As I’ve said lots of times, exfoliation is an extremely important portion of a skincare regime and is something that has made a phenomenal difference to my dry skin over the years. As a section of the anti-ageing process it is critical aspect of anyone’s skin care practice, especially as we get older and our new skin cell turnover gets sluggish and lazy and we are left with a dull layer of dead skin that covering a bright fresh beautiful layer below that we must exfoliate, reveal and celebrate the look of! Of course, exfoliation doesn’t just reveal glowy, fresh skin but it also allows products to penetrate the skin better and enables them to do their job rather than sitting on top of old dead skin doing precisely zilch. Everything you put on after a good exfoliation will work so much better.
As I’ve strongly suggested before on the blog, harsh physical exfoliants can damage the skin (I know scrubbing your face with harsh husks can feel satisfying but resist the urge) and harsh chemical exfoliants can dry the skin out as they strip the important acid mantle of the skin and leave it gasping for moisture and desperate to return to its favourite ph level.
So, how does this one fare, you ask?
Well, Blue Plasma is certainly one of Perricone MD’s best-loved and most highly rated and regularly mentioned skincare products. I can see the appeal. In theory it is a magnificent liquid exfoliant that manages to straddle the complicated combination of supreme efficacy with gentleness and hydration. No small feat for an exfoliant.
This products reputation as a peel is based on its high percentage of urea, which in high enough concentrations can be a wonderful exfoliant, though it isn’t an acid, it behaves like one by dissolving and loosening dead skin cells and releasing the bonds that hold those cells to the skin. Don’t be immature like me and be put off by the name being so close to urine, urethra, etc. (I know… grow up, Laura!)
So, first impressions first…
This Blue Plasma looks fantastic and is a super photogenic and attractive product, but unlike products like May Lindstrom’s glorious The Blue Cocoon which is blue as a result of only precious, soothing and anti-inflammatory blue tansy, this offering for Mr Perricone is blue purely as a result of the artificial dyes in the ingredient list. This gimmick doesn’t get us off to a perfect first date. Style over substance. Come on, Mr P, what’s the point in adding dyes to colour something (in an albeit fetching shade) when they are known irritants?
It’s unfortunate that with even the colouring being an irritant, Blue Plasma professes to be an entirely non-acidic peel that works without risk of redness or irritation yet resurfaces skin beautifully. And that’s not the only irritant – more on these down below!
As I’ve discussed in this post My Favourite Exfoliating (Acid) Products for Every Skin Type, there are loads of brilliantly formulated and effective AHA and BHA exfoliants available on beauty counters, shelves and on the internet – and often they come in at a more reasonable price – and a more reasonable scent to boot! Usually, I say, smell is subjective and what I don’t like, you may love and vice versa but in this case I am confident you won’t like the smell. The worst part of the scent is knowing it comes from fish eggs (hydrolyzed roe) and is another pointless gimmick!
This serum is dispensed via a pipette which although not entirely ideal product delivery system, it is better than popular tubs and pots. Although it’s not exactly a flawless or ideal application method to dispense a serum that contains light and air-sensitive ingredients, it is often the type of packaging that is dictated by formulary requirements. When that’s the situation, as it is with Blue Plasma, the aim ought to be to keep the bottle opening as petite as possible and the bottle opaque or coated with a special substance to protect the sensitive little blighters inside from their most damaging predators: light, heat, bacteria and air. It’s also advised that you should use something like this, stored in imperfect packaging, within a three month time/scale, otherwise you won’t get the same results because the quality of the product will have diminished. This puts paid to my common practice of keeping product for upwards of 9 months on account of the sheer volume I have been lucky enough to test.
In practice, for starters, when using this it is fairly difficult to move past the strong smell of fish that lingers for 15 minutes.
I usually try to recruit family members to test products in order to get a well-rounded view of something, but with this I knew I’d be hard pushed to get anyone to use it for any respectable period of time, Anyone except Mitma Magpie (my mum) who will try it all, and then claim to have done a “grand job” in “helping” me “no end“, when in reality she’s rarely followed an instruction in her life – whether that’s cosmetic instructions, cooking instructions, visa application instructions, the list goes on… anyway, the gist is, she doesn’t follow me or the manufacturers instructions often so can’t always be relied upon for a fair review. While I love her typically unique and interesting perspective on all things, I just wish she’d follow the guidance and that she wouldn’t always critique her own work! And I say critique here, but it’s a loose term because she isn’t critical of her performance, she’s always very proud and impressed with herself! (side note: in an unexpected personality twist she does, however follow doctors instructions to a perplexing level. Setting alarms and announcing every single day in life in a singsong fashion when it’s “timeee for the blood pressure tablet!!!!” But I digress, sorry).
Back to Blue Plasma. This blue fellow has to be applied once a day post thorough cleanse. I’m of the strong opinion that this should be an evening element of your routine if you’re trying it. I feel this way, on account of the offensive smell it produces (I will say it again... fish eggs! I ask you…) and the fact it doesn’t seem to fully dry or entirely sink in on me, instead it leaves a definite sticky, sheeny residue of sorts that I for one wouldn’t like to put makeup on top of. It’s got what I like to call a “slip and slide” silky, mobile texture so there’s no tugging or struggle to massage it in and there’s no requirement to rinse afterwards. As you know, I let my mum try this and she insisted on rinsing it off, telling me, “oh no no, sweetie, you MUST rinse fish off your fizzog!” and despite me telling her “no, the manufacturer insists you must not rinse this fish off your “fizzog” she didn’t listen. Of course she said it “did no good at all” and in bizarre yet characteristic fashion she described it as a “nasty wee serum, that one… nasty wee serum indeed“. I had to tell her not to talk about it like that in public since it’s nor a bloody serum and she washed it off her “fizzog” before it could possible do any work, which is like putting your uncooked chicken in the over for ten minutes and then removing it and proclaiming it’s a “nasty wee chicken” that doesn’t cook! To be fair she’d never do that to a chicken. She is 100% committed to the cremation of food, which is probably a throwback to her aforementioned respect for medical advice. I think she avoids salmonella to the point of creating inedible meals… she must have read on a medical article to be wary of cooking meat once in 1985.
Anyway, I did use the Blue Plasma “to the letter of the law” as my dad is fond of saying (about things that have no laws, just instruction, in general) and gave it a fair chance. I like the texture and the cooking sensation it provides but am disappointed to discover that the menthol that produces the cooking sensation is probably irritating the skin beneath the surface. Damn. Anyway, I found it to be mediocre. It definitely exfoliates but makes a more subtle and slow difference than my favourite exfoliates that I’ve linked to in paragraph? I think if you’re new to acid exfoliating then this might make a noticeable difference for you but for the more established acid exfoliating folk, I don’t think it will wow you. And given the horror of the smell, this would have to wow you to keep using it! And of course, it’s one of the brands most popular products so it obviously is wowing many people. Slightly confusing fact for me, I’ll be honest.
So lastly, it does work mildly but the experience isn’t pleasant enough and the effects aren’t impressive enough to warrant a repurchase from me.
I do still love Perricone MD and will be reviewing more products, in a more positive fashion, soon!