* Prices may differ from that shown
MD Formulations Facial Cleansing Gel for Oily and Very Oily Skin Types is available to buy from beauty salons that use the brand, or from online beauty retailers such as lookfantastic.com, and it can usually be found on eBay. It's an American company, so it's much more easily accessible in the US than it is over here, as well as being far cheaper over there. The RRP for this product in the US is $32 for a 250ml bottle, but here in the UK you can expect to pay anywhere from £20 to £30 for the same size.
Why I Bought It
I've always had greasy, acne-prone skin, right from my early teens, and though for the last few years it hasn't been as bad, it still really bugs me that I can't just have nice clear skin like practically everyone else on the planet! Whilst I hadn't been getting as many spots as I used to, I still broke out regularly and was covered in acne scars. My doctor had prescribed me with various cleansers, creams, tablets and pills over the years, and I'd tried various brands of skincare from the cheap to the uber-expensive, but nothing had made a noticeable difference to my skin.
When I started studying Beauty Therapy last September, one of my tutors recommended the MD Formulations range, saying that it's the only thing she ever recommends for anyone with acne (and I know it wasn't because she has a connection with the brand or was trying to make a sale, as the college has a contract with Dermalogica). So, after hearing her rave about the benefits of these products, I went online to check it out for myself, and decided to buy the cleanser and see how I got on.
The cleanser comes in a very clean and simple, almost clinical looking white cylindrical bottle, with a silver screw-top lid the whole width of the bottle, and a silver band around the top of the bottle, on which the MD Formulations logo sits. The back of the bottle tells us about the product, directions, and cautions.
Personally I find it odd that any company would use a screw-top lid for a cleanser, as they're simply a phaff to use. A flip-top lid would have been much more convenient. As it stands I tend to just leave the lid off the bottle, so that I don't have to unscrew it every morning and night when I come to use the cleanser.
MD Formulations claim that this is a 'rich, lathering daily cleanser that thoroughly cleanses and clarifies oily and problem-prone skin'. The targeted formula contains a revolutionary Glycolic Compound to gently exfoliate surface skin cells. Used morning and night it will remove surface oil, balance oil production, and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, revealing clearer, smoother, healthier-looking skin, and preparing the skin to effectively take in treatments and moisturisers.
Now, basically what this cleanser is supposed to do is speed up the cell renewal process. By removing the surface layer of cells, it's allowing the new, fresh skin cells to come through from underneath. Speeding up the cell renewal process means that the fresh cells from underneath are constantly being allowed to come through, which is why these products can be effective in tackling permanent scarring and pigmentation, as well as less permanent imperfections.
Suitability and Warnings
The cautions on the bottle read, "For external use only. Avoid getting into eyes. If adverse reaction occurs, rinse off product, stop use and ask a physician. Keep away from children."
The product contains an AHA which may increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun and the possibility of sunburn, so it's important to always use a sunscreen and limit your exposure to the sun whilst using this product and for one week after.
Though it is dermatologist and allergy tested, this is a strong formula, so people with sensitive skin should be cautious, and it is a good idea to test the product on a small patch of skin for a while to check for any reaction before using over your whole face. There is a sensitive version available for those with particularly sensitive skin.
On inspecting the bottle I noticed that there's only 11 ingredients in this. All the other 3 cleansers I currently have in the house have more than 23 ingredients, so this has less than half the amount. As far as I'm concerned, the fewer nasty chemicals I'm putting on my skin the better, and the ones on this look decidedly less scary than some of the unpronounceable names on the others!
Lather a liberal amount of gel in your hands, massage onto damp skin, avoiding the eye area. Mild tingling is normal and temporary. Rinse thoroughly with water and pat dry.
The cleanser is a clear gel with a fairly runny consistency and no discernable smell. When water is added, it doesn't really lather up the way I had expected. It doesn't create a white foam as most gel cleansers do, it just stays a watery liquid with a few bubbles here and there, which doesn't really merit the use of the term 'lathering' in the product description.
The only way I can describe how this feels on my skin in use is 'strange' or 'odd'. It really is the strangest sensation, it feels almost as if the cleanser is gliding over the skin without affecting it in any way. The first time I used it I was sure I would soon be selling it on eBay to try and recoup some of the money I'd 'wasted' on it, as it really didn't feel like it was doing anything.
However, when you rinse it off, it becomes clear that it has affected the skin, though not in a way you'll be used to if you generally use deep cleansing/purifying washes which leave you with a deep clean 'tingly' sensation. Instead this leaves the skin feeling really soft and smooth, and clean and fresh, but not in a 'wow' kind of way. If you do like the 'tingly' clean sensation that some deep cleansers give (as I do) then you may want to keep some handy for use on those days when your skin feels particularly grubby, as this doesn't feel as though it's cleaning well enough to tackle particularly dirty skin, like for instance when you've been wearing loads of pore-clogging make-up or got a sweat on at the gym.
I have sensitive skin and have not found this product to cause any problems.
When I use a product like this I like to keep a sort of diary of my progress (a habit left over from when I was on various prescribed acne medications), otherwise it can be hard to see just how much of a difference it is making, so here's an adapted version of my diary to show the results this had on my skin in the first 4 weeks of use:
Day 1- I'm surprised that I can already feel a difference in my skin. It feels much softer and smoother with less noticeable 'bumps', and it also feels less course and less oily.
Week 1 - My skin now feels amazingly clean all the time, as well as being super smooth and soft. My spots have started to clear up noticeably, and my skin looks much healthier. It's now generally much less greasy than normal and my pores are less noticeable. I have developed small patches of dry white flaky skin at either side of my mouth.
Week 2 - I have started to notice that some of my smaller scars are beginning to fade slightly, so whereas before they were very red, they are now less noticeable. Most of my spots have pretty much disappeared, and the ones I am left with are much less red and angry looking than usual. The dry skin that had developed has disappeared on it's own with no intervention from me.
Week 3 - My skin is almost completely clear for the first time in years. I can now say I no longer suffer from continual 'breakouts', as it were, I just seem to be getting the odd big red spot popping up at the most annoying times, and a small hormonal breakout around the time of the month.
Week 4 - I'm completely amazed at how clear my skin looks! I now have no spots at all for the majority of the time, just getting the odd hormonal breakout around the time of the month, which no cleanser could cure. Most of my acne scars have almost completely disappeared, and the few larger scars that are still left are nowhere near as visible as they were before I started using this.
So, as you can see, the results were great and achieved pretty quickly, though obviously the results would vary from person to person and some people may have to use it for months before they start to see results.
After using the cleanser for a further 6 weeks after the initial 4, all my acne scars had disappeared. The only scar I have left on my face now is a small burn mark at the top of my left cheek, but even this has faded dramatically, and I'm hoping with continual use it will eventually fade to nothing.
I couldn't be more pleased with this stuff, I think it's amazing. The results for me have been nothing short of miraculous, and I'll continue to use this for as long as it's possible, and also try out some of the other products in the range. I know it seems expensive when you first see the price, but a bottle lasts me about 5 months, so its actually really good value for money. It's the only thing that's ever worked for me and as an added bonus it should keep my skin looking fresh and young for longer! For anyone who suffers from acne or acne scarring, this is the only thing I'd recommend!
Gentle, light-lathering cleanser rinses away daily residue, makeup and oil / For oily and problem-prone skin /