The Sample: Pure+Simple Lactic Acid Original 5% (Review, Swatch & Photos)

26 Sep

««Press Sample»»

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 :P

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! :P 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: (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.

27 Responses to “The Sample: Pure+Simple Lactic Acid Original 5% (Review, Swatch & Photos)”

  1. Emi at Project Swatch September 26, 2012 at 3:07 am #

    You make this sound so amazing! I’m definitely tempted. And, I love your green nails :)

  2. becca September 26, 2012 at 5:42 am #

    Thanks Emi! I’m glad you noticed my them–I’ve been prancing around all day looking for reasons to show off my hands. It’s the Maybelline Color Show polish in Go Go Green! It makes me happy :) (although I’m not sure how my camera picked up such a bright shade of green…in reality, it’s a more muted avocado-lime green shade. Its so, so lovely!)

    I’m really happy with the results from this Lactic Acid–I’ve never used anything like this before and I’m pleasantly surprised with the results. They were so noticeable yet it was so gentle!! Definite win!

  3. trishie September 26, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    I find myself looking out more for natural skincare producs these days. this one sounds pretty good!

    • becca September 26, 2012 at 6:09 am #

      It’s REALLY good stuff–I love it! It’s basically foolproof too–you just pump a little into your hand, spread across your face, and you’ll have radiant skin in no time! I highly recommend it!

  4. trishie September 26, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    Oh and to answer your question about the plant in the bottle: it’s rocket – they have gone to seen in my vege path and flowered! Apparently, the flowers are edible. I think they’re pretty too

    • becca September 26, 2012 at 6:31 am #

      oooh really?? Yes, I’ve heard of rocket salad. Here we call it arugula!! I didn’t realize it was so pretty when it flowered! Now I really want to plant some… :) Thanks Trishie!

  5. Sunny September 26, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Acid? Acid? Did anyone say acid?

    This sounds good! My skin likes some gentle acid action. Thanks for introducing the brand!

    • becca September 26, 2012 at 8:39 am #

      Haha I know, I love a good exfoliant–whether physical or chemical. I haven’t tried as many chemical ones though and this is my first experience with lactic acid. I really loved it though–it’s amazing stuff! Try it if you can!

  6. Larie September 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Sounds good! My list of Canadian brands to try when I go up there for my honeymoon is enormous, lol!

    • becca September 27, 2012 at 12:33 am #

      Oooh you’re going to Canada for your honeymoon?! How exciting! Do you guys know where in Canada and what you’ll be doing yet?

  7. Memoiselle September 27, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    Lately I am into skincare too! I am not sure whether this is available in Singapore though. I like pump type skin care, it looks much nicer than a squeezable tube.

    • becca September 27, 2012 at 8:18 am #

      They do ship internationally, so if you’re really curious I would contact them about shipping costs! If it’s too much of a pain though, I’m sure you could find a similar lactic acid product in Singapore! I really do love this formula though–its very gentle and soothing and effective!

  8. Sukie September 27, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    I love your green nails my dear! The moment I saw the first photo I immediately scrolled down without reading the review as I just had to see more of your gorgeous nails! Now that I’ve properly read through this post I can say that this is something I would love to try out!

    • becca September 27, 2012 at 8:20 am #

      Haha thanks :D It’s Maybelline Color Show’s Go Go Green–I got a few of them to try out and have been pleasantly surprised by the formula. It’s really a good one–a MILLION times better than the Revlon polishes (HATE those!). I think I even like them better than the new(ish) L’Oreal ones!

      Oh, and you have to try this product out if you can. It’s amazing stuff!!! :D

  9. Rads September 27, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    I love your nail color! I should pick up some of these too..

    I am quite hesitant about trying any kind of “acid” on my skin gets all crazy with even some perfectly normal ingredients :(

    • becca September 27, 2012 at 10:03 am #

      Oh the polishes are great–I highly recommend them!! I’ve also been LOVING their Denims collection ones. I didn’t think I would, but Styled Out has become one of my new absolute favorite shades–it’s sooooo so pretty! Denim Dash is also really cool.

      Do you use any kind of exfoliating products, Rads? I know “acid” sounds scary, but I swear this stuff is super gentle! And you would only need a tiny bit once every 3-4 days until your skin adjusts! It’s a great beginner product for those curious about chemical exfoliators!

  10. Liz September 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Oh man, this is SO up my alley. And it’s accessible. I’m gunning for this when I finish using the REN AHA Concentrate! Want to be skin twinsies with you post-acne too! LOL

    • becca September 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

      oooh I have been curious about the REN AHA Concentrate for a while–did you not like it wifey?? If not, I will just stick with my Lactic Acid Original–why mess with a good thing, right? You NEED to try this stuff! Do you live close enough to a location to actually visit? (locations: Eglinton, Yorkville, King, Oakville)

      • Liz October 6, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

        I loved the REN AHA and it even helped clear up some acne when used in conjunction with nightly Clarisonic action. But lately I don’t feel its effects quite as well.

        I can go to the Yorkville location any time. It’s just that neighbourhood is full of dangerous traps. So many great boutiques and stores there! But I’ll make a point of trying this in the near future. :)

  11. Catherine (@bcrueltyfree) October 2, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    I know exactly what you mean about the whole natural-product-skepticism. That’s great that this product worked so well for you. I personally tend to use BHA gel, but I do think the generally effect is probably about the same as AHAs, and I really believe in their effectiveness!

    • becca October 3, 2012 at 12:11 am #

      Thanks Catherine! I’d never tried a straight AHA liquid-type product before but I couldn’t be happier with this one! Maybe I will go for a BHA-gel next! :D Any recommendations?

  12. Joyce (bronzerbunny) October 4, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    I don’t know why, but acid in the names of things always scares me, lol! This does sound nice though! haha

    • becca October 4, 2012 at 10:03 am #

      Haha many people are scared when they hear “acid”, so no worries! I was too when I first used something with “acid” in the title, even though I’ve been exfoliating and using retinoids all my life. This stuff is GREAT though, SO perfect for sensitive skin and first-time users. Try it if you can, Joyce! I know you’ll love it!

  13. Christine@BrazenBeauty October 4, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been really into skincare lately, good to know about this product and line! Ps. So glad you are getting compliments ;)

    • becca October 4, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

      Thanks Christine! I know, I’m obsessed with skincare too. I just think there is no point to spending all your $ on expensive makeup if your skincare isn’t all the way there yet, ya know? I’d rather have good skin than nice eyeshadow any day of the week!

  14. Nicole September 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    I’ve been eyeing this product and can’t wait to try it! Unfortunately I’ll have to get it shipped all the way to Singapore so it will be rather expensive. :(

    Right now I am only using a nightly yogurt mask as a mild exfoliant since it also has lactic acid. I’m loving the yogurt as it also hydrates the skin, but thought this Pure+simple lactic acid would be a more convenient alternative.

    • becca September 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

      Oh I think you’d LOVE it, Nicole. Overall, it is pretty potent yet surprisingly mild (total contradiction, I know, but it’s true :P). I’m used to using chemical exfoliants though so I never had to go through a transition period. If you’re used to something very, very mild, I would definitely recommend a product like this and using it every 1 or 2 days to start until you skin acclimates. Then, once you feel your skin is totally used to it, you can move up to the stronger one–Pure+Simple makes a 5% (the one shown here) and a 10%.

      I really like using exfoliants like these–they are so easy to use and are tremendously effective! I know it sucks to ship products so far but the good news is, Pure+Simple ships worldwide! If you still don’t want to go that route, I would try doing a search online. Many other brands make similar products and I’m sure you’d be able to find one closer to you :)

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