Hydroxy Acids Part IV: The Best Hydroxy Acid Product Reviews and Recommendations of All Time

After an entire month, we’ve finally arrived at the most helpful part of this series: product recommendation. For each family of hydroxy acids, I will be reviewing and recommending three products from weakest to strongest potency with a review of the strongest product. If you haven’t checked out the earlier posts in the series, you really should:

Top 3 Products with Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

Paula's Choice 1.)  Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment (5% GA and 0.5% SA, pH = 3.5) ($25.95 for 1.7 oz)

Positives: This contains a high amount (about 1% based on the ingredient list) of palmitoyl oligopeptide, which has been shown to stimulate collagen production in human fibroblasts (1). Whether or not it can penetrate past the stratum corneum is unknown, but it most likely can because of its structural similarities to the Matrixyl family of peptides. There’s also high amounts of ceramide 2, which is a component of the epidermal barrier that increases water content without adding too much emollience.

There are also high (>0.5%) amounts of several curcumin extracts, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacities; as well as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is the most important polyphenolic component of green tea; and caffeic acid, a precursor to ferulic acid, which is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Finally, there are moderate to low amounts of vitamin E, as well as the anti-inflammatory ingredients melon extract, bisabolol and allantoin, which will help offset any irritation that comes from the hydroxy acid contents.

Negatives:  In my opinion, the only way that this product could be improved, was if it included some L-ascorbic acid (maybe 5-7%), since the pH is appropriate and already contains stabilizers like vitamin E and ferulic acid (as caffeic acid). That would have netted this product a 100% rating. But alas, nothing’s perfect. Still, this is one of my Holy Grail products! Used every other day in my routine, it really just takes care of any dry, flaky skin, while leaving my face supple, lustrous, and smooth without any irritation. Bravo!

Overall: Given the low, but still efficacious amount of glycolic acid (5%), this is an excellent everyday chemical exfoliant that I’d recommend to virtually every skin type — I really can’t think of one that wouldn’t benefit from this fantastic combination product! Not only does it contain GA, which will smooth and hydrate the skin, it also has a bit of SA (0.5%), which is enough for those who get that occasional breakout. Not to mention that you’re also getting a documented peptide, several antioxidants, water-binding agents, and anti-inflammatories thrown into the mix. And it’s all wrapped up in an elegant vehicular base that’s silky (due to the butylene glycol content) and light (thanks to a tad of cetyl alcohol)!

Perfect as the sole moisturizer for oily skin types, and can be easily layered with other products for dry sin types.

Rating: 98%


Water, Glycolic Acid (AHA exfoliant), Cetyl Alcohol (thickener), Butylene Glycol (slip agent and penetration enhancer), Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (cell-communicating ingredient), Ceramide 2 (skin-identical ingredient), Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuoylmethane (anti-irritants/antioxidants derived from curcumin), Epigallocatechin Gallate, Caffeic Acid (antioxidants), Salicylic Acid (BHA exfoliant/anti-irritant), Disodium Lauriminodipropionate Tocopheryl Phosphates (vitamin E-based antioxidant), PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol (fatty acid thickener), Cucumis Melo (Melon) Fruit Extract (antioxidant), Bisabolol, Allantoin (anti-irritants), Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethiconol (silicone slip agents/texture enhancers), Tribehenin (texture enhancer), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, PPG-14 Butyl Ether, PEG-40 Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate (thickeners), PVM/MA Decadiene Crosspolymer, Polyacrylamide (film-forming agents), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), C13-14 Isoparaffin (solvent), Laureth-7 (emulsifier), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin-conditioning agent), Hexylene Glycol (solvent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir 2.)  Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir (8-10% GA, pH = 3.8) ($31.99 for 1.7 oz): With its slightly higher acid concentration and pH, this is slightly more potent than the RESIST Daily Treatment. It has a marginally more emollient base, due to the high glycerin content, but can still be used for all skin types. The other ingredients present, while not as impressive as the RESIST Daily, are still very good. They include moderate amounts of palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 or Matrixyl, which has been shown to improve photodamaged skin (2), as well as vitamin B5 (a humectant), and green tea and grape seed extracts (both antioxidants). Overall, it’s quite excellent.

