Tag Archives forAnti-aging

Is SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum Worth the Insane Price Tag?

How can any cosmetic skin care product be worth over $280 per bottle?

It’s a good question and it’s what we are going to answer today…

In this guide we will dive into one of the most expensive cosmetic products on the market: SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum

This guide will help determine if this product is ACTUALLY worth its large price tag and help you determine if it’s something you should purchase


What is SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum? 

So what exactly is the TNS essential serum?

It’s actually two products combined into one (part of the reason for the large price tag). 

It contains two chambers which are hidden inside the larger tube, but as you express the product it will deliver a combination of both products and combine it on your behalf. 

This technique allows for the contents of the chambers to stay safe and preserved until treatment. 

Why is this important?

Because not all ingredients react well or play nice with one another!

Other ingredients need certain “conditions” to stay safe and effective (like Vitamin C). 

So if you have two separate chemicals that both require different pH conditions or stabilizers then putting them together render one inactive. 

This problem can be solved by placing them in two separate chambers and only combining them when necessary. 

Pretty cool, right?

That’s the idea behind this product. 

But which products does it contain?

TNS recovery complex by skinmedica

It actually contains two separate products: TNS Recovery Complex and APS Corrective Complex. 

We will go over the ingredients in detail below but for now just realize that the recovery complex helps naturally promote skin care growth and the APS corrective complex contains a host of special anti-inflammatory agents, peptides, growth factors and vitamins (tons of GREAT ingredients). 

Why it Works

This essential serum is often recommended as one of the best products to help reduce the appearance of your skin, but why is it so effective?

The secret (well not really a secret!) to why it works has to do with how it is formulated and the ingredients that it contains. 

The effectiveness of any skincare product always boils down to the ingredient list. 

And while this may seem like a no-brainer it’s not something that most people truly understand. 

The reason for this has to do with how cosmetic products are packaged and how they are labeled. 

Most producers make their product labels seem similar to one another in an attempt to confuse the consumer (in this case you). 

They will occasionally use deceptive marketing such as not showing the concentration of a certain ingredient or by calling an ingredient by a different name. 

For instance:

There are many ways to formulate Vitamin C in products but the most effective formulations of Vitamin C include Ascorbic acid and tetrahexyldexyl ascorbate. 

Often you will see other formulations identified as “Vitamin C” even though they are nowhere near as effective as the forms mentioned above. 

This is further complicated by the fact that formulating ingredients (such as ascorbic acid) in the right way is very expensive. 

So some products may look abnormally expensive when compared to others even though they “state” they have the same ingredients. 

Hopefully this is making sense! 

The main idea here is that the TYPE of ingredient, the WAY it is formulated and the CONCENTRATION all come together to help make the product work. 

The essential serum discussed here is so effective simply because it contains ALL high quality ingredients and a great combination of anti-oxidants, vitamins and growth factors. 

How effective is it?

No product is perfect and no product (no matter how good it is) will work on all skin types. 

But even with this in mind you can expect this essential serum to work in about 80-90% of people who use it. 

The 90% value that I am referring to is based on testing done with the company itself (which may be slightly biased). 

But if you contrast those results with unbiased reviews around the internet you will see that they are probably fairly accurate. 

Because we don’t have unbiased data I would say it’s probably more realistic that it will work for about 80% of people. 

Most high quality products work in about 70% of people who use them which is about 7 out of 10 people. 

Anything higher than that is considered VERY good. 

With that in mind let’s talk about the actual ingredients…

SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum Ingredient List:

Compared to most cosmetic products this essential serum contains at least 11 different active ingredients (not including inactive ingredients). 

This is about 5-6x more active ingredients than most other high end cosmetic products. 

Even some of my favorite products, such as iS clinical active serum, contain 3-4 active ingredients. 

So in this case you really get what you pay for. 

Let’s break down the ingredients by the chambers. 

Ingredients in Chamber 1

The first chamber contains the exact same ingredients in the Recovery complex also sold by SkinMedica. 

Ingredients in Chamber 2

This second chamber contains the APS corrective serum which contains probably the most important ingredients. 

As you can see each of the ingredients listed here has clinical studies backing their use and showing that they are effective. 

If you are new to using high end products then I would take a minute to dig through some of the posts and really read and research the ingredient list so you know just how beneficial each ingredient actually is

Complete Side Effects: 

This essential serum is generally very well tolerated because most of the ingredients listed are Vitamins and plant based. 

Having said that some people with sensitive skin may react to certain products. 

This doesn’t happen very often, however and if it does it can often be treated by allowing your face and skin time to adjust. 

Some common reactions include: 

  • Red, itchy skin or dermatitis
  • Flaking of the skin
  • Sensitivity or pain
  • Sensitivity to the sun after exposure

If you experience any of these side effects simply reduce the frequency with which you are using the product and they should fade over time. 

You can then start back up with a smaller amount and use a less frequent dosing schedule (something like every other day). 

Where to Purchase TNS Essential Serum

TNS essential serum can only be sold through authorized retailers only. 

Because of this there is a risk of purchasing counterfeit or fake products if you buy them from a non authorized source. 

The SkinMedica website has a list of unauthorized retailers which I’ve included below

unauthorized retailers for skinmedica products

Basically if you find a product from any of the places listed above you risk purchasing a fake product that has been diluted or manipulated. 

For this reason it’s best to avoid them all together. 

So where can you buy them?

Well, you still have a couple of options:

#1. Purchase them from a cosmetic dermatologist, medical spa or plastic surgeon. 

#2. Or, the better options, purchase it from an authorized seller on Amazon which has been vetted by Amazon. 

You can now purchase SkinMedica products from Amazon provided they show the “professional beauty” or “luxury beauty” tag underneath the price. 

If you prefer to purchase it directly from your dermatologist or plastic surgeon you can definitely do that too!

Just make sure you find the route that you feel comfortable with. 

If you don’t mind purchasing online I’ve provided a direct link to an authentic product below that you can use as well: 

Skinmedica TNS essential serumSee more reviews for TNS Essential Serum here

How to use it effectively: 

Applying and using TNS essential serum is actually very easy. 

When to use it – It’s best to apply in the morning AND the evening after both cleansing and toning your skin

Cleansing will help exfoliate your skin and allow better absorption of the ingredients. 

Toning helps bring back the acidic pH of the skin which ensures proper vitamin C usage. 

Where to apply – You should apply directly to your entire face and neck/chest/back of hands if desired. 

The serum will work anywhere you have damaged skin so don’t be afraid to put some on the back of your hands and upper chest area. 

How to apply – 

You can directly dispense the ingredients into your hand but make sure to “blend” the ingredients together before applying to your body. 

It’s helpful to give the ingredients a few swirls in your fingertips to ensure proper mixing of both chambers and ingredients

Using it this way daily for at least 4 weeks should result in noticeable improvement in your skin. 

Skinmedica TNS Essential Serum vs Recovery Complex: Is there a difference? 

The main difference between these two products is that the TNS essential serum contains the entire recovery complex product PLUS the APS corrective complex. 

The main difference is that the TNS essential serum ALSO contains the APS corrective complex in one of its chambers which is combined with the recovery complex when using it. 

When looking at both products you should determine which one works best for your skin. 

So who should use the TNS essential serum vs the recovery complex?

The best way to break it down is by age and by the maturity of your skin. 

Because the Essential serum is so effective for anti-aging and replenishing collagen/elastin in the skin it’s probably best to use this product if you are over age 50 or have severely sun damaged skin. 

The recovery complex is probably better to use if you are younger (less than 40) and interested in keeping your skin looking younger for longer. 

Remember that the essential serum contains the APS recovery complex which is really just a combination of growth factors which help stabilize the skin and further help reduce the signs of aging and skin damage. 

Ingredient List for the Recovery Complex:

  • Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media (TNS)

Back to you

The bottom line?

TNS Essential Serum may be one of the best anti-aging and all around cosmetic products available on the market. 

The reason for this has to do with how it is formulated and the 11 major clinically tested ingredients that it carries. 

But just because it works well for most people doesn’t mean it will work well for you (or that you even need it!). 

The people who will benefit the most from this essential serum include those with mature and damaged skin. 

But even if you are in your 20’s you will still find value in using this serum daily!

Now I want to hear from you:

Are you using this essential serum?

Does the price have you second guessing the purchase?

What products are you using that are working for you?

Leave your comments below! 

Do Skin Tightening Creams & Skin Firming Products Actually Work?

Are you looking to naturally firm up or tighten your skin?

Have you noticed that your skin is sagging as you get older or that it just isn’t as plump as it once was?

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about skin tightening creams and skin firming products including which ones work, which ones to avoid and how to use them properly.

Let’s jump in: 


What are Skin Tightening & Skin Firming Creams?

Nowadays it isn’t uncommon to see cosmetic products that claim to “firm” or “lift” the face and skin. 

This group of cosmetics is commonly known as skin tightening and skin firming creams and lotions. 

So you can think of any lotion that makes the claim to firm your skin or make it tighter to fit into one of these categories. 

The main problem with these cosmetics?

They often are 99% hype and marketing and 1% effective. 

This may be bad news is you were hoping to find a skin tightening cream to help reduce the inevitable decline and youthful appearance of your skin!

But don’t get down because there are actually some skin firming creams and skin tightening serums that actually do work which we will discuss below. 

The trick to finding these products is searching out only high quality products that not only contain the right ingredients but ones that contain ENOUGH of the right ingredient. 

Do They Work?

The VAST majority of skin tightening creams do NOT work. 

Let me repeat that…

Most skin tightening and firming creams and serums do NOT actually work. 

Does that mean that all of these creams and serums are useless?

No, not by a long shot. 

But what it does mean is that you need to be careful what you purchase and look for certain ingredients. 

The cosmetic industry is not as tightly regulated as other industries such as the pharmaceutical industry. 

For instance:

If a pharmaceutical company says that a medication or drug lowers blood pressure they have to prove that claim with rigorous clinical studies. 

This check and balance does NOT exist in the cosmetic industry. 

Because the industry isn’t regulated pretty much any product can make a claim that they want. 

In addition they are not required to disclose how potent or how effective a product actually is. 

So some products may contain the right ingredient (let’s say ascorbic acid in this case), but they won’t disclose that the concentration is 0.1% when it really needs to be about 20% in order to be effective. 

See the difference? 

All of these factors are important when considering which products to buy or which to pass on. 

Ingredients You Want

So how do you know if you are using or looking at a high quality product?

The ingredient list will tell the tale!

High quality products are not afraid to list all of their ingredients and they aren’t afraid to list the concentration of these ingredients. 

If you are having a hard time finding the ingredient list or the concentration amount then whatever product you are looking at is probably trying to hide something!

I’ve created a list of high quality and potent ingredients that have been proven to be effective on the skin through several clinical studies (this means they HAVE been tested and proven to be effective!): 

  • Niacinamide – Niacinamide is a B vitamin that can be formulated and placed topically on the skin. Not only does niacinamide help keep the skin looking younger it also helps to improve the elasticity of the skin, helps reduce wrinkles and may even out skin tone and complexion. Just 12 weeks of a 5% Niacinamide product is enough to show significant and noticeable improvements to the skin. 
  • Retinol – Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative that can be placed topically on the skin and may be one of the best vitamins you can use on your face. Retinol has been proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and even reduces photo-damage from the sun (another cause of aging skin). Retinol has also been shown to induce the production of glycosaminoglycan which helps your skin remain plump. 
  • Natural Anti-oxidants – The world is full of anti-oxidants that can help reduce the natural aging process by binding to and eliminating free radicals. Anti-oxidants are often naturally found in plants and many vitamins can act as anti-oxidants as well. You can think of anti-oxidants as scavengers that naturally help keep your cells working properly and fight off damage from the sun. They are found in Vitamin C, E, A, B3 and in most botanic based ingredients (plant based). 
  • Ascorbic Acid – Ascorbic acid is a formulation of Vitamin C and it is another very powerful ingredient. Vitamin C helps tighten the skin, reduce hyperpigmentation and clear up the complexion. The trick to using Vitamin C is to find it in the right concentration (up to 20%) and at the right pH. Low quality formulations do not work well. 
  • Zinc Oxide – Zinc oxide helps to block ultraviolet radiation and therefore damage to the skin. So while this ingredient doesn’t necessarily help tighten the skin it does help PREVENT skin sagging from photo-damage over time. It should never be used by itself, but it should definitely be a part of any complete skin care regimen. 
  • Products that naturally exfoliate such as alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids – Exfoliators help to stimulate the growth of collagen which helps build up and strengthen the integrity of the skin. These exfoliators include ingredients such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid and so on. Like Zinc oxide they should not be used by themselves for skin tightening but they can be used with the other ingredients listed above. 

