Dr. Jart Micro Milk Peel was one of my VIB Rouge Sale purchases, the jewel of my haul(s) that looked sure to be a massive kbeauty win for my skincare routine. As much as I feel the need to skewer some bad, dumb products, I really do want to find amazing ones. The
polls reviews suggested that it could not fail to reinvigorate my skin and take a place among kbeauty’s great holy grails.
In early tests, it felt good, but I began to wonder: where’s the micro peeling? At that point I dove into the ingredient list and pH level of the product and made a surprising discovery.
Dr. Jart Micro Milk Peel Review
The hype: after New York Fashion Week, multiple mainstream beauty and lifestyle sites touted the Dr. Jart Micro Milk Peel as a product that smooths skin and restores a healthy glow. The product’s reviews on Sephora are superlative. I thought I was in for a major treat: an Asian Beauty peel gentle enough for mornings, but containing the acids my skin needs to stay on the right path.
Instructions: Shake up the bottle and apply some product to a cotton square (smooth side for sensitive skin, rougher for normal skin). Apply the milk to your skin, allow it to sit for 1 minute, and then rinse it with lukewarm water.
My thoughts on the instructions and testing results: I was surprised by the instruction to rinse the peel after one minute since even crazily strong peels I’ve done need to stay on for a few minutes. I realized once I tested the milk on my hand that the product is surprisingly heavy, and either rinsing or swiping a watery toner on top of it really does lighten the feel while still keeping my skin soft.
Ingredients: Water, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-40 Glyceryl Cocoate, Cyclopentasiloxane , Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Propanediol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Sodium Coceth Sulfate, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Water, Alcohol, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Protease, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Propylene Glycol, Glutathione, Lactic Acid, Lactobionic Acid, Panthenol, Salicylic Acid, Polyglutamic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Malic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Crataegus Monogyna Flower Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Viola Tricolor Extract. CosDNA analysis.
What you should know about the ingredients: this ingredient list is in a different order than the Korean ingredient list for the same product. That’s done in order to comply with US FDA regulations — good job, Dr. Jart+ USA. (To read more about how Korean regulations result in totally different ingredient list orders check out my post from 2015.) What that means is that we can look at the ingredient list, know that ingredients are listed by concentration, and infer some important things. Skincare fans usually use preservative phenoxyethanol as the marker for 1% concentration in a product. That means that every ingredient that follows phenoxyethanol in the list should be at a concentration of 1% or less in the product. Buried in the list after phenoxyethanol are acids like lactic acid and salicylic acid that can cause exfoliation. There’s barely any acid in this product.
pH level: 7.5. wtf, my tap water has a lower pH than this “peeling” product.
Why the pH level matters: the low concentration of acids in the product might not be the end of the world if customers want a truly micro peel…except that the pH of the micro milk peel is above that of distilled water, meaning those tiny concentrations aren’t going to do shit. Michelle at Lab Muffin, who is a Chemistry PhD, broke down how pH and percent concentration work together in a post. The point I want to hammer home is that the acids in the Micro Milk Peel are neither at the percentage concentration nor the pH level necessary to exfoliate. Like, they’re nowhere remotely even near the right level. Not the same universe.
What if your skin still peeled or got irritated: you may be allergic or sensitive to an ingredient. If you didn’t wash the milk peel off before layering other products on top, it could be playing badly with other products and pilling/balling up.
What this product really is: a moisturizing essence plus cotton squares.
Price: $42 + tax for 3.4 oz/ 100 mL. This wouldn’t be a terrible “what is the world coming to” price for a product of this size — if it worked (or if your skin likes it despite it not really peeling).
Do you want this product: if the idea of an aesthetically pleasing moisturizing essence is appealing to you, go for it. I suspect that most skincare fans have piles of moisturizing toners and essences already that they need to use up, so I don’t see this being a great choice.
What this tells us: a whole lot of people in the US who are attracted to peels need to put those down and get moisturizing essence in their life. I don’t doubt the stellar reviews! I think people are getting glowing, gorgeous skin from this product…because they’re adding some hardcore moisture! (I just want more in the way of chemical exfoliation.)
Will I repurchase: absolutely not — and I plan to return it to Sephora. I don’t actually hate this product, I just feel that the marketing is extremely misleading. I’d have never purchased it if I’d have known that it can’t deliver anything in the exfoliation department aside from physical exfoliation due to rubbing a cotton square over my skin. I can buy a pack of cotton from the drugstore and get the same sort of exfoliation, why would I pay $42 for it?
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