Rating: 97%

Paula's Choice RESIST Weekly Resurfacing Treatment3.)  Paula’s Choice RESIST Weekly Resurfacing Treatment (10% GA, pH = 3.5) ($28.95 for 2 oz): At 10%, this can be a bit too potent and irritating for daily use. This is further exemplified due to the liquid vehicular base (water, butylene glycol, and a penetration enhancer methylpropanediol), that allows the GA to directly interact with the skin, with little to no chance of occlusion. There are many well-documented beneficial ingredients that would take too long to list and describe. But given the liquid base, they (the antioxidants) are most likely irrelevant because such compounds are easily oxidized in water alone. It doesn’t help that the packaging, which is the best that it can be for a liquid/toner base, allows air to easily reach the product. However, their presence is still good, and I’ll take “some benefit” over “no benefit” any day. There are also several anti-inflammatories that once again, are in place to offset the irritation potential of GA. This can be used by all skin types except the most sensitive and is overall, one of the best available on the market today.

Rating: 96%  

Top 3 Products with Salicylic Acid (SA)

Paula's Choice Clarifying toner

1.)  Paula’s Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Acne Relief Exfoliating Toner (2% SA, pH = 3.2) ($18.95 for 4 oz): This is the most potent OTC SA treatment that I could find. While not containing many other “beneficial” ingredients; it only has a tiny bit of green tea; this liquid SA exfoliant is fantastic! Just like with the RESIST Weekly Treatment, the liquid base allows the SA to penetrate the skin without any occlusion or resistance. Furthermore, because of the presence of the same penetration enhancer methylpropanediol, the SA not only penetrates more deeply, but can do so for a longer period of time. SA, partly because it’s lipid soluble nature, needs a vehicle that’s also lipid-soluble and doesn’t evaporate quickly. Once the vehicle becomes volatile (evaporates), SA’s capacity to penetrate and function becomes largely compromised as seen in SA chemical peels, where a white precipitate of SA will form, signifying that exfoliation is no longer occurring. That’s why SA chemical peels don’t need to be neutralized, unlike GA. So the methylpropanediol, which has a slightly greasy texture, is the ideal partner to SA because it allows the latter to keep exfoliating without getting in the way via occlusion. This is another Holy Grail product. Win!

Rating: 97%

Neutrogena 3 in 1 Stress Control

2.)  Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-In-1 Hydrating Acne Serum (2% SA, pH = 3.4) ($5.99 for 2 oz): In a silky lotion-gel base, this product is excellent as a moisturizer for those with oily skin types. Its primary occlusive agents are all silicones and therefore, form a breathable, but water-impermeable layer. This also contains moderate amounts of the calming cucumber and vitamin B5 compounds, as well as the antioxidant green tea. For a drugstore product, this is excellent. And this is completely irrelevant, but it smells SO good.

Rating: 90%

Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion3.)  Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion (0.5% SA, pH = 2.9) ($16- for 6.7 oz): This is a slightly viscous toner that’s appropriate for those who don’t really deal with breakouts, perhaps just the occasional blackheads and whiteheads; or for those who are sensitive to SA, but still want the benefits. This product contains some water-binding agents such as arginine and millet seed extract. Overall, it’s a mundane but still effective formula for select users. Plus, the price is pretty good.

Rating:  80%

Products with Lipohydroxy Acid (LHA)

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any products that were worth mentioning. Most of the ones that I encountered had at least one glaring negative or unknown aspect that couldn’t be overlooked. Some had too high pH values or unknown ones, while others had too low concentrations or contained high amounts of alcohol. Some were also included in cleansers, which I typically don’t recommend. Cleansers don’t stay on the skin long enough to allow for adequate exfoliation. Anyways, every product I looked up had at least one or a combination of these issues so again, I cannot recommend any of them. We’ll just have to wait until more products start featuring this promising ingredient!

