peel, is intended to be the less expensive, less invasive home based equivalent.  Philosophy recommend it to anyone with dull, uneven skin, and claim that in addition to the instant results, it will also help to "de-age" the skin.

Those are some pretty lofty claims, and ones which I was more than happy to put to the test.  The peel is delivered in the form of two products - a tub of vitamin C crystals, and a bottle of activator fluid.  To apply, you massage the crystals over the skin, then pat on the activator fluid, and leave for a few minutes.  If you're feeling the need for some extra exfoliating action, you can massage the crystals+foam mixture over the skin instead of just leaving it to sit.

The packaging is, as usual with Philosophy products, pretty fabulous.  The two products are presented inside a sturdy box, with usage instructions clearly printed inside - making it useful to keep as a reference, and also as a way of keeping the two products together, particularly as this is a weekly maintenance product which you won't want to leave out all week.  One thing I've found is that the amount you are supposed to use, according to the packaging, is possibly a little too much (unless of course I have a smaller than average face).  The instructions, for instance, say one teaspoon of crystals, whereas I found that a third of a teaspoon was plenty.  Similarly, a "good" teaspoon of activator translates into about three quarters of a teaspoon for me.

Anyway - application, thanks to the clear instructions, is pretty easy.  The vitamin C crystals are more of a fine, grainy paste, with a slightly citrus-y scent, and are easy to spread on the face.  The instructions say to massage them in, not scrub - and personally I'm not too sure what the difference is, apart from maybe the amount of pressure applied.

After applying the activator gel with my fingertips, I noticed a small amount of foaming on my face, coupled with a little bit of warming. At this stage, you have the choice of massaging further, or leaving the foam/crystal combo to sit on the skin - I've tried both options.  On my dryish skin, massaging the foam on the skin resulted in a very deep exfoliation which was almost too intense - my skin felt very smooth and soft afterwards, but was pretty dry and needed plenty of moisturiser for a couple of days afterwards.  Leaving the foam on, however, resulted in the same smoothness and softness, but without the excessively dry feeling.  If your skin veers towards oily, the extra massage might be more beneficial, but on drier skins, it might be a step too far.

I did take before and after photos, but they didn't really show much visible difference for me.  Instead, the texture of the skin was the big difference; after use, my skin felt ultra-smooth, with bumpy areas of my face (such as my chin and forehead) feeling significantly smoother.  I also found my skin to look more fresh and radiant in the days following the treatment, even when I myself was feeling pretty grey.

All this exfoliant and radiance boosting goodness does come at a price, however.  At about £57 for the kit, this is a fairly spendy product.  That said, if you use it weekly at the levels shown in the photos above, then it should last you a good few months, making the price more justifiable.  My only reservation is that the activator might well run out before the crystals do - luckily, the crystals are a decent exfoliator on their own, so it's not like they will go to waste if the activator doesn't last as long as they do.

Even if you don't see immediate results, this is a fantastic maintenance treat for the skin.  I've been using it weekly, and have found that my skin is more radiant and smooth, and bar a few monthly breakouts, much clearer too. Definitely one to try out if you have trouble with dullness, or are a firm fan of a good scrub.

If you'd like to try it out for yourself, you can buy the kit from HQHair, where it will cost you £57, or from QVC, where it will cost you £69.90, and will turn up with a exfoliating wash for daily use.

Have you tried this product?  What do you think?


  1. I would love to try something like this. My skin texture is horrible and have minor acne scarring. Great review! xxx

  2. I'd be wary of rubbing the crystals in - they're not the most aesthetically pleasing product, are they? =s

  3. @WarPaint - this is great for improving texture. Well worth a try - I will repurchase, even though it's expensive.

    @Ruth - I don't care if they're not aesthetically pleasing, they're only on the face temporarily and so long as they bring a good result I'm happy! :D

  4. I bought this a while back to help with acne scarring but for me, the results didn't really justify the price tag as I was previously using a product half the cost with better results. My skin did feel smoother but I did not notice any difference in terms of brightening.
    It does smell rather nice though:)

  5. My sister has this and I use this every time I visit. I think it's great for refining the skin. My face always feels so smooth after using it. I've never bought it for myself purely because of the initial outlay, though I agree that it would last a long time as you only need to use a small amount each time.

  6. i have tried this product and unfortunately, it broke me out so badly, i had around 20 blemishes on the right side of my face alone that took nearly 7 months to fix. i don't know what it is but my skin has such an aversion to philosophy's skincare products.


  7. Sounds interesting, but I'm not sure if I can justify the price. I do need something to sort out my skin texture though. x

  8. Ok this stuff sounds great! It's really interesting how it has an activator, like it has a proper chemical reaction. Too pricey for me though, maybe in the future.

  9. I used to love this, but only when my skin wasn't bad! I've been suffering from terrible breakout over the past year so I can't use anything as abrasive as this, but if you don't have that problem I would recommend this. It leaves your skin so smooth. It does last ages, initially expensive, but I think it's worth it.x


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