Our Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by Becky

Where did they go? They used to be right there – a small but persistent constellation of blocked pores on my chin. Now they are gone – whisked away to another galaxy, courtesy of Mad Hippie’s new Exfoliating Serum ($35 in the TIA shop)! I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started my trial. Sure, the ingredients looked great but the serum itself seemed so plain – brown with no discernible scent (even with the peppermint!). It spreads easily, though, and a little goes a long way. Per the instructions, I started off using it every other day and then switched to nightly after three days with no irritation. I continued this schedule for two weeks or so until reading Marta’s explanation to my question about what order to apply AHAs and other treatments. After that I switched to every other day, with the Nutra-Lift Wrinkle Repair or Mad Hippie Vitamin C on the off nights.

My skin feels incredibly smooth these days. Along with the aforementioned loss of clogged pores on my skin, I think some of my hyperpigmentation spots are lighter. It is a little hard to tell as I have also sporadically been using the Sirius SkinSonic and also religiously use the Osmosis Replenish every morning. However. I had several sun-filled weekend trips this summer that usually add more spots to my face. I don’t see more this time, and the ones I have are easier to cover. This is probably the result of the gigawhite ingredient, touted to “brighten and even skin tone as well as reduce the color intensity of age spots.” This ingredient has an interesting story: it was one of over a hundred plants specifically studied to see how well they inhibit the enzyme that develops melanin. I had never heard of gigawhite before, and I am wondering if we will start seeing it show up in other products soon.

This serum from Mad Hippie is chock full of effective ingredients. Along with the gigawhite and glycolic and lactic acids, it contains the peptide Matrixyl 3000 and the antioxidants white tea, goji berry and vitamin E. I had also never used anything with apple stem cells before and the before and after photos on the Mad Hippie site are impressive. Could it have been too much to hope that my humor and gene-inscribed eye creases had softened? I didn’t trust my own eyes, so I asked my husband. Like any other self-preserving spouse, he at first refused to pass judgment but then relented. “Yes, I do think they are lighter. But I like them.” Well said, husband, well said.

I will happily continue using the Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum until (hopefully) my dark spots become stars that blink out of existence....

[Editor’s note: Also read Marta’s review of the Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum]

Ingredients: Water, Glycolic Acid, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Vitamin B5 (Panthenol), Lactic Acid, Matrixyl 3000, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Potassium Hydroxide, Niacinamide, Sodium Hyaluronate, White Tea Extract (Camelia Sinensis), Goji Berry Extract (Lycium Barbarum), Polysorbate 20, Xantham Gum, PhytocellTec (Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Lecithin, Phenoxyethanol, Water), Gigawhite (Water, Glycerin, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract), Methyl Cellulose, Glycerin, Melatonin, Caffeine, Biotin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ceramide 3, Squalene, Behentrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Potassium Citrate