EXFOLI-RATER : Ren Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial

FACE OFF

You know how sometimes you get a teeny packet of something in a subscription box or just a random sample-with-unrelated-purchase? ONCE UPON A TIME, I ordered some hair crap from SpaceNK and got a little packet of Ren Flash Rinse Blah Blah and I was not interested. “One Minute Facial” sounds like marketing BS, and the copy one of the ingredients would “fight facial fatigue” which … lolnope. So it sat in my drawer for weeks. Weeks! AND THEN, one day I got bored and cracked it open because it’s “fancy” and I can’t resist fancy. AND WHOA, it was not as expected!

WHAT IS THAT STUFF?

I figured it was some kind of hybrid cleanser/masque thing that you leave on for a bit and its ingredients allegedly Do Stuff but probably they don’t really do all that much (because it’s only on your skin for a couple minutes). BUT ACTUALLY, it was a thinnish paste with very tiny gritty-scrubby bits! Omg an exfoliator, I love exfoliators. So I blorped it out of its packet and smeared it on my face and scrubbed it around and then left it on for a minute or two and rinsed. And I loved it! Even though it smells rather strongly of oranges which is not my fave scent (Finch would love it, tho)! And then I immediately went on Sephora and bought the full-size tube ($48/2.5oz).

WHOA WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

Mild disappointment and annoyance happened next. See, the thing about the stuff in the packet is that it was a very small amount — just enough for one use — and so the texture (liquidy but gritty) wasn’t an issue. But in a 2.5oz tube, it’s definitely an issue. The first couple of times I squeezed some out, it was As Expected. After all, it’s a squeezy tube that stands upright on its cap, so any heavier ingredients (i.e. the gritty exfoliating bits, which are why I liked and purchased it in the first place) … sink to the bottom of the tube toward the cap. But apparently that means I blorped out a good percentage of the gritty bits on those first couple uses, because subsequent squeezes yield a FLOOD of WATERY LIQUID that goes EVERYWHERE and has very little scrubby stuff in it. Which is complete and utter bullshit. Also, it’s got a twist-off cap, so have fun trying to wrangle that lid back on while the watery liquid is running all over your hand.

Like with last week’s entry, I feel I must assure you that this is indeed the product and I have not blown my nose on the back of my hand and made you look at photos of the results.

DOES IT DO A THING?

If you get sufficient grainy bits going? It’s GREAT. It definitely feels very smoothing and polishing, and my skin does look and feel softer and brighter after use, and the “dry face, apply serums, wait, dust with powder” test does yield a marked decrease in surface dryness and flaky bits. I’m not convinced that the vitamin C included — in the form of both ascorbic acid and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (the same stuff in The Ordinary’s MAP 10%¬†) — are on the skin long enough to really absorb well, or at least not as efficaciously as you’d get from a good C serum. Let’s have another look at this weird goo because it’s kind of hilarious to me :

Small blorp of gritty paste (good) in a flood of watery goo that goes everywhere (not so good).

But halfway through the tube, much of the grainy bits are gone and I feel like I’m just smearing goo around my face. Also, the absence of grit makes it seem slightly harder to rinse really cleanly. And since orange flower oil and sunflower seed oil are high up in the ingredients list, I feel like this does need either scrubbing or (my solution) a quick wash with a tiny bit of my normal cleanser to remove a little more of the oils. Which, if you’ve got dryer skin? Those residual oils might feel great! But I get nervous leaving a heavy layer of anything like that on my breakout-prone skin. If they’d either package it in single-use foil packets with the proper ratio of liquid-to-grit, OR add another ingredient to bulk up the thickness of the formula overall and prevent it from separating out so much, it’d actually be pretty good. It’d still not be “stellar,” though, at least not for $48. As it is, this is a C for me, particularly considering its relatively high price, and the easy availability of other great exfoliants AND vitamin C serums. If they’d address the separation/packaging issue, it’d be maybe a B. I like it okay, I’ll finish the tube, but I won’t repurchase.

INGREDIENTS : Coconut Alkanes, Ascorbic Acid, Coco-Caprylate/ Caprate, Silica, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Mannitol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Oil, Yeast Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Boswellia Carterii Oil, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Azulene, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Glycogen, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Beta-Carotene, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Limonene.

COMPARISON CHART :

PRODUCT NAME SIZE PRICE TYPE RATING
Ren Flash Rinse 2.5oz $48.00 grainy, vit C C
Algenist Triple Action 2oz $58.00 grainy, glycolic C+
Vasanti Brighten Up! 4.2oz $34.00 grainy scrub A
Acure Brightening Facial Scrub 4oz $8.49 grainy scrub B-
It’s Skin Citron Peeling Gel 4oz $10.00 pilling gel A-

Ever tried it, or anything else from Ren? Fab or crap? Discuss!