01.06.2012
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Acne Cream
Rating
0.5 fl. oz. for $18
Category:Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Blemish/Acne Treatments
Last Updated:01.06.2012
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Acne Cream is a bust for several reasons, chief among them being that its active ingredient (benzoyl peroxide) won't remain stable due to the product's jar packaging. It isn't often we see an anti-acne product like this packaged in a jar, likely because most companies know that routine exposure to light and air (which definitely happens when you use jar packaging) renders the benzoyl peroxide ineffective.

Acne Cream also contains fragrant grapefruit peel oil, which is a potent irritant with no anti-acne benefits, and the creamy texture isn't the best or most aesthetically pleasing to use on blemish-prone skin. Please see our list of Best Anti-Acne Products for superior options.

It's nice that this contains some antioxidants, but just like the benzoyl peroxide, they won't remain stable once this jar-packaged product is opened. Please see More Info for details.

Pros:
  • Medicated with the proven anti-acne ingredient benzoyl peroxide.
  • Removes makeup without leaving a residue.
Cons:
  • Expensive for a tiny amount of product.
  • Jar packaging won’t keep the benzoyl peroxide or the antioxidants stable during use.
  • Contains the potent irritant grapefruit oil.

More Info:
The fact that Acne Cream is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. Benzoyl peroxide, all plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.

Claims

When used regularly as a spot treatment on developing and existing blemishes, this rich, emollient cream quickly and effectively reduces inflammation and kills bacteria without drying the skin. Breakouts heal faster and occur less frequently for an overall clearer complexion. Lightweight and gentle, Acne Cream is ideal for all blemish-prone skin types.

Ingredients

Active Ingredient: Benzoyl Peroxide 5%; Other Ingredients: Water, Gluconolactone, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Aminomethyl Propanol, Lactic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Allantoin, Panthenol, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Caprylyl Glycol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol

Brand Overview

PCA Skin At-a-Glance

Strengths: Every SPF-rated product provides reliable broad-spectrum sun protection; several products are fragrance-free; good eye cream and retinol serum.

Weaknesses: Way too expensive for what you get; several products contain irritating fragrant oils; the toners contain irritants; there are too many serums and many contain irritating ingredients; the acne products contain problematic ingredients.

PCA Skin is a product line you may have seen at your spa, salon, or dermatologist's office. Founded by an aesthetician in 1990, the brand became relatively popular after developing a series of professional alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels marketed as "medical clinical aesthetics"; in other words, these products are sold to dermatology practices offering cosmetic services such as facials. More recently, PCA Skin has teamed up with a dermatologist and other medical professionals to develop skin-care products. The peels are for professional use only and, in fact, except for a facial scrub, PCA Skin does not sell exfoliants that consumers can use at home.

Not surprisingly, PCA Skin's medical and aesthetics background is supposed to be rooted in science. The company states that "we use rigorous research and science to develop safe, highly effective products that deliver healthy, beautiful skin." Although PCA Skin products contain many beneficial, research-supported ingredients, they also contain numerous problematic ingredients that cause irritation; somehow, that "rigorous" research overlooked those. Irritation is always a problem for skin, causing inflammation and collagen breakdown, and impairing the skin's ability to heal.

Chief among the irritants you'll find throughout the PCA Skin line are witch hazel, citrus and numerous other fragrant oils (whether synthetic or natural, fragrance is almost always a problem for skin), drying cleansing agents, and alcohol (we mean, really, alcohol?!). In our Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary, we provide detailed information on why each of these ingredients is a problem; for all of their talk about science, chemistry, and research, PCA Skin should know better.

If you remain intrigued by this brand (or find the sales pressure from your aesthetician too intense to ignore), there are some worthwhile products. It’s great that every SPF-rated product from PCA Skin includes reliable broad-spectrum sun-protection ingredients, and fans of facial scrubs should know this brand does offer a gentle option. Also, their eye cream and retinol serum are worth a look, and several products are fragrance-free, although you need to choose carefully because many of their products contain fragrant plant extracts or oils despite being listed as fragrance-free.

PCA Skin's science-based mission is admirable, but just because an aesthetician and doctor teamed up, the results for these products aren't going to be spectacular, or even all that helpful.

For more information about PCA Skin, call (877) 722-7546 or visit www.pcaskin.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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