Do you need to find a product that contains ALL of these ingredients in one?


In fact I’m not even sure such a product exists. 

But what it does mean is that you should find a product which contains at least ONE of the high quality ingredients listed above. 

And make sure that the product does not contain any knock off ingredients which are often cheaper to make than the real ingredients. 

Ingredients/Products to Stay Away From

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) the list of products to avoid is MUCH longer than the list of products that are actually beneficial!

Basically, you can think of it like this:

If the products listed on your skin tightening or skin firming cosmetic product does NOT contain any of the ingredients listed above, then there’s a good chance it probably won’t work. 

But in addition to this, you’ll also want to look out for products that fit into any of the following categories: 

  • Avoid any product that claims to have “instant and lasting skin tightening”
  • Avoid products that contain Vitamin C not in the Ascorbic acid form
  • Avoid products that are cheap (poor quality products ALWAYS have poor quality ingredients)
  • Avoid products that claim to work as well as cosmetic procedures such as plastic surgery (this is NEVER true)
  • Avoid products that have thousands of 5 star reviews (most are fake)

The most important thing to be cognizant of while searching for high quality products is to avoid all of the hype and marketing that companies use. 

You’ll notice a trend among high quality products:

They tend to have overall moderate reviews and they tend to cost more and you actually want both of these things. 

The reason is simple:

Not all skin care products will work for all skin types!

So on average cosmetic products will not work probably 20% of the time. 

If you see a product with 100 5 star reviews then you can count on most of them being fake because this just isn’t realistic. 

Make sense? 

Real Tips you can use to Tighten your Skin

Aside from using skin care and cosmetic products there are also other things you can (and should) be doing to help improve the quality of your skin. 

These tips should be combined with skin care products, and if you can’t afford skin tightening creams then you can at least start with these right away: 

  • Avoid unnecessary sun damage (wear a large brimmed hat and always wear sun screen) – The sun is the #1 cause of photo-damage and aging among women
  • Use a moisturizer daily – Moisturizing the skin will naturally help your skin look younger and help promote hydration
  • Hydrate with water EVERY day – Up to 1 gallon per day if you exercise regularly
  • Get a deep sweat every week – Sweating naturally helps the body detoxify and promotes the elimination of by-products that can harm your skin
  • Use only high quality and professional grade skin care products – Products that are formulated by physicians or that are “professional” grade often have the purest and highest quality ingredients
  • Ensure that any skin care products you use are stored in an airtight container which is also protected from UV light and moisture (this will ensure that they remain active long term) – Oxidation and moisture can damage active ingredients in skin care products
  • Eat healthy – Lots of fruits and vegetables contain natural anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory vitamins
  • Consider the use of bio-identical hormone therapy – Hormone therapy such as estrogen replacement (and progesterone replacement) can plump up the skin and reduce the signs of aging. If you are menopausal then you can discuss this option with your doctor. 

Remember that even if you do decide to use a skin tightener cream make sure that you ALSO use these strategies as well. 

They will only add to and improve your results further. 

The quality of your skin is a product of what you put INTO your body and also what you put ON your skin

The Best Skin Tightening Products

As I mentioned previously in this post you will find that most products that don’t advertise to be “firming” or “tightening” creams are actually the best products. 

It’s counter-intuitive, I know, but it’s how it is!

Below I’ve included some of the best products that fall into the “products that actually work” category due to the ingredients that they have. 

The first on the list includes those products that contain Vitamin C: 

#1. Vitamin C Serum containing products

#1 on the list is a “Liftactiv” cream by Vichy. 

It contains the combination of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and another simple sugar known as Rhamnose. 

While Rhamnose is less well studied than Vitamin C, they still do work quite well together. 

This cream is primarily designed to be used at night and may work better around the upper face including the eyes. 

vichy skin tightening cream with vitamin cLearn more about Vichy night time firming cream here

Second on the list is an anti-aging and anti-wrinkle cream which can be used on the entire face (if that is what you are trying to firm up). 

It can also be placed on the neck, back of the hands and around the face (if these are your problem areas). 

This product contains the combination of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) but this time it comes with hyaluronic acid which helps moisturize and plump up the skin

Anti-aging and anti-wrinkle cream:

Anti wrinkle and firming cream with vitamin CLearn more about La Roche-Posay anti-wrinkle and firming cream here

#2. Retinol containing products

Vitamin C creams are very effective but so are Retinol containing creams

Remember when you decide which one to use that one is not necessarily better than the other. 

In fact Retinol and Vitamin C products compliment each other PERFECTLY. 

If cost is not an issue (and you are serious about firming and tightening up your skin) then you should consider the amazing combination of Vitamin C with Vitamin A (retinol). 

You can consider Retinol, Vitamin C and Niacinamide as ingredients that all carry about the same amount of weight in terms of how effective they are. 

So you really can’t go wrong in choosing one over the other. 

But even if you find one that works don’t be afraid to switch up to another product and alternate through them on occasion. 

This helps you determine which products work best for YOUR skin. 

I’ve written extensively about the benefits of Retinol, so if you want to learn more about how Retinol works you can check out this post

If you are ready to jump in to a retinol product then I recommend one like this: 

Obagi retinol for skin tightening and firmingSee more reviews for Obagi Retinol here

#3. Niacinamide containing products

Products that contain niacinamide can also be helpful for improving the overall quality of your skin

While these products definitely may help it might be worth a trial of Vitamin C and Vitamin A first before you jump into niacinamide. 

If you already have a retinol product (and/or a vitamin C serum that you use) then you may want to trial this product in combination with what you are already using. 

I recommend a product that has at least 4% niacinamide (this is the most well studied dose) like this one below: 

PCA skin clear skin with niacinamide for skin tighteningSee more reviews for PCA skin clearskin here

Skin Tightening for the Face & Neck

Does the product that you choose need to be specialized for a certain area of your body?

Not necessarily. 

One trick that you may find helpful is knowing that you can apply Vitamin C, Retinol and Niacinamide to other parts of your body such as your neck, face, back of the hands and so on. 

These products are usually marketed as being used for “under the eyes” or “around the lips” or so on, but that doesn’t mean they HAVE to be used in those places. 

The skin in your neck can still absorb and utilize the nutrients in these products just as well as the skin under your eyes and around your mouth!

So just remember that you can and should use these products on the trouble areas that you want to target. 

Skin Tightening After Weight Loss

Will these products and serums work for skin tightening after weight loss?

The short answer is probably not. 

The long answer has to do with how the sagging skin is created after weight loss. 

Aging results in a natural decline in collagen and elastin in the dermis of the skin which reduces the texture and quality of the skin. 

Skin sagging after weight loss is the result of stretched skin which is a completely different mechanism. 

By far the most effective treatment to tighten skin after weight loss is to use cosmetic procedures such as cool sculpting, radio frequency and surgical removal of excess skin

Other therapies such as fasting may also help to tighten the skin. 

But I don’t recommend the use of these products on extra skin if it’s from rapid weight loss. 

Other Skin Tightening Procedures

Is there anything else that you can or should be doing in addition to using creams, serums and gels?


By far the easiest (and cheapest) way to firm or tighten your skin is with cosmetic products but there are also other ways to tighten up your skin. 

These other therapies are often offered by medical spas and cosmetic dermatologists and include any of the following (note that they aren’t all the same in terms of how effective they are): 

These procedures range from $50 per session all the way up to thousands of dollars per session (CO2 laser). 

The idea here is that the more money you are willing to spend the faster you will achieve the results you are looking for. 

But before you think you need to use laser therapy to tighten your skin consider this!

Sometimes undergoing 6-8 sessions of microneedling in combination with cosmetic products listed above may be enough for you to notice a significant improvement in your skin. 

So make sure you find out what works best for your budget and your time frame and then go with that. 

Wrapping it Up

The bottom line?

It is definitely possible to tighten and firm up the skin around your face, eyes, neck and other places of your body. 

When you look for products make sure you avoid products which make claims that seem too good to be true. 

If you avoid those products and stick to products that contain Vitamin C, Retinol and Niacinamide you will be much better off long term!

As always, make sure that you tailor the products you use to YOUR skin and make sure to combine cosmetic products with lifestyle changes for best results. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Are you using skin tightening or firming creams?

Are they working for you?

Which ones work best?

Leave your comments below! 

Does Kojic Acid Soap Work? Pro’s and Con’s of Using this Lightener

Do you have dark skin on your body that you wish you could lighten?

Are you suffering from hyperpigementation on the face or other areas of the body?

If you fall into either of these categories then kojic acid soap may be a potential solution. 

Learn more about how kojic acid soap can naturally help lighten the skin, you’ll also learn how to use it and who should use it in this guide:


What is Kojic Acid?

Kojic acid is a special ingredient (chemical really) which acts to reduce the pigment of your skin. 

I’ve explained how kojic acid works in great detail and why you should and shouldn’t use it, in this post here

If you aren’t familiar with kojic acid I would definitely start there first!

As a quick primer…

Kojic acid is created from the fermentation process when creating rice wine and is extracted from this process. 

It’s then concentrated and placed into cosmetics because it helps to reduce pigment and skin color when placed topically on the skin. 

Basically it helps lighten your skin by reducing certain enzymes and functions in the melanocytes of your cells

Decreased melanocyte action = decreased melanin = decreased pigment = lighter skin. 

Usually kojic acid is placed in creams and gels and then placed on the skin. 

In this way it’s VERY effective at treating age spots, freckles, hyperpigmentation, sun damage and so on. 

But it can also be placed into soap products and then used across the ENTIRE body. 

It can also be used in certain areas where it wouldn’t be a good idea to use expensive serums. 

Who should use Kojic Acid Soap & Does it actually Work?

So why would you consider using kojic acid soap over other kojic acid products?

The answer is simple: 

It depends on what your goals are. 

If you are only interested in using kojic acid on your face then it makes much more sense to get a serum or cream because it’s easier to manage and you don’t need quite as much. 

Why is that?

It’s because kojic acid serums and creams tend to have a stronger and higher percentage of kojic acid when compared to kojic acid soaps. 

So if you have a LARGE surface area of the body which you are trying to lighten then it just makes sense to use a soap. 

Soap can more easily be placed on the entire body (if that’s your preference) or even over large areas of the body such as your chest, arms, legs or intimate areas. 

But what if you have a darker skin tone over your entire body?

What if you have a Fitzpatrick skin type IV +

What if you have areas on your body that are darker than your normal skin color (areas like your underarms, intimate areas, back of the legs, etc.)? 

This is where using kojic acid soap really shines. 

Soap may be the preferred option if you answered YES to any of the questions above. 

Who should use consider kojic acid soap?

  • Those who want to lighten a large surface area of their body (more than just their face)
  • Those who want to lighten underarms, neck area and intimate areas (such as the anus and genitals) of the body (creams and serums may not be appropriate for these areas due to other ingredients)
  • Those who are on a budget! (Kojic acid soap is generally cheaper than serums and creams)
  • Those with sensitive skin who don’t tolerate stronger kojic acid products

Kojic Acid Cream vs Kojic Acid Soap

Is it possible that you may need to use both kojic acid cream and kojic acid soap?

The answer is yes! And many people do this (depending on their needs). 

One of the biggest cosmetic issues that you can deal with is uneven skin tone which is often caused by the aging process or through sun damage. 

This type of discoloration WILL occur throughout your life, it’s only a matter of time. 

This makes hyperpigmentation or discoloration a big complaint and big issue. 

For this reason Kojic acid and other skin lighteners are often included in cosmetics to help even out skin tone and color. 

In fact you may even be using kojic acid or some other lightener like Arbutin in your existing cosmetic products without even knowing it. 

In this way I often recommend some skin lightener as a “base” or “necessary” anti-aging skin care product in your daily regimen. 

Soap on the other hand is not quite as necessary and tends to have specific uses. 

Perhaps the best way to think of it is like this:

Kojic acid based creams and serums tend to be used for anti-aging to help you keep radiant and younger looking skin, while kojic acid soap is more for people who desire SPECIFIC results (such as those listed above). 

But can you use kojic acid soap in place of kojic acid creams and serums?

You probably can but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are on a budget

Generally you want to use a high quality cleanser on your face which contains nourishing ingredients such as Vitamins C & E along with some acid which helps to exfoliate dead skin cells. 

It’s difficult to find all of these ingredients in a “soap” product so you may be missing out on these benefits if you jump to a soap and skip a cleanser. 

But it can probably be used in a pinch

Kojic Acid vs Hydroquinone – Which is best?

What about hydroquinone? Can it be used in place of kojic acid?

If you aren’t familiar with hydroquinone let me fill you in. 

