My Personal Peel System consists of five separate products meant to be customized according to your skin’s needs; however, all of them contain at least one irritating ingredient.
The Power Peel Pads contain 20% AHAs, but irritate the skin with alcohol, witch hazel, lavender oil, and juniper oil.
The Firming Anti-Wrinkle Booster only boosts skin inflammation because it contains the menthol derivative menthoxypropanediol.
The Extra Clear Booster contains irritating grapefruit oil (which won’t promote clear skin, but can cause a phototoxic reaction).
The Brightening Booster contains menthoxypropanediol and lavender oil.
And the Post-Peel Restorer contains strawberry oil, which can cause contact dermatitis and has no established soothing benefit for skin, particularly if it’s as irritated as it will be after proceeding through the steps of this at-home peel.
With this three-step personalized at-home peel, you can have perfectly smooth, balanced skin that looks visibly younger, clearer and more radiant. The My Personal Peel System kit allows you to customize and fine-tune a professional treatment according to your own skin's concerns and changing needs, all while renewing overall skin texture and appearance.
Step 1: Power Peel Pads (20 pads) Purified Water, Ammonium Glycolate, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., L-Arginine, Salicylic Acid, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Distillate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Chamomile Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Allantoin, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Oil, Juniperus Communis (Juniper) Fruit Extract, Juniperus Communis (Juniper)Fruit Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Rosa Canina (Rose) Fruit Extract, Rosa Canina (Rose) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Oil, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben
Step 2: Firming Anti-wrinkle Booster (0.3 ounce) Purified Water, Glycerin, L-Arginine, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclomethicone, Acetyl Hexapeptide, Retinol, Ceramide 3, Proline, Sodium PCA, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Phospholipids, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopherol, Linoleic Acid, Cholesterol, Rosa Canina (Rose) Fruit Extract, Rosa Canina (Rose) Fruit Oil, Sorbitol, Sodium Lactate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Menthoxypropanediol, Propylene Glycol, Polysorbate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polyphosphorylcholine Glycol Acrylate, PEG-8, Diazolidinyl Urea, Propylparaben, Methylparaben
Step 2: Extra Clear Booster (0.3 ounce) Purified Water, Glycerin, L-Arginine, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinol, Panthenol, Salicylic Acid, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Alcohol Denat., Farnesyl Acetate, Farnesol, Panthenyl Triacetate, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Oil, Propylene Glycol, Menthoxypropanediol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Polysorbate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Methacrylates Crosspolymer, Methylparaben, PropylparabenStep 2: Brightening Booster (0.3 ounce) Purified Water, Glycerin, Sucrose Cocoate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclomethicone, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Morus Bombycis (Mulberry) Extract, L-Arginine, Retinol, Ascorbic Acid, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Lecithin, BHT, Bisabolol, Phospholipids, Menthoxypropanediol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Palmitoyl Hydroxypropyl Trimonium Amylopectin, Glycerin Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, PEG-8, Dimethiconol, Poly-Posphorylcholine Glycol Acrylate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Diazolidinyl Urea, Propylparaben, Methylparaben Step 3: Post-Peel Restorer (1 ounce) Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric/Stearic Triglycerides, Avocado Butter, Stearyl Alcohol, Stearoxytrimethysilane, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10), Superoxide Dismutase, Ceramide 3, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate, Bisabolol, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Extract, Squalane (Olive-Derived), Hydrolyzed Silk, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Isododecane, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Oil, Water, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Propylparaben, Methylparaben
MD Formulations At-A-Glance
Strengths: The entire line is fragrance-free; some well-formulated AHA products featuring glycolic acid and ammonium glycolate; a selection of very good cleansers; some extraordinary moisturizers and serums; very good toner; an oil-rich lip balm with broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Weaknesses: Some AHA products that include alcohol and other irritants; jar packaging; sunscreens without sufficient UVA protection; the at-home peel kit is an irritation waiting to happen; adhering to a routine of several MD Formulations products may expose skin to an excessive amount of exfoliation; incomplete routine(s) for blemish-prone skin.
This medically oriented, spa- and salon-sold skin-care company has its roots in alpha hydroxy acids, and was selling products with these ingredients as early as 1983, years before the cosmetics industry at large began promoting AHAs as the latest antiwrinkle miracle. The AHA craze has long since quieted, but ongoing, substantiated research has proven what a valuable asset properly formulated AHAs can be for skin. MD Formulations uses glycolic acid and ammonium glycolate (an exfoliant and pH adjuster related to glycolic acid) as its chief AHAs. Glycolic acid, in particular, has the most long-term research establishing its benefit for skin. Its list of benefits for skin is impressive, and these include improving photodamaged skin, normalizing the surface of skin so it appears smoother and healthier, improving the function of the skin's outer structure so it protects skin and reduces dryness, eliminating a dull surface, and stimulating collagen production (Sources: Journal of Dermatology, January 2006, pages 16–22; Experimental Dermatology, 2003 Supplement, pages 57–63; Cutis, August 2001, pages 135–142; Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, July 2000, pages 280–284; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, March-April 2000, pages 81–88; Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology, May-June 1999, pages 111–119; Dermatologic Surgery, August 1997, pages 689–694; Journal of Cell Physiology, October 1999, pages 14–23; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 1996, pages 867–875).
This is exciting information, but it's critical to keep in mind that glycolic acid (and AHAs in general) is not the only answer for aging, sun-damaged skin. Luckily, MD Formulations thinks so too, because several of their latest products contain AHAs along with antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients (such as peptides and phospholipids), and retinol (cell-communicating ingredient and antioxidant). Research has shown that combining an AHA with retinol enhances its bioactivity in the lower layers of skin without altering the efficacy of the AHA (Source: Dermatology, 2005 Supplement, pages 6–13).
In many respects, next to the Lauder-owned lines, MD Formulations has a fantastic roster of antioxidant-laden moisturizers and serums. Even their toner is highly recommended, and we don't often get excited about toners (well, except my own, but that's another review). Surprisingly, for a company that is close to the cutting edge of creating state-of-the-art skin-care products, they still use jar packaging for many products whose ingredients are light- and air-sensitive. Those products should be avoided, especially for what MD Formulations is charging.
It's also distressing that half of their sunscreens lack sufficient UVA protection and a handful of products contain well-known irritants that don't promote healthy, intact skin (what were they thinking?). Due to the manner in which well-formulated AHA products work, sun protection is essential. As skin's outer, thickened layer is removed, the vibrant, "new" skin is more vulnerable to sun damage. It would be optimal if MD Formulations stocked a wider variety of effective sunscreens, and added as many antioxidants to them as they do to most of their moisturizers and serums. Still, plenty of other lines sell beautifully formulated sunscreens, so you can cherry-pick the suitable prime options from MD Formulations and fill in the sun-protection blank elsewhere (which isn't a bad idea—this is an expensive skin-care line).
For more information about MD Formulations, call (800) 451-3940 or visit www.mdformulations.com.
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