Overnight Exfoliating Treatment
Good Molecules’ Overnight Exfoliating Treatment is a frustrating product because it gets so much right about what it takes to exfoliate skin… and then undoes it with some poor ingredient choices.
Housed in a frosted glass bottle with a dropper dispenser, this lightweight, serum-like fluid immediately absorbs into skin without a sticky or tacky feel.
As claimed, this features glycolic acid (in an 8.05% concentration), lactic acid (in a 1.035% concentration) and salicylic acid (in a 0.1% concentration). The amount of glycolic and lactic acids is enough to make a noticeable difference in the appearance of skin’s tone and texture, as well as improve signs of sun damage.
Salicylic acid at 0.1% won’t have an impact on pores (as greater concentrations do), but it still has hydrating and soothing properties. Even better: this is formulated at a pH of 3.45, meaning it’s in the optimal range to exfoliate.
As good as this news is, unfortunately the rest of the formula lacks an interesting array of ingredients, like skin-soothing allantoin or licorice, to support its stars. Even worse, there are two types of drying alcohol in the formula (alcohol denatured and alcohol), along with five fragrant citrus extracts. They’re not at the top of the ingredient list, but all of them put skin at risk for irritation, which can cause a cascade effect of skin problems that this product is designed to treat (see More Info below for details).
While this gets the fundamentals of exfoliation right, it’s just not supported by the rest of its ingredients. You’ll find better options on our list of best exfoliants.
- Lightweight texture absorbs into skin without a sticky or tacky feel.
- Contains an effective amount of salicylic acid and glycolic acid.
- Formula is in the optimal pH range for exfoliation.
- Contains two types of skin-drying alcohol.
- Includes fragrant citrus extracts that put skin at risk for irritation.
Irritating Ingredients: We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, abrasive, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice!
Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.
Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.
A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for your skin to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don’t get lulled into thinking that if you don’t see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.
Generally, it’s best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there’s no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.
References for this information:
Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385
Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
Resurface and renew skin overnight with this AHA and BHA exfoliating treatment.
Good Molecules is the house skin care brand of online retailer Beautylish. Beautylish got its start in 2010 in San Francisco and features articles on makeup and skin care topics, community reviews and feedback, and of course sells beauty products from a variety of brands.
Good Molecules launched in 2019 because the team behind Beautylish wanted to create a skin care company that focused on effective ingredients with a bargain price, not unlike the line’s most direct competitor, The Ordinary, which Beautylish also sells.
To that end, Good Molecules focuses on a small core of booster and treatment-like products, some being notably better than others. Just like The Ordinary, some of the formulas are one-note (focusing on a single ingredient or a pair of ingredients, instead of offering a more well-rounded option). This isn’t what research has shown is best for skin any more than eating only one healthy food would be a wise dietary choice; however, at these prices, some of these one-note products can make a nice addition to a great skin care routine.
Another concern is that almost all of the packaging is in bottles that need to be stored out of light to protect their ingredients. And we’re not thrilled that one or two products include citrus ingredients known to be irritating and the drying type of alcohol. Unlike many of the options from The Ordinary, however, the textures of the Good Molecules products are generally quite nice and layer well.
Still, the line’s philosophy is solid and there are some worthy entries, as long as you keep your expectations realistic (a single ingredient isn’t the solution to any skin concern). For more information about Good Molecules, visit https://www.beautylish.com/b/good-molecules.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.