Hydroquinone is another skin lightener and is probably considered to be the most potent and powerful skin lightener around

The problem with hydroquinone is that you usually need a prescription to get it (unless you find it online somewhere) and it comes with some potential side effects. 

So while it is the most effective skin lightener it’s probably not the best to use unless you suffer from a serious or difficult to treat hyperpigmentation syndrome such as Melasma

Hydroquinone works by blocking the enzyme tyrosinase but it also may cause melanocyte cell death (not ideal). 

In addition, long term use of hydroquinone may actually CAUSE hyperpigmentation once you stop using it (known as rebound hyperpigmentation) which is also not ideal. 

Because of these side effects it’s often best to start with an over the counter lightener such as Arbutin or Kojic acid and then move up the ladder if you don’t respond to these first. 

In addition, another downside to hydroquinone is that it isn’t always appropriate for use over your entire body. 

Pros of using Kojic Acid Soap

  • May help to lighten large areas of your skin
  • May help to lighten intimate areas of the skin such as 
  • Works usually in a matter of weeks (fast acting)
  • Usually very safe and very well tolerated
  • Pricing for kojic acid soaps is cheaper when compared to other products such as serums and creams
  • A very safe and effective alternative to prescription skin lighteners

Cons of using Kojic Acid Soap

  • Is not a permanent skin lightening solution (will fade once you stop using the soap)
  • May not work for all skin types
  • May not be tolerated by people with sensitive skin
  • May result in irritation in certain areas of the body (such as intimate areas)

Side Effects to watch out for

Usually Kojic acid soap is very well tolerated. 

This means that MOST of the people who use it will NOT experience any negative side effects. 

However some people, especially those with sensitive skin, may experience irritation, redness, dry skin or a rash while using this product.

These side effects tend to fade rapidly once you stop using the product. 

In addition, you may find that if you present with these symptoms that simply reducing the frequency with which you use the product may solve your issue. 

Others may find relief if they simply don’t use the product in intimate areas (such as the anus or vaginal area). 

When using kojic acid soap make sure to play around with where you use it and how frequent you use it. 

Some people may find that using the soap once every other day may be sufficient to maintain skin lightening while others may need to use it daily!

Don’t be afraid to change up how you use it. 

The Best Kojic Acid Soap Products

So which products are considered the “best”?

Luckily there aren’t many options to choose from (compared to other cosmetic products) and the ones that are available are considered high quality, cheap and effective. 

Most of the time kojic acid soap can be purchased for under $10 a bar and a bar should last you several weeks. 

You can compare this to kojic acid serum which may cost more than $50 (or even up to $100) and can only be used on a small surface area. 

If you’ve read through this post and you are ready to try kojic acid soap then stick to these products: 

#1. Marie France Original Kojic Acid Soap

Marie France is one of the better of the Kojic acid soaps available and has good reviews to back it up. 

This product contains pure kojic acid and papaya fruit extract which help improve skin lightening and help exfoliate the skin naturally. 

Marie france can be used in intimate areas such as the butt, underarms and bikini area. 

How to use:

Lather up the soap in your hands, apply generously to the areas you want to lighten. 

Let the soap work for a few minutes before washing it off. 

Use daily for 2-3 months. 

You should start to see results within 3-4 weeks. 

marie france kojic acid soapSee more Marie France Kojic acid soap reviews here

#2. Kojie San Skin Lightening Soap

Kojie san is another great soap product and it is used basically the same way as the Marie France product. 

Both work quite well but the Marie France soap may be slightly better. 

Kojie san is slightly cheaper though, so if you are on a budget it may be a better option for you. 

kojie san kojic acid soapSee more Kojie San Kojic Acid soap reviews here

Wrapping it up

The bottom line?

Kojic acid soap can help naturally lighten the skin, especially in certain areas of the body that may have you feeling self conscious. 

If you are interested in anti-aging or improving the complexion and tone of your face then you may be better off using a kojic acid cream or serum. 

While kojic acid soap will probably not turn your skin several shades darker it will reduce and lighten your skin tone and may help improve your self confidence. 

If you decide to use it make sure you use it DAILY for 3-4 months. 

By this time you should see the full effect and benefit of the soap. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Have you used kojic acid soap before?

Did it work for you?

Why or why not?

Leave your comments below! 

What is Arbutin? How to use This Skin Lightener

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the skin lightener Arbutin including how to determine if you should use it, which side effects to look out for, how to use it safely, which products are the best and more.

Let’s jump in: 


What is Arbutin?

So what exactly is Arbutin?

To put it simply it is a special ingredient which naturally helps to reduce and lighten the color of your skin. 

With this special mechanism it is put into the class of products known as skin lighteners. 

But why do people want to “lighten” their skin?

It turns out that as you age your skin starts to develop uneven skin color and uneven skin tone

This largely has to do with the effect of aging on the skin, but the end result is that the face may look blotchy and discolored. 

Skin lighteners provide a cosmetic way to naturally even out the skin tone and bring back youthful looking skin! 

Because of this effect skin lighteners have become incredibly powerful. 

Arbutin makes it into this class of products and may be one of the best and safest in this class (more on that below). 

Arbutin works by inhibiting an enzyme found in melanocytes known as tyrosinase

Melanocytes are the cells in your skin which confer pigment and coloring to your skin. 

The interesting thing about melanocytes is that they work by increasing melanin production which provides tints or color gradients to the skin

So if you can “turn down” the production of melanin in the melanocytes you can effectively lighten certain areas of the skin and reduce the overall pigment (even from what is normal for your body!). 

Arbutin comes in two forms that you need to know about: 

  • Alpha Arbutin – This is the purest and most effective form of arbutin (especially when compared to beta arbutin). It’s a powerful skin lightener and works on all skin types. Alpha arbutin is expensive to manufacture which is why usually only high quality products contain this ingredient. Watch our for cheap products which claim to contain “arbutin” but formulate it in the beta formulation. In addition Alpha arbutin is also more stable than Beta arbutin. 
  • Beta Arbutin – This form of arbutin is often referred to as just “arbutin” so if you don’t see the ingredient list specifying the Alpha component then you can assume it’s probably in the beta formulation. This formulation is cheaper to produce and manufacture and is not as effective as alpha arbutin. Newer skin products contain alpha arbutin while older cosmetic products contain either “beta arbutin” or simply “arbutin”. 

It’s important to understand the basics of cosmetic ingredients and how they work because it should influence which products you want to purchase and buy. 

Often times you may see two different products that are considerably different in price and you may not understand why – much of this has to do with how the products are made and manufactured. 

The more expensive products almost always work better because they contain the right formulations and right concentration of active ingredients

This concept holds true for Arbutin!

Make sure that you purchase products that contain alpha arbutin instead of the other alternatives. 

Arbutin vs Hydroquinone

You’ve probably heard of the powerful skin lightener known as Hydroquinone

But how does it differ from Arbutin and is one better than the other?

When we break down the difference between these skin lighteners we find that Arbutin is actually a derivative of Hydroquinone. 

What this means is that Arbutin works through a similar mechanism as Hydroquinone but is not quite as powerful. 

Hydroquinone is naturally found in several plants such as bearberry, blueberry, cranberry and pear trees. 

Both Hydroquinone and Arbutin act by blocking tyrosinase activity which blocks the production of melanin (this is why they are both skin lighteners). 

Remember if you block the production of melanin then your skin cells are not able produce pigment and their color will fade over time. 

The main difference between hydroquinone and arbutin is that hydroquinone is slightly more powerful. 

The downside to this is that hydroquinone will require a prescription and it may have more potent side effects. 

Because of these variables many physicians and patients opt to use Arbutin over hydroquinone. 

It may be a good idea to consider hydroquinone if you have a very stubborn hyperpigmentation issues or if you’ve failed other skin lightening treatments. 

Otherwise it might be safer to jump in with Arbutin. 

Arbutin vs Kojic Acid

What about Kojic acid? How does Arbutin compare to this skin lightener?

Kojic acid is another skin lightener that is also available over the counter and is often found in many lightening formulas. 

Kojic acid is created as a byproduct in the formation of fermented rice and then concentrated in high amounts and placed into cosmetic products

Kojic acid works by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase much like Arbutin. 

But are both products equal in terms of efficacy?

Some studies have pointed to the fact that kojic acid may be a slightly more powerful skin lightener than arbutin when they are compared head to head – especially for treating hyperpigmentation such as Melasma

But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should use kojic acid over Arbutin.

One of the downsides to using Kojic acid is that it is not quite as stable as Arbutin when it is put into cosmetics. 

This means that kojic acid is more likely to break down and become less effective over time in certain cosmetic products. 

There are two main types of kojic acid found in cosmetic products: 

Kojic acid (this is the one that you want). 

And Kojic acid dipalmitate (this is the version you don’t want). 

Kojic acid dipalmitate is more stable than kojic acid but not nearly as powerful. 

This has lead many manufacturers to include the more stable (and cheaper) version of kojic acid in their products. 

But the problem is that it isn’t as effective as regular kojic acid! 

So even though that Arbutin is not quite as powerful as Kojic acid it is much more stable in cosmetic products. 

If you purchase a high quality kojic acid product this probably isn’t an issue, but if you are on a budget then it’s probably best to go with Arbutin over kojic acid for that stability. 

Is Arbutin Safe?

So we know that Arbutin is definitely effective as a skin lightener but does that mean that you should jump in and start using it?

Before you do the next question you should be asking yourself is this: is it actually safe?

The answer is yes!

Arbutin is actually quite safe, especially when compared to other products such as hydroquinone. 

One of the potential risks of using Arbutin is that it can actually become converted into Hydroquinone under certain alkaline circumstances

Basically if the pH is high enough (meaning there is a basic environment) Arbutin may turn into Hydroquinone. 

The good news is that the surface of your skin is not an alkaline or basic environment so the risk of this happening is quite low!

So yes, Arbutin is safe as long as it doesn’t turn into hydroquinone which shouldn’t be a problem. 

Side Effects & What to Expect 

There is a difference between Arbutin being safe and having side effects, however, which is what I want to touch on next. 

The safety profile has more to do with the products ability to cause harm, while the side effect profile has more to do with how well the product is tolerated. 

Just because Arbutin does not cause damage or harm to the skin doesn’t mean that it will necessarily work for your skin or that you won’t have any side effects. 

The good news is that most people who use Arbutin will not experience any bad or negative side effects. 

Most of the side effects that people experience while using Arbutin will be positive ones such as more radiant lighter skin. 

But some people who use Arbutin may experience redness, irritation and even a rash. 

These side effects are rare but you should still be aware of them. 

Rarely some people will not experience any skin lightening effect and may actually experience some worsening of their hyperpigmentation. 

This may have to do with a rebound reaction of melanin production that can sometimes occur with the use of hydroquinone. 

This is a rare side effect but you should be aware of it before you use arbutin! 

If it is going to work, how long should you expect to wait before you see results? 

Arbutin (like other skin lighteners) tends to work quickly and you should expect to see some skin lightening within the first 4 weeks of use. 

Further lightening may continue for up to several months. 

Another point worth mentioning is that the skin lightening you experience with Arbutin is NOT permanent. 

Once you stop using arbutin your skin may revert back to what it was previously. 

For this reason it may be wise to continue application with high quality ingredients as long as you achieve your desired results. 

With this in mind let’s talk about how you can use Arbutin and what kind of products are best. 

The Best Arbutin Products

Arbutin can be combined with several different types of cosmetic products but perhaps the two most efficient forms include arbutin cream and arbutin serum. 

Arbutin Cream

Arbutin cream is probably best for people who want to even out the entire skin tone of an entire body region. 

For instance:

If you have age spots, sun spots, photo-damage, freckles, etc. that are somewhat blotchy throughout your entire face then a cream may be best to reduce and even out the skin tone and complexion of that region. 

For best results you’ll want to use an arbutin face cream in both the morning and the night for at least 4+ weeks. 

I recommend using a product such as this if you need to target an entire area: 

arbutin lightening creamSee more Obagi nu derm Clear fx reviews here

Arbutin Serum

Another alternative to arbutin cream is arbutin serum. 

While cream may be better for large surface area you can think of serum as being better for targeted treatment or more difficult to treat cases of hyperpigmentation. 

Serum works best for those people who suffer from the deep purple hyperpigmentation associated with acne, for those suffering from melasma, or those who need a more targeted approach. 

If you just have a few areas on your face that worry you then it’s best to use a higher potency arbutin and put the product only on the areas that need it. 

So think about serum as a more targeted approach while the cream is more of a shot-gun approach. 

If you decide to use a serum I recommend a high quality product like this one: 

arbutin lightening serumSee more white lightening serum reviews here


Arbutin is one of many natural and powerful ways that you can reduce and lighten your skin coloring. 

