11.29.2012
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1
Ultra Clear Exfoliating Gel
Rating
6.76 fl. oz. for $45
Category:Skin Care > Scrubs
Last Updated:11.29.2012
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Ultra Clear Exfoliating Gel contains the AHA lactic acid and BHA salicylic acid, but these acids won’t exfoliate skin due to this product’s pH and its brief contact with skin before the cleanser is rinsed down the drain. Polyethylene beads provide exfoliation, but the inclusion of eucalyptus oil makes this gel-textured scrub too irritating. For additional details on plastic microbeads in cosmetics, see the More Info section below.

More Info:

Plastic Microbeads in Cosmetics: This product contains polyethylene beads, which is an ingredient that has come under controversy in the recent past. In December of 2013, research published in the peer-reviewed journal, Marine Pollution Bulletin demonstrated that although polyurethane beads are non-toxic to humans, they are not filtered during sewage treatment and are accumulating in waterways. This means the beads have the potential to negatively affect marine wildlife who mistakenly consume them (Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2013).

Additional research published in December of 2013 demonstrated that polyurethane beads have the potential to absorb pollutants while in waterways. This research was conducted to establish the potential of absorption, however, and was not conducted using samples from actual waterways (Cell, 2013).

Beautypedia does not take an ideological stance in reviewing skincare products; rather, our reviews are based upon each product's potential harm or benefit to skin contingent upon what independent peer-reviewed scientific research has demonstrated. On issues like polyethylene beads in cosmetics or animal testing, we present the facts without judgment so that you may make your own decision whether or not this product is right for you.

Claims

Active exfoliating beads in an AHA & BHA base. Gentle beads cleanse thoroughly whilst exfoliating.

Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lactic Acid, Sodium Lactate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Polyethylene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Cocoate, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Salicylic Acid, Bisabolol, Allantoin Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polyquaternium-10, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Disodium EDTA, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Citric Acid, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

Brand Overview

Ultraceuticals At-A-Glance

Strengths: Almost all the products are fragrance-free; one very good cleanser and some good vitamin C and retinol moisturizers; an effective AHA product with lactic acid; all the sunscreens provide sufficient UVA protection; stable packaging.

Weaknesses: Expensive; most of the AHA products have pH values too high for exfoliation to occur; irritating skin-lightening products; no effective products for acne-prone skin.

What a great name for a skin-care line! Not only does the "ultra" prefix speak to consumers looking for the best or most potent products, but also the "ceuticals" suffix lends a medicinal touch that is reminiscent of the emerging term "cosmeceuticals" (which is a marketing term that has no sanctioned validity or standards, so it can be applied to any product).

Ultraceuticals was the brainchild of Australian plastic surgeon Dr. Geoffrey Heber, whose vision to deliver "honest, clinically-proven skin care" back in 1991 was years ahead of the trend of doctors as skin-care salespeople. The company speaks readily of its ingredient technology, which is what the people behind it believe makes Ultraceuticals a cut above the rest. The clinical study results and before-and-after images provided in the company's catalog look convincing, but, as is usually the case, the details are left out. We don't know what product in their double-blind study was used as a control, we don't know what other products the study participants used prior to being treated with the Ultraceuticals cream, and the result (that topical vitamin C can improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin) is hardly revolutionary or exclusive to Ultraceuticals. It is well established that stabilized vitamin C applied topically (and consumed orally) can do this (Sources: The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, August 2005, pages 963–972; The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, February 2005, pages 304–307; and Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, January 2005, pages 4–9). Moreover, many, many other antioxidants have the same ability, including vitamin E, green tea, and retinol. In fact, many researchers believe that, regardless of the content of a single antioxidant in a product, a better approach is to use skin-care products that offer a blend of antioxidants. In that sense, Ultraceuticals falls a bit short.

Australians may be all abuzz about this skin-care line, and it is creeping into the United States. Yet aside from offering mostly fragrance-free products and consistently using packaging to keep light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable, it really isn't anything new under the sun. However, as you will see from the reviews below, there are a few star products to consider if the prices don't bother you.

For more information about Ultraceuticals, call (800) 339-5115 or visit www.ultraceuticals.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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