REVIEW: Skin Again AHA Exfoliating Cleanser


**Product Offered by Brand for Review**

When I started using this cleanser in early May, my skin was going through a rough patch – literally.  I wasn’t doing a great job of taking care of my skin as the seasons were changing from cool to warm to HOT!! On top of that, I was skipping my regular tretinoin (a class of retinoids manufactured by the Retin-A brand) so my pores were feeling…quite bumpy and my skin was feeling congested.

About the Brand

This cleanser is made in the US by a brand called Skin Again, which is an American company specializing in targeted skincare products with 6 product categories: Youth, Clear, Vanish, Relief, Rescue, and the AHA Exfoliating Cleanser. 
The company is also “Vegan, Gluten-Free, Paraben-Free, Sulphate-Free, and Cruelty-Free” according to their website.  Even the squalene they use in their formulations are plant-based! How awesome is that? Follow the link for more info on plant-based squalane: https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706264/SQUALANE/.

 Ingredients

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Esters, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Lactic Acid, Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) Extract, Acrylates Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin.
The product has a super short ingredients' list which, surprise, is actually a positive thing.  Why? Because the last thing I want is a cleanser pumped full of “filler” chemicals, sulfates, excessive surfectants, fragrances, dyes, etc.  Lots of these filler chemicals do nothing for our skin, so it's better just to leave them out! 

Some stand out ingredients in this product include:
·        Camellia sinensis (green tea) extract
·        Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Esters
·        Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Lactic Acid (AHA components)
Please check out my ingredient guide for more information! ^^

The jojoba beads are very small and non-irritating unlike many other cleansers with physical exfoliants that sometimes actually scratch the sensitive facial skin.  To be honest, I was hesitant about using a cleanser with physical exfoliants on a daily basis since I was worried they would be too harsh for my skin.  But these beads are perfectly sized and offer just the right amount of exfoliation without irritating my skin. 
 Cleanser comes in a clear watery-gel with very small jojoba beads for gentle exfoliation. 

Very mildly foaming action; product still leaves my skin feeling clean.

After cleansing with this product, my skin does not feel excessively dry or tight and I think I have the AHA components of the product to thank for that.  AHA requires a lower pH (~3-3.5) to properly do its work, which means this cleanser probably doesn’t have a scary high pH level like many other cleansers [edit: pH 6.5 - 6.85 which is not considered high for a cleanser, but it is too high for the AHA to be properly effective].  High pH levels in a cleanser can strip the skin of its natural oils and lead to that tight/dry feeling after washing. But I'm quite happy to report that this cleanser's pH is not unreasonable high and does not leave my skin feeling dry after. 
On a similar note, the AHA component of this product is likely not effective in the traditional way we expect AHAs to be helpful, i.e. chemically exfoliate our skin. Why do I say this? Largely because cleansers are a wash-off product and we do not leave them on our skin for a long enough time for the AHA ingredients to do its job.  That’s okay though, because this is why we have targeted AHAs/BHAs serums and lotions that are meant to do the heavy lifting chemical exfoliations.  

Verdict?

The experience? I quite like the jojoba beads now that I’ve gotten used to using them and they provide just enough topical exfoliation without irritating my skin.  The cleanser is very mildly foaming, which I don’t mind at all because high foaming cleansers tend to have – you guessed it – high pH levels and lots of surfectants, meaning my skin will get stripped in the process of cleansing.  So I'm very happy with this product and how it gently cleanses my skin and respects its natural moisture balance. 

The efficacy? Since using the cleanser, my skin has smoothed out quite significantly, but I still get acne and clogged pores from time to time.  However, that's expected because I've struggled with adult acne all my life :( On a positive note, this cleanser has not aggravated my acne in any way.  
As for the product packaging, I've found that because the cleanser stands upright on the bottle cap, when I open the lid a lot of the cleanser comes spilling out and I have a hard time controlling the amount of product I want to use.  As a result, I've gone through a whole bottle a lot quicker than I should've.  If this was in a pump bottle, I think it would've lasted a lot longer than it did for me. 


Efficacy
Price
Formulation
Design
Total
Skin Again AHA Exfoliating Cleanser
4.5/5
4/5
4.5/5

4/5

17/20
You can purchase this product from the following site:
Skin Again http://skinagain.com $36

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