When compared to other alternatives it may be one of the preferred methods for skin lightening even though it’s not quite as powerful as hydroquinone or kojic acid. 

The reason for this has to do with how safe it is to use, how well tolerated it is and how stable arbutin is when formulated to certain products

Remember that it may take up to 4 weeks for the lightening process to kick in so if you plan to use it make sure that you use it for long enough. 

Also, if you decide to use it as part of a regiment to target hyperpigmentation such as melasma you may benefit more from the serum formulation over the cream formulation. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Have you used arbutin before?

Are you currently using it?

Has it worked well for you?

Why or why not?

Leave your comments below! 

Everything you Need to Know About Kojic Acid for Your Skin

Are you suffering from dark spots or uneven skin tone and color?

If so then kojic acid may be the solution to your problem. 

Kojic acid is a special ingredient that helps lighten the skin and reduce dark spots (including age spots). 

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Kojic acid including the benefits, side effects, how to use it and which products are ideal based on your circumstances.

Let’s jump in: 


What is Kojic Acid?

So what exactly is Kojic acid and is it even good for your skin?

Kojic acid is a chemical that is made during the natural fermentation process of rice when making Japanese rice wine. 

This byproduct has some very potent (and beneficial) effects on your skin – namely it helps to reduce the pigment and can actually LIGHTEN the skin. 

This may not sound like a big deal until you realize that one of the #1 complaints among aging women (and men) is the changes to skin color and texture as they age. 

Science and the cosmetic industry actually has pretty good ways to treat wrinkles. 

Therapies such as Vitamin C serum, topical tretinoin, anti-aging serums, botox, dermal fillers and so on can actually help reduce wrinkles. 

But what about evening out the skin tone?

This is actually a big complaint and one of the reasons for the rising popularity among skin lighteners is because they can even out skin tone and reduce hyper-pigmentation. 

So what do I mean when I say hyper-pigmentation?

This is a general word that is meant to describe basically any uneven skin discoloration. 

It could be from inflammatory conditions such as rosacea, it could be from acne, it could be from age spots and so on. 

Basically anything that causes damage, or is completely natural, and results in an uneven color on your skin can be classified as hyper-pigmentation. 

And this is exactly what Kojic acid is supposed to treat and “even” out. 

But does it work?

Actually, yes, it works quite well for most people especially when compared to other skin lighteners (but more on that below). 

One of the major benefits of Kojic acid is that it is easy to purchase (you can get it over the counter) and is relatively SAFE especially when compared to other skin lighteners such as hydroquinone. 

In addition, kojic acid has been shown to be almost as effective as hydroquinone and other skin lighteners but it has the added advantage of not carrying with it the side effects on the skin such as redness or irritation. 

The many Benefits of Kojic Acid

So how does Kojic acid work?

In order to understand how it works you need to understand some basics of how your body creates pigment in the skin. 

Pigment is produced through cells known as melanocytes which sit at the bottom of the upper layer of your skin known as the epidermis. 

When melanocytes get “triggered” they produce melanin which then creates a darkening of your skin. 

When you get a tan your body reacts to protect the skin by producing more melanin and it is this melanin which gives your skin the darker color!

So it follows that the way to reduce skin color and tone is by targeting these melanocytes and that’s exactly what kojic acid does. 

Kojic acid inhibits an enzyme known as tyrosinase which is necessary for the production of melanin in melanocytes

By inhibiting this enzyme your skin will naturally lighten over time as your body and cells create less melanin!

Make sense?

So the main benefit to using kojic acid is to reduce the natural pigment in your skin and lighten your skin. 

Because kojic acid is an ACID it also has some potential benefits when fighting off certain bacterial strains and fungal strains that can take up residence on your skin. 

For this reason kojic acid is sometimes included in products that are designed to treat fungal infections such as Athlete’s foot and other yeast infections. 

The anti-bacterial benefit is also why kojic acid is often included in acne creams/gels. 

Kojic Acid Products

This effect occurs pretty much wherever you have hyper-pigmentation which has lead people to use Kojic acid all over their body and is one of the reasons that kojic acid has been included in many different types of products. 

Kojic acid is often included in various types of products ranging from soaps to serums to gels and creams. 

The main goal when using kojic acid is to find the right type of product based on the results that you want. 

For more isolated and deeper pigments you will want to focus on gels and serums which tend to be more powerful. 

If you are looking to “lighten” up large areas of your body then soap is probably best. 

If you are looking to treat acne then a kojic acid cleansing complex will do better. 

With that in mind let’s talk about the various types of kojic acid products: 

Kojic acid soap

Kojic acid soap is often less powerful than other versions of kojic acid products but it tends to work well to gently lighten larger areas of the skin. 

Many people who have naturally darker colors (Fitzpatrick skin types IV through VI) may find some benefit to using kojic acid to lighten large areas of their skin including more intimate parts of their body. 

Other people find success using kojic acid soap in lightening their underarms and other creases in their body in which they may be self conscious about the coloring. 

Because this soap is less powerful than other versions this may work out well for many people. 

I recommend using a well tested and high quality product such as this if you opt to use the soap form: 

kojic acid skin lightening soapLearn more about using Kojic acid soap here

Kojic acid cleansers

Kojic acid cleansers are best used for those who suffer from acne and need the added benefit that kojic acid provides to reducing both pimples AND the post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation that may follow with this problem. 

Cleansers tend to be less potent than gels and serums but they are also less expensive and work well to even out skin tone, color and complexion. 

Kojic acid gel

Kojic acid gels and serums tend to be better for age spots, melasma and other difficult to treat pigmentation diseases because they are more powerful. 

Because they are more powerful they are often more expensive and the bottles tend to have less when compared to kojic acid cleansers. 

People who do best on kojic acid gel/serums include those who are more interesting in anti-aging, those with age spots or those with melasma. 

You can see my recommended product below: 

kojic acid gel for skin lighteningLearn more about Kojic acid gel here

Side Effects & Is it Safe?

One major concern of many people who try out skin care products is the safety profile of the ingredient. 

And you should be concerned!

You don’t want to put anything on your skin which hasn’t been tested or proven to be effective. 

When it comes to kojic acid this particular ingredient is usually VERY well tolerated. 

That means that most people use it without experiencing any serious or negative side effects. 

The most common side effect when using kojic acid is what is known as contact dermatitis. 

You can think of contact dermatitis as basically a rash in which your body reacts with redness and irritation to certain chemicals or ingredients. 

The treatment for this issue is to discontinue whatever agent is causing the problem and it will fade naturally over time. 

As long as you use kojic acid 1% (and no greater) then you shouldn’t run into many issues. 

Another potential issue worth considering is that the blocking of melanin may actually make your skin more susceptible to sun damage. 

Remember that melanin is created to PROTECT and ABSORB ultraviolet light from the sun!

If you block the production of melanin you are in effect making your skin more sensitive to the sun and even tanning beds. 

So while using Kojic acid make sure you don’t exposure your face (or whatever body part you are using it on) to excessive sunlight. 

This probably isn’t an issue though, because if you are using kojic acid to lighten your skin you are probably naturally avoiding the sun already. 

Using Kojic Acid for Acne: Does it Work?

Can Kojic acid be used to treat acne?

The answer is yes, but probably not how you realize. 

It doesn’t actually treat the acne (pustules and pimples) but it DOES help to reduce what is known as post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation that can occur in those people who struggle with acne

You’ll know what I am talking about if you have acne because even after a pimple is gone you may see a purple or red mark where the pimple was and this mark can stay for MONTHS. 

This is known as post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation and THIS is the part of acne that kojic acid can help treat. 

Remember that hyper-pigmentation is the result of overproduction of melanin and in the case of acne this can be triggered from the acne itself. 

The use of topical kojic acid can help calm down the skin and even out skin tone and color. 

This is one of the reasons that many acne products do contain some kojic acid. 

But note that this is NOT a replacement for a standard 3 step skin care regimen if you have acne. 

You should still continue with regular use a cleanser, toner and moisturizer if you have acne but you can always add a kojic acid cream at the end of this regimen to help with the hyper-pigmentation if you wish as well. 

Kojic acid vs Hydroquinone

Kojic acid is NOT the only skin lightener in town!

In fact the “standard” skin lightener used among physicians and cosmetic dermatologists is a prescription known as hydroquinone. 

It turns out that hydroquinone works in a similar way to Kojic acid (it blocks the production of melanin) but it also takes it one step further by potentially destroying some of your melanocytes. 

This added effect makes hydroquinone a more powerful skin lightener when compared to kojic acid (but probably only slightly). 

More powerful is not necessarily a good thing, though!

One of the main issues with hydroquinone is that, even though it works, the benefits of hydroquinone tend to fade once you stop using it. 

So even if you start to notice a reduction in hyper-pigmentation when using hydroquinone you will have to continue using it indefinitely for the results to stay. 

It’s worth pointing out that kojic acid is NOT a permanent lightener either – but it definitely has a better safety profile when compared to hydroquinone and long term use of kojic acid is less worrisome than long term use of hydroquinone. 

Another potential downside is sometimes discontinuing hydroquinone can cause a rebound hyper-pigmentation and make pigmentation conditions even worse for a short period of time. 

Because of these issues many patients (and doctors) tend to prefer safer over the counter alternatives to hydroquinone. 

Kojic acid vs Arbutin

Arbutin is another (perhaps less well known) skin lightener that would fall into the “natural” category. 

But is Arbutin better than Kojic acid?

In terms of how effective they both are they are probably equal in that category, but what about stability?

Arbutin basically comes in two forms:

  • Alpha arbutin – This formulation of arbutin is stable and more superior when compared to beta arbutin but is often more expensive. 
  • Beta arbutin – This formulation is also stable but is not quite as effective as alpha arbutin. Cheaper and less effective products tend to have this formulation. 

Kojic acid comes in two forms as well:

  • Kojic acid – This formulation works well but it is not very stable and must be protected from things such as light and heat which can inactivate the kojic acid and render it less effective. You’ll know if your kojic acid is less effective by its color – a brown or caramel color may indicate a breakdown in the stability of the compound. 
  • Kojic acid dipalmitate – This form is more stable than regular kojic acid but it is not nearly as effective. I recommend avoiding products which contain this type of kojic acid as it usually indicates a cheaper and less effective alternative to kojic acid. 

Is one necessarily better than the other?

As long as you are purchasing high quality products then it really shouldn’t be an issue. 

But it may be worth considering arbutin if you are worried about stability because it tends to be more stable and less “fragile” to the environment than kojic acid. 

Some arbutin products, while more stable, may be more expensive as well which is another factor to consider. 

But you really can’t go wrong in choosing either if your goal is skin lightening because they both are effective. 

Final Thoughts

Kojic acid is one of many great and natural skin lighteners which can be used directly on the skin with impressive results. 

The type of kojic acid product that you use depends largely on what your main goal is. 

Those who are seeking to treat difficult hyper-pigmentation diseases will probably do better with more powerful and targeted kojic acid such as serums and gels. 

Kojic acid is generally well tolerated and most people who use it experience positive benefits without any negative side effects. 

If you decide to use kojic acid be prepared to use it for several weeks before you start noticing results!

Now I want to hear from you:

Have you used kojic acid before?

Did it work to help lighten your skin?

Why or why not?

Leave your comments below! 

7 Reasons to Get a Spray Tan & 4 Downsides to Consider Before you Do

Are you interested in getting a spray tan but worried if it is safe or effective?

Maybe you’re just wondering which is better – a spray tan, a natural tan or a tan from a tanning bed. 

If so continue reading! 

We are going to discuss the differences between a spray tan and other tanning methods while also discussing the potential benefits and downsides of a spray tan. 


Spray Tan vs Tanning Bed

So what is a spray tan and how does it compare to other tanning methods?

A spray tan is really just the act of spraying a chemical mixture on your skin that temporarily “stains” the skin to a different shade or color

The coloring from the chemical stays on the outer layers of the skin and is removed as the skin sheds. 

The normal shedding cycle for the epidermis is around 40-60 days (depending on if you use tretinoin or not) so therefore spray tans can only last at the most that amount of time. 

Realistically they don’t last quite that long because other factors increase skin shedding such as bathing, exfoliating, cleansers and so on . 

So you can imagine that most spray tans probably last slightly less than that amount of time – in fact, the average length that a spray tan lasts is about 5-10 days

You can compare this method of tanning to other methods of tanning such as a “natural” tan from a tanning bed. 

In a tanning bed your body is being exposed to ultraviolet light from the lightbulbs in the bed. 

