Sure, acne is a nightmare for most of us. No matter what we do, it seems to be resistant to anything available on the skin care market. But then, some brands launched life saving products or more precisely skin-saving products, which quickly became famous.
Yet, as we all know, fame is one thing, effectiveness is another thing and to us, it is obviously the most important side of a product 🙂
Exposed skin care is one of those acne treatment lines that we had to test in order to see if it is really worth it.
Proactiv was certainly the most famous acne treatment of the market. But our test with it was pretty disappointing so we were more than excited to give Exposed skincare a try. I mean, Elena our tester was more than happy to try it after the proactiv test.
Yep, Sophie, I was super excited so let’s see what this baby has to offer.
Exposed Skin Care actually took the three products that you use with Proactiv (and its descendants) and tripled it to nine pieces.
But is nine pieces overkill, or absolutely killer? Let’s take a look:
- 1 A little background
- 2 Product and claims
- 3 How to use the products
- 4 Our brutal acne exposed skin care review
- 5 Is it expensive?
- 6 Other exposed skin care reviews
- 7 Our final verdict
- 8 Where to get the best deal ?
A little background
In just the last decade, technology and research have brought us light years ahead in skincare techniques – especially when it comes to anti-aging products. But we still rely on the same products to remove pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads. That might seem odd, because pimples are a problem that start early and sometimes extends until our wrinkles start forming.
But what if we told you that a lot of your skin problems actually go back to acne?
No, it isn’t just something that embarrasses you at prom: it has lasting effects.
That has other implications however, some good and some bad. The good is what we will focus on here: products that have been developed to treat other skincare issues may actually help with acne problems as well.
The products that you use for stopping pimples need to do two relatively simple things.
- It needs to control your acne.
- It has to nourish your skin.
But how does it do that? With three steps:
Your skin is complicated, your pimples are complicated, so why would you think that “one simple product” would be the best way to combat it?
Exposed Skin Care took those two simple things and fleshed them out into nine treatments that you may try to get better and healthier skin:
- Day serum
- Night serum
- Microdermabrasion cloth
- Exfoliator (for scrubbing)
- Clarifying mask
These products both use natural actives and have specific components that were blended together to fight against acne and its effects.
When you use all nine steps, some users reported awesome results. You bet that after the fiasco test I had with proactiv plus, I wanted to try this acne kit and have my own opinion…
Product and claims
To give you the best results, Exposed Skin Care combines the best that nature and science has to offer:
The Natural side
The natural ingredients in Exposed Acne Treatment includes:
Green Tea Extract: Green tea has been used for years for health benefits, and recent research has shown that it might have an effect on the bacteria that causes acne. It has an effect similar to benzoyl peroxide at just 3% concentration.
Passion Flower Extract: While there hasn’t been much research on whether this works for acne, it has been shown to help with inflammation by soothing the skin. So while it doesn’t treat acne, it prevents it.
Aloe Vera: A recent “buzz” product, aloe vera has been used to calm inflammation – which is a perfect way to at least reduce the appearance of pimples.
The Scientific side
A little bit of science to help make these products extra effective:
Benzoyl Peroxide: Proactiv started it, but now almost all products have it because it simply works. However, it works better if it can reach the deepest layers of your skin, which it can’t with many common products.
Exposed Acne Treatment puts the benzoyl peroxide in the fast lane for delivery by encasing it in microcapsules that reach the lowest layer of skin.
Salicylic Acid: A newer weapon in the fight against acne, Salicylic Acid removes your dead skin cells and unblocks pores. Using a peel that contains Salicylic Acid helps your skin absorb nutrients.
Glycolic Acid: This acid works at the dermis layer of your skin, much deeper than other products can reach. If you have severe acne, this active is a very good choice.
How to use the products
Using the products is pretty simple. Check the official video by Exposed team, below to quickly get to know how to use the products before checking our exposed skin care reviews.
