With each new product drop, the Gwyneth Paltrow Goop Industrial Complex charges on in its efforts toward world wellness domination. The latest: Goop is cashing in on the oil-based skincare trend with its own take, the GoopGenes All-in-One Super Nutrient Face Oil. Described as a “high-performance, results-driven face oil,” the product aims to not only moisturize, as most oils do, but to also work as an anti-aging agent, with the wrinkle-fighting ingredient bakuchiol, a retinol alternative. All buzzwords aside, does it actually work? Four W editors gave it a try, and delivered their honest opinions.

Sandra Ballentine, Contributor

What is your opinion of Gwyneth Paltrow’s approach to wellness and the Goop brand in general?  

I’m a big GP fan. She’s been ahead of the wellness curve more often than not, and has carved out a nice niche for her brand. She’s also her own best ambassador. (Trust me, I’ve stood next to her, and it’s daunting.) I like (and use) many of the clean beauty and skincare brands on her site, and of the Goop Beauty lineup, my favorites are GoopGlow Body Luminizer (just the right amount of sheen), GoopGlow Morning Skin Superpowder (mix with chilled water for an elixir that tastes like a healthier version of Tang) and The Martini Emotional Detox Bath Soak (who doesn’t need an emotional detox right about now?).

Does your skin respond well to oil-based formulations? 

Truth be told, I usually opt for whipped-creamy moisturizers over face oils, but a new crop of efficacious, science-driven oil formulations (like GoopGenes) has caused me to do an about-face, pun intended. My skin tends to be dry and a bit sensitized, especially in winter. Past face oils I’ve tried kind of just sat on the skin’s surface, which is annoying. But GoopGenes penetrates nicely, and lends a delightfully dewy glow to my poor, snow-beaten complexion. 

Describe your experience using the GoopGenes Face Oil. Would you use it again?

My first impressions were of the recyclable outer packaging and petite glass dropper bottle, both paradigms of minimal apothecary chic. The dropper functioned perfectly, easily passing the SB application test. (I have nothing against serums and oils with glass droppers, but please don’t present me with a drippy dropper.) The oil itself has a pronounced vegetal smell (not surprising for a botanicals-based product), bringing to mind an expensive salad, which, if you think about it, is pretty on-brand.

I’ve been anointing myself with the GoopGenes oil for nearly a month now, and as I mentioned earlier, it absorbs nicely, makes my skin feel soft and smooth, and even enhances my dew factor. It works wonders on hands and cuticles. Has it made me look years younger or diminished my fine lines? Not yet. But fast fixes and dramatic differences usually require close encounters of the dermatological kind. And until I’m once again comfortable with IRL aesthetic interactions, I am content to continue dabbing on my GoopGenes oil. (Seriously, you should see what it’s doing for my hands and cuticles.) Now if only GP could actually bottle her own Goop genes…

Andrea Whittle, Features Editor

What is your opinion of Gwyneth Paltrow’s approach to wellness and the Goop brand in general?

I’d say I have a playfully reverent relationship with Goop as a brand. I’ve always loved going into their stores and checking out what natural-leaning companies they’re pushing. I even bought a dress at their Amagansett pop-up one summer. I respect what the woman has built, and I think she leans into the ridiculousness of it all on purpose. I’ve heard generally great things about their skincare products ever since they started out with a collaboration with Juice Beauty (their Exfoliating Instant Facial in particular). That being said, I know there has been some straight-up snake oil on their shelves over the years. So a healthy dose of skepticism is required. 

Does your skin respond well to oil-based formulations?

I usually have pretty textbook combination skin, but it’s been extremely dry lately. Red, flaky, angry dry. I’ve incorporated oils into my routine since college, especially during the winter months—I feel like they offer an extra layer of protection from the elements and help lock in my serum and moisturizer. 

Describe your experience using the GoopGenes Face Oil.

The first thing that flashed into my mind when I patted a few drops of this on was “miso soy glaze.” There’s something distinctly savory about the smell—like you could use it to marinate a piece of fish before slapping it on the grill. It reminds me of the Fresh Sea Buckthorn Face Oil but a little more umami. When I got into bed, my boyfriend took a curious sniff and just said, “Interesting.” In the morning, my skin felt hydrated and velvety—a vast improvement from flake city. 