Top 3 Products with Polyhydroxy Acids (PHAs)

Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Renewer1.)  Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer (~2-5% LBA, pH 3.6) ($49.00 for 1 oz): This contains lactobionic acid, which while less studied than gluconolactone (GL), looks promising. However, this product is more appropriate for those who are looking for very gentle exfoliation and brightening of the skin, as this also contains high amounts of the mulberry extract, which has been shown to lighten the skin by inhibiting the tyrosinase enzyme (like most lighteners) as well as the oxidation of L-DOPA (dihydroxyphenylalanine) (3). It has also been shown that PHAs like simpler AHAs, work synergistically with various lighteners (4). This also contains other well-documented ingredients such as grape extract (antioxidant), wheat germ and rice bran extracts (humectants), as well as a tiny amount of SA. Overall, this is a great product for those who are looking for a brightening serum/light moisturizer who have not had good results with AHAs and lighteners such as hydroquinone.

Rating 93%

Neostrata Bionic Lotion

2.)  Neostrata Bionic Lotion, 15 PHA (12% GL and 3% LBA, pH 3.8) ($35.00 for 3.4 oz): This doesn’t contain anything really exciting other than the PHAs. However, I recommended this because of the high concentrations of two LHAs and the price per ounce is excellent! Again, this product was also recommended because it doesn’t contain any triethanolamine. This particular formula is suited for those with normal to dry skin types.

Rating: 90%

Exuviance Matte Perfection3.)  Exuviance Matte Perfection (10% GL and Mandelic Acid (MA), pH = 3.7) ($31.90 for 1 oz): While not containing any beneficial ingredients like antioxidants, etc. this does deserve attention because its vehicular base is very light and appropriate for even the most oily of skin types. Mandelic acid, while not previous mentioned before, is an AHA that appears to function like a less-irritating GA (5). I also recommended this because it’s one of the few Exuviance products that doesn’t use the pH balancer triethanolamine, which due to its high alkalinity has the potential to generate nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic.

Rating: 83.3%


I realize that there are a million and one well-formulated products that contain AHAs and SA, such as the ones available from Alpha Hydrox, Glytone, and PCA Skin. However, I tried to find products that go above and beyond the baseline requirement of having just hydroxy acids. Not all of

Keep in mind that I didn’t cite a lot of the stuff I said about various ingredients, just because if I were to cite every ingredient that I mentioned and explain their differing mechanisms of action, that would take a year and a day, or two! So in good faith, I assuming that you guys will believe me when I state something. Of course, if you would like more information or documentation, or if you would like to see a more detailed review of a product, let me know on my blog or down below in the comments section.

Well, that wraps up our FOUR part discussion about hydroxy acids! Phew! If you’d like to nominate a topic for next week’s post, please let me know!


  1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1529-8019.2007.00148.x/abstract
  2. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-2494.2005.00261.x/abstract
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21946069
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15002656
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19076192

by Nicki Zevola

18 thoughts on “Hydroxy Acids Part IV: The Best Hydroxy Acid Product Reviews and Recommendations of All Time

  1. Pingback: Hydroxy Acids Part IV: The Best Hydroxy Acid Products-FutureDerm Post! v 0.06 « TheTripleHelixLiaison

  2. Pat Williamson says:

    Paula choice (AHAs) I want to try this,but i have dry skin.You said it can be layered with other products.What did you mean/What other products?If i cain’t use this one what do you recommend?i have dry,mature skin. I enjoyed your site very informative. Thanks

  3. John says:

    @Pat Williamson

    What I mean by layering is that after you apply the 5% glycolic acid serum and waiting at least 30 minutes, you can go ahead and apply a thicker and more emollient cream on top of it. I see no reason why you can’t use this product, because it’s excellent.

    I hope that helped. :)

  4. janine says:

    I realize I am about 6 mos late to the party here, but I am just getting around to this post and have a question: Do you think it is more beneficial to use a lower percentage AHA daily/every other day or a more potent AHA (like a “peel”) once a week, provided your skin can tolerate it.
    I am currently using prescription Tazorac daily (.05%) with the Dr. Dennis Gross Xtra strenghth peel once per week but am intrigued with the idea of incorporating the PC Daily smoothing treatment into my regimen. I have 48 year old skin that likes to erupt into occassional mild breakouts along the jawline.
    Gosh, sometimes i feel like i must really annoy you………but you are always so kind and tolerant!

