I have a confession to make – I am the queen of exfoliating. Out of the vast collection of products that I own, from both cosmetics and beauty, exfoliating face washes outnumber everything else by far. I’ve tried everything from the likes of drugstore brands like Olay to the prestige brands like Dermalogica, and I believe I’ve found a happy medium with Philosophy’s Microdelivery Face Wash.
Like all Philosophy products, the cutely simplistic bottle of the MFW has the goal of the product printed on the front, and claims the following: The microdelivery micro-massage exfoliating treatment wash is a mild, exfoliating facial cleanser designed to effectively cleanse the skin while providing resurfacing benefits. Gentle enough to use daily, this unique formula is sulfate-free and formulated with ingredients designed to replenish and protect the skin with topical antioxidants, as it helps condition the skin and retain its moisture level.
That’s a pretty tall order to fill, but luckily this stuff actually does deliver on its claims (for the most part). Philosophy claims this is a daily exfoliator (if that’s even possible) that you only have to leave on for 30 seconds and it can be worked into your skin with your hands, but I find it works best when used for a full cleansing cycle with my Clarisonic Mia (that’s exactly one minute).
It has a very grainy consistency, almost like rubbing wet sand on your face, but surprisingly enough it doesn’t feel abrasive or rough; I don’t know how this would react on extremely sensitive skin, but on normal skin like mine I haven’t had any problems. Instead, the exfoliating beads manage to get deep inside your pores to clean out all the gunk that bigger beads might miss. The end result is silky smooth, clean skin. I will say that the small beads can also be a con, though, because sometimes they get caught in the fine hair around the temples and become very difficult to wash out (which is probably something that’s even more difficult to deal with when washing your face with your hands).
Also, this stuff smells really…industrial. It is not at all pleasant and I’m almost glad you only have to leave it on for a short time because it gives me a headache and I would rather it smell more inviting, kind of like Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple cleanser. That said, it does seem to give a smoother base when applying makeup afterwards, so I’m almost willing to forgive the smell because of the good priming qualities.
I’ve seen this stuff in all of Philosophy’s standard sizes (except for the 2oz.) – 8oz., 16oz., 24oz., and 32oz. The price goes up by $10 every size increment and the smallest size starts at $26, so the bigger sizes are definitely a better value if you’re ready to commit to this product for a long time.
Overall, I find the Microdelivery Face Wash to be a happy medium between drugstore and prestige exfoliators, but ultimately I’ve tried better exfoliation products and as such will not be repurchasing.