Saturday, July 13, 2013

Reviewing Reviva Labs: Pomegranate Scrub & Light Skin Peel

One of the good things about being on a beauty low-buy is finally having the time to really roadtest some products I've had lingering in my bathroom cabinet for a long time. Last year, a lovely Reviva Labs PR person sent me a sizeable package with their products, and in it two exoliants immediately caught my eye: the Microdermabrasion Pomegranate Scrub ($19 for 2 oz/ 55g) and the Non-Chemical Light Skin Peel ($20 for 1.5 oz/42g).
For those of you who have never heard about Reviva Labs, it's a natural, cruelty-free line founded way back in 1973 and distributed mostly through health food stores. The brand claims to have been the first in the US health stores and skincare salons to introduce many skincare breakthroughs, like the importance of skin exfoliation, non-drying acne products or using Vitamin P for spider veins. While I have no way of verifying whether Reviva was truly 'the first', most of the skincare I've tried so far have been simple, no-fuss, effective products with a very reasonable price tag, my favorite being their Hyaluronic Acid Serum, reviewed here.
Anyway, let's start with the Microdermabrasion Pomegranate Scrub! According to the brand,  'Reviva's microdermabrasion pomegranate scrub helps retexturize skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles or rough skin by featuring gentle magnesium oxide crystals and pomegranate instead of abrasive aluminum oxide. And to further avoid irritation as it exfoliates and removes impurities, our Micro Scrub induces a complex of organic oils. Cleanses in depth but gentle enough to use on even sensitive or acne skin.' The Pomegranate Scrub comes packaged in a utilitarian white plastic tub with a stopper lid inside and is a white, thick cream exfoliant with very fine crystals and a faintly almond/chemical scent (unfortunately, the 'pomegranate' part only refers to the pomegranate oil being one of the ingredients). The creamy, slightly oily base spreads easily on dampened skin and gives enough slip so that the scrubbing particles can be lightly massaged on the face. The scrub rinses off clean and without leaving a greasy residue - just soft, smooth skin. I find it works best when I'm particularly flaky after using some drying treatments as it really helps to buff away any peeling skin without aggravating my face any fruther thanks to the tiny crystals and a nourishing base. As much as I'm not normally a fan of physical exfoliation, I think the Reviva Microdermabrasion Scrub works very well and I would recommend it to those who like a more scrubby exfoliant.
The Non-Chemical Light Skin Peel 'doesn't "peel skin" as we know it, but gently lifts off more hardened, dried skin cells than can be achieved by scrubs or any other "exfoliating" product. Dead-cell accumulation prevents treatment products from penetrating and keeps skin tone from looking fresh and vibrant. (...) Our Peel ingredients also stimulate the deeper new cells to move upward at a faster rate - causing the skin surface to look tighter, clearer and healthier.' The Light Skin Peel is a very thick cream the color of oatmeal with small bits of crushed almonds and chamomile that smells very strongly of alcohol and thyme. No surprise here: the SDA Alcohol 40 is the second ingredient of this peel-off type mask, which is supposed to be applied once a week, let to dry for a couple minutes and then removed by rubbing off with fingers, dry towel or sponge. I will say that these two facts alone are enough to turn me off this product, as I dislike drying alcohols in skincare (and with this one, it literally burns in my nose and makes my eyes water as the fumes evaporate), and I also dislike peel-off masks that have to be removed by rubbing - my face does not like to be rubbed, and this does not come off easily at all. The end result is... ok, my skin does look smoother and the pores seem to be refined, although it also looks a lot more red; I feel like I can achieve similar results with a gentler product. The last gripe I have with this 'non-chemical' peel is that it contains salicylic acid and papain, both - you guessed it - chemical exfoliants. While I have no problem with this mask containing both physical (crushed almonds) and chemical exfoliating agents, I think the name is very misleading and overall, I can't recommend the product.

So, one hit and one miss with these Reviva Labs exfoliants. Have you ever tried anything from Reviva Labs? What are your favorite scrubs or exfoliating masks?

Disclaimer: The Reviva Labs products were provided to me for review consideration by a brand representative. I am not compensated to feature them on my blog nor am I affiliated with the brand. All opinions are my own and 100% honest, as always!


  1. Never tried any Reviva Labs but still want to try that Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Don't think they're in Canada but I haven't really looked for them yet either. Adding to the very long list of things to hunt down... :)

  2. I have heard good things about Reviva Labs (I think Helen from Lolas Secret Beauty Blog reviewed a few items from the brand and was raving about them!)--never knew it was available at health food stores though! Too bad about the high alcohol content in the 2nd one though :/ I really dislike a lot of alcohol in my skincare as well