My friend passed along a bottle of DDF's Gylcolic 10% Exfoliating Oil Control Gel ($48) to me a couple weeks ago, thinking perhaps it would work better on my skin than hers. I've never really tried DDF skin care products before (they seem all too similar to Murad), but my lack of other options prompted me to give it a try anyway.

Two weeks later, I'm not sure I love it. While the treatment part of it seems to be slightly helping keep acne breakouts at bay, in terms of oil control it doesn't seem to be doing much. And the product also claims to help with minimizing fine lines, refine skin texture and reduce pore size. My giant T-zone pores are...well, still giant.

The ingredients also seem pretty standard. Glycolic acid is highlighted in the product's name, but as an inactive ingredient.  Pure glycolic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) naturally found in sugar cane. It loosens the glue-like substances that hold skin cells together, helping shed dull and dead skin. I have felt that it has reduced dryness in my skin.

Of course there is the standard salicyclic is in it's active 2 percent like any other acne medication on the market, which perhaps is what helping with stopping my acne breakouts from getting worse. Zinc gluconate is another acne treatment in this gel. More interesting is the inclusion of antioxidants such as ubiquinone, which can fight aging by assisting cells in building collagen and elastin, glutathione, which fights free-radical damage, and superoxide dismutase, a known anti-inflammatory.

The worrisome additions are present in the form of phenoxyethanol, which can be a contact allergen, ammonium hydroxide which can cause irritation to the eyes and mucous membranes and is toxic to the environment and triethanolamine, which can cause allergic reactions including eye problems, dryness of hair and skin, and could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time.

I'm not over the moon about this product, but as long as it continues to help with acne breakouts, I'll continue to use it. Perhaps a couple weeks from now, the oil control portion will kick in, too.


Active: Salicylic Acid 2%

Inactive: Water, SD Alcohol 40-B, Glycolic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Ammonium hydroxide, hydroxyethylcellulose, polysorbate 80, PEG-40 Hydrogenated castor oil, phenoxyethanol, disodium EDTA, tocopherol, triethanolamine, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract, glycrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, superoxide dismutase, retinyl palmitate, ubiquinone, ulmus campestris (elm) extract, glutathione, zinc gluconate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.