Olga Lorencin-Northrup is one of those estheticians to the stars who ensures that Hollywood celebrities such as Halle Berry and Christina Applegate are red carpet ready. For lesser mortals, her facial peel routine is available in the three-step Kinera Red Carpet Facial Kit ($145). I couldn't resist seeing if it lived up to the hype.
First of all, hats off to Olga LC for creating something that looks special - a sturdy, lipstick red box with smart spa-like tubes inside - for a pretty good price. Based on the relatively small amount needed for one treatment, I'll be having many more Red Carpet Facials to come. Personally, I find the process a little too ritualistic. Obviously, the idea is to feel as if you are getting the full spa treatment at home, but putting the product into the bowl that comes with the kit and brushing it on the face and rinsing after each stage was a little to much fuss for this Capricorn. Still, the effects are rather good: smoother, softer skin and a lighter tone. My experiments found that it works equally well, if not better, on the backs of the hands and decollete.
Despite warnings of tingling sensations, I found Kinara to be relatively gentle. The Peel is the first step in the Red Carpet Process and the actives are alpha hydroxy acids in the form of lactic acid (from milk sugars) and malic acid (from apples). I like the fact these two ingredients are followed by epilobium angustifolium, Canadian Willowherb. This is a good source of vitamin C and a natural anti-bacterial.
The idea is to follow up after three minutes with the Neutralizer, which is mostly aloe juice. Like the Peel, it also contains the amino acid arginine
and allantoin, both are said to help skin with hydration. Next comes the Polishing Mask, which has a lot of kaolin and feels quite clay-y.
A noteworthy ingredient in the mask is the sea alga, pikea robusta (incidentally one of the ingredients in several Alterna
products. An in vitro test (unfortunately not independent) showed it able to reduce concentration of the free radical nitric oxide by nearly 80%. There is also saccharomyces lysate extract
. Saccharomyces, from the Latin, literally means sugar fungus and is the scientific name for the yeasts used in fermentation. There are many versions of this fungus fermented with various compounds; this version is fermented in the presence of copper ions. There is no known benefit for skin, though it may have antioxidant properties.
The mask has plenty of minerals and antioxidant tea (white and green), as well as some useful botanicals. Like the other two products, I'd prefer it if it came with a less a harmful alternatives to tetrasodium EDTA
Red Carpet Facial Peel Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Butylene Glycol, Malic Acid, Arginine, Allantoin, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate.
Red Carpet Neutralizer Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Bicarbonate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Arginine, Allantoin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.
Red Carpet Mask Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Kaolin, Glycerin, Zinc Oxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Alcohol, Squalane, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Polyacrylate 13, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Pikea Robusta Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Zinc Gluconate, Magnesium Aspartate, Copper Gluconate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl, Glucoside, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Ceteareth-20, Titanium Dioxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance, Blue 1