Yep, it is simple but you need to be consistent and to comply with the daily routine.
Our brutal acne exposed skin care review
Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid (0.5%)
Purified water, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium olefin sulfonate, acrylate copolymer, triethanolamine, propylene glycol, polyquaternium-7, panthenol, phenoxyethanol, disodium EDTA, fragrance oil, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf extract, citric acid.
This is a very simple formulation with a beta hydroxyacid (salicylic acid) to remove dead skin cells. The dosage is low (0.5 %) here but it is ok for a cleanser as the main job is to clean and remove dirt from your face. We have 2 surfactants used here to cleanse the skin by helping water to mix with oil and dirt so that they can be rinsed off easily. The good point is these are not sulfates per se. (The debate for vs against sodium lauryl sulfate is still on lol)
Cocoamidopropyl betaine and sodium olefin sulfonate are usually made from coconut oil and are considered as mild and safe ingredients. Yet, this combination clearly belongs to the deep cleansing category. It could have been certainly milder with other surfactants but for acne and oily skins, it may be appropriate. Besides, it also depends on the final percentages of this surfactant combination. At the end of the day, it is the whole formulation that truly matters.
This cleanser is paraben-free. And I also like the addition of provitamin B5 (panthenol), which is an effective humectant and moisturizer that certainly helps to avoid a drying effect after cleansing, and the sage extract (salvia officinalis), which is known to have antibacterial, anti inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
I was pleasantly surprised as this cleanser is quite gentle in fact. I was a bit afraid it would be too harsh on my skin, but it seems the cosmetic formulators did not incoporate too high a dose of surfactants and balanced it well with humectants and moisturizers. After cleansing, my face feels clean and not super tight. This one kinda maintains your skin’s lipid layer as they claim to. We will see how it goes after the 30-day test.
Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid (1.0%)
Purified water, glycolic acid, propylene glycol, hamamelis virginiana extract (witch hazel), dimethylethanolamine, phenoxyethanol, sodium Hydroxide, camellia sinensis leaf (green tea extract), passiflora edulis flower (passion flower extract), aloe barbadensis leaf extract, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf extract, fragrance oils.
The tonic is clearly natural oriented with many herbal extracts. That is a very good point, which backs up their claim about combining nature and science. (Yeah, many brands claim things that are far from being true). The witch hazel extract, which is known for its soothing benefits on skin, is a smart addition to the formula. I usually use a witch hazel toner to help with my skin irritation.
This is paraben-free as well, as is the case for the cleanser. We have 1% of salicylic acid (a higher percentage than what we had with the cleanser), which is perfectly normal as the toner or tonic is meant to start and prepare the acne treatment.
Another good point is the fact it is alcohol-free; I hate toners with alcohol that end up drying your skin in the long run. Some brands do add alcohol to give that instant, quick feeling of oil control so you think: wouah, that product is effective!!! But the trick is that those magic results are only temporary as you are preparing your skin for more break outs when your skin wakes up ;(
Why? Because alcohol basically stimulates oil production, so the immediate degreasing effect is eventually followed by oily skin producing even more oil and more breakouts!
First impressions :
I really like the tonic; it has a nice soothing and cooling effect on my skin right after using the cleanser. It gives you that extra clean feel that tells you you are on the right track to get healthy pores and glowing skin 😉 (I recommend you to keep it the fridge, so that gives you an even more refreshing feeling)
I am not a big fan of the scent though; but it is not very strong, so it does not bother me that much.
Acne Treatment Serum
Active Ingredient: Benzoyl Peroxide (3.5%) (BP)
Water, glycerin, propanediol, carbomer, camellia oleifera leaf extract (green tea extract), melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, disodium EDTA, sodium hydroxide.
The acne treatment serum is the day serum in your routine; it is also pretty natural oriented, with a light and to the point formula that obviously uses benzoyl peroxyde as the focal point. It has 3.5% of micronized benzoyl peroxyde, which is a good level that will help to improve your acne progressively. You can certainly find way higher doses but it would require more monitoring from a dermatologist as you can really irritate your skin with too drastic doses. I am usually for a milder but consistent action for long-term results.
