MDSUN has been one of my favorite brands for a long time. Like a more luxurious (and, quite frankly, concentrated ingredient-packed) Skinceuticals, MDSUN is pretty amazing and a go-to whenever I’m looking for new products.
With that said, you can imagine my excitement when I recently found MDSUN Active Cleanser. This cleanser is a lightweight gel containing a high concentration of AHAs, including mandelic, glycolic, and lactic acids; Vitamin B5; hydrolyzed soy protein; whitening/brightening agents, including octadecenedoic acid; and soothing beta-glucan. A lightweight gel, if you apply it for at least a minute before rinsing, it deep cleanses, removes dead skin cells, tightens pores, and minimizes breakouts. It leaves skin renewed, energized, and hydrated.
For more, read on!
One of the main ingredients in MDSUN Active Cleanser, mandelic acid, is an alpha hydroxy acid derived from almonds. When applied to the skin in concentrations as high as in MDSUN Active Cleanser, mandelic acid has been shown to be a potent antioxidant in the skin (Tetrahedron).
A review in Clinics in Dermatology further found that mandelic acid takes down skin roughness and fine lines.
Glycolic acid is to skin care what jeans are to your wardrobe: It may not be the fanciest item on the shelf, but it is certainly a staple of anyone who knows what actually works.
Here’s why. Glycolic acid is the smallest of the alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), so it penetrates skin better and faster than any of its AHA counterparts like lactic acid, malic acid, or mandelic acid. Both in vitro and in vivo tests have shown glycolic acid may increase collagen production, fibroblast proliferation, and cell turnover rates (Dermatologic Surgery).
Glycolic acid acts as both a moisturizer and an exfoliator. With regular use, studies show glycolic acid will increase the skin’s natural supply of hyaluronic acid. It also exfoliates by increasing the separation of skin cells, a process called corneocyte desquamation, resulting in even more cell turnover! And you know what that means: smoother, more elastic skin (Skin Therapy Letter).
For these reasons, you’ll find glycolic acid in more skin care products than any of the other AHAs. For a cleanser, MDSUN Active Cleanser contains a high concentration of glycolic acid, which means that it should help with the appearance of rough, pore-clogged skin with regular use over time.
A popular alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), lactic acid an be naturally extracted from milk, but is usually synthesized in a lab for use in cosmetics in order to ensure its purity. Lactic acid’s smoothing abilities are similar to that of glycolic acid. However, many dermatologists prefer to use glycolic acid because it has a smaller chemical structure than lactic acid, allowing glycolic acid to penetrate the skin better. In fact, according one study, glycolic acid has been proven to increase skin firmness with regular use over time, while lactic acid does not do this.
So why do I love lactic acid? Simple: The advantage to lactic acid is that it does not temporarily thin the skin like more harsh agents, such as retinoids, according to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. This is particularly useful during the summer months, when UV rays are the strongest.
I also love lactic acid because it is really hydrating. Proof of lactic acid’s humectant abilities is that one of the only prescription drugs FDA approved for dry skin, LacHydrin, has lactic acid (12%) as the main ingredient. Pretty impressive!
Yes, it’s an awful-sounding name, but there’s not much else awful about octadecenedioic acid. A new-line agent against generalized hyperpigmentation, skin sallowness, and age spots, octadecenedioic acid has shown promise. Although most anti-hyperpigmentation cosmetic agents are designed to combat tyrosinase, an enzyme necessary for pigment production within the skin, octadecenedioic acid is designed to bind to a receptor involved in pigment production called PPAR (International Journal of Cosmetic Science). Basically, if the PPAR receptor is filled, or blocked, by octadecenedioic acid, PPAR can’t bind to the proteins necessary to produce pigmentation as per usual.
Early studies suggest octadecenedioic acid shows great promise, with it being associated with decreased tyrosinase activity in the skin and even repaired hyperpigmented skin in studies (International Journal of Cosmetic Science).
Hydrolyzed soy protein
According to Johnson & Johnson, soy contains small proteins, soybean trypsin inhibitor (STI), Bowman-Birk inhibitor (BBI), amino acids, essential fatty acids, isoflavones, lecithins, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, saponins, phytosterols, phytic acid, minerals and vitamins.
According to Paula Begoun, author of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, one isoflavone contained in soy is genistein, which has been shown in independent research studies to exhibit both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and to stimulate the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid in human fibroblasts cultured in vitro, which together increase the firmness, elasticity, and suppleness of skin.
Finally, it has been reported in this 2000 study in the journal Dermatology that human trials demonstrate lightening of hyperpigmentation after use of soybean extract for two weeks.
In a rinse-off product like MDSUN Active Cleanser, soy extract is a great addition that may help with the hydration and evenness of skin with regular use over time.
Panthenol (vitamin B5)
Studies have indicated that panthenol is good for speedy wound recovery, though there is not enough substantial evidence to prove this (University of Maryland Medical Center). A separate study with 100 oily-skinned males found that after two to three days of applying a panthenol-containing cream four to six times daily many of the test subjects had noticeably less oily skin. After two weeks pores shrank noticeably, acne began to heal and newer acne came about less frequently. By week eight, many of the acne scars had faded and acne emergence was significantly controlled.
Panthenol is a special kind of moisturizer, called a humectant. What separates humectants from your every-day moisturizer is that it puts a protective film on your skin (or hair) while pulling in moisture from your surroundings and depositing it in layers of skin. For the best results, find a creram with 1-5% panthenol. Plus, panthenol is a great hair and nail-strengthening agent (Panthenol – The Beautifier).
Researchers also found that animal scarring was noticeably reduced, and scar tissue tightened, when participants received oral and topical supplements (Gregory S Kelly, ND). A study by Jerajangi et al. found that panthenol was also key in reducing skin dispigmentation (from scarring, pimples, etc) and reds (Indian Journal of Dermatology).
How to Use MDSUN Active Cleanser
Make-up Remover: Place a small amount of cleanser to dry face (forehead, nose, cheeks and chin). Gently massage from the bottom to the top of the face until make-up is removed. Gently clean by wiping your face with a cotton pad.
Face Wash: Dampen hands, face, and neck with water. Place a small amount of cleanser in the palm of your damp hands and foam, adding more water as needed. Gently foam, wash face and neck, (do not rub) and rinse off until clean.
For anyone with normal to oily skin and experiencing signs of aging, I highly recommend MDSUN Active Cleanser. It’s a phenomenal product and I can’t say enough great things about it!
Glycolic Acid, Provitamin B5, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Lactic Acid, β- Glucan
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