Polish Natural Sea Minerals (Discontinued)

$50 - 2 fl. oz.
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Skin Care > Scrubs > Scrubs
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This ridiculously priced scrub is mostly baking soda (it’s the first ingredient) with some beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants added. However, in a scrub, all of the ingredients, including the beneficial ingredients, are just rinsed down the drain.

Looking at the price, if you use a quarter-size amount of this scrub as directed per use, it’ll be gone in less than a month! If that fact and the high price aren’t enough to dissuade you, consider that this scrub’s abrasive texture and lavender oil fragrance can cause significant irritation. The irritation from this product’s texture and the fragrant oil hurts your skin’s ability to heal and produce healthy collagen, which isn’t the way to look younger. Fragrance, whether natural or synthetic, is another source of the kind of irritation that keeps skin from looking its best.

The texture is the big concern. Based on Lancer’s philosophy of polishing skin, this overly abrasive scrub is easy to overdo, which can cause inflamed, flaky, sensitive skin that doesn’t act young and healthy. The longer you use this scrub, the grittier it feels, and that’s not good for skin.

For manual exfoliation this product doesn’t compare to just using a gentle washcloth with a well-formulated water-soluble cleanser. For superior overall exfoliation that also improves signs of aging and builds collagen, a well-formulated AHA (alpha hydroxy acid; active ingredient is glycolic or lactic acid) or BHA (beta hydroxy acid; active ingredient is salicylic acid) is overwhelmingly preferred. You’ll find great examples of these types of exfoliants in our Best Products section.

  • Does manually exfoliate skin.
  • Expensive.
  • Doesn’t rinse as easily as it should.
  • Fragrant lavender oil is a source of irritation and is problematic for use around the eyes.
  • Contains skin-damaging hydrogen peroxide and perfluorodecalin, an ingredient that makes the hydrogen peroxide more potent.

More Info:

Many of Lancer’s products contain what’s labeled Lancer Proprietary Liposome Complex. (A liposome is a delivery system that involves packaging ingredients inside a fatty acid that your skin can absorb.) The recipe may be proprietary, but what’s in this blend is clearly stated on the label, and it’s a mix of good and bad for your skin, and at these prices, or any price for that matter, bad should not be tolerated.

The Complex combines antioxidants, which your skin does need, with ingredients known to produce damaging free radicals, such as hydrogen peroxide, which your skin absolutely does not need.

Research about hydrogen peroxide for skin is clear, and it isn’t good news. Hydrogen peroxide kills skin cells and generates skin-damaging free radicals. There is no research showing hydrogen peroxide has anything to do with repairing skin or fighting wrinkles. Although it can function as a disinfectant, that has nothing to do with younger-looking skin. Besides, the cumulative problems that can arise from exposing your skin to a substance that is known to generate free-radical damage, impair the skin’s healing process, cause cellular destruction, and reduce optimal cell functioning are serious enough that it is better to avoid its use (Sources: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, July 2011, pages 753–761, December 2010, pages 1523–1526; Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, March 2009, pages 127–135; Carcinogenesis, February 2008, pages 404–410; and Cellular and Molecular Biology, April 2007, pages 1–2). Because Lancer combines hydrogen peroxide with the oxygen-boosting ingredient perfluorodecalin, it means the hydrogen peroxide’s detrimental effects are even more severe.

As for lavender oil, it’s a form of fragrance, and daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin’s ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).

Natural Sea Mineral Polish is a gentle skin resurfacing polish containing a blend of natural sea minerals and exfoliating enzymes.

Sodium Bicarbonate, PEG-8, Ethoxydiglycol, Magnesium Oxide, Glycerin, Oleth-20, Glyceryl Stearate (And) PEG-100 Stearate, Trihydroxystearin, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bromelain, Papain, Lancer Proprietary Liposome Complex: Perfluorodecalin, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ascorbic Acid, Hydrogen Peroxide, Soy Lecithin Phospholipids, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil

Dr. Harold Lancer is a Beverly Hills dermatologist with celebrity clientele, two credentials that pique the interest of many women interested in skin care. His specialty is cosmetic rejuvenation and, like many dermatologists before him, Lancer has his own line of products: Lancer Dermatology Skincare.