  5. John Su says:


    You guys NEVER annoy me. I’m here to help. You know what does annoy me, though? Impossible product claims, companies who only care about money, and ignorant or lying salespeople! Ugh! The skin care world would be so much better without them.

    Anyways, it just depends on your skin and what you’re hoping to achieve from an AHA product. More powerful in-office peels are used to correct things like sunspots and/or stimulate collagen production. However, at home products are not potent enough to significantly induce this type of change. Instead, these products are used to siphon off dead cells on the surface of the skin. So it just depends on what your skin can tolerate on a daily or regular basis, whether it’s a 5% or 15% glycolic acid product.

    But personally for you, considering that you’re already using Tazorac daily, I wouldn’t recommend the 5% Daily treatment because its lotion/gel texture may slightly reduce the efficacy of the Tazorac via occlusion. You’ll want something that’s has a liquid or toner-like texture, and the only one that I would recommend it the PC 10% Weekly treatment. However, given that it contains 10% glycolic acid, it may be too potent for everyday use. Again, it just depends on your skin’s tolerability. I’d recommend perhaps using it every other night before the Tazorac. Apply the 10% and wait maybe 10-15 minutes for it to set, and then go ahead and apply the Tazorac. If you experience any irritation, change it to every three days or something; I’m sure you will adjust accordingly.

    But yeah, give the 10% a try. I wouldn’t recommend the Dr. Dennis Extra Strength Peel because the pH is a bit too high to allow for meaningful exfoliation; it’s at 4.7! The tightening or refining effects that you’re seeing are most likely from the alcohol and witch hazel contents, NOT the hydroxy acid contents. And don’t even get me started with Step 2. The many beneficial ingredients are inactivated by the high pH of sodium bicarbonate, not to mention that the pads are packaged in a jar… Why do companies do this?!

    Bit yeah, I hope that helps and good luck!

  6. janine says:

    Ok, i was thinking more of alterating Tazorac night regimen with an AHA night regimen (one night Tazorac, next night AHA product, etc) and not necessarily combining the two because i thought i read on one of your posts that AHA’s and retinoids should never be used in conjunction with each other……did i misunderstand?
    BTW, thanks for the head’s up on the Dr. Dennis product. God, i wish you could visit my medicine cabinet……….

  7. John Su says:


    Yeah, you can certainly alternate between the two products. So the 10% PC treatment may work out after all. I just thought you wouldn’t want to stop the daily application of Tazorac because (I assumed) you were getting great results with it. But studies have shown (with tretinoin) that after a year of daily application, you only need to apply it at least 3x a week to maintain the results. So that’s good news!

    Finally, when I said that retinoids shouldn’t be used with acidic products like L-ascorbic acid and hydroxy acids here: http://thetriplehelixian.com/2012/09/10/part-ii-retinol-metabolism-contd-retinol-degradation-and-strength-combination-use-of-hydroxy-acids-and-retinol-v-0-03/, I was only referring to non-prescription retinoids: retinol and retinaldehyde. The pH issue has to do with the conversion process of these two compounds into tretinoin, which wouldn’t apply to tretinoin… since it’s already tretinoin!

    Does that make sense?

    Also, since you’re using Tazorac, that compound has even less to do with the pH issue because there is no topical precursor to tazarotene. While they’re both retinoids, the chemical structure of tazarotene hardly resembles that of tretinoin. So relax!

    Thanks for commenting! ;)

  8. Alyzze says:

    @ John

    Really?!?!? I’m going back on Tazorac! I was on it and honestly i’ve tried Retin A Micro, Retin A, Differin XP.. etc but Tazorac was a blessing for dark skin.. from comepletely removing my blackheads to smoothing skin texture but the most marked improvement was in the reduction of melasma/hyperpigmentation. Post Inflammatory HyperPigmentation is not friendly and can be exhausting and demotivating ( though I did use a Hydroquinone 4% cream to help prevent that when i had breakouts or skin peeling)

    Ok so let me get this straight.. Tazarotene & HA’s do not cancel each other out?!?!?! — shoudl I still wait between them when using them ?

