I Tried Goop’s Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator And Was Stunned By The Results


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I am a lifelong exfoliation addict, for better or worse. When I was in my teens and acne-prone, I couldn’t get enough of those crushed apricot seeds and whatever other gritty substances they put in cleansers in the ‘80s. 

The harder I scrubbed, the better my skin would look—or so I thought.

We now know that’s not true—one can certainly over-scour and cause tiny tears in the skin. There is a balance between aggressive exfoliation and effective cleansing.

As I’ve gotten older (I’m 54), I’m still a devoted exfoliator. Even if I’m no longer struggling with acne, my pores still become clogged, and blackheads can be an issue. 

Plus, when blemishes say goodbye, wrinkles say hello. Sometimes they decide to hang out together! Luckily, some skincare ingredients, like glycolic acid, address both issues. 

At-Home Microdermabrasion

A good, though expensive (the average cost is $167) solution to all of the above can be professional microdermabrasion facials, during which an aesthetician employs a machine with a tube attached to an abrasive rotating ball (usually made of diamond or crystal) which together sand and suck away the outer layer of your skin, clearing pores, and stimulating cell turnover. 

But I haven’t been to an aesthetician since before the pandemic, and I miss the way my face felt baby’s-butt-smooth after a professional microderm facial.

Jar of GOOPGLOW microderm instant glow exfoliator

So I was excited to test out the GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator, Gwyneth calls it her “facial in a jar” so how could I not want to give it a try? (If you’d also like to try it, use the discount suggest15 for 15% off, exclusive to Suggest readers and better than goop’s first-time customer discount!)

The Power Of Crystals

It’s a clean formula that I found provides the perfect balance between that pore-cleansing feeling and being kind to your skin.

Like the microderm machine, goop’s exfoliating product contains crystals including quartz and garnet, plus alumina and silica to polish and buff. 

It also contains glycolic acid, which is the gold standard in chemical exfoliation to remove dead skin and encourage cell turnover. It’s great whether you’re dealing with breakouts, dull skin, or lines. 

Australian Kakadu plum is another key ingredient. It has 100 times more vitamin C than an orange and has amazing brightening powers.

Closeup of GOOPGLOW microderm instant glow exfoliator

After massaging the fluffy yet grainy product into my damp skin, I had no doubt it was cleansing my pores. Leaving it on for three minutes allows the glycolic acid to get to work. (I’ve gotten into the habit of making coffee during this waiting period.) 

After thoroughly rinsing, my skin really did feel as smooth as a baby’s you-know-what. I was surprised to find a difference in the appearance of my skin after just one use. My skin looked glowy and had more color and life to it. 

Kristen Phillipkoski's before and after photos demonstrating's GOOPGLOW micoderm instant glow exfoliator's effects
The before photo was taken Monday after the first use, the after one was taken Friday after 3rd use. No filter was used.

Clean, Proven Ingredients

You don’t have to just take it from me: goop has data to back up its claims. In a third-party study of 28 women ages 27 to 50, after one use, 94% said their skin looked and felt smoother, 92% said their skin texture improved and that their skin looked and felt polished, 91% said their skin looked and felt softer, and 91% said their complexion was fresher and clearer.

And if you’re worried those fine crystals might somehow hurt your skin, goop has numbers on that as well. A third-party study found that after just one use, 92% of women showed improvement in skin barrier function—which means the product does not cause micro-tears on the surface of the skin but, in fact, helps strengthen the skin’s barrier. 

After a week of use, a patch of hyperpigmentation on my upper left cheek is less noticeable and smoother. The blackheads on my nose are diminished, and I can even jump on an early video call without foundation. But when I do apply makeup, it goes on smoother than ever.

Open jar of GOOPGLOW microderm instant glow exfoliator

I also like to get my lips in on the act, giving them a little scrub along with the rest of my face. Applying GOOPGENES clean nourishing lip balm afterward feels and looks divine. 

You should also know what the GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator does not contain: sulfates (both SLS and SLES), parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban. It also contains less than one percent of synthetic fragrances. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free, so yay for all of that. 

Overall, I’m calling this an essential new addition to my skincare routine. My husband will just have to get used to my morning marshmallow-face appearances in the kitchen. Hey, at least I’m making coffee. 

Give it a try yourself, and get an exclusive (and rare!) 15% discount with the code suggest15—valid through December 31, 2022, on any goop-owned product (excluding bundles). 


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