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What can I say about Osmosis Polish ($44) First off, the scent is absolute heaven — I found myself sniffing my fingers long after applying. It’s one of the most delicious smelling products I’ve had the pleasure of using.
The first ingredient in Polish is Cranberry Fruit, and the reason behind the scent. Did I mention the scent? There’s also an impressive 1% of the well-known antioxidant CoQ10, which generally gets a big thumbs up for treatment of oxidative stress and wrinkle repair.
Upon glancing at the ingredients list, I asked myself “why can’t I use this as an all-night serum?” This was answered soon after I applied it and is the reason behind my only quibble: though it has a light, serum texture, it becomes very sticky after application. My chin kept sticking to my neck and my neck to my collar. At times it made me feel a little claustrophobic.
Ingredients that may be attributed to the firming mask’s immediate results are a couple of chemical exfoliants: First there is lactic acid, the mildest in the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family that also acts as a humectant. Polish also contains D gluconic acid, a polyhydroxy acid also known as gluconolactone. A representative for Osmosis told me “It is a chelating agent in that it binds the copper that activates the Tyrosinase enzyme, and also provides protection from UV damage.” Polyhydroxy acids are purported to be the next generation of AHAs. We don’t see a lot of products using PHAs, which is a shame because they are much better tolerated than AHAs and don’t sensitize your skin to the sun. In my personal experience, PHA-containing products, including Polish, have always given me very positive results.
Though chemical exfoliants are one of the few thoroughly studied, with widely revered ingredients to manage photoaging, they should be used in moderation to avoid the possibility that you’re using up your Hayflick Limit – not to mention over-exfoliating, which can lead to irritation and redness. I’d like to say that I find chemical exfoliants much more beneficial and less irritating than physical scrubs (though I do occasionally enjoy a bit of baking soda added to my face wash), which can tear at skin and do more harm than good. Especially in inexperienced hands. I know the same can be said of overusing AHAs, but my OCD when reviewing this product led me to a study that showed no inflammation with daily six-month use of a 25% AHA lotion. Anyway, if you’re weary of overusing exfoliants, using a mask containing AHAs/PHAs once or twice a week is ideal.
The bottle of Osmosis Polish is the standard 1 ounce bottle that all Osmosis products come in and their pumps are borderline crazy. I used Polish once or twice a week for four weeks, leaving it on for roughly 10 minutes. Aside from the stickiness, using Polish was pleasant – it is a very mild enzyme mask that will keep dull skin at bay while the scent will make you feel pampered. There was no stinging or burning and my skin had a nice “polish” to it after each use. The mask is definitely not a skin stripper and if you have very rough, neglected skin you will probably want something stronger. But if you have normal, well-tended-to skin that may occasionally look dull, Polish lives up to its name and I recommend it.
Ingredients: Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit, Harmonized Water, L-Lactic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, D Gluconic Acid, CoQ10, Xanthan Gum, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Beta Vulgaris (Beet Root Powder), Essential Oil Blend