This active treatment is also packed with great hydrating agents such as glycerin and propanediol to counteract the drying effect of benzoyl peroxide.
The formulators also added some Green Tea Extract to protect skin and Tea Tree Oil, which has great antiseptic and antifungal properties. Tea tree oil is known to work as well as Benzoyl peroxyde (BP) to control the symptoms of acne, so by adding this essential oil, they did not have to use a too drastic dose of BP, which can be very drying.
The acne treatment serum is very lightweight and feels really effective, it is also quite helpful for spot treatment to get rid of any zits quickly. Even my boyfriend tried it for one zit that popped from nowhere, and bam! The day after, the zit was gone.
He liked the fact it is not heavy on the face, and very effective. So I was quite excited to see what it would do for acne after a month.
Clear Pore Serum
Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid (1.0%)
Purified water, hamamelis virginiana distillate (witch hazel), glycerin, propylene glycol, peg 120 methyl glucose dioleate, polyquaternium-37, hydrogenated polydecene, tricedeth-6, spiraea ulmaria extract (meadowsweet), glycyrrhiza glabra root extract (licorice), basil oil, camellia sinensis leaf extract (green tea), dl panthenol, fragrance, phenoxyethanol.
The clear pore serum is the evening serum, and like the day serum (acne treatment serum) is also natural-oriented with 1% of salicylic acid, to help unclog pores and make them as a result smaller and less noticeable. It also includes witch hazel water that was found in the clearing tonic. That is a good point, expecially for a night product to soothe skin irritation and let your skin have a peaceful rest 🙂
I would also have liked the formulators to completely replace the purified water by wicth hazel water. It would have been even more effective. (But also more expensive)
It is paraben-free and they also added some botanical extract to help with inflammation (licorice extract) and hydration (glycerin, panthenol -provitamin B5).
It is a slightly thicker gel than the day serum (acne treatment serum) but very lightweight as well. It is easy to apply and smells ok (not my favorite scent again, but ok). I do not feel any dryness or stinginess. So it sounds promising for the first night. This serum can also be used for spot treatment. We will see what my pores will look like after 30 days J
Purified water, cyclopentasiloxane and peg/ppg-18/18 dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane and dimethiconol/vinyl dimethicone cross polymer, cyclopentasiloxane and dimethiconol, propylene glycol, cyclopentasiloxane, phenyltrimethicone, c30-c45 alkyl methicone, acrylamide copolymer, oleth-10, optiphen, cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed, mixed tocopherols (vitamin e), camellia sinensis leaf extract (green tea), disodium edta, polysorbate 85, caffeine, sucrose, citrus medica limonum extract.
Ok, though I really liked the composition of the previous products, this moisture complex is probably the product that I like the least in the entire line. It is basically a gel with different kinds of silicones, that does « lock in moisture » as silicones are well known to be a bit occlusive. I am not against a little silicone as the semi-occlusive properties can be useful to “protect” your skin from the environement but here I am concerned.
I would have preferred a more natural gel base. Yet, this silicon gel could be a good asset to counteract the drying effect of Benzoyl peroxide, by locking in moisture. The other good pro (and there are not many lol) is that it is pretty useful for irritated skin as it kinda isolates your skin from external aggression.
Besides this silicone base, this moisture complex is paraben-free, which is the case for the entire line, and includes some nice extracts such as pumkin seed and caffeine to calm irritations and reduce inflammation, and green tea extract to protect the skin with antioxydants.
But I really wished it was more natural….
