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Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum
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Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum Review

is a Solution for:
Acne, Age Spots, Combination Skin, Dull Skin, Fine Lines, Hyperpigmentation, Large Pores, Oily Skin, Uneven Skin
Reviewed by Marta September 12, 2012 4 Comments
TRU Rating

Pros

Eases roughness and smoothness with botanicals

Cons

AHAs may be too potent for daily use
Effective but may aggravate sensitive skin

If you are looking for a relatively gentle glycolic exfoliator that is reinforced by repairing actives and won’t break the bank, then Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum ($35 in the shop) is well worth checking out. I have been testing it for about four weeks or so and found that, while not transformative, it helpfully manages reddish, roughish skin and does so without causing any flare-ups or irritation.

I started out using this Exfoliating Serum every other day and then in the third week of testing cut back to two to three times a week and always at night. This is because Mad Hippie’s serum exfoliates using glycolic acid and lactic acid, both AHAs. While I appreciate that they can improve the texture of the skin, I have become more cautious about using them since I came across recent research that gave me a better understanding of how they work. It seems that they create acidic conditions within the skin cell, ultimately resulting in its death and skin exfoliation (read more on how AHAs work).

On the brightening/lightening front, Mad Hippie has also included Gigawhite, which is a complex of six botanicals that are supposed to help fade age spots. There is no independent research on Gigawhite and I didn’t try this serum on age spots, but on skin that is a bit red and crepey from sun damage. There is also no independent research on Matrixyl 3000, although plenty of anecdotal evidence (as well my experience) suggests that this peptide complex helps promote collagen.

Exfoliating Serum also has apple stem cells, vitamin C, white tea, ceramide-3 and melatonin. All of these (and more) ensure that the good far outweighs the bad. However, there are a few things that I’d prefer Mad Hippie to seek out some alternatives for. Potassium hydroxide is an irritant that I am often allergic to even in rinse-off products. I had no bad reactions to this serum, but potassium hydroxide has been shown in animal studies to irritate at low levels. It is typically used as a pH adjuster (necessary for AHAs to work effectively). About half way down the ingredients list there is the possible neurotoxin, phenoxyethanol, and behentrimonium chloride, which is more usually seen in shampoos and can be irritating to the skin. 

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  • June 3, 2016

    by aliki simha

    relatively mild for my skin ..no irritation at all

  • July 3, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Susan, I don't know what the percentage of glycolic is. But as noted in my review, I did not find it irritating and I have sensitive skin. Our other reviewer, Becky, also said that it was relatively gentle: http://www.truthinaging.com/review/mad-hippie-exfoliating-serum-reader-reviewed-and-recommended

    Note that both of us started by using it every few days and built up to daily use once tolerance was established.

  • July 3, 2013

    by Susan

    Hi there......What is the percentage of glycolic acid in this product and isn't it quite harsh with lactic acid and vitamin C high on the list??

    Thanks

  • September 12, 2012

    by Jennifer Bradley

    How does this compare to La Vie Celeste's glycolic acid mask and Lather's glycolic acid mask?

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