    I know u didnt include any LHA products but what abotu Biodermic aka Skinceuticals Biodermic which uses LHA .. they have a pre-peel toner that I found pretty effective but it has a very high alcohol content ( which is not so great for my PIH)

    Also is it more effective to mix Glycolic and Salycylic acid products together? I also see u mentioned Mandelic acid ( yay!) what are your thoughts on Nucelle … http://www.nucelle.com/mandelicSerum15.htm .. i have to admit this stuff was so strong i couldn’t leave it on my hands without it starting to get flaxy after a few days so i had to wash my hands immediately.. but not a breakout in sight while i used it!

    Thanks so much for these great posts.


  9. John Su says:


    Yes you read that correctly! Tazorac and HAs do NOT cancel each other out. Again, please read this post for more information: http://thetriplehelixian.com/2012/09/10/part-ii-retinol-metabolism-contd-retinol-degradation-and-strength-combination-use-of-hydroxy-acids-and-retinol-v-0-03/ You don’t need to wait between applications, except to let the hydroxy acid product dry or at least partially set.

    And I can’t seem to find the Skinceuticals Biodermic product… But anyways, if it contains a lot of alcohol, you answered your own question. The alcohol content makes your skin much more prone to irritation, which wouldn’t be doing your PIH a favor.

    As for mixing glycolic and salicylic acid products, it really just depends on the pH values of the individual products. Because the pKa of SA is lower than GA, it is difficult to come up with a mixture that allows both to exfoliate properly without being overly aggressive. Perhaps you should consider alternating hydroxy acid products every night, before applying the Tazorac.

    As for the Nucelle product, it’s fine. My only concern that whether or not the irritation that this induces is worth any positive effects that it may provide. There just isn’t enough research in my opinion for you to use this rather than your already very potent routine of hydroxy acids and retinoids. However, the choice is ultimately yours.

    You’re very welcome and thanks for taking the time to comment on all these posts!

  10. nelson says:

    HEY HEY HEY XD erm i found this product by neoceuticals (idk why i cant find it on neostrata’s website)


    same ingredient list as exuviance matte perfection and usd$10 cheaper!!! and according to beautypedia, its formulated at the right pH to exfoliate too! im not sure if the % of gluconolactone and mandelic acid is the same as the exuviance product though


    tell me if im making a mistake here =3

  11. John Su says:


    Great find! It looks about right to me, though of course, the ingredients only tell so much. Like you mentioned, the concentrations can’t be determined, and that can affect everything from the texture to the delivery system. But give it a shot!

  12. Linda says:

    Hi John: I’m getting ready to buy more of your recommended products! I use Glytone 20% at night alternating with Retin A micro and it was recommended I add a glycolic product in the daytime too if I can tolerate it. Which I think I can. Can I use either the Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment or the Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixer UNDER my C/R/S 15% antioxidant or under my Timeless CE Ferulic? Does the application of these creamy mild glycolic products under my antioxidants prevent proper absorption of the antioxidants? Should I wait before adding the antioxidant or not use the cream under it at all? Would the 8% Paula’s Choice AHA gel be a better consistency to increase the absorption of the antioxidant serums? I don’t want to waste the effectiveness of the C/R/S since it’s so expensive! Any feedback you have time for would make my day!

  13. John Su says:


    I’m stoked that you take my recommendations seriously! But before I go into further details, can I ask who said that you should use a glycolic product during the daytime in addition to the nighttime? As glycolic acid’s primary function is to exfoliate the skin and create a smoother surface, do you personally feel that your skin requires the additional application?

    I’m asking these questions because I personally don’t recommend using AHAs during the daytime, especially if you’re going outside. I don’t know if you say Part 3 of this series here: http://www.futurederm.com/2012/05/10/hydroxy-acids-part-iii-common-misconceptions-of-hydroxy-acids/, but I established in misconception #3 that AHAs (particularly glycolic acid) do make the skin slightly more sensitive to UV rays. Of course, if you apply antioxidants and a good sunscreen, the marginal degree of photosensitivity may not be relevant.

    However, why take that risk? It is my belief that at a proper strength and frequency of application, using a glycolic acid product every (or every other) night should be sufficient for most people. It is for this reason that I asked if you feel like you really NEED more glycolic acid in your routine, especially considering you already use something with 20% of it.