This exposed moisture complex is an oil-free gel that feels light, and does not leave your face greasy. Even though I had some concerns, I have to admit my skin felt moisturized the first day of use, you really don’t need to use much for the entire face so that may help to avoid any build up 😉 yet, keep in mind my skin is oily to begin, so I only need a light moisturizer. For people with dryer skin, it may probably be not enough. (Mind you, I guess most of us with acne have oily skin, so it is not a real problem J )
Active Ingredients: Sulfur (3.0%), Resorcinol (2.0%)
Bentonite, charcoal powder, camphor, chloroxylenol, glycerin, magnesium aluminum silicate, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, polyacrylate crosspolymer-6, propanediol, propylene glycol, sodium cocoyl isethionate, stearic acid, water (aqua), zinc oxide.
This Exposed clarifying mask is a purifying mask based on bentonite and charcoal to absorb excess oil and remove toxins/impurities. Those 2 ingredients are absolute classics that are hands down effective so I already know they will deliver, at least for the excess oil and toxins.
The real plus is the addition of the active ingredients: Sulfur (3.0%), Resorcinol (2.0%).
Sulfur helps to absorb excess oil as well and resorcinol is an effective antiseptic and disinfectant that is often used in over the counter acne treatments at the same concentrations of 2%; it basically helps to get rid of acne bacteria.
So this masks has really a nice composition to make our skin clear and healthy.
So to make things clear, I love masks, (we all do at myawesomebeauty.com in fact ) so I was very impatient to try it.
And right after the first use, I was really pleased by the result, skin felt super fresh and clean with that feeling of bliss and lightness after a good facial.
And the bonus? My Blackheads were also way less visible as the mask absorbed a good layer of oxydized sebum… You know, that black dot in each pore ;( beerk…
Normally, we should use it 1-2 times per week to eliminate blackheads and reduce acne, but I really wanted to use it everyday haha
Chamomile extract, aluminium oxide, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, sunflower seed oil, capric/caprilic triglycerides, cetearyl glucoside, glycerin, vitamin e acetate, ethylhexyl stearate, phenoxyethanol, capryl glycol, xanthum gum, mango seed butter, grape seed oil, sodium metabisulfite, sorbic acid, diazolidinyl urea, potassium sorbate
This is a scrub that uses similar crystals (aluminium oxide) as those used in microdermabrasion kit to help exfoliate and get rid of dead skin cells. That helps to reveal a clearer skin and promote cell renewal, which in turn helps to get rid of acne scars and marks. The scrub has a really nice list of natural ingredients, which as you know is a big plus for us.
I really like the fact that the formulators added some aloe vera (aloe barbadensis leaf extract) and some chamomile extract that does absolute wonders to moisturize and soothe skin. (Aloe is a real winner to speed healing wounds and for burns).
The microderm scrub is paraben–free and is also packed with many nice actives such as mango sed butter, grape seed oil that will nourish the new layer of skin.
It has a really nice texture and the crystals are really tiny to the touch, so the exfoliation is really mild, which avoids the irritation issues with those kinds of scrubs. I really like it.
Yet, even if the crystals are small, people with very irritated skin will need to wait for their skin to be stronger and healthier before giving it a try.
First, you skin needs to be repaired and once your skin is more balanced, you too will enjoy a nice scrub feeling (oh my, you might think I am a real weirdo with that need of a clean and scrub feeling, yeah don’t know why, I am addicted to that great feeling of being clean and fresh after a mask or a scrub haha)
Derm x cloth
The Derm-X Cloth is included in the 3 treatment kits proposed by Exposed.
It is a microdermabrasion cloth that helps to exfoliate dead skin cells. Some of our friends did use it with the whole treatment but I did not. The reason is simple, I do think it can help but there is a greater risk of bacteria development in it if you do not wash it carefully.
It is a personal choice and I wanted to be clear and upfront about it.
We know acne is basically a bacteria issue. So if we want to get rid of this annoying acne, we need to reduce our skin contact to bacteria.
