As some of you may know, I reviewed the old/original formula of Medik8 betaGel ($68 in the shop), which I was really impressed with. As I explained in my original review, I am 32 years old with finicky, easily irritated, unreliable, breakout-prone skin. When Truth in Aging contacted me asking if I would like to review and compare the new formula, of course I happily obliged!
Let me start by saying the new formula had some pretty big shoes to fill. I really liked the simplicity and results of the old formula, and to be honest, it always makes me cringe when a company reformulates a product that I use. Will it be more effective? Will the scent change? How will it feel? Most importantly, will my skin like it?
Well, I am a bit torn with this reformulation. Let's compare ingredients of the two formulas first, shall we?
Old formula: Ethoxydiglycol, Niacinamide, Azelaic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oil, Limonene, Linalool
New formula: Water, Alcohol Denat., Isopentyldiol, Niacinamide, Azelaic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Octadecenedioic Acid, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Limonene, Sodium Metabisulfite, Linalool
On to the product. Yes, it still works. And well. The new formula reduces redness and inflammation overnight, just as the original did, which is exactly what anyone with a blemish is looking for — right? The smell is similar to the original, as it still has the same essential oils. They have also added some new ingredients — one being dioic acid, which helps to reduce sebum production and kill P. Acnes bacteria.
However, there are big cons with this formula. One, it is actually a gel now. While the old formula was also called “betaGel,” it wasn't gel-like in texture by any means; it was more like a watery liquid, which was perfect for applying without leaving a trace. The new formula uses Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 and glycerin to create a film over the skin, which is fine over a blemish as it helps to smooth out the bump and helps with smooth makeup application over the existing pimple. But no one, or at least not me, wants that Saran Wrap feeling over their entire face. I