Call me your natural skin care guinea pig, because I consider it part of my job to try as many organic/vegan/toxin-free products as possible on a regular basis. It’s an enjoyable aspect of what I do, as I love trying out all the great new products (and some old fave I may not have previously known about) but the downside is that when I find a product I love, I can’t keep using it, since I have to move onto the next. The bottles and tubes cluttering my bathroom cupboard demand that I move on.
My latest tryout was with the Green Apple line of products from Juice Beauty. They sent me Age Defy Serum, Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer, and the Full-Strength Green Apple peel, and I spent several weeks trying them all. And to my pleasant amazement, these products, which talked a lot of game in their promotional materials, really delivered.
The Full-Strength Green Apple peel is not for the fair-of-skin (or the just-about-to-go-out), as even I, who have fairly thick, unirritateable skin, got a good red flush all over my face after leaving it one for the prescribed 15 minutes. But this is what a peel is all about – really eliminating the top layer of skin to reveal the fresher skin beneath, and is what they do when you go to a spa for a peel. And it happens with natural ingredients (proving too that natural doesn’t always mean gentle) including 13% Alpha Hydroxy Acid (coupled with beta hydroxys), derived from raw sugar cane, apple, lemon and willow bark extracts.
This is a spa-level peel, and even though I was a bit red afterwards, by the morning after the evening I had used it, I definitely found fresher, softer skin, no more redness, and even some minor recent scars (inadvertent cat scratches and leftover redness from a travel-zit) much diminished. So again, if you have sensitive skin, this product is not for you, but for the rest of us, it’s a pretty awesome peel, and a bit of it goes a long way – I would estimate there are probably at least 10 applications in the jar.
While the peel is a once in a while kind of treatment, the Green Apple Age Defy serum paired with the Stem Cellular Repair moisturizer, are daily treatments to be used post face washing. And I kid you not, I actually got random compliments (three in two days, about four days after I started using the treatments), which has definitely never happened before. My face definitely seemed brighter, less lined, and overall glowier. FYI, both products are formulated for older skin of various types but are not for sensitive skins as they contain “organic fruit acid complex…DMAE, alpha lipoic acid, fat-soluble Vitamin C and CoQ10” – I would guess the ALA and fruit acids might be too intense for those with skin that is easily reactive.
I have to mention the fragrant lemony-apple-y scent of the products, which was a bit strong upon first application, but faded quickly and was pretty refreshing – my boyfriend LOVED it, and always noticed when I used it, which was pretty cute.
As much as I do love how effective these products are, the one beef I have with the line is its packaging. It’s very plastic-heavy, especially the Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer, which comes in a big plastic jar with an admittedly cool reverse-pump system that delivers the perfect amount of cream each time. But it’s not easily recyclable with all the moving parts, and it’s heavyish in the hand, which means there’s quite a bit of plastic involved (not to mention that I don’t know if the plastic is BPA-free and could possibly be leaching toxins into my face cream). And plastic is made from a nonrenewable resource, petroleum, which I have been trying to keep out of my life as much as possible. This fact alone would actually keep me from buying it again if I wasn’t forced to move onto other products anyway.
The Age Defy Serum also comes ensconced in a bunch of plastic, but it is clear (so at least you can see how much product you have left) and is much lighter weight. The green apple peel comes in a glass jar, so I have no problem with that, since it’s easily recyclable (and won’t leach anything unhealthy into my face mask). When I mentioned my concerns via email to a representative of the company, they did say that they were repackaging the products I had a problem with. I would LOVE to see them come up with something truly innovative, and non-petroleum based!
Ingredients Breakdown: Juice Beauty lists ingredients (and what they purportedly do) for all of its products, and their listings are impressive, filled with organic fruit extracts, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes, all derived from natural products from what I can tell.