• Hi I'm Joan, a Korean-American with nc 15, dry, aging skin, and pesky pores. I'm pretty lazy about my exfoliating regime, when I pick a product I want it to have an impact. I have this perception that peeling gels are mostly 'exfoliating lite' and as such, they almost never make it to my shopping cart.


The peeling gel is the Manyo Factory Active Refresh Herb Peel, pictured above. And, it's not purely a peeling gel, it is equal parts peeling gel, physical scrub, and enzyme exfoliator.

From the marketing info:

  • Featured Ingredients: Dietary Sulfur, Bamboo Salt, Houttuynia Cordata, Olive Leaf, Papaya Enzyme, Various Powders, Plant Cellulose, Hyaluronic Acid, Botanical Extracts.
  • It's hypoallergenic.
  • Botanical extracts hydrate the skin.
  • Uses natural preservatives.

Directions for use:

  1. After washing the face, apply the peeling gel onto the face and soak for 1-3 minutes.
  2. Gently rub the product into the skin for 2 minutes, until the product balls up, to remove impurities and dead skin.
  3. Rinse off with lukewarm water and finish up skincare routine.

Do I have to convince anyone of the benefits of exfoliation? 

Exfoliation is the process of sloughing off dead skin cells which make up the outermost layer of the stratum corneum. Removing dead skin cells will improve the texture of the surface of the skin, keep acne away by ensuring the dead skin cells aren't around to clog pores, treat aging skin by keeping cellular turnover at the same levels as healthy, youthful skin, and even improve the performance of OTHER skincare products in your routine (as they are now free to impart their benefits on a layer of new, live skin cells).

Types of Exfoliation

The three most common ways to do so are to use a physical scrub-like product to remove the cells directly, apply acids that loosen up the glue between the skin cells, causing the dead skin to loosen up and slip off, or to use enzyme-based products that decompose skin proteins.

This peel is one part physical exfoliator

Ingredients: purified water, propanediol, cellulose, glycerin, rice bran, rice flour, mugwort extract, wheat germ extract, buckwheat extract, broccoli extract, green tea extract, tea tree extract, a fermented extract of root Karagan, rosemary extract, lavender extract, papaya fruit extract, Japanese pepper extract, lumbago Korean, Basil extract, sage extract, oregano extract, dandelion leaf and root extract, mulberry, olive extract, sodium hyaluronidase, licorice extract, soybean extract, extract of bergamot, lemon balm extract, damask rose extract, spirulina powder, powder of pine needles, chamomile extract, peppermint extract, orange oil, eucalyptus leaves.

Active Refresh Herb Peel is one part physical exfoliator, and one part enzymatic exfoliator

1. It's a physical exfoliator in two ways:

The fibers from the botanical extracts, cellulose, and carbomer in the product ball up when it comes into contact with the skin's natural oils, and especially so when rubbed in. In addition to the product, dead skin cells and whatever dirt and film is on the surface of the skin will come off as well. Next, the rice bran, spirulina, and pinus densiflora leaf powder work as a traditional scrub which act to slough off that outer dead layer of cells.

2. The enzyme that acts as an exfoliator in this product is the papain, derived from papaya fruit.

If I were to have ordered this myself, I would most likely have ordered it on the basis that it's got a plethora of botanical extracts, many of which work great on my skin (rice bran, soy, licorice root for brightening, camellia sinensis/green tea to protect my skin against the sun and other elements, tea tree and rosemary to prevent acne, sodium hyaluronate to hydrate). I would have been disappointed to see that many of the moisturizing agents in this product like the oils that are present, are essential oils that don't have that much of a skin-conditioning effect and provide secondary benefits like scent and preservation of the product.

The fibers from the botanical extracts

The packaging of the product is really clean and functional. It comes in a plastic, pump bottle - the pump twists to unlock and 'sprouts' up (pops up) when you first open it. Each pump dispenses about a nickel size amount of product which means, it's not too messy to use. I almost always prefer the portability of tube packaging, but this pump bottle looks nice on a vanity.

Each pump dispenses about a nickel size amount of product

The peeling gel is viscous yet watery, and pumps out green with little visible bits of powder in it. It's super cool and refreshing and the scent is something I'd term as 'green' as well. It's definitely not overpowering.

The peeling gel is viscous yet watery

After it dries down a bit, (don't use too much product or it takes longer), you can begin to rub it into the skin and the product will start bunching up. You should see it turn a bit grayish green, which means that it's pretty likely you're seeing dead skin being removed as well.

I like this product as a gentle exfoliator, but I have to admit, after having used it, I still don't think I'd select it for myself. The aftereffects of this peeling gel are quite nice - soft, smooth, and clean-feeling skin, that doesn't feel stripped or dry, however, like I mentioned, I tend to go for more impactful exfoliants, mostly chemical ones (with acids) - my favorite exfoliants help me get my skin looking radiant right away or the next morning.

This review is a only short version of the original one done by Joan (the author). All rights belong to the author of this review.

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