The thing is our skin is often in contact with dirt and germs that can lead to acne. When you sleep, your pillow is in contact with skin oils and saliva (yeah, we all do haha, don’t be shy) so that makes a breeding ground for bacteria that can definitely worsen acne. Same thing for unwashed make up brushes, which can spread bacteria to our skin.
That is why we need to wash makeup brushes every week and change our pillow case regurlarly as well.
So, in my opinion, using the same cloth everyday can potentially be a problem. Of course if we wash it, it should not be a real issue but let’s face it, I know I can be lazy sometimes and I am sure I won’t really wash it daily as we should, so to be on the safe side, I preferred not to use it during the 30 days of treatment.
Probiotics are known to help balance our body from the inside, especially by promoting a stronger immune system. The probiotic complex is a mix of vitamins (A, E) minerals (Zinc, copper, chromium, selenium) some botanical extract (milk thistle, black walnut) to help detox and, of course, probiotics with some oligosaccharides to promote good digestion and probiotic development.
This probiotic complex seems to be a very well thought out supplement to help get a clearer and healthier skin.
Unfortunately, when I got the products from myawesomebeauty.com team, I lost the complex. Sophie and chris could not replace it for this test so please note I did not use the complex for this test even though from the ingredient list alone, I would have liked to as I am a big fan of probiotics… Anyway, my bad. Sorry.
My exposed skincare results after 30 days
I have tested proactiv system, as some of you know here but definitely did not like it, so how were my results with exposed?
Well, I was very pleased with the results after 30 days. I can’t say my acne is gone which is pretty normal, as I would need probably 2-3 months to have even better results, but after 30 days, the results are really great.
(For those of you who hope to get instant results after 30 days, forget it, we need to be realistic, our skin is living tissue and it needs time to get it balanced)
If I had to give a rough estimate, I would say almost 40-50 % of my acne and pimples are gone! I knew that the journey would be a very long one but now I am looking forward to using the treaments for 2-3 months….
However, there were some glitches in the process.
The first 2-3 days of treatment were great; I had no particular issues and thought it would be smooth sailing…. In fact not really, because after the 4th day, I started to get some dryness, my skin also was a bit irritated. It was really drying my skin, so drying that I even considered stopping the treatment.
Anyway I decided to modify the routine to see if it would help. I stopped using the acne treatment serum with the benzoyl peroxyde but kept using the other products. The dryness was gone the day after.
So I guessed it was due to the benzoyl peroxide in the acne treatment serum that was maybe a bit too strong.
I have used other treatments with higher doses of benzoyl peroxide when I was younger so I think the reason why my skin was so sensitive was because of the salicylic acid in the cleanser, and the tonic.
As it helped to remove dead skin cells, my skin was probably more sensitive. So I decided to give the acne serum treatment a break for about 10 days.
After those 10 days, I added the acne serum back to the whole routine and this time the dryness was gone. So, I guess my skin needed some time to adapt and be ready for the whole acne treatment.
As a side note: I noticed that even without the serum with benzoyle peroxyde, I could clearly see my acne improving during the 10 days.
So, please if you try this treatment, remember to go slowly and to listen to your skin. If you feel any dryness, stop either the day serum for a while and observe how your skin feels…. You could also use the day serum every other day.
Anyway be ready to experiment as we all have different skin…
Also remember not to use too much serum, as a little amount is more than enough to be effective. Using too much serum with benzoyl peroxide can lead to dryness and irritation.
Remember less is more and build from there, as your skin gets ready and stronger. That way, you will avoid that dryness issue that some other users encountered when using this acne kit.
We learnt later that benzoyl peroxide commonly causes dryness from the get go but the skin usually gets stronger and “fixes” this dryness issue after a week or so. So once your skin is used to it, you can increase the quantity of serum to be used.
