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M2 Skin Technologies HP Skin Refinish is not for my husband

August 19, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 13 Comments
M2 Skin Technologies HP Skin Refinish ($44.50) is a gel that it is so sticky that it stays sticky for hours on end. It made me feel like human fly paper. Given that M2 smells like rotting fruit, I'm surprised that I didn't actually attract any insect life (although now I come to think about it, the Truth In Aging office did have an invasion of tiny ants the other day). It's supposed to be worn at night and I can tell you that this did not go down well with the man who shares my bed.

There has been quite a bit of (self-generated) buzz about M2 Technologies and HP Skin Refinish is sold out on, so maybe it's just me (and him). The main ingredient is mandelic acid and, although billed as antiwrinkle, it is primarily antibacterial and was used for most of the last century to treat urinary infections. More recently it has been found to be useful against adult acne. In fact, it is an alpha hydroxy acid that comes from almonds and is supposed to be stronger while being  less irritating than glycolic acid. The only research I could find on whether it does, as claimed, reduce wrinkles was conducted by the doctor who discovered retinol and who now sells mandelic acid in a potion called MaMa Lotion. Like MaMa Lotion, HP Skin Refinish also contains malic acid - another alpha hydroxy acid, this time from apples.

HP Skin Refinish has quite a few other things going for it: a couple of marine antioxidants, ubiquinone and aloe. I am less keen on the potassium hydroxide, a pH balancer or buffering agent. The European Union classifies potassium hydroxide as toxic or harmful and limits workplace exposure. The severity of the effects depends on the concentration and the length of tissue contact time.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has tried M2 Skin Technologies HP Skin Refinish and whether they had results other than a peeved husband.


Water, Mandelic Acid, Malic Acid, Algae Extract, PEG-8/SMDI Copolymer, Potassium Hydroxide, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Polysorbate 60, Isohexadecane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ubiquinone, Hyaluronic Acid, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Squalane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polyacrylate, Dimethicone, Tetrasodium EDTA.
  • August 5, 2013

    by Dawn

    Oh yes, M2 skin refinish!! It's sticky, I agree - I apply it after cleansing, let it sit for 20 minutes or so, then top it with a few drops of passion fruit oil that I buy from - I can't live without oil, by the way. I wake up with skin that's so smooth, I can't believe it. I switch off every other night between M2 and Retin A. I cleanse at night only, with a mix of 65% sunflower oil and 35% castor oil. A couple nights per week I follow that with a cleanser, usually Neutrogena acne wash. I just splash my face with water in the morning and apply vitamin C serum mixed with SPF 30 sunscreen. I'm looking for a new subscreen, now that Aveeno has discontinued their Continuous Protection line. The new Protect and Hydrate stuff is awful - balls up as soon as you try to apply anything over it, including makeup. But hey - that's another post, right?

  • September 10, 2011

    by Sothern Ca

    I just started using the M2 20% HP Skin Refinish. I use a small brush to appy the lotion. It helps me to control waste. I have noiced that when I apply even thin layers to my skin it helps to dry he lotion quicker.

    I am hoping to reduce my dark eye circles along wih evening out my skin tone.

  • September 1, 2011

    by Hyatt

    My dermatologist in the Philippines introduced me to M2 HP and just after 3 weeks my Melasma is gone, the open pores on my skin is shrinked and my wrinkles smooth out. This is a miracle. It's sticky but well worth it. My skin turned flowless and i look younger everybody is asking me what am I using.

  • December 17, 2009

    by Junko

    Leslie, happy you followed up with your final thoughts on M2. Being a woman of excess, I was able to finish my bottle in the 2 weeks I designated for continuous use. Between being stuck to my pillows and feeling like my skin couldn't breathe, I swear the M2 was waking me up at night (I can sleep thru a herd of elephants coming into my room) so this is unusual. Yes, it does exfoliate, but the results aren't worth the discomfort of wearing it or the lack of sleep either. I won't be buying this one again.

  • November 22, 2009

    by Leslie

    I agree, the stickiness took some getting used to and almost made me return the product. Since my last review I've been using the Refinish every night and have continued to have good results with my skin tone. In fact, a large freckle that appeared on my check a few years ago is nearly gone! However, I have noticed my pores are more clogged and larger than usual and am not sure what the cause is. While the Refinish has done it's job for the most part, I'm going to try something new when I'm finished with this bottle.

  • October 23, 2009

    by Junko

    So glad to see your post Leslie since you've had a longer go of it than I. I've only been able to try this for 2 weeks in 4 day intervals (hubby's been home & we had a 2 wk. vaca in Europe). I had been using LacSal Serum 10% Hydroxy Acid to exfoliate scarring & thought I'd try the M2 instead. Comparatively I think the M2's exfoliation is gentler but as or even more effective as the Hyroxy Acid. I'll continue with the M2 as hubby travels allow. The stickiness is almost unbearable, but you give me hope to persevere.

  • September 18, 2009

    by Leslie

    I've been using the M2 Skin Refinish for about 3 months now and I have to say I've seen fantastic results. Yes, the sticky feeling is less than desirable and my skin took about 2 months to adjust and stop peeling, but I stuck it out and am so glad I did. I recently began using the M2 Skin Recovery Moisturizer (love it!), alternate nights with the Skin Refinish, and have seen even better results (no peeling, no dry skin at all). My mild acne has all but disappeared, my clogged pores are so much more manageable and smaller, I've noticed a slight smoothing of fine lines, and my skin tone has greatly evened out. I have to say, these products have lived up to the hype, and I've even recommended them to friends.

  • August 23, 2009

    by Joon

    Yes, Mama Lotion is almost exactly the same as M2, except that there will be less stinging, irritation, and peelin with the M2. Also, M2 has hyaluronic acid which Mama Lotion doesnt have.

  • August 23, 2009

    by marta

    Thanks Carolyn, that's great info. I was wondering if that was there was a connection with MaMa but hadn't got around to researching it.

  • August 22, 2009

    by Carolyn

    MaMa Lotion has been "rebranded" by MCK Laboratories to M2 HP Skin Refinish. MaMa Lotion was developed by Dr. Mark Taylor and now the M2 Technologies products are the result of his earlier success with mandelic/malic acid products. His skincare store is which will give you the whole background/history of these products if you're interested.

  • August 20, 2009

    by Junko

    Planning to put old cases on my pillows too. With my face stuck to one or both cases each morning, and I fear the worst for my satin ones. After I tough it out for a couple of weeks, I'll come back to post.

  • August 20, 2009

    by marta

    Junko, I hope the little mouse comes back and gives its verdict.

  • August 19, 2009

    by Junko

    I always love your articles Marta ! Always so well written with a dollop of laugh out loud humor, which I love. I received a sample of M2 with my last order. My husband had the same reaction as yours. On the 2nd night he asked that I NOT put it on. He has never made this request of any other product before. Which tells me that he must find it highly objectionable. He said that it smells like stinky old people. I don't think it does, I think he just said this to further deter me from putting it on. My husband does travel for work most weeks (M-F). Which means I will have opportunity, to try the M2 Refinish for consecutive nights. While the cat's away the mice shall play...I have ordered it :)

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