Litmus Test Glycolic Acid Facial Cleansing Gel

Price:
$25 - 8 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:
3/11/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This cleanser is misguided because its selling point is that it doesn't contain detergent cleansing agents—but it does! The second ingredient, ammonium lauryl sulfate, is exactly that, a detergent cleansing agent, also referred to as a surfactant. This also contains another detergent cleansing agent, ammonium laureth sulfate.

Just as there are good and bad natural ingredients, there are good and bad detergent cleansing ingredients. Most detergent cleansing agents included in facial cleansers like this are gentle yet effective, although some people, especially those with very dry skin, cannot tolerate any amount or type of detergent cleansing agent.

This fragrance-free cleanser is best for normal to oily skin, but the amount of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) glycolic acid means it should not be used around the eyes. However, if you're thinking the glycolic acid will exfoliate your skin, it won't—the pH of this cleanser is too high for it to work in that manner, and you'll rinse it from your skin before it has a chance to work.

Pros:
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Cleanses skin and removes makeup without making skin feel dry or tight.
Cons:
  • Expensive (you'll find plenty of less expensive options on our Best Cleansers list).
  • The amount of the AHA glycolic acid makes this a problem for use around the eyes.
  • Because this cleanser is rinsed off, the AHA is gone before it has a chance to benefit your skin.
  • Although it claims to not contain detergent cleansing agents, it does. Most detergent cleansing agents are not bad ingredients for your skin, it's the claim that's misleading.

Unlike other foaming cleansers, this incredible formulation doesn’t contain detergents so it won’t strip, parch or irritate the skin. Cleanses away impurities, removes environmental debris, dirt, excess skin oils and makeup. Leaves skin refreshed and radiant.

Water, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Glycolic Acid, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Methylisothiazolinone, Magnesium Chloride, Magnesium Nitrate

The DERMAdoctor line is the brainchild of Kansas City-based dermatologist Dr. Audrey Kunin. Dr. Kunin's Web site retails not only the DERMAdoctor brand but several products from other brands, many of which have ties to specific dermatologic concerns (everything from athlete's foot to warts). Many of these specialty products are available from your local drugstore, but Kunin's site provides helpful, mostly reliable information concerning various skin-care concerns.

We wish her own products followed the strength of her advice, but alas, most do not. This is another dermatologist-developed line with plenty of products whose names and claims make you think they're a cosmetic corrective procedure in a bottle (or, in some cases, a jar, which is never a good packaging move). There are some products to pay attention to, though whether you want to strongly consider them or not comes down to how much you feel comfortable spending (DERMAdoctor products aren't cheap).

DERMAdoctor isn't exactly "your prescription for beautiful skin" but Dr. Kunin gets enough right that her line isn't one to gloss over, particularly if you're shopping for sunscreens, AHA products, and facial cleansers. Those with acne should look elsewhere, because DERMAdoctor's products don't have the solution, despite their cute product names.

For more information about DERMAdoctor, call (877) 337-6237 or visit www.dermadoctor.com.

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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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