Tested on animals:Yes
This overpriced, poorly formulated exfoliant contains about 4%–5% alpha hydroxy acid (glycolic acid) and less than 1% beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid), so it is not mild and it won't smooth your complexion. Quite the opposite is the case because the second ingredient is alcohol, and that is completely problematic for all skin types. Alcohol causes free-radical damage, hurts the skin’s ability to heal, and diminishes collagen. It also stimulates more oil production at the base of the pores.
Another concerning ingredient is hydroxyethylpiperazine ethane sulfonic acid (also known as HEPES). It’s a buffering ingredient (typically used to establish a neutral pH) with research indicating it can generate free radical damage in the presence of oxygen (Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, August 2005, pages 1,653-1,660 and November 2004, issue 11, pages 1696-1702). That has us worried even though research on how this directly impacts skin hasn’t been done. Still, there are definitely other buffering agents that could have been used instead of this seemingly problematic one.
While AHA and BHA can be excellent for removing built-up layers of dead skin cells accumulated due to sun damage or oily skin, this isn't a product to consider for this important skincare step.
- Potentially effective amount of AHA glycolic acid.
- Alcohol is the second ingredient, making this exfoliant too irritating for all skin types.
- Contains an ingredient that could promote free radical damage.
- Lacks a range of soothing, skin-repairing ingredients to go beyond simply exfoliating skin.
Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For these reasons, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).