Goop Skincare Is Expensive, Effective, and Very Pretty

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The debut Goop skincare lineup.
The debut Goop skincare lineup.Photo: Courtesy of Goop

Goop Skincare, the newborn beauty brand birthed by Gwyneth Paltrow in partnership with Juice Beauty, is exactly what you would expect. Luxurious? Naturally. Organic? Mostly. Expensive? Of course. Did I mention the pretty packaging? We’re just getting started here.

There are six components in the debut collection: a cleanser, an eye cream, two moisturizers for day and night, a gritty exfoliant, and an oil. The cleanser is a solid one, and is paired with a gigantic towel and a tiny spoon for scooping the product. When you rub a dollop of the cleansing balm over your face it melts into a slightly tacky (or is it Goop-y?) oil that’s easily rubbed away with the aforementioned towel. Some cleansing balms carry a pungent smell and are tough to rinse away; Goop’s version is not.

The “Instant Facial” exfoliant is designed to slough away dead skin cells and brighten complexions in two ways, thanks to a thoughtful combination of tiny sugar granules and chemical acids. Though the package recommends using it two to three days a week, Paltrow says she uses it daily, but I can’t see how. When I rinse the stuff off after letting it sit for a minutes on my skin, my face feels as soft as the $1,000 sweater Paltrow also hawks, but it also stings quite a bit. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The day and night creams strike the perfect balance of moisturizing without feeling too heavy. They carry a slight earthy smell, like the soap section of a Whole Foods. Both are an amalgam of oils and humectants like glycerin and aloe, with the day cream being lighter than the night cream, of course. If your skin is oily like mine, you won’t have to worry about a shiny face during the day, though you will need to reach for a separate sunscreen, as Goop’s version is SPF-free.

The eye cream reminds me of a smaller, slightly thicker version of the night cream, though it carries a more subtle nutty, almond-oil-like fragrance. Under concealer it doesn’t cake or crumble into a weird texture — when you depend on under-eye concealer as much as I do, nothing could be more important. 

If you don’t already use an oil, then you might want to start with Goop’s. It’s perfect. It’s light, but not so light that it feels like a wasted purchase. Layer it on top of either the day or night cream; it seems to amplify the moisturizing virtues of both. It’s an oil that works with both dry and oily skin — a rarity that you might say justifies its upper-tier price. 

Paltrow said she wanted to launch a luxurious, natural skin-care line, and she did. The packaging feels heavy and special, so much that you can’t wait to dip your pinky into each jar for your daily scoop. It’s virtually impossible to create a skin-care product that’s entirely organic, which is why the collection varies from 73 to 99 percent organic. But beyond the ingredients, it feels good on your skin. If you were a Paltrow hater before, maybe it’s time to change.

Goop Skincare, $90 to $140 at Goop.