Age-Defying Dermabrasion
1.7 fl. oz. for $80
Last Updated:08.27.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This product associates itself with dermabrasion treatments, which are rarely performed by dermatologists any more due to the high risk of problems and because this treatment has become dated, replaced by gentler and more effective laser and/or chemical peel procedures. Microdermabrasion is a far gentler form of dermabrasion, but neither treatment is preferred to the more sophisticated options offered by dermatologists.

With the above in mind, any association with dermabrasion should not be greeted with a smile. In addition, all you're getting in this case is a very expensive face scrub that contains a mix of silica, pearl powder, and pumice (yes, as in the pumice stone you use to soften calluses on your feet) to scrub the skin. As you can imagine, this combination is incredibly harsh on the skin, so Darphin buffers these scrub ingredients with moisturizers like shea butter and jojoba, although that buffering is only minimally helpful against the abrasion caused by the scrub particles.

Although we're not big fans of scrubs in general, we acknowledge that they can be a good way to get skin extra clean, but this one goes beyond clean to what we find akin to sandpapering. Regardless, you don't need to spend a lot to get a good scrub, and you can always just use a cotton washcloth with your facial cleanser to get the benefits of manual exfoliation. Check out our list of Best Scrubs for better, less expensive options.

What about using a scrub for age-defying results? Don't count on it. Although scrubs make skin smoother and add an extra measure of cleansing, they cannot polish away signs of aging. For anti-aging benefits, the best exfoliants are those with AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) or BHA (beta hydroxy acid). You'll find our top picks on our list of Best Exfoliants.

  • Leaves skin feeling very smooth.
  • Overpriced; you can get a good face scrub from the drugstore for less than $10.
  • The scrub particles can be too rough.
  • Signs of aging (wrinkles, enlarged pores, dark spots) cannot be scrubbed away.

Institute-inspired, ANTI-AGING DERMABRASION rejuvenates as it polishes skin to perfection. Natural exfoliants (Silica, Pearl, Lava) make this delectable, creamy complexion-slougher gentle enough for sensitive skin; powerful enough to help reduce the look of pores, age spots, discolorations and to visibly smooth lines and wrinkles.


Water\Aqua\Eau, Silica, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Nylon-11, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Steareth-21, Steareth-2, Jojoba Esters, Pumice, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, Gellidiela Acerosa (Algae) Extract, Hypnea Musciformis (Algae) Extract, Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) Root Extract, Pentylene Glycol, Pearl Powder, Bisabolol, Acetyl Glucosamine, PEG-32, PEG-6, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Coco-Glucoside, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance (Parfum), Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol.

Brand Overview

Darphin Paris At-A-Glance

Strengths: Lauder's influence on this line has resulted in only a few improved products; there are some good cleansers; some worthwhile serums and moisturizers; a couple worthwhile masks and a good skin-lightening product that's remarkably similar to a less expensive option from Clinique (another Lauder-owned brand).

Weaknesses: Very expensive; no effective products to address acne or other types of breakouts; pervasive use of skin-irritating fragrant oils; only one sunscreen and it has problems; jar packaging for products that contain air- and light-sensitive ingredients.

From its beginnings as a spa line developed for French aestheticians in the late 1950s, Darphin's core belief is that beauty comes from inner balance and harmony of the body, mind, and soul. This vision was truly new decades ago, and while it sounds great as an image-enhancing philosophy, it never translated, either back then or now, into progressive products that will make a significant difference in the appearance of your skin. In fact, among all of the skin-care lines espousing natural ingredients and botanical extracts, Darphin is the least impressive, with inadequate, dated formulations. Close competitor (and forerunner) Clarins at least includes several daytime moisturizers with sunscreen and also offers a complete collection of sunscreens for the body. Not so with Darphin, whose sunscreen selection is limited at best. Apparently, inner balance involves putting your skin at risk for wrinkles, discolorations, sagging, and, potentially, cancer.

Estee Lauder acquired Darphin in 2003, but that investment has resulted in little improvement or change to this line, options that are desperately needed. Almost without exception, Darphin products are vastly overpriced for what you get. Many of them contain problematic ingredients or plants whose benefit for skin is unknown or merely anecdotal.

As you might expect, most of the anti-aging claims Darphin makes for its products stem from the exotic to commonplace plants and plant extracts they contain. Although it's appealing to think that familiar substances such as ginseng, sandalwood, and corn can firm skin and improve the signs of aging, they do no such thing. Adhering to Darphin's skin-care routines (all of which involve multiple products, most with redundant formulas) would leave skin vulnerable to sun damage, and the many fragrance components found in products throughout the line increase the chance that skin will suffer a phototoxic reaction when exposed to sunlight. Considering the premium prices of these products, that's a lot of potential for a literal and figurative burn!

For more information about Darphin Paris, owned by Estee Lauder, call (866) 880-4559 or visit www.darphhin.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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