I’ve been trying out some skincare products targeting acne recently as my hormones have been troublesome, and back at the beginning of winter I found these clarifying pads from MyChelle Dermaceuticals. These Youth Blemish Control treatment pads have willow bark extract, neem leaf extract, witch hazel, and a lot less alcohol than these kinds of products can often have.
It’s that lower level of alcohol that attracted me to these, as the ingredients lists found in comparable products and brands seem to always have alcohol up at the very top. I know that high levels of alcohol can have a nice, drying effect after the first few uses, but it’s irritating for me over time and seems to kick up extra oil production with prolonged use. Instead, MyChelle’s ingredients have witch hazel at the top, which is less harsh in general, though is still something I don’t typically use a lot of.
Willow bark extract is a natural source of salicylic acid (or salicylic acid-like ingredients, I’m a little unclear on that) and these pads are supposed to be at a level of 4%. That’s there to help clean out pores. They also advertise neem leaf extract, which is a plant I learned about while in India. Neem naturally has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.
The pads are really saturated and smell kind of nice – no strong smell or obvious fragrance, but I think some of the plant oils in the ingredients generally smell pleasant. They’re somewhat small but are wet enough to dampen my whole face, and they don’t break down or tear as I use them. They’re just firm and abrasive enough that I can scrub a little if I want to.
These basically work like a toner, and I’d apply them after cleansing and before using any serums or moisturizers. I first had the goal of stretching my dollars and only using one pad a day, but over a few weeks I really couldn’t detect any improvement of my skin so I started using them twice a day. I did see a bit of improvement at that point, but it wasn’t life-changing. MyChelle prices these tubs of 60 pads at $18.75 and I bought them at Vitacost for $15 so they’re not super cheap, and while I appreciate the gentle ingredients I also wasn’t incredibly impressed by my results.
Full ingredients list: Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Aqua (Water), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Polysorbate 20, Glycerin(Vegetable), Totarol, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Red Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil, Alcohol Denatured (Grain), Lavandula Angustifolita (Lavender) Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Xanthan Gum (Fermented Sugar), Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate
Have you tried these? Do you have any favorite comparable products?