holika holika · secret key

Showdown : Peeling Gels

Hello Lovelies!

We are back with another exciting showdown for you *ba dum tuss* this time featuring two peeling gels from two reputable brands – Holika Holika     and     Secret Key 

….but first

What are peeling gels?

A peeling gel is a very gentle physical exfoliator which does not use grains which are usually a problem for people who have sensitive skin as it’s not harsh. The chemicals in the gel break down your dead skin and slough it off, leaving you with smoother and brighter skin 🙂

…and now

The Contenders 


Secret Key Lemon D-Toc Peeling Gel     vs      Holika Holika Smooth Egg Skin Peeling Gel


Both peeling gels contain minimal ingredients, and the ingredients which were flagged (although nothing too alarming) were the fragrance in the products, although I must admit that the Secret Key peeling gel contains some impressive ingredients which control inflammation such as Althaea Rosea flower extract, Aloe extract, Witch Hazel Extract and Centella Asiatica Extract.


The Secret Key product is 120 ml and retails for circa £6.29 (EBAY    AMAZON), whilst the Holika Holika gel has 140ml of product and retails at approximately £ 5.82 (EBAY    AMAZON) making the Holika Holika gel cheaper.

Look & Smell 

Holika Holika Gel (L) and the Secret Key Gel (R)

The Secret Key gel is a white, thickish gel which is slightly grainy to the touch, and it has a citrus smell which is not too overpowering. I actually feel that the smell is quite refreshing when compared to the perfumed Holika Holika gel (Disclaimer: I do not like my skincare products to smell too sweet). The Holika Holika egg gel is a bit runny by comparison so take care that it doesn’t slip off your hand!).

The Holika Holika packaging is too cute! It’s shaped like an egg, which opens up, the lower part is a squeezy half egg with the cap being orange-y.


The instructions are very similar, that is to apply to dry skin and massage it in circular motions until you start getting some gommage, and washing it off as you would any other exfoliator. I recommend applying either to completely dry face to maximize the effect of the peeling gel!

Performance (the FUN part)

Upon almost immediate application to the skin, the Secret Key gel started balling up and providing the necessary exfoliation. It takes some time for the Holika Holika gel to get to work, and I actually found that if you apply it to the skin, leave it on there for a minute, and then start massaging the product in circular motions, THEN it will start balling up (Weird!)

Using the Secret Key Gel on my left hand
After using the Holika Holika Gel

As you can see from the pictures, the Secret Key gel yielded a lot more gommage than the Holika Holika peeling gel, HOWEVER, that does not in any way mean that the Secret Key gel exfoliated the skin more than the other product. The gels in themselves contain ingredients which create the gommage while also gently exfoliating the skin, meaning that the Holika Holika could have performed just as much as the Secret Key gel, if not better. The key to telling which one works best according to your needs is in the result.


Here is the confusing part….the hand where I applied the Secret Key gel was a lot smoother to the touch than the sticky feel which the Holika Holika gel left behind, BUT the Holika Holika hand was a lot brighter (maybe cause the ingredients in the gel help whiten the skin?)


Oh wow, which one would I recommend? Depends on your skincare needs really, as one promotes brighter stickier skin, and the other smoother skin. I would personally prefer the Secret Key peeling gel for when I’m applying makeup on top of it.

Kim xx

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