Would you use the GoopGenes Face Oil again in the future?

I’ll definitely keep using it as an extra layer when my skin is feeling the effects of harsh winter weather—it’s like a deep conditioner for your face.

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Maryam Lieberman, Contributing Beauty Editor

What is your opinion of Gwyneth Paltrow’s approach to wellness and the Goop brand in general?

I like products from the Goop brand in general because I hear Gwyneth Paltrow and her team try them out extensively and make sure they actually work. I got hooked on their Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator a while back and it’s pretty awesome. I use it a few times a week during the summer and once a week during winter for the sole purpose of evening out my skin tone. Pre-Covid, I would use it as a skin prep before applying makeup and going out but these days I’ll apply it at night just for the sake of attempting to look presentable for myself. All of this said, her products do tend to be on the more expensive side so I won’t get something unless I really love it. 

Does your skin respond well to oil-based formulations?

I use oil-based formulations without any hesitation from time to time because my skin is normal. I can handle the weight of an oil ingredient without worrying about heaviness or a breakout. I usually veer away from the heavier formulated oils just because they accumulate some buildup and grime on my face if I’m out during the day. The heavier oils tend to feel sticky after a few hours, too. 

Describe your experience using the GoopGenes Face Oil.

The consistency is not heavy, which was great—I actually mixed it with my moisturizer. It goes on even and absorbs well. If I don’t mix it with my moisturizer and just apply it as a last step to my skin routine (on top of my moisturizer), I see it giving my skin a more visible glow. My one complaint—it smells a bit like an Iranian dish my mother makes, Ghormeh Sabzi, fragrant but herb-ish. That said, if something is going to my skin look great, I don’t care if it smells like a hamburger. I’ll use it.

Would you use the GoopGenes Face Oil again in the future?

Yes, I would. I like the oil and in terms of consistency it’s by far the best one to use on top of my moisturizer or mixed into it.

Stephanie Eckardt, Staff Writer

What is your opinion of Gwyneth Paltrow’s approach to wellness and the Goop brand in general?

My first reaction was “lol,” which I think does a pretty good job of summing things up. (I think more kindly of it than my little brother, who couldn’t remember Paltrow’s name but recognized Goop as “the bullshit.”) I’ve never used a Goop product, and it’s never occurred to me to do so—they’ve always seemed a bit like vanity products, and definitely out of my price range. Instead, I think of Goop as a source of amusement; headlines about Paltrow’s vagina candles, for example, will make me chuckle, but I wouldn’t bother actually clicking them. 

Does your skin respond well to oil-based formulations?

My skin is mostly dry, and I’m extremely blessed in that I don’t have to deal with acne frequently. But my nose has always been oily and prone to blackheads, hence why I’ve always been nervous to use oil-based products. I’ve also always been confused about when to apply them in order to ensure that they’re actually effective. I’ve repeatedly read that they should always go last, but some products’ directions say the opposite The Goop face oil doesn’t specify, other than to follow with SPF in the mornings. I typically use a mild face lotion, followed by one with SPF, so adding the oil to the mix seemed like it may be overkill. (I never use foundation or concealer; the only makeup I use is eyeliner.) 

Describe your experience using the GoopGenes Face Oil.

This is perhaps the first oil-based product I don’t mind—and at times even like—using. Somehow, it isn’t oily, and I feel like it actually does soak in. As for the smell, well, it’s…distinctive. Not offensive, but certainly strangely spicy. (Another candid remark from my little brother: “It kind of smells like curry.”) While I’d worried about the oil clogging my blackheads, if anything, it slightly reduced them. That was still the case after what I’d consider the ultimate test: the morning after I got stuck on an Amtrak train for four hours, wearing a sweaty KN95 topped with a cloth mask for what was altogether about five hours of traveling. 

Would you use the Goop Genes Face Oil again in the future?

Yes, though I’d love to know exactly when to apply it. I think it’s a great product for working from home at the moment, as I still don’t like the idea of using an oil-based product right before putting on a face mask.

Related: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Wellness Routine Involves 20-Minute Baths and Infrared Saunas

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