This ultraviolet light triggers the production of melanin which is the natural pigment in your skin

In response to this light your body produces more melanin which then confers that characteristic browning of the skin that everyone wants!

By the way, this is the same reaction that occurs when you exposure your skin to natural sun outside of a tanning bed!

The main difference is that we can’t exactly create the same ultraviolet light that the sun produces which is why prolonged exposure to certain types of tanning bed may cause long term skin damage. 

But now that you have an idea of how a spray tan works and why it’s different from other tanning methods we can talk about the specific reasons you may want to get a spray tan. 

7 Reasons to get a Spray Tan

Spray tanning has some potential benefits that are unique to this method of obtaining a tan. 

When determining if you should get a spray tan make sure to evaluate both the positives and the negatives of this particular method. 

Like anything which method you use largely depends on your preferences are your situation!

I personally like to use spray tans for certain special events, but I also prefer to get a natural tan (from natural sunlight) in between to keep up my tan. 

This is just my preference but each person may be different!

Let’s jump in to the benefits of getting a spray tan: 

#1. Fast and Efficient!

The first reason is that getting a spray tan is incredibly fast and efficient. 

You can schedule your time, walk in, and walk out with a tan that is optimized for your skin in less than 30 minutes. 

You can compare this to natural tans from natural light which may take weeks to months to create!

Even a tanning bed with artificial lights will take weeks to obtain the right glow. 

This makes getting a spray tan optimal for people who either don’t want to spend the time to optimize their color or because they have a special event

Spray tans are great if you have a wedding, want to go on vacation or have some other special event in your life. 

You can get a perfect tan in 30 minutes that lasts for several weeks just in time for whatever event you have going on. 

#2. Save your skin

Another huge benefit is that spray tans may actually save your skin. 

You have to remember that the sun (and this includes both artificial light and light from the sun) cause slightly damage to the skin which then stimulates the melanin response

This process actually DAMAGES the skin!

What you may not realize is that this process results in something called photo-damage. 

And photo-damage is the #1 reason for aging skin among ALL people

This process is one of the reasons that you see dermatologists and medical aestheticians basically avoiding the sun at all times. 

They do this to try and save their skin. 

Photo-damage results in a reduction in collagen and elastin both of which are critical to maintaining the integrity and youth of your skin. 

Getting a spray tan can save your skin because you avoid the potential damage of the sun. 

This can be a double-edged sword, however, because some sunlight is important for vitamin D production (which we will discuss below). 

#3. Slimming Effect

Ever wonder why bodybuilders (both women and men) always get spray tans before competitions?

It’s because it highlights lean muscle, tends to hide fat tissue and actually makes you look slimmer! 

You probably intuitively know this, but maybe you didn’t realize it is a potential advantage to getting a spray tan. 

If you plan on going to the beach and need a “base tan” or have some sort of special event like a wedding then it may be in your best interest to look and feel great. 

Yes it is a fake tan, but you can boost your self confidence and help yourself look great and feel great in your own skin. 

This benefit isn’t unique to just spray tans, by the way, but the difference is that you can get this benefit with a spray tan within 30 minutes while it may take weeks to months to get it from other tanning methods. 

#4. Rapid Results

This benefit shouldn’t be overstated:

A spray tan can give you a near instant result in a short period of time. 

Compare the time it takes to get a tan with various different options: 

A spray tan = perfect tan in 30 minutes

A tanning bed = a good/perfect tan in 4-8 weeks

Natural light = a good/perfect tan in 8-12 weeks

The time it takes to get the tan doesn’t mean it’s the best option, but it should certainly be considered if you are in a pinch for time!

Imagine leaving on a vacation in 2 weeks, there’s just no way that you can get a tan in that amount of time with a tanning bed or with natural sunlight. 

#5. Tan all year long

This benefit is not unique to spray tans (you can get it with a tanning bed as well) but it is still beneficial. 

You can pretty much get a perfect tan any time of the year if you choose to get a spray tan. 

During certain months the sun is at an angle which effectively causes ultraviolet lights to bounce off of your skin and reduces the effectiveness of natural light. 

During other months out of the year the sun may be overcast or simply not come out (such as winter). 

This makes getting a tan by natural light really only an option during summer months (depending on where you live). 

If you live in somewhere like Hawaii this isn’t a problem, but if you live anywhere else then it is something to consider!

You can still take advantage of this with a tanning bed as well, but perhaps at the cost of your skin in the process. 

#6. More control over Color

Another advantage to getting a spray tan is that you have more control over the color and shade of your tan. 

Consider how you naturally get a tan using a tanning bed or natural sunlight:

The more tanning bed sessions (or sessions that you lay out) the deeper and deeper the shade and color of your tan gets

This progression of shading on your skin takes time and can be difficult to control. 

For instance:

If you miss a week then it’s like taking 2 steps forward but one step backwards. 

This means that if you want to control the shade using other tanning methods you really need to be consistent and stay on top of your schedule. 

You don’t have to worry about any of this if you are getting a spray tan because you can control the shade and color of the tanning solution BEFORE you even start. 

This means that you can basically “pick” your shade and you end up with the exact color and shade that you want within 30 minutes. 

#7. All Skin Types can Tan

You can also get a spray tan regardless of the type of your skin. 

The way you want to think about your skin type is through the lens of the Fitzpatrick skin scale which is what dermatologists use when considering skin. 

The Fitzpatrick skin scale is a way to determine how your body will respond to sunlight, how effectively you will tan and your risk of developing skin cancer later in life. 

You can see an example of all 6 skin types below: 

fitzpatrick skin scale and tanning ability

Notice skin types I and II on the Fitzpatrick scale. 

If you have these skin types there is VERY little chance that you will ever be able to tan with natural light or through a tanning bed. 

In fact, using these methods may even increase your risk of skin cancer because your body may not be able to respond and protect itself with sufficient melanin production. 

Those who have Fitzpatrick skin types I and II make great candidates for spray tanning because they really don’t have any other options

Other skin types can still get tans but their tans may not be as uniform and may not get exactly to their desired shade with sunlight or tanning beds. 

Your Fitzpatrick scale is therefore very important when you consider getting a spray tan or using other tanning options. 

4 Downsides of Getting a Spray Tan

While there are definitely some serious benefits to getting a spray tan, it’s not necessarily for everyone!

Before you get a spray tan make sure you understand the procedure including the downsides and potential negative aspects. 

#1. Potential Lack of Vitamin D 

The first downside is that by avoiding sunlight and ultraviolet light you risk getting vitamin D deficient. 

Vitamin D is a seriously important vitamin that helps balance your mood, control your immune system and much more. 

Low vitamin D has been linked to developing autoimmune diseases and other diseases states so it’s an important factor to consider. 

I’ve seen the argument that Vitamin D shouldn’t even be considered in getting a spray tan because most people get sufficient Vitamin D from foods sources. 

This is technically true but it actually doesn’t help. 

The Vitamin D that you get from foods is in the form of Vitamin D2 and in order for Vitamin D2 to become active and useful in the body you must activate it to Vitamin D3 through sunlight

So even if you do consume Vitamin D2 in food then you still NEED the ultraviolet light from the sun. 

But it’s also worth considering that you can take Vitamin D3 in supplement form and by mouth, but it’s probably not as good as getting your Vitamin D directly from the sun. 

The bottom line is that if you avoid the sunlight in favor of getting repeated spray tans then you may increase your risk of developing Vitamin D deficiency. 

#2. Potential Stains

Another potential issue is the real risk of staining your clothes while getting a spray tan. 

This isn’t a deal breaker though, especially since you can actively avoid this issue by being cautious – but it is still worth considering. 

Just remember:

The spray tan chemicals are designed to STAIN your skin, so they will stain clothing or other things they come into contact with. 

The reason that the chemicals are shed from your skin is simply because your skin sheds over time, but this obviously doesn’t happen with your clothes. 

So be careful when you get a spray tan to avoid getting it on your clothes or personal items! 

#3. Requires Frequent Visits

Another downside is that while spray tans work absolutely great, they don’t last very long. 

This means that you’ll need to spend both time and time with some regularity if you want to keep up your results. 

Natural spray tans and tans from tanning beds tend to last longer than the tan you get from a spray tan. 

This isn’t a huge deal if you only occasionally get a spray tan, but it can become an issue if you try to keep up your tan exclusively through this method. 

You can count on your spray tan looking really good for about 5 to 10 days, but after that point it will start to fade rapidly from your skin. 

Natural sun tans and tans from tanning beds tend to last weeks to months (though they do fade over time). 

#4. Up Close and Personal

Another factor to consider is that you will be up close and personal with someone in order to get your spray tan. 

This means that you will be in a 1 on 1 setting and exposed in order to get your tan!

Compare this to a tanning bed in which you are alone in the bed by yourself while you get your tan. 

This means that getting a spray tan is not necessarily a “relaxing” experience. 

It probably isn’t an issue if you are outgoing or don’t mind that sort of thing, but if you have a shy or reserved personality make sure to consider it! 

Are Spray Tans Safe? 

Because you are putting chemicals on your skin it’s natural to ask if the procedure is safe. 

The answer is that the vast majority of the time most people won’t experience any bad side effects from getting a spray tan. 

Some people may react to ingredients or chemicals in the spray tan mixture, but these people are those who tend to react to EVERYTHING and are very sensitive to medications, supplements and so on. 

While this is a rare reaction it’s often worth considering. 

Another way to fight this reaction is to simply use organic based ingredients which are less likely to cause any real problems but still provide your body with a nice tan. 

Natural ingredients such as turmeric can stain your skin various colors and may actually be HEALTHY for your skin

I personally recommend that if you do choose to get a spray tan that you stick to organic materials because not only is it healthier but you will reduce your risk of a negative reaction to the ingredients. 

Remember that your skin is the largest organ in your body

Your skin naturally serves as a barrier to prevent unwanted things from entering your bloodstream but the skin can’t keep everything out. 

If you put any chemical or ingredient on your skin just realize that SOME of that product will be absorbed into your bloodstream (though probably not a lot). 

This method of absorption is known as transdermal absorption and it should be considered before you put anything on your skin. 

Tips to Make your Spray Tan more Effective

If you do decide to get a spray tan you can take several steps to help improve the quality and longevity of your results. 

There are some things that your artist may not tell you but that may help your tan last longer. 

These tips are based on the science behind how the tan is applied to your skin and I’ll go into detail on each one below: 

  • Exfoliate BEFORE you get your spray tan – The idea here is to reduce the chance that your body will exfoliate after your tan. Remember that the way the spray tan works is by applying a stain directly to your skin, but also remember that it fades because your skin sheds. If you can reduce the chance that your skin will exfoliate early then it should increase the length of time that the tan lasts. 
  • AFTER your spray tan avoid wiping your skin – The logic here is that the ingredients are just on the superficial or upper layer of your skin. If do a wiping motion to dry off your skin with a towel after your tan you risk increasing exfoliation and also expelling the stain from your skin quicker. You can avoid this by simply patting yourself dry after a shower or a quick pool dip instead of wiping your body clean. 
  • AFTER your spray tan apply lotion daily – After you get your spray tan you will want to make sure that you apply lotion to your skin each day. Remember that you will exfoliate faster with dry skin because it tends to flake off. If you moisturize 

By following these tips you can increase the length of time that your results last. 

In addition to these tips you will also want to consider some more general tips before you get your spray tan: 

  • CONSIDER what you wear (or don’t wear) during your spray tan – You will want to consider what to wear (or not) when you go into get your tan. It’s not uncommon for people to prefer to go naked into their spray tan! Going naked reduces tan lines and gives a perfect even tan throughout the entire skin. If you don’t want to go naked that’s not a problem either, just make sure that you wear an OLD swim suit that you don’t mind getting stained. 
  • PROTECT your nails during the spray tan – Just like your skin your nails and nail beds can get stained by the ingredients of the spray tan. You can avoid this by simply putting a coat of nail polish on your nails before the procedure. Most spray tan locations will wipe off your nails but you can also come in prepared. 
  • PROTECT the palms of your hands and soles of your feet – When you get your spray tan you want to make sure that your tan looks as natural as possible! That means avoid getting a “tan” on places that shouldn’t normally be tanned. This is most obvious on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. You can avoid getting “tanned” in these places by placing barrier cream on those locations before the procedure. Most spray tan locations will automatically provide this for you, but just make sure you consider it before going in!

If you follow these tips you will be ready to get your spray tan! 

Back to you

If after reading all of this you decide to get a spray tan you are still in good company! 

In my experience those who do the best with spray tans are those who get them for special events and for situational circumstances. 

When it comes to keeping a nice glow all year round you are probably best off by using natural sunlight (if it’s available to you) and minimizing your time in the sun to prevent long term photo-damage. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Are you thinking about getting a spray tan?

