Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Lotion & Potions - Review - Tony Moly Appletox Peeling Massage Cream

An empty pot is a rare thing for me.  Usually, I either get bored or find something better. There's been very few cosmetics I've used enough to run them out.  If I manage to empty a pot or tube of something, I count that as a personal victory.  It has therefore made me very happy to be able to say that for the first time in months I've managed to run a product out.  The product in question is from Tony Moly.  Tony Moly is a Korean brand I love.  Its identity is all around great and very individual packaging.  For example, part of their newer range is the Haeyo Mayo Hair Nutrition Pack. I'm a sucker for clever, different or very pretty packaging, so anything from Tony Moly is hard for me to to resist.

A few months ago, while looking for apple scented products, I stumbled across Tony Moly's Appletox Peeling Cream.  I have to admit, I really did buy it just for the packaging.  It was in my first ever batch of Korean cosmetics and I knew nothing about brands.  What I knew is that it was pretty and apple-y and that I -had- to own it.

What is it?

It's an exfoliator, designed to be used a couple of times a week in place of a cleanser.  But it's not the kind that contains little beads, instead it's all about the chemically goodness inside.  Appletox Peeling Cream is a rich and bright white.  It smells like a bowl of Golden Delicious.  Rather than slurry away dead skin and risk irritating healthy skin underneath, it's designed to gently break down older cells so they can be rinsed away.

Image from Tony Moly

What's in it?

The active ingredients in this beauty are the AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and the Hyaluronic Acid.  AHAs are the exfoliants that help to break down dead skin to save on scrubbing.  Hylauronic Acid is present in collagen and helps skin retain moisture.  The idea here is that the AHAs remove the old skin cells, while the Hylauronic Acid helps maintain the moisture in the fresh cells underneath.  Clever hey?  Science-y words underneath to browse for more detail:

Active ingredients courtesy of Tony Moly
Green apple extracts, AHA, Papaya extracts, Hyaluronic Acid Sodium

Full ingredients courtesy of Dramapy
Water, Mineral Oil, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Octanoate, cellulose, 1.3-butylene glycol, teurolratum, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, beeswax, glyceryl stearate/PEG -100 stearate, polysorbate 60, Disodium EDTA, Allantoin, metilparaben, Carbomer, BHT, peuropilparaben, glyceryl stearate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Dimethicone, triethanolamine, Sodium Hyaluronate, apple extract, papaya leaf extract, Biosaccharide gum-1 , Phenoxyethanol, Perfume, Lactic acid, PCA, citric acid, glycolic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, pyruvate acid

How do I use it?

After doing a smidge of research I found it fitted in perfectly as a bit of a deeper cleanser.  Instructions on how to use it are slightly varied, but largely boil down to:
  1. Wet skin and apply the cream to your face.  There's no real "rules" about being sparing or liberal with the amount, so go crazy
  2. Massage into skin for about 2 minutes
  3. Leave to settle on the skin for a further 2-5 minutes
  4. Massage skin again, you'll find the cream starts to come away in a kind of jelly peely stuff
  5. Rinse off all jelly peely stuff with tepid water and feel lovely and clean
The product wants you to believe the jelly peely stuff is all your dead skin, but if it were you'd be in a serious amount of pain so I personally think it's a bit of added theatre to show you the product is actually doing its thing.  It definitely works as an exfoliator.  You can feel it after.

I've adapted how I use the cream and I find it works for me better if I change the instructions, I just feel cleaner doing this:
  1. Apply cream to dry skin, much like you would with a cleansing oil
  2. Massage into skin for about 2 minutes
  3. Leave to settle on skin for anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes - I haven't had any negative effects leaving it on this long, not even tight feeling skin
  4. Massage skin again to lift off the jelly peely stuff
  5. Use a muslin cloth to wipe skin clean with tepid water (resisting the urge to include any post peeling scrubbing)


I genuinely love this cream.  It works as a deep cleanser or an even deeper mask type product.  After removing it, my skin feels clean, but not so clean that all the natural oils have been leached out.  There's none of that horrible post-cleansing tightness either!  I use it two to three times a week, in place of a cleanser, and follow it with my usual skin care regime and since doing so my skin has felt a lot smoother. It has a gorgeous fragrance, so obviously I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who likes their cosmetics fragrance free.  But if you don't mind your smellies having a smell, this one is great.  I'm not sure it's as effective as it's marketing would like you to believe with regards to the peely gunky stuff, but I think you'd be hard pushed to find anything better, especially given its price. It even lifts off a full face of makeup. You can find this on Korean export sites like W2beauty for around the £10 mark including postage and freebies, from independent sellers on eBay from around £6 and I was even lucky enough to find a pot on Amazon for £5.  It does require a little patience if you're used to your cosmetics arriving in a couple of days, as almost universally it will ship from Korea.  That being said, I've never had a Korean package take longer than 2 weeks and I've never had a customs hold up or fee either.

Overall, I count this as a beauty necessity in my life, and would rate it 4.5 / 5 detoxifying apples. 

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