Our Rating: 5 stars

I recently tried out and loved M.A.D Skincare’s Youth Transformation Age Corrective Serum ($54 in the shop), so I was undeniably interested in testing out more products from the recently launched skincare line. Because I’m a bit obsessed with antioxidants, I couldn’t resist checking out the Mega Rich Antioxidant Cleansing Gel ($32 in the shop).

The cleansing gel can be used by just about anyone, including the most sensitive skin types. It uses plant-derived alternatives to sulfates such as lauryl and  decyl glucoside, a gentle cleansing agent often used in baby products, which also possesses moisture-binding properties that help make the skin feel smooth and soft. The cleanser also contains coconut-oil-derived coco-betaine, a foaming agent with a pH that has a mildly germicidal effect that also reduces the potential irritation caused by other cleansing agents such as sodium cocoyl isethionate, which may cause eye irritation; thus, I would recommend using a separate eye makeup remover (and the product wisely indicates to avoid contact with eyes).

The formulation is certainly mega-rich in antioxidants, starting with M.A.D Skincare’s TriniTea Complex, a blend of white, red, and green tea. Tea polyphenols are well known to be powerful antioxidants and while there has been some healthy debate as to which of the aforementioned is the most potent antioxidant of them all — EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) in green tea appears to be the superpower — M.A.D Skincare decided not to argue about it and formulated the cleansing gel employing the entire “TriniTea.”

While it is too early in the season to feature Marta’s Thanksgiving Five Best with cranberry extract, it should be noted that the formulation is rich with the antioxidant extract. A University of Maine study compared cranberries to 22 other fruits and found that they had the highest number of phenols, leaving red grapes standing. Further, a University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth study of 20 different fruit juices found that cranberry juice had the highest total phenol content and “the highest radical scavenging capacity among the different fruits studied.” There are double duty antioxidants as well. This includes apple extract from pyrus malus, which not only has cell protecting and antioxidant effects, but also tones and exfoliates thanks to its malic and alpha hydroxy acids. In addition, phellodendron, an oil-soluble extract (often used in Chinese medicine), not only counteracts irritation, but also reduces trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) and helps to restore skin’s natural moisture balance.

I’ve been using the Mega Rich Antioxidant Cleansing Gel with my Clarisonic Mia and it leaves my skin feeling soft and clean without any residue; and while it does contain fragrance (very last ingredient), I can’t actually recall what scent the gel has. Moreover, it is available in a generous-sized 6.6 oz. bottle and a small amount of the gel lathers into a generous amount of foaming product, so this is certainly a good value for such excellent product ingredients!

Ingredients:Water, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Sodium Cocoampho- acetate, Glycerin, Lauryl Glucoside, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Camellia sinensis Extract, Vaccinium macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Pyrus malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Phellodendron amurense Bark Extract, Porphyra umbilicalis Extract, Sodium Lactate, Lecithin, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Polyquaternium-10, Panthenol, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyeth anol, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance