The dream of booking into a spa for a week-long pick-me-up after a gruelling week in the office is often all too tempting (and unfortunately unlikely to become reality!). We Geeks have put bareMinerals 7 Day Skin Detox Mineral Brightening Peel to the test as a very realistic alternative to bring about that spa-fresh feeling from the comfort of your own home. This all-intensive week-long treatment was inspired by juice cleanses but can it really detoxify and nourish the skin like we hope it will?

The Claims
This week-long skin care regimen is designed to reveal your skin’s best side. We’re told this special blend of ingredients should reinforce your skin’s support network and deliver rapid visible results for a brighter, clearer, smoother and more even-toned complexion. Each daily treatment builds on the benefits of the day before to detoxify and fortify the skin leaving it feeling renewed and better than ever! Let’s hope we get what’s been promised!

The Science behind the Bottle
The ingredients used to make each vial have the same base formula with extra additions going in throughout the week.

Day 1
The first day has the simplest and weakest formula to prep your skin for the progression of the treatments. It contains phytic acid, which acts like AHAs and BHAs we’ve mentioned before on our blog! These ingredients have ‘keratolytic effects’ which means they act to loosen skin cells in the uppermost layer of the skin to help shed dry and dead skin cells. Their exfoliating power leaves skin looking smoother and banishes dead skin which can cause an unwanted breakouts. Some keratolytic ingredients have skin-lightening benefits too. Phytic acid is a good alternative to some harsher exfoliating acids, and is probably a good first-step for this regime.

This formula also contains salicylic and glycolic acids which are commonly used cosmetic chemical exfoliants. These have become incredibly popular recently for their skin resurfacing properties, and will work together with phytic acid. For more info on the wonders of these key molecules, check out our posts on salicylic acid and AHAs&BHAs.

Superoxide dismutase is another clever-sounding ingredient in the Day 1 formula. It occurs naturally in the skin to help protect is against cellular stresses, but topically it helps stop irritation and itching. This property, known in the science world as “antipruritic activity”, can be very useful in cosmetic peels to prevent discomfort to the skin during treatment. This is thought to be through interactions with a number of inflammation-mediating molecules, such as signalling factors called cytokines.

Day 2-4
bareMinerals up their game  with days 2-4 of their 7 Day Skin Detox Mineral Brightening Peel . The new additions to the formula certainly pack a hydrating punch and are great for keeping your skin moisturised and the dermis plumped. This is particularly important for hydrating skin that’s newly exposed by their exfoliating acids. Hydrolysed hyaluronic acid, included in their day 2-4 formulations, has a unique capacity to retain a huge amount of water for brighter more plump skin which keeps dryness at bay. One molecule of hyaluronic acid alone can hold 1000 times its own weight in water so really is the king of the moisturising world. Sodium hyaluronate also featured in this formula has similar moisturising properties with the added bonus of supporting the collagen in the dermis for smoother, firmer looking skin!

If that hydro-power isn’t quite enough for you the formula also contains a glycol and is beginning to sound like a dry skin sufferers dream. Pentylene glycol is a humectant which means it’s able to increase the water content of the skin by enhancing water absorption from the dermis to the epidermis. It’s also thought that they can hydrate the stratum corneum by absorbing water from the environment.

Day 5-7
Adding to the hydropower of days 2-4 the last stage of the formula also contains glycerin which is another humectant. However, unlike pentylene glycol this molecule has the unique characteristic of being able to produce moisturising effects in the skin long after it you’ve applied it! Glycerin can affect aquaporins which act as water channels in the epidermis to keep your skin moisturised and revitalised for longer!

The rest of the additions to the final vials are mainly preservatives to keep the active ingredients at their best, but there is one last ingredient which is so science-savvy we need to let you in on its secrets. Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is a form of vitamin C that’s extremely stable, an effective antioxidant and increases skin hydration adding to all the effects we’ve seen from the formula list already. Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate can stimulate collagen production in dermal fibroblasts (cells producing collagen) by increasing the rate at which collagen genes are expressed. Collagen is a key structural component to your skin so keeping its production levels high will keep your dermis plumped and your skin looking fab!

Just to top off the list of ingredient properties in this formula, the addition of magnesium ascorbyl phosphate in the last days of the regimen is also great for dealing with hyperpigmentation. BareMinerals claim that using this you can get a more even-toned complexion and this molecule definitely backs that up. Hyperpigmentation is when patches of the skin appear darker in colour than the normal skin. Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate inhibits an enzyme involved in melanin production to prevent these dark patches from popping up, and to help keep a lid on any pigmented areas.

The downsides
So far this product seems out of this world but of course not everything is perfect and this product comes with a warning. The list contains lots of exfoliating acids which can be a little too much for sensitive skin to handle, especially as concentrations increase throughout the week. Despite their beneficial properties these acids can cause mild irritation and on top of that can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. As always, a good SPF sunscreen is important and we really can’t recommend SPF-containing products highly enough for the days after and between these treatments to protect your skin!

The Verdict
This week-long regiment is packed with beneficial ingredients that will definitely leave your skin renewed.  We can’t deny that the hydrating, replenishing properties of these products are all too appealing and the science most definitely backs up the claims. However, for our beauties with sensitive skin who known exfoliating acids don’t agree with them then this is certainly one to avoid. The concentrations of exfoliating acids increases each day, so keep an eye out for irritation, and be sure to protect the skin with sunscreens following use of these treatments!