Now maybe it’s just me, but I’ll be honest with you: whenever I try out a natural skincare product, I’m always a little skeptical at first that it will actually work . Well, let me rephrase: I’m skeptical that it will work as well as the non-natural skincare products that use synthetic chemical actives to get results. I do like the idea of going natural/organic with my skincare, but a lot of the time it just doesn’t pan out well for my skin. But then, I started hearing a lot about Pure+Simple and got curious…
If you haven’t heard of them, Pure+Simple is a skincare brand based in Canada. They have a spa and store that sells their eponymous skincare line, with 4 spa locations all around Canada (I so wish there were a Pure+Simple spa in San Diego–hint hint!!!). What I love about the brand is their philosophy and principles. They are passionate about the environment (check out their bottle recycling program), animals (none of their products are tested on animals), and believe in pure ingredients and holistic skincare principles. None of their products contain petroleum, chemical fragrances (which is an amazing feat because some of their products smell so fresh and wonderful that one might think they add synthetic fragrances, but it’s all natural!), preservatives, or dyes. Sounds good, eh?
*Update: goodness, I don’t know what’s come over me–I totally forgot to post the ingredients list! Derr, silly me
Water, Algin (Sea Algae derivative), Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Powder, Vegetable Glycerin, Lactic Acid
I was sent a few of their products to try and one of them was the Lactic Acid Original 5%. It’s a–you guessed it–5% concentration of lactic acid within an Algin and Aloe Vera base. If you’re not sure what lactic acid is, it’s a part of the AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) family and is used as a chemical exfoliant. It retexturizes the skin by sloughing off the top layer of dead skin cells that can dull your complexion, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles–all while moisturizing and promoting collagen synthesis. In other words, it’s really great stuff. I know some of you may get a little uneasy when you hear the words “chemical exfoliant” and “AHA”, but lactic acid is actually one of the more gentle forms of AHA. It’s good for sensitive skin and first-time users of chemical exfoliants.
The lactic acid I received came housed in a opaque, white glass pump bottle–but mine was press sample. I believe the regular bottle is almost identical except the glass is frosted instead of opaque white. To be honest, I prefer my bottle over the frosted glass just because I like all my skincare products to be protected. Most skincare items you use contain ingredients that need to stay fresh and away from direct light and/or air in order to remain effective. This is especially true for products like antioxidant serums and the like, but I still like all my skincare products to be housed in opaque containers just in case. The pump works well and 1 pump yields the perfect amount product to use for your entire face and neck, but if you want less product, a half pump is easy to manage as well.
*Update: I was told that the opaque white porcelain bottle is actually Pure+Simple’s new standard packaging for their products. All products that are currently housed in the frosted glass bottles will now come in these lovely white ones. I’m quite happy with that–they really thought of everything!
Be warned though that the lactic acid is very thin and fluid like water! It has almost the same consistency (just a touch–almost imperceivable really–more viscous) and is clear also. For some reason, I assumed (maybe because of the packaging) that the product would be more like a gel consistency–or at least like a thin serum. The first time I used it, I just held my hand under it and pumped the top all the way down. Lactic acid flew out of the bottle and splashed all over me and my carpet. Whoops! To apply, gently press the pump down and cup your hand to catch the product. You can also use a cotton pad if you want, but I prefer to just pat it onto my face. There is a slight smell to it. It’s not strong, but it is there. I’m not going to lie, it smells a bit like sour milk–nowhere near as strong or foul, it’s just a slight sourness. And it dissipates within a minute of applying, so you really do not need to worry!
As I said before, I wasn’t really sure of how effective this product would be on my skin. I have oily, acne-prone skin and have used exfoliants, whether physical or chemical, all my life. I thought maybe my skin would be “immune” to the lactic acid or that the lactic acid would be too weak. On the first night I tried it, I used it in lieu of my usual Epiduo acne gel. When using something like lactic acid, you want to be sure not to use any other kind of skin exfoliant at least 8 hours before or after. This includes Retin-A and all vitamin A derivatives, acne treatments that contain salicylic acid, face scrubs, etc. You can use it in the morning and then use the lactic acid at night, but I don’t like to use any kind of exfoliating product the entire day if I know I’m going to be using the lactic acid later that night. That’s just my personal preference though.
Upon application, it absorbs very, very quickly and leaves my face feeling comfortable. There is no film, no stickiness, and dryness. After a few seconds I began to feel my skin tingling. It was a really light sensation–please note that I do say “tingling” rather than “stinging” because it was not painful or irritating in the slightest. I will say, though, to be careful of the amount you apply. If you are new to AHA’s, start off with maybe half a pump for your whole face and neck and use it every 2 or 3 days until your skin adjusts. I got “cocky” after the second or third time of use and decided to use 2 full pumps for my face. Yeah, I could definitely feel that one…
Pure+Simple recommends only using this product at night. They state to “apply a thin layer of Lactic Acid Original…after 5-15 minutes apply serum and moisturizers as usual”. Of course, everyone is different and how often you use the lactic acid is entirely up to you/your skin’s needs. However, I would advise against daily use unless you have very mature skin or extremely oily and/or acne-prone skin. But I am not a professional–always talk to your dermatologist if you’re unsure about how to use/incorporate a product into your routine or are a first-time user of chemical exfoliants.
After regular use of the lactic acid (about once every 3-4 days for about a month), I definitely noticed that my skin was much clearer and smoother and brighter. I even got some compliments from friends and family about how good my skin had been looking recently!! And trust me, that is not something that ever used to happen because, as I’ve stated before, I’ve had oily, acne-prone (read: bad) skin my whole life. So getting compliments on how good my skin looks without foundation on is a major feat for me! I think this is an amazing product and I honestly can’t recommend it more. It’s awesome and it’s easy to use–there are no complicated pads or brushes or steps involved. All you do is apply as needed and you’ll be on your way to a more even-toned, fresher complexion! Love this stuff!
Pros: easy to use; gentle yet highly effective; one bottle will last you a long time; pump top is well-made; absorbs quickly; leaves behind no residue of any kind; results are immediate and incredible; didn’t cause any redness and/or sensitivity
Cons: slight sour odor may bother some–but I tell ya, it’s definitely worth it
»»Pricing: $54.95 CAD
»»Availability: www.Pure+Simple.ca (they do ship to the U.S and Internationally), all Pure+Simple locations (if you live in Canada)
»»Recommended for: all skin types–especially those with mature or oily and/or acne-prone skin
»»Overall Rating: A+
Disclaimer: the product(s) featured in this post were provided to The Beauty Sample free of charge by the manufacturer/PR for review purposes only. Regardless of how the product was obtained, my priority is to you, my readers, and I will always give you my honest opinion.