Are you concerned about the ingredients or how it works?

Leave your comments below! 

The Benefits of Copper Peptides for your Skin + The Best Products

Copper for your skin?

How would using a metal or element help your skin?

It sounds crazy but it actually works, and it works well. 

Learn more about how using copper peptides can beneficially impact your skin and reverse the aging process in this post, including which products to use.


Copper and your Skin

Copper makes the list of very important trace elements (or trace metals) that your body needs to survive and thrive. 

You can consider copper in the same category in terms of its importance to your body and skin. 

For instance:

It is well known that zinc deficiency can cause skin disorders, thyroid dysfunction and so on. 

copper peptides in cosmetic products

What is less well known is the importance of copper in certain functions in your body. 

This probably has to do with the fact that most of us are NOT copper deficient (compared to zinc where many people are). 

But like other ingredients and products we can take advantage of the beneficial effects of copper by creating special products, serums and creams which penetrate into the skin and provide certain benefits. 


There is a big difference between using products orally (by mouth) and transdermally (through the skin). 

You can think back to the case of Vitamin C. 

Even though we know that vitamin C is very important for your skin, it doesn’t matter how much vitamin C you take by mouth – none of it actually makes it to the skin. 

For this reason Vitamin C serums are amazing for your skin!

Because you can bypass the oral route and skip straight to the source. 

This analogy is helpful when we consider using copper, because the same logic applies. 

So how does copper help? 

beneficial effects of copper on the skin

As far as your skin is concerned copper is critical to the production of a special ingredient known as collagen. 

You know… that stuff that helps your skin look younger, feel firmer and reduces wrinkles?

The very same stuff that declines with age. 

So how does it work?

Without getting too technical you can think about it like this:

Copper is part of a larger molecule which is known as an enzyme. 

These enzymes initiate and start important reactions in your body, such as the production of collagen/elastin, melanin formation and so on. 

The problem is that these enzymes only work if copper is attached to them. 

So if you have low copper concentrations then the enzymes don’t work as well. 

If the enzymes don’t work as well then elastin and collagen synthesis will be decreased. 

Make sense?

So with this logic we can apply copper directly to the skin to enhance the function of these critical enzymes

The Benefits of Copper Peptides for your Skin

So now that we know how copper works in the skin we can start to talk about the benefits you might get while using it. 

It turns out that because copper is so important that it influences MANY systems in the body. 

We will limit our discussion to the benefits of your skin (but just realize that copper is also important for regulating inflammation and so on). 

The benefits of copper peptides on your skin include: 

Because of these beneficial effects copper has been added to multiple medical devices and even used in post surgical healing!

Relevant to this article is the fact that copper peptides have a beneficial effect on the AGING PROCESS. 

This means that copper can (and should) be used as part of a multiple step skin care regimen designed to target and reverse the aging process. 

Copper is also valuable for those people who may not be able to tolerate high concentration vitamin C serum or don’t have tretinoin available

Studies have shown that copper peptides, when applied to the skin, show a boost to collagen types I, III and V

copper peptides stimulate collagen growth

This may be the reason that copper as an anti-aging effect. 

Furthermore copper is also beneficial because it actually helps to balance out the bacterial/fungal concentrations on your skin and it is considered “biocidal”. 

You know if you’ve suffered from acne before that an imbalance in bacteria on your face can lead to hyperpigmentation, cysts and acne. 

Copper may help to regulate a normal bacterial concentration on the skin. 

Side Effects of Using Copper Peptides

With all of these benefits does using copper peptides come at a cost?

Copper peptides are generally very well tolerated which means that they have few side effects. 

Some people have reported the following symptoms when using copper, however: 

  • Redness (erythema)
  • Irritation
  • Rash
  • Dermatitis

These side effects tend to disappear once you discontinue copper and they tend to be rare. 

In most cases these side effects occur when copper is combined with other powerful ingredients such as Vitamin C serum and Tretinoin. 

The Best Copper Peptide Products & Where to get them

Because copper peptides are relatively new to the cosmetic world they are not necessarily easy to get. 

Really only high quality products will contain enough copper to promote a difference. 

It’s also important to make sure that if you decide to use copper peptides that you get your copper in the right formulation. 

Copper can exist in both the metallic and ionic form and most people are used to thinking about copper in the metallic form. 

But when we are talking about the skin you want your copper to be in the ionic form because if it isn’t then it can’t bind to enzymes and promote the functions we want. 

Ionic formulations of copper do NOT look like the “standard metallic copper” that you are used to and they do not have the classic copper appearance. 

This means when you open your copper containing product you shouldn’t expect it to look copper!

So where can you get the right type of copper peptides in the ionic form?

I’ve provided a list below! 

blue copper 5 peptide cream

The Clue copper contains copper bound to a 5 chain pentad peptide. 

This formulation also contains other anti-oxidants such as Vitamin A and B complex vitamins. 

Learn more about Blue Copper 5 firming cream heresuper serum by is clinical

Combination copper tri-peptide growth factors with 15% L-ascorbic acid. 

Super serum advance + is a great product because it combines vitamin C serum with copper for an even greater effect. 

Watch out for side effects when using this product, however, because Vitamin C and copper make a potent combination. 

As long as you have normal skin (and not sensitive skin) you should be fine, but be weary if you have super sensitive or light skin. 

Learn more about Super Serum Advance+ hereneova creme with copper peptides

The Neova creme contains a copper peptide complex formulated in a moisturizer. 

Make sure to use this at the end of your skin care regimen and after you cleanse/tone your skin. 

Learn more about Neova Creme with Copper peptides here

Who should use Copper Peptides

So should you jump into using copper peptides?

Maybe! But it’s not for everyone. 

The people who stand to benefit the most from using copper peptides usually fall into one or more of the following categories: 

  • Those people who want to prevent the aging process from occuring
  • People who suffer from advanced age spots and wrinkles
  • Those who don’t mind the price tag and want to try it out
  • People who have failed Vitamin C therapy and Tretinoin therapy
  • Aged skin (usually 40+)
  • Those people who do NOT have sensitive skin (Fitz type I and II)

These general guidelines may help to determine if copper will work for your skin type!

Final Thoughts

Copper is another great potential anti-aging tool that can be used to fight the aging process. 

I find the most success when recommending the use of copper peptides in combination with Vitamin C and/or Tretinoin. 

Be careful when using this combination, though, because it can be tough for your skin to handle if you have sensitive skin!

Now I want to hear from you:

Have you tried using Copper peptides before?

Did they help your skin?

Did you tolerate them okay?

Leave your comments below! 

All Obagi Products & Purchasing Guide for 2018: Pro’s & Con’s & More

Have you heard about the Obagi skin care line?

Do you want to know more about the products?

This guide will teach you basic information about all Obagi products including who should use which products, which products to avoid and which products are considered the best.

Let’s dive in: 


Quick NavigationThe Best Obagi ProductsPROSCONS#1. Obagi Retinol#2. Obagi Nu Derm System (6 Product Line)#3. Obagi Hydroquinone#4. Obagi 360 System (3 Product Line)#5. Obagi Eye Cream (ELASTIderm Eye Products)#6. Obagi Vitamin C Serums#7. Obagi CLENZIderm SystemObagi Buying Guide – Where can you get these Products?

Obagi: Medical Grade Skin Care

If you’ve spent any time researching high quality skin care then I’m sure you’ve at least heard of the Obagi skin care line

If not let me fill you in on the basics:

Obagi is a medical grade skin care line that was developed by a physician (Dr. Obagi to be exact) and it was designed to include high quality ingredients designed for medical spa’s and cosmetic physicians. 

Because it is a medical grade skin line, and it was intended to be prescribed by Doctors, some of their products actually contain pharmaceutical grade ingredients.

This only includes a small part of all Obagi products, as you might imagine, so not all are this way. 

But the fact that some products require a Doctors prescription is a testament to the efficacy and strength of some products. 

Really the only two ingredients that require a prescription include Tretinoin and Hydroquinone

Tretinoin being a Vitamin A derivative and Hydroquinone being a powerful skin lightener. 

Obagi also has other product lines available which include a “watered-down” version of some of these prescription products with more natural products designed to do the same thing. 

The idea with these products is to allow everyone to be able to use Obagi products and not just those who visit their Doctor! 

Obagi has been around since 1988 and is mostly found in Medical Spa’s, Plastic Surgeon offices and Cosmetic Dermatology offices

There are ways to get legitimate Obagi products through the internet (which we will discuss below) but up until recently it was hard to get them outside of these sources. 

With that background under your belt let’s talk about the specific of each product. 

The Best Obagi Products

Before we jump in let’s talk about the Pros and Cons of Obagi products in general. 

While Obagi does have some great products they certainly don’t have the “best in class” products in every single category. 

When it comes to cosmetic products there are pretty much basic categories and all major companies have their version in each category.

These categories include:

  • Vitamin C Serum
  • Skin Lightener
  • Acne Product line
  • Anti-Aging Product Line
  • Anti-Wrinkle Products
  • Other basics such as moisturizers and sun block

Almost every brand has some product that fits into these categories. 

The difference among the brands is the ingredients that they use (natural vs synthetic), the quality of the ingredients, the source of the ingredients and so on. 

You can expect that because of these variations certain brands are better at some things and worse at others. 

Obagi is no different!

It’s great in some ways and not so good in others. 

For instance:

If you were interested in anti-aging, reducing wrinkles and lightening your skin – then Obagi is the brand for you!

If you are interested in clearing up your skin from acne – then you may find better success with other products. 

Make sense? 

With that in mind we can break down some basic PRO’s and CON’s of using Obagi products: 


  • Very high quality ingredients
  • Well researched and scientifically verified ingredients
  • Great for anti-aging
  • Great for reducing wrinkles
  • Great for all skin types
  • Great for ages 20 and up


  • Expensive compared to other brands
  • Better products for those interested in acne
  • Non-organic based products
  • Products contain some synthetic ingredients
  • Powerful concentrations which may cause irritation in some sensitive people


Now that you have an idea of what Obagi is good for, let’s discuss the individual product lines.

#1. Obagi Retinol

Obagi retinol 1.0 cream

Retinol, along with Vitamin C serum, may be one of the best ingredients that you can put on your skin. 

Retinol is basically a derivative of Vitamin A that is designed to be used on your skin. 

Many clinical studies have shown that the application of Retinol (and tretinoin) reduce wrinkles, reduce fine lines and make the face look younger. 

Much of this effect seems to be mediated by the effect that Vitamin A has on skin cell turnover. 

Under normal circumstances it takes around 50-60 days for your skin to “turn over” and replace itself. 

When using Vitamin A (like retinol) this process is heavily accelerated and may go down to 21-28 days!

Basically your skin is turning over twice as fast and this effect seems to make the skin look and feel younger. 

In a nut shell that’s how it works, so how does Obagi retinol fit in here?

It turns out that not all Retinol products are created equal. 

In order to get the results that I just spoke about you need to make sure that you are using a product which has a HIGH enough concentration of Retinol in it. 

Unfortunately the guidelines for skin care are such that producers do NOT have to tell you how much of an ingredient is in their product. 

This means that hundreds of products may claim to contain retinol, but very few have enough of it in their formula to actually make a difference. 

Obagi is one of the few brands that actually does have enough which is why it can be very effective

One potential downside to using high quality ingredients (especially in this case) is that retinol containing products may actually cause irritation, erythema and dermatitis

This is a testament to the fact that they work, but it’s worth noting.

Sometimes when using Retinol products you may need to “ease” into the dosing and application to prevent the redness that may come. 

If this does happen it’s a sign that you are getting enough product and that it will work. 

But for sensitive people it may be a good idea to start out on a low dose (something like 0.5%). 

If you know you’ve used it before and haven’t had any problems then you should be fine using the 1.0%. 

What it does: 
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles (clinically proven)
  • Reduces photodamage from excessive sun exposure
  • Provides an anti-aging effect to the skin
  • Improves skin integrity
  • May help reduce and treat acne
Who is it designed for?
  • People interested in reducing wrinkles and the signs of aging
  • People who want to keep their skin looking young and healthy
  • Those people who have extreme damage to their skin from years of sun exposure
  • Those with acne
Does it work? 

Obagi Retinol is a high quality product and it tends to work for most people. 

One study (industry funded) showed that up to 90% of people who used Obagi retinol had some noticeable improvement in their skin and said they would continue to use the product. 

My experience suggests that it’s probably closer to 70-80%, but this is still a very high number! 

Where to get it: 

Learn more about using Obagi Retinol 0.5% hereLearn more about using Obagi Retinol 1.0% here

#2. Obagi Nu Derm System (6 Product Line)

Obagi nu derm 6 step system review

The Obagi Nu derm system is a 6 step (well actually 7 but the last product is optional) complete system designed for patients to help reduce the aging process. 

