EDIT 29/11: I’VE HAD ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM THE BRAND AND I’M IN THE PROCESS OF WRITING AN UPDATE POST ABOUT THIS PRODUCT.
Here’s my update.
I’ve been hesitant to post this review because in all honesty, I’m not sure if I’m missing a few things with regards to this product. It wasn’t what I expected! Read on for my experience.
This product was provided courtesy Neogen. All reviews are honest, as always.
Neogen are a popular Korean skincare drugstore brand, easily available both in Korea and internationally. I recently reviewed their cleansing stick, and thought it was a good product at a budget-friendly price point. I also really love their cleansing waters, with real flower pieces floating beautifully inside. Neogen are now arguably most famous for their peeling pads, which come in the wine, lemon and green tea variety, the last of which I’m reviewing today.
The packaging states: “Neogen Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gentle Gauze Peeling Green Tea is an easy-to-use, soft exfoliating pad that offers all the benefits of home peeling in one set. It provides gentle yet effective exfoliation of dead skin cells and impurities while delivering skin calming benefits, leaving your skin feeling smoother and healthier.”
So I went into testing naively thinking this was a gentle option for chemical exfoliation…we’ll get to that and I’ll explain my confusion. The purpose of these is not, I repeat NOT, chemical exfoliation, it’s only physical. Let it be known! So I guess the purpose is for physically exfoliating and calming skin. Kind of like an exfoliator and toner in one?
How to use (on the tub):
“After cleansing, use one gauze pad to gently swipe across the dry face and neck in an outward direction avoiding the eye area. For best results, use twice a week or as needed.”
On Sokoglam, the how to use:
“After cleansing, slip your fingers into the sleeve of the gauze peeling green tea pad so that the criss-crossed gauze side is facing down. Use gentle, circular motions all over a dry face and neck, working your way up to your forehead.
Next, rotate the pad so that the gauze side is facing up and the soft, quilted side is facing down. Swipe the softer side across the face to pick up the remaining debris. Throw away pad. Rinse with lukewarm water.
Follow with the remaining steps of your skin care routine. Use twice a week or as needed.”
I’ve been using it twice a week as described on Sokoglam, but I haven’t been rinsing. I’m not sure why you’d rinse afterwards? That really confused me. EDIT: Cindy from @thelazyglow on Instagram linked me this article written by Soko Glam on The Klog about the pads. They state you must rinse to get rid of the dead skin cells you’ve sloughed off, and also because the formula is sticky. I personally don’t find the formula sticky in the slightest…but that’s the reason they give. On the actual tub it doesn’t state to rinse so it’s a bit confusing.
Product Details & Ingredients
Full name: Bio-Peel Gentle Gauze Peeling Green Tea Pads
Amount: 30 pads (to be used within 6 months of opening)
Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Centella Asiatica Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Coptis Japonica Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Extract, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Butylene Glycol, Benzophenone-5, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carbomer, Tromethamine, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance
Now here’s the catch I mentioned earlier- there are no chemical exfoliation ingredients in this list. I know the description doesn’t say chemical exfoliation, but the other two Neogen pad versions, the wine and lemon, contain chemical exfoliator ingredients, and I feel like it has not been made clear at all that the Green Tea version are only physical. I’ve seen so many online reviews, both on US Korean skincare stores and review platforms, where users are saying they’re pleased to get physical and chemical exfoliation from these. If I’d have bought these, without knowing much about ingredients, or without checking the list, I’d probably think the same (and did before checking). The marketing seems to lump them in with the Neogen chemical exfoliating pads. Loads of people wrote me shocked responses on IG when I made it clear these ones were only physical. So yeah, I was confused and surprised, and I feel like it should definitely be made more obvious.
EDIT: on the same article by the Klog mentioned above, they claim that the tea tree oil is a chemical exfoliant…I’ve never, ever heard that about tea tree oil, and also can’t find that claim anywhere online. Again, confusion. I’m really quite shocked that they’ve written it because I just don’t think it’s true? Let me know what you think. I’m not claiming to be an expert, I’m just going with what I know and what information I can find online.
Aside from that, here’s the cosdna link. Green tea extract is the third ingredient which is nice to see- my skin tends to like green tea extract for calming purposes, as well as one of my ultimate favourites, centella asiatica extract, and aloe extract.
For those of you who have alcohol concerns, obviously its the fourth ingredient here, so bear that in mind. This could have drying effects.