Lancer's skin-care line is built around four steps: polish, cleanse, nourish, and protect. According to Lancer, these steps work for every skin type or aging concern. The polish (i.e. scrub) step involves applying a fairly abrasive, alkaline scrub before cleansing. Lancer's idea is that the polish loosens soil and cellular debris, which the cleanser you apply next will easily wash away.

After you cleanse, you're supposed to nourish skin with an anti-aging moisturizer. During the day, you're advised to protect your skin with sunscreen and, occasionally, if needed, you can apply a treatment product (such as a vitamin C cream).

Although Lancer's method is being hailed as unique or somehow different, it's ultimately nothing new to the skin-care industry: Exfoliation is necessary for younger-looking skin (but scrubs aren’t the best way to get this benefit), sun protection is vital, and a moisturizer loaded with skin-repairing ingredients helps replace what young skin produces naturally before it becomes damaged.

The polish (scrub) before the cleansing step is a new twist, but it's actually a problem if you're wearing makeup. Scrubbing skin before you remove your makeup will grind the makeup deeper into your pores, making it harder for the cleanser to remove. If anything, you should cleanse first, polish second.

Although Lancer's method is being hailed as unique or somehow different, it's about as interesting as white bread. If anything, it's a mix of dated and modern concepts built on information that researchers have known about for years: Exfoliation is necessary for younger-looking skin (but scrubbing isn't the best way to get this benefit), sun protection is vital, and a moisturizer loaded with skin-repairing ingredients helps replace what young skin produces naturally before it becomes damaged.

Unfortunately, Lancer’s scrubs are all alkaline (high pH) and contain overly abrasive scrub ingredients and fragrance extracts that skin doesn’t need. The nighttime moisturizers are all packaged in jars (exposing their beneficial ingredients to air), and the one sunscreen in the line is alcohol based (which isn’t a good thing for skin, as we’ll discuss in the product review).

There are some highlights in the line, such as good options for a 10% vitamin C treatment and AHA exfoliant, but ultimately you don’t need to spend this much to have healthy, younger-looking skin. In fact, because many of Lancer's products contain one or more problematic ingredients, you may end up thinking, “why bother?”

For more information about Lancer Dermatology Skincare, call (310) 278-8444 or visit http://www.lancerskincare.com/.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
Page of 1
  1. Jacquelyn Leah
    Reviewed on Friday, January 17, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    I LOVE Lancer
    • I don't if the person that reviewed this just looked at the ingredients or actually tried the Lancer line. I am a medical aesthetician and can honestly say Lancer is one if the best lines I've ever used. I don't care what the ingredients say, this stuff works. My skin looks and feels amazing. I also have many clients I have turned on to the Lancer line and they would never go back to anything else. As for the price point, there are many other lines in Nordstrom that are way more expensive.

  2. Madeline D
    Reviewed on Thursday, October 17, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Inaccurate representation of product
    • As a dedicated user of Lancer's products, and a patient at his clinic, I can safely say that if you do not see an improvement in your skin, you are using the products incorrectly. The most notable inaccuracy in this review is claim that the scrub damages skin thereby preventing collagen production. This "damage" is designed to cause controlled injury to the skin which actually directs the body to repair and rejuvenate skin, turning over fresh new cells without the use of chemicals

    Paula's Choice Research Team Response
    Replied on: Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Thanks for your comments, though we respectfully disagree. There are better and safer ways to injure skin in the name of producing new collagen. Scrubs can be too abrasive, and how abrasive they are is a combination of formula and the person using the product (applying too much pressure while scrubbing, for example). As for someone's skin not getting better equating to a user error, we beg to differ. For various reasons, sometimes a person's skin won't improve or may worsen even when using the best products. With all due respect to Dr. Lancer, if this is his counsel, we'd consider another dermatologist who's attitude towards his products isn't so superior ("It's not the product's fault, it's the person using them!").

  3. Marisa
    Reviewed on Sunday, May 12, 2013
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    Polish Natural Sea Minerals
    • Instead of looking 20 years younger as the product claims, I looked 20 years older! This polish is abrasive enough to clean stuck on food off your pots and pans. After 3 days of using as directed my face and neck feel like sand paper., my eyelids are swollen(event high I avoided the eye area), my chin and mouth area is covered with dry white skin and any facial expression, I.E. laughing, yawning or squinting is painful and feels like my face will crack! AVOID AT ALL(expensive) COST!

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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