The product set includes a cleanser, a toner, a deep moisturizer, a skin lightener, a light weight lotion and exfoliator and sun block to top it off. 

The product set is designed to be prescribed by physicians and does include some products which require a physicians prescription. 

Recently some of the ingredients (in the hydroquinone product) have been changed to allow people to use them over the counter. 

The Obagi Clear was changed to include Arbutin vs Hydroquinone. 

Arbutin is a more natural skin lightener compared to hydroquinone which is a prescription strength skin lightener. 

The Obagi Nu derm system works great but the best part about the system is that it can be mixed and matched with other products. 

This means you don’t have to use all 6 steps in the system!

For instance:

If you already have a cleanser and a toner then you can bypass those parts of the product line and just get the skin lightener and exfoliator.

The power in this system is the fact that it covers all aspects of skin care. 

The biggest downside is that it requires a lot of up keep which means that you will be applying a lot of different creams, lotions and cleansers throughout the day. 

It absolutely works, though, if you can stick with it. 

You can read more about the individual products in this system and how to use them appropriately here

What it does: 
  • Helps correct hyperpigmentation
  • Reduces the aging process
  • Reduces the appearance of age spots and melasma
  • Improve the quality and texture of your skin
Who is it designed for?
  • Primarily designed for those with normal to dry skin
  • Seems to work well for aged skin (over 40 years old) – younger people may be able to get by with fewer products
Does it work? 

The Obagi Nu-Derm product line is an effective 6 step skin care system but the problem is the cost. 

This product is obviously designed for all products to be used with one another, but it is still possible to cherry pick certain products and mix and match their skin care line with other products from other brands. 

This is generally how I recommend that you use the Nu Derm system

If you don’t want to deal with that, or if you have enough money, then you can simply purchase the 6 step system. 

If you want to mix and match then I recommend starting with the Blender and the Clear Fx products which tend to be the “best” compared to other products in the line. 

Where to get it:

Learn more about the Obagi Nu Derm 6 Step System here

#3. Obagi Hydroquinone

Obagi-c rx system image and product line

Hydroquinone is a prescription strength formulation designed to help lighten the skin. 

It’s useful to counter such pigmentation issues like age spots, sun damage, freckles and melasma. 

And it turns out that this is exactly what most women want as they age. 

Instead of focusing on wrinkles, people tend to be more concerned with the overall TEXTURE and LOOK of their skin. 

As we age the texture becomes rough and spots start to speckle the face, hands and neck area. 

In many cases women can look much younger by focusing less on the wrinkles and more on the quality and color of their skin. 

That’s exactly what hydroquinone does. 

Hydroquinone is not available over the counter, though, but because Obagi products include prescription strength products it can be purchased through the Obagi-C Rx system. 

The downside to this option is that you will need to get this set (if you want a hydroquinone product) from a cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon. 

If you don’t need the hydroquinone then you can try the non prescription option which is the Obagi Clear Fx product. 

This product contains Arbutin which is a plant based hydroquinone product that is not quite as strong but still may be effective for many people. 

What it does: 
  • Helps fight and reverse changes to skin color and texture that occur with photo damage and the aging process
Who is it designed for?
  • This product is primarily designed for women ages 50+ but it can be used effectively for those who want to PREVENT the inevitable changes that occur over time. 
Does it work? 


Hydroquinone is a prescription strength medication and it absolutely does work. 

The key to success is using a high enough strength – in this case you will want 4%. 

Using hydroquinone should be used with physician guidance, however, as you may need to cycle on and off of this product. 

The reason for this is that occasionally, if used incorrectly, your hyperpigmentation can come back. 

Where to get it:

Learn more about using Obagi Hydroquinone here

#4. Obagi 360 System (3 Product Line)

Obagi 360 3 step product line system

The Obagi 360 system is a smaller system designed specifically for younger adults (aged 20-40 years old). 

It’s like the Nu Derm system but smaller and more manageable for people who don’t quite need all of the bells and whistles of the Nu derm system. 

The 360 system contains an exfoliating cleanser, a retinol (0.5%) and sun block.

While pretty much everyone needs a cleanser (regardless of age) and pretty much anyone can benefit from retinol (at any age) it seems like a decent 3 step system. 

Unfortunately it’s kind of pricey for what it includes, and the best product in this system is no doubt the Retinol product. 

The 360 system may be good for younger patients, but it might just be better to individually purchase the Retinol and use another Cleanser/Toner combination from a different product set. 

The idea is great, but the 3 step system probably would have been better as a cleanser, toner and retinol combination. 

What it does: 
  • Helps the skin age gracefully
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as you age
  • Helps fight break outs and acne
  • Prevents sun damage and photo damage
Who is it designed for?
  • Younger people (primarily around ages 20-40)
Does it work? 

Some people have success with this system while many prefer to mix and match other products. 

This package deal may be good for those people who have normal skin (oily or dry skin will probably have a problem with this combination) and just want an easy solution to take care of their skin. 

But if you are more cosmetically minded and you want to take much better care of your skin then an easy 4 step system would be a cleanser, toner, vitamin C serum and Retinol combo. 

If you want to try this system out then you might consider just using the Retinol product first and mixing it with your current cleanser. 

Where to get it:

Learn more about the Obagi 360 System here

#5. Obagi Eye Cream (ELASTIderm Eye Products)

Obagi eye cream elastiderm product line

This Obagi eye cream is pretty straightforward:

It contains a combination of Malonic acid and B vitamins which help nourish and firm up the skin. 

The result is fewer wrinkles and firmer skin. 

Malonic acid has been shown to help promote the growth of fibroblasts in the skin. 

We know that the decline in fibroblast activity may be involved with the decline in collagen which results in wrinkles and the changes in our skin we associate with aging. 

If we can improve fibroblast activity then maybe we can slow down the aging process. 

Make sense?

That is the idea behind Obagi eye cream. 

The B Vitamins are designed to help nourish the skin and we know that a deficiency in B vitamins often present with skin conditions such as erythema and rashes. 

What it does: 
  • Promotes skin “plumpness” by helping your skin reserve and hold water through special and clinically proven moisturizers
  • Promotes graceful aging through B vitamin complex
Who is it designed for?
  • Aging women who want to maintain a very youthful apperance
  • Those suffering from crows feet or wrinkles surrounding the eyes
  • Those seeking younger or firmer looking skin (young and “plump” skin)
  • Those who want smoother skin (especially around the eyes)
Does it work? 

Obagi ELASTiderm may work for many people but you have to consider your options and how much improvement you are looking for. 

Using facial creams and serums may only improve or reduce your wrinkles by up to 30% or so, compared to injectables and fillers which may reduce it up to 70-80%. 

Just make sure you have an idea of what your goals are before you purchase any product designed to help with your skin. 

Where to get it:

Learn more about Obagi Eye Cream here

#6. Obagi Vitamin C Serums

Obagi professional C 20 percent product

Along with Obagi Retinol, the Vitamin C serum may be one of Obagi’s best products. 

Vitamin C serum is another highly effective skin care product that should be a part of almost every skin care regimen. 

Vitamin C has been clinically proven to help reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture and naturally lighten and brighten the skin. 

The trick to getting all of these benefits has to do with how the Vitamin C serum is formulated. 

In order to get these benefits your vitamin C serum must meet the following criteria: Be in the ascorbic acid form, have a pH of around 3.5, have a concentration of up to 20% and be contained in container which blocks sunlight. 

As you might have guessed many products claim to be effective but they don’t meet the following criteria. 

This is one of the reasons for the price discrepancy among Vitamin C serums. 

If you decide to use Vitamin C serum (which is a great idea!) make sure you use the right kind. 

Obagi’s Professional C serums fit the bill and they are highly effective. 

Another benefit to using these serums is that they come in different concentrations, ranging from 10% to 20%. 

This is helpful because some people may need to titrate up their dose over time to prevent irritation of the skin. 

What it does: 
  • Reverses the natural signs of aging (equivalent to Retinol)
  • Improves collagen production
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Treats and prevents acne
  • Reduces inflammation and inflammatory conditions such as rosacea
Who is it designed for?
  • Those interested in reducing the signs of aging and taking great care of their skin
  • Those willing to invest in their skin for the future
Does it work? 

Yes, Obagi professional C serum will work just as well (if not better) than other industry leading vitamin C serums. 

This isn’t true of all Obagi products, but it is true of the professional C serum. 

When using Vitamin C serum make sure that you start out on a low strength (10% in this case) and then slowly increase each time you run out of the bottle with a goal to get to 20% vitamin C concentration. 

If you find that you react with redness, dry skin or irritation then reduce your application down to every other day or go back down in concentration. 

Where to get it:

Learn more about 10% Professional C Serum hereLearn more about 15% Professional C Serum hereLearn more about 20% Professional C Serum here

#7. Obagi CLENZIderm System

Obagi clenziderm 3 step system for fighting acne

The Obagi Clenziderm 3 step system is specifically designed to fight acne in young teens and 20-30 year old adults. 

You can essentially compare this 3 step system by Obagi to the 3 step system by Proactiv (except this system is much better in my opinion). 

The system contains a cleanser, an exfoliator and a moisturizer. 

The trick here is that instead of using heavy moisturizers (which can actually promote acne) it uses a lightweight lotion that contains Benzoyl Peroxide which helps fight bacteria on the skin

The initial cleanser, as well as the exfoliator, both contain salicylic acid which also helps fight acne. 

The 3 step system is definitely worth considering if you are a young adult or teen that is suffering from acne and looking for a high quality substitute to the potentially damaging systems such as Proactiv. 

What it does: 
  • Improves exfoliation of the skin
  • Promotes healthy bacteria concentrations on the skin
  • Reduces inflammation
Who is it designed for?
  • Teenagers suffering from acne
  • Young adults suffering from acne
Does it work? 

Like any acne product it may not cure YOUR acne. 

This system is effective against acne which is the result of an imbalance of bacteria on the skin but will most likely not help with hormonal acne. 

Most people, around 70% of those people who try it, see improvement within several weeks when using this system. 

The key to success is to use it as indicated and to not miss a day in the regimen. 

Where to get it:

Learn more about the Obagi Clenziderm System here

Obagi Buying Guide – Where can you get these Products?

Normally Obagi products were only available through authorizer retailers who have contracted with Obagi. 

And because Obagi was not only difficult to get, but very effective, many knock-off and counterfeit products started to pop up on places like Amazon and Ebay. 

This made purchasing Obagi products online difficult to say the least. 

More recently, however, Amazon has partnered with certain brands (Obagi included) and now certain buyers on Amazon are considered authorized retailers which do indeed sell the legitimate products from Obagi. 

These people can be identified by looking for the “Professional Beauty” or the “Luxury Beauty” tag under the Price area. 

If you see that sign then you know the product is legitimate!

If you prefer, though, you can still go into your local Medical Spa, Cosmetic Dermatology office or Plastic Surgeon to get these products. 

Either way I hope you are able to find these awesome products and get the results you have been looking for! 

Wrapping it up

Are Obagi products the best around?

Not necessarily, but I would be lying if I said they didn’t have some great products. 

When it comes to your skin there is no substitute for simple tried and true trial and error. 

If you are serious about improving the quality of your skin then please make sure that you don’t take my word, but that you start practicing with various products. 

This will help you find exactly what YOU need. 

I know from my experience that I’ve found a regimen that works for me – but I’m always trying new things as well. 

But now I want to hear from you:

Have you used Obagi products before?

Did they work for you?

Why or why not?

Leave your comments below! 

How to Use Obagi Clear as a Skin Lightener & More

Are you interested in lightening your skin or reducing the appearance of age?

If so then the Obagi Clear product may be what you are looking for. 

Learn more about using Obagi clear including who should use it, how it works, why it works and the side effects associated with this facial cream:


What is Obagi Clear?

Obagi clear is the name of one of the products in the 6 step Obagi Nu Derm system. 

If you haven’t read about that system I would recommend you take a look at it here. 

The obagi nu derm system is a 6 step system designed to target all aspects of the aging process and really helps to promote healthy vibrant skin. 

Obagi clear is the third step in this system and its job is to help skin tone. 

It does this by helping to lighten the skin through some very special ingredients. 

But before we talk about the Obagi Clear we should take a few minutes to talk about what Obagi is in general. 

If you’ve ever been to a medical spa or dermatology office then no doubt you’ve heard or have seen Obagi products. 

Obagi is a set of cosmetic and dermatologic products created by medical professionals which contain scientifically backed ingredients that have been rigorously tested for efficacy. 

