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 SkinStore.com, 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.