    Anyways, if you feel compelled to add glycolic acid to your daytime routine, you can certainly use any glycolic acid product under your L-ascorbic acid ones, and you can apply them within a few minutes of each other (since they have similar pH values). As for the product recommendations, the RESIST Daily has a slightly thinner texture and less occlusive finish than the Olay, making it the more desirable choice. However, as I noted in the article, it has a lower % of GA. And if you’re willing to go up to the 8-10% in the Olay, you might as well get the RESIST Weekly. The main reason to choose the latter is because its weightless liquid/toner texture will work best when it comes to layering products. Glycolic acid acid may marginally increase absorption, but the vehicle in which it is suspended will also marginally inhibit absorption. So the thinner the texture, the better. And finally, the 8% AHA does have a very light (gel) texture as well. But from personal experience, it is less effective than both its 5% and 10% RESIST relatives.

    Does that all make sense?

  14. Linda says:

    Hi John, that TOTALLY makes sense! You and Dr. Cynthia Bailey are my skincare gurus! I have been following Dr. Bailey’s recommendations for several years which prompted me to alter my skincare routine specifically by adding a Clarisonic, C/R/S and Glycolic to my Retin A (evening)/Sunscreen (daytime) regime. I’ve noticed an amazing difference in my skin! My routine has been further enhanced and cleverly clarified by your sunscreen/antioxidant/AHA posts and valuable feedback! I read that glycolic increases collagen, so I have been trying to add more of it to my regime. Hey, anything to increase collagen! In the following link, under Dr. Bailey’s “Directions for Use” she references building up to twice a day of glycolic. I’ve read it elsewhere too, I just can’t find where! http://www.drbaileyskincare.com/glycolic-acid-face-cream.shtml

    I completely agree with what you said in your reply, so I guess I’m weighing the “boosting collagen” aspects of glycolic with the possible extra sun damage and over exfoliation of adding an AHA to my morning routine. I don’t even want a marginal extra degree of extra photosensitivity, as you mentioned. My #1 skincare goal is to avoid sun damage. So I’m going to follow your advise and skip the glycolic during the day. My Retin A micro and glycolic product are doing enough work building collagen and exfoliating it sounds like. Sound reasoning, thank you. You just saved me some cash on another product and put my mind at ease once again now that I have an answer! Feel free to contact me if you end up doing “consulting” work for a fee! Hey it’s a good idea, I’d be your first customer!!

  15. John Su says:


    Yay! I’m super thrilled to help, and thank you for such awesome compliments!

    And while glycolic acid is great, twice per day is definitely not the ideal frequency in my opinion. All the benefits that are listed By Dr. Bailey in that link you provided, are true to different extents! However, there are other ingredients that can do those and do them in better. With very few exceptions, it’s never wise to depend too strongly on a single ingredient. ;)

    Please let me know if you have any more questions.

  16. kym Yeo says:

    Hi John, I realise that PH information for the products are not readily available. when I check on the websites for Exuviance or Skinceutical, I could not find the PH information. How do you get the information, pls enlighten. Thanks.

  17. John Su says:

    @kym Yeo

    I usually get the pH information off of http://www.beautypedia.com. If I can’t find it there, I’ll look for that info by running searches on Google and Yahoo.

    But yeah, unless you actually test a product for its pH, there’s no way to determine a product’s pH by looking at the ingredients list alone.

  18. Scarlett says:

    I am confused about pH and exfoliation. Don’t cosmetics chemists test their own formulations to see if they actually work? It’s not like the concept of pH is secret or obscure, surely chemists, of all people, understand how it affects topical skin care?

    Why would anybody even bother to put glycolic/lactic/whatever acid in a product for no reason at all. I assume that cosmetics formulations require the perfect balance of ingredients for them to be effective and generally safe for consumers.

    While Beautypedia is a nice source for Skin Care 101 information, it is written for the general public, and its reviews are based on the opinions of consumer advocates, not cosmetics chemists or dermatologists. I highly doubt that cosmetics chemists use it as a source to determine the pH of their products. Won’t any major company employ a products testing lab to ensure their products are effective?

    If Beautypedia is your soul source for such information, it’s no wonder Paula’s Choice exfoliators earn your prime recommendations. The other recommended products happen to have good ratings on Beautypedia, as well.

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