Packaging and Pad Form
The tub is huge, but sits comfortably on my dresser, with a screw lid. It’s perfectly fine packaging, although obviously not ideal for travelling. The tight-screwing lid I think helps keep the pads fresh, and they’re all nice and damp inside.
The form of the product is pads soaked in the toner (I guess you’d call it toner, right?). They have a pocket to slide your fingers into, making it very easy and convenient for application. I much prefer these pocket type of pads compared to just the basic circle shape. They feel high quality and are much more pleasant to use.
One side of the cotton pad is a gauze type material, and the other side is a much softer textured cotton material. You’re supposed to use the gauze side first, then switch and wipe skin with the softer side.
I don’t mind the scent…it’s mainly tea tree with sliiiight alcohol undertones. A not terrible, very clean scent.
First, as I mentioned, you’re supposed to swipe your clean face with the gauze side. This is the real physical exfoliation. But honestly, the gauze feels kinda scratchy. It’s definitely the most textured pad I’ve come across, and I don’t even have sensitive skin. I was quite surprised at first use. You rub your face with this, and then flip over. I’ve been very light handed because of said scratchiness.
The softer side feels much more pleasant on my skin. I’ve kind of been patting as well as rubbing my face with this side. I guess this side is kind of like a general toner pad? I’m really not that sure. With light exfoliation too maybe. But then you’re supposed to rinse off? I wouldn’t rinse toner off…so I really really don’t understand why Sokoglam advises to do so. If you have more insight than me, please do comment or shoot me a message, perhaps I’m missing something.
I’ve been applying like this, directly after cleansing, roughly twice a week.
Overall Performance & Thoughts
I’ve been using these for weeks now, on and off, and I don’t really know what to think, as I said at the beginning. I think lots of people love physical exfoliation, and that’s the reason I think I’m seeing such fantastic buyer reviews. But I’m really really cautious about physical exfoliators, after having a mild addiction to scrubs as a teenager, and in hindsight clearly destroying my moisture barrier. I think physical exfoliators need to be approached with caution, and it concerns/surprises me when I’m seeing reviews online of people saying they’re using these every day. Like I said, I don’t have sensitive skin at all, and I found the gauze really quite abrasive and scratchy. In fairness, the packaging states to use only twice a week, and during testing that’s what I’ve been doing. I truly do not think they should be used every day, but thasjusme…
In terms of results, my skin is definitely smoother to touch immediately after using them, there’s no denying. Smoothing is all I’m ever really looking for from physical exfoliators. I use Vitamin C for brightening, and BHA to control sebum. Aside from slight scratchiness, these are a convenient way to physically exfoliate, and the pads are high quality. But ultimately I prefer either my Tiam Anti-Pollution Salt scrub (its much softer and less abrasive, with a creamy, wash off formula) or just my konjac sponge with my regular cleanser. And even with both of these gentle options, I use them very sparingly. Any kind of exfoliation is definitely dependent on your skintype, but it’s so easy to overdo it on physical, particularly if you’re new to skincare. I highly recommend checking out Lab Muffin various guides on both physical and chemical exfoliation, to determine what’s best for you.
The flip side of the pads, the softer side, has been quite nice to run across my face as a toner-type product. It left my face fresh, and prepared for the rest of my routine. But I don’t need these pads to tone, I have plenty of other gorgeous options, either for exfoliating (Half Moon Eyes) or hydrating (Klairs, SkinRX Lab, G9 Skin).
So I’m really left with having no use for these in my routine, and that’s the top and bottom of it. I think the biggest problem I have (as I think I’ve made quite clear and probably talked about too much) is the fact that they’re not chemical exfoliators, and there’s virtually no indication anywhere that these are different to the wine and lemon versions. I was really excited about them as a chemical option, so that was disappointing from the onset. I have no place in my routine for these because I don’t want scrubbing pads. If you’re into physical exfoliation these might be a nice option for you! But I’m gonna stick to chemical for the most part.
They’re actually more than I expected. In Korea, the cheapest I’ve seen them is on GMarket for around 13,000KRW ($13). If you want the product, I think that price is very reasonable, particularly if you’re only using a few a week. But in the UK they look to be about £20, which is more or less double the price of Korea, and the same in US stores, at about $27. I really don’t think they’re worth that money, but I guess I’m coming from the standpoint that I just wouldn’t really use the product, period. What do you think?
Have you tried any of the varieties I’ve mentioned? Did you know these were only physical? What do you do with regards to chemical or physical exfoliation? I really really want to hear your thoughts- let me know in the comments. I know people love these, so I’m kinda prepared for some backlash..!