First Impressions from a Peeling Gel Skeptic | FT. The Face Shop Mild Papaya Peeling

I discovered peeling gels while delving into the realm of Asian Beauty. They are supposed to be the gentlest alternative to exfoliating. The idea is while lightly massaging the peeling gel around your skin, all the little bits pilling up is supposed to be dead skin cells.

I am a skeptic about this type of product is because:
1) Any peeling gel I ever tested in store pilled up instantly – how am I supposed to know if it’s really dead skin, or the product just drying up instantly?
2) Because it’s so gentle, I feel like it is not an effective exfoliant compared to a physical scrub (HUGE fan of the Italy Towel).


I received a large sample of the Face Shop Mild Papaya Peeling for Christmas. I have been in the bad habit of overly scrubbing my skin with the Italy Towel and that is definitely not the smartest thing to do; it gets rid of the dead skin but it leaves my face irritated from its sand-papery touch. I decided to hang it dry and give the peeling gel a shot and see if it can prove me wrong.

About the Product

Description: This mild peeling is enriched natural papaya enzymes to remove dead skin cells and with hyaluronic acid to moisturize skin.

Directions: Apply to freshly cleansed and dry skin. Massage for 30 seconds,aoiding the eye and lip contour area. Rinse with water.

Ingredients: Water/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Peg-8, Steartrimonium Methosulfate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Triethylhexanoin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Papin, Isopropyl Alcohol, Parfum/Fragrance


It is a very cloudy, runny type of gel.  The product dries up very quickly; this is one of the reasons I never go to peeling gels because it dries up before I even massage it to the skin. Because of this, I apply the gel in sections so I can actually use it properly and just focus on my concerns in those areas.

Upon application, the initial feeling is cool and mild, and doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight after rinsing it off. I lightly massaged outwards in circular motions, and decided to focus on my areas of concern, the black/white heads on my jaw line and chin,and the dry patches around my nose.

First Impressions

wp-1483829045667.jpgJaw line/chin
Most people get black/white heads around their nose, I just happened to be blessed to get them on my jaw line and chin as well. When I first used this product, I noticed that after I rinsed it off, bits still clung to my face. To my disgusting surprise, it was clung to gunk in my skin.

In the photo, you can definitely see those little dark bits (ie. the gross stuff.)


Nose and around
A short and disgusting description of the dry patches around my nose – I can just rub my finger on the bridge and dead skin just forms. It can look nice and clear after moisturizing, but apply any type of coverage and BAM dry patches all around. This is especially prominent after showering and *thinking* I exfoliated enough.

So I used the peeling gel after showering, and concentrated a tad more product around my nose. At first I can’t really tell if any dead skin has been removed because it just looks like the product. The real result is when I applied makeup on and around my nose – no dry patch to be found! However, I barely noticed a difference on the blackheads/sebaceous filaments I have (could be the “mild” aspect of the peeling gel.)

Sorry about the light quality. The change doesn’t pick up easily on the selfie side of my phone camera, and can’t control natural lighting. In both pictures I have th Cover FX Cream Foundation on around my nose to emphasize the dry patches. In the bottom photo, you can  see that I barely have any dry patches showing up, and I’ve noticed a big  change when I apply makeup for work (my work environment is very dry).

1 Week Later

Forehead – Feels/looks smoother; Bumpiness not as prominent, more noticeable after makeup application.

Pores – Same size.

Final Thoughts


  • Did not cause any skin irritation or breakouts
  • Clung to any dirt/gunk on skin
  • Dry patches around nose disappeared with constant use
  • Skin all around smoother; jaw and chin area not as congested, no bumpiness
  • Helps makeup sit better on skin
  • Light smell
  • Simple, safe ingredients
  • Gentle enough to be able to use on a nightly basis
  • Does not make my skin overly dry and tight after washing it off
  • Skin has not been overly sensitive


  • Product dries up fast
  • Lots of product needs to be used to cover whole face
  • Slightly difficult to wash off – especially when it clings to any nasty bits
  • Nothing to add to skin health; just solely removes dead skin

Pills so quickly, is it really dead skin?
Can a gentle peeling gel be effective?

I am a peeling gel convert. The proof is all in the post-product use, and seems to be maintaining my skin without me having to go into a harsh exfoliant.

Although I enjoyed the product, I will not be purchasing the full size. I am really really not a fan of how easily the product dries up quickly. Aside from gentle exfoliation and removing dead skin cells, there are no added benefits to my skin health.

HOWEVER, I do recommend this product for those wanting to try peeling gels. Despite my pickiness, it does do the job at solely removing dead skin cells and gunk – true to its name, it is mild. The price for the full bottle is $17 CAD for 170ml (5.74 fl oz) – that’s pretty decent, especially if you want to be introduced into the peeling gel world.


  • Use it in sections
  • Put a tad more on problem areas
  • Use a cleanser to help wash off the bits sticking to face

Hope you enjoyed the read! I recently purchased the Charmzone Control Cream Self-Massage Peeling Gel, which is a more high end version of peeling gels. And of course, a review with before and afters will be had!

Any other peeling gels you recommend? Do you find peeling gels effective or ineffective?

xo, M

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