What does that mean for you?

Basically it means that Obagi products have the scientifically tested ingredients and they have been shown to be effective. 

Does that mean they will work for everyone?

Well, not necessarily – but it means that there is a HIGH chance that they will! 

So with that in mind let’s talk about the specific of Obagi clear. 

Arbutin vs Hydroquinone for Skin Lightening

As I mentioned previously the goal of using Obagi Clear is to help lighten the skin. 

But why is this even a concern?

It may surprise you to know that the #1 concern for aging women is NOT wrinkles

It’s actually the change in skin texture and the addition of age spots.

Now this makes sense if you think about it. 

There is a huge focus on the use of cosmetic dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle products such as Botox or Juvederm. 

Even if you didn’t want to use those you could still consider the use of laser therapy or over the counter hydration wrinkle filler serums that actually do improve wrinkles. 

So from that perspective it seems like the wrinkle issue has been covered really well. 

But what about skin texture and color?

That one is a little more obscure and even though many women want a change they may not even be sure how to get it. 

Traditionally lightining and brightening the skin was the job of high quality Vitamin C serum or other plant based products such as Kojic Acid – but these may not be effective for everyone. 

This is where Obagi clear steps in:

Obagi clear contains an ingredient known as Arbutin. 

Arbutin acts directly on the melanocytes in your skin and PREVENTS the formation of new melanin or new pigment by blocking the tyrosinase enzyme

If you don’t care about the science so much let me break it down:

Basically your body creates melanin which you can consider the pigment of your skin when it is exposed to certain conditions – sunlight, UV light, age, etc. 

Tyrosinase is a critical enzyme in this process and if you can block this enzyme then you can REDUCE the amount of pigment being created. 

Make sense?

So that’s exactly what Arbutin does. 

The awesome part about arbutin is that it is a naturally occuring plant based substance which comes from the bearberry plant. 

This is beneficial because most plant based products tend to be much less irritating! 

If you’ve spent any time researching your skin you are probably aware of another skin lightener known as Hydroquinone. 

You can think of hydroquinone as a much stronger version of arbutin but one that requires a prescription from your Doctor and one that may cause irritation in certain patients.

Hydroquinone is definitely worth knowing about, though, because it may be effective in many people. 

One of the potential downsides of using hydroquinone is that once you stop using it your pigmentation issues may return which means you need to cycle on and off this product. 

But does that mean you shouldn’t use it?

Not necessarily, like anything you want to make sure that you find what works best for YOUR body and it may take a little bit of trial and error. 

So going back to Arbutin for a minute, what conditions will it help and who should use it? 

I’ve provided a list of potential people and conditions that may benefit from the use of Arbutin found in Obagi clear: 

  • Those with sun spots or age spots
  • Those suffering from medical conditions such as Melasma
  • Patients with freckles that they would like to minimize
  • People with hyperpigmentation from healing acne or cystic acne
  • Ruddy texture often associated with age
  • And other skin conditions which cause pigmentation or color changes to the skin

Can Obagi Clear be Used Alone?

This is another frequent question that I hear. 

And it makes perfect sense. 

If Obagi Clear is part of a 6 step system then can it be used by itself?

And the answer is a resounding yes. 

Almost all of the Obagi products in the Nu Derm system can be used and mixed and matched with other products outside of Obagi and they still work quite well. 

In fact that is generally what I recommend to people who are just starting out. 


Because it would be silly to assume that only one company has the BEST product in every category!

That’s not true by a long shot. 

And this problem is further complicated by the fact that each person is unique and different. 

So the bottom line is you may want to try just 1 or 2 of the Obagi Nu derm system before you fully commit to it. 

Obagi Clear Ingredient List

Active ingredients (these are the ingredients that make Obagi clear work): 

Inactive ingredients (these ingredients help create the texture, smell and help stabilize the active ingredients): 

  • Water
  • Cetyl Alcohol
  • Glycerin
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Stearyl alcohol
  • Saponins
  • Sodium metabisulfate
  • BHT
  • Disodium EDTA
  • Butylparaben
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben

Obagi products do tend to be quite effective but it is worth noting that they do contain many chemical ingredients. 

If you are more naturally inclined and like to stick to organic or plant based facial products then this may not be the product for you!

This is also true if you have HIGHLY sensitive skin – you may want to skin to plant based serums and creams. 

Side Effects & What to Expect

In general Obagi clear is very well tolerated and has few side effects. 

Very rarely some people may actually notice an increase in pigmentation (this is a very rare side effect). 

Other individuals with very sensitive skin may break out with rashes or bumps on their face. 

These side effects are rare but do happen and they can be completely eliminated when you stop using the cream. 

Where to get Obagi Clear

Traditionally Obagi products were only available through a medical provider. 

As a company Obagi does their best to prevent counterfeit products and limits selling the product to certain third parties. 

In the past that meant that if you wanted to purchase Obagi you needed to go to your local Med Spa to get it. 

That isn’t the case anymore. 

Now there are verified and legitimate third party distributors on Amazon that sell the real product. 

You can identify these legitimate third parties by looking for the “professional beauty” tag underneath the price tag.

I’ve provided a direct link to make it easier for you or you can search for it by yourself if you prefer!

Overview of Obagi Clear Fx

Why I Like it:

  • Natural skin lightener which isn’t as strong as Hydroquinone
  • Can be combined with other products such as Vitamin C serum to promote healthy skin
  • Dislike: Some chemicals in the product which may not be suitable for highly sensitive skin. 

Why it works:

  • Contains Arbutin and Vitamin C which have a lot of scientific evidence to support their use in anti-aging
  • Also contains alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid to promote  
  • Vitamin E and Vitamin C promote healing of the skin by acting as anti-oxidants to prevent sun damage
  • Arbutin promotes melanin suppression by limiting tyrosinase activity

How to use it:

  • This cleanser can be used in both the AM and the PM after cleansing and toning -> it can also be combined with vitamin C serum
  • Can be used on all skin types
  • *Note: This product does contain sulfites so you should not use this product if you have a known sulfite allergy

Obagi nu derm clearSee other reviews

Final Thoughts

Does Obagi clear work?

The answer is yes and it’s most likely due to the combination of arbutin and Vitamin C which both promote the same thing – skin lightening. 

While it is a very effective serum to help with hyperpigmentation syndromes it is not the only product with arbutin in it

Make sure that you spend time evaluating your skin and finding the best product for your face! 

This may take some trial and error but you will get there over time. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Have you used Obagi clear before?

Did it work for you to lighten your skin?

Why or why not? 

Leave your comments below! 

iS Clinical Cleansing Complex – Should you Buy or Pass on this Cleanser?

This post will go over all of the pros and cons of using the iS Clinical Cleansing Complex including why it’s great for those with gentle skin, who should consider using it and the complete list of both inactive and active ingredients.

If you’ve been considering purchasing or using this cleansing complex then read this review before you buy!  


What is the iS Clinical Cleansing Complex? 

The iS Clinical cleansing complex is simply a gentle cleanser, but it has some interesting qualities and ingredients that make it particularly useful for certain people. 

A cleanser is a word used to describe a type of face wash that is commonly used in a multiple step skin regimen to help men and women get superior results for their skin. 

The first step in any skin care regimen is to help “cleanse” the skin, but it does much more than that

Most of the time our skin doesn’t actually get that dirty, unless we put something like make-up on it. 

Instead cleansers are used to help “slough” off the the dead skin cells and help prevent the “gluing” of dead skin cells to the oil on your skin and onto your face. 

alpha hydroxy acids as face cleansers

This combination is really what is felt to be at the cause of most cases of acne (although this isn’t entirely true either!). 

And while cleansers aren’t necessarily a cure-all treatment for acne they are still very useful because they can help reduce the chance that you will break out

One of the big problems with cleansers is that they aren’t well tolerated by people, especially those with sensitive skin. 

Face washes and cleansers often have very powerful alpha hydroxy acids and other ingredients that are meant to cleanse the skin and exfoliate dead skin. 

The problem is that these added ingredients often cause reactions, irritation, red skin and can even lead to more acne!

So what’s the solution?

The solution is to create a skin care product that can help slough off dead skin cells but that does so without actually irritating the skin. 

And that’s exactly what the iS clinical cleansing complex is supposed to do. 

But Does it Actually Work?

This is a tougher question to answer because each person has such a unique need for skin care products. 

Your skin is going to be different than my skin which is different from your neighbors and so on. 

This is why finding the right type of face wash that fits your complexion and oil production is so important!

chamomile extract for facial cleansers

In my experience, and as someone who has struggled with adult acne and who has probably spent thousands of dollars on skin care products over the years, I can say that this is definitely one of the better cleansers out there right now. 

It’s gentle but still leaves your face feeling clean and refreshed. 

It’s also not nearly as harsh as some other more powerful products such as those found in Obagi or PCA skin care lines. 

Who should use this Cleansing Complex? 

  • People with sensitive skin
  • People who have reacted with redness, itchy or flaky skin with other skin care products
  • Adults struggling with adult acne
  • Teenagers looking for a new cleanser
  • Men who want a high quality cleanser to help keep their skin looking good
  • People who want to get a head-start on their skin care regimen
  • People looking for a relatively “clean” cleanser
  • People who want a high quality supplement with more natural ingredients (and who want to avoid synthetic alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid)
  • People looking for an anti-aging cleanser

Ingredient List

Active ingredients (these are the ingredients that actually make the product effective) include: 

  • Sugar cane extract (a natural source of glycolic acid)
  • White willow bark extract (natural source of salicylic acid)
  • Chamomile flower extract (powerful anti-oxidant to help calm down the skin)
  • Cantella asiatica (anti-oxidant which helps reduce damage to the skin and reduces irritation)

Inactive ingredients (these ingredients help stabilize the active ingredients)

  • Water
  • Disodium laureht sulfosuccinate
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine
  • PEG-30
  • Clyceryl cocoate
  • Glycerin
  • Propylene glycol
  • Carboxymethylcellulose
  • Camellia oleifera leaf extract
  • Asiatic acid
  • Madecassic acid
  • Ascorbyl palmitate
  • Phospholipids
  • Tocopherol acetate
  • Retinyl palmitate
  • DMDM hydantion
  • Iodopropynl butylcarbamate

In general you want to have as few inactive ingredients as possible because these inactive ingredients often cause irritation and redness. 

Believe it or not (despite this long list) this is actually a relatively small amount of inactive ingredients compared to many other products! 

Reviews & Where to Buy

centella asiatica ingredient in is clinical cleansing complex

iS Clinical products are generally only available from certain retailers which can make it difficult to find for some people. 

That generally means you need to head into a local medical spa or dermatologist office to find it.

Luckily there are legitimate retailers who are “approved” by iS Clinical to sell on Amazon (just make sure you are purchasing from the RIGHT buyer). 

Overview of iS Clinical Cleansing Complex

Why I Like it:
  • Price – Price should be an important consideration when purchasing a cleanser and I like this one a lot because even though it’s high quality it doesn’t hit your purse too hard. It will also last FOREVER as long as you are careful not to use too much (by forever I mean at least 3-4 months). So when you calculate out how much you get for the price it ends up being a good deal. 
  • Quality ingredients – I think both the active and inactive ingredients are very important for any cleanser or skin care product. I like this cleanser because it uses natural sources of alpha hydroxy acids which helps you get results without the added irritation that often comes with those types of chemicals. 
Why it works:
  • Ingredients include: Willow bark extract(a natural and gentle exfoliator), sugar cane extract(natural and gentle form of glycolic acid to help reduce oil production).
  • This combination acts to provide your skin with natural forms of both salicylic acid and glycolic acid which help exfoliate the skin, reduce oil production and deep clean your pores without inflammation or irritation. 
  • This product also acts as both a toner and a make up remover which means you can save on other products and not have to risk reacting to these products (remember that a complete skin care line must include a toner)
How to use it:
  • This cleanser can be used in both the AM and the PM – I usually recommend starting with once a day usage (at night) and increasing to both morning and night if you need more of a boost. If you have sensitive skin or you experience redness easily then you can pick just am or pm (preferably after you shower). 
  • Can be combined with moisturizers but make sure you use the moisturizer AFTER the cleansing complex and only AFTER your skin is completely dry
  • I also recommend you combine this with active serum which naturally provides retinol and can seriously ramp up your skin care line. You can read more here

is clinical cleansing complexSee other reviews

Back to you

This cleansing complex is a great starting complex especially for those people who have irritable skin and for those adults who still suffer from occasional acne. 

It will be gentle on your skin but strong enough to fight off oil production and help exfoliate!

But now I want to hear from you:

Have you tried this product before?

Did it work for you?

Why or why not?

Leave your comments below!