So for people with very oily skin this dryness stage is somehow almost unoticeable whereas for people with more sensitive or dryer skin, they will have tough times to endure (that explains the reviews on amazon reporting dryness)
If it is really too painful, the solution is to skip the day serum (which contains benzoyle peroxide) for a few days to let your skin be stronger, then add it back to the routine;
This should help you avoid that annoying, dry and irritated skin stage 🙂
However please note that we all have different skin so even if I needed a 10-day break, it doesn’t mean you will need the same duration, it may be more, it may be less… yeah sorry to repeat it: Listen to your skin.
Is it expensive?
If we compare this line to some other lines, that sell their products $50-60, Exposed skin care is much more affordable with an average price tag of $18-25 per product. It is pretty cost effective with well-formulated products.
Exposed Skin Care doesn’t use celebrities or flashy television ads, so they can offer much better prices.
The good point is also that Exposed proposes first time kits with 40% – 53% discounts compared to getting the products individually.
They propose a 3 product kit, a 6 product kit or a 9 product kit
$69 with a kit of 6 products (without autoship) / (with autoship called membership: $59)
- The cleanser size is 120 ml, (proactiv+ : 60 ml)
- The toner size is 120 ml (proactiv+: 30 ml)
- The moisturizer size is 50 ml (proactiv+: 30 ml)
- The serum/gel is 50 ml (proactiv+: 3o ml)
- With another serum and a cloth
This kit will last about 1.5 months to 2 months
They also offer a 1 year money back guarantee – yep 365 days– It is quit surprising as most other branbds offer a 60 day money back guarantee, so during one year you can basically try their products risk free and send it back if you are not satisfied…to get your money back. (I love those money back guarantee offers, don’t you?)
Other exposed skin care reviews
Though this acne line doesn’t have Justin Bieber or another big-name celebrity endorsing it, that doesn’t matter. Those famous people are getting paid big money anyway to review the products. So let’s focus on comments or reviews from real users like you and me.
Look at this review:
“I sent my old Proactiv bottles in for the extra discount on the 4-step system. I was expecting something very similar to Proactiv, but I was really surprised just how much better the Exposed method really was. Proactive was able to clear up most of my acne but I would always seem to suffer from cycles of slight breakouts, redness and dryness. With the Exposed acne solution, the breakouts never returned. Exposed seems to be more effective in balancing out my skin and keeping it constantly clear. Thanks Exposed.” – Sarah B.
Amazon and The Exposed Skin Care website is filled with reviews just like this one of people who seem to have had great results. These are people who don’t have full make up teams and chefs who can help them on their way to clear skin.
Our final verdict
Exposed acne treatment is definitely a comprehensive system worth to try. It is hands down in our Top 3 acne treatments. It is a very well thought out skin care line that is pretty effective to get rid of acne.
It is better than many other products because:
- It doesn’t simply rely on Benzoyl Peroxide, but combines its power with other effective ingredients.
- Combines science and nature to give you the best results with fewer side effects.
- 4.5 stars on Amazon and 100,000+ satisfied customers.
Yet, it will take some time for your skin to improve as it needs to get rid the bacteria causing acne, to unclog pores, get balanced and restore a healthy ground.
Benzoyle peroxyde is a great active to speed up the process but its use can be tricky, especially for sensitive and dryer skins.
Update: we have tested an acne skincare without benzoyle peroxide and were very impressed by the results check here.
So we would say, if you have a pretty severe acne, exposed would be the right fit but if your acne is more moderate, we really think you should give zenmed a try as you won’t have to deal with that dryness issue from benzoyle peroxyde.
Where to get the best deal ?
To get the best deal, the best place to buy is the official website as you will benefit from 1 year money back guarantee, that is quite unusual and says a lot about their products.
However please note that I don’t recommend you to buy products individually as it will be much more expensive for you. You ‘d better pick one of their special kits with substantial discount (40 % to 53%), which enables you to have a 6-piece kit at $69, (that makes $11 per product, which is pretty cheap and worth it in my opinion). And they sometimes offer free gifts and promo code 🙂
Anyway, if you decide to give exposed acne treatment a try, we would love to hear about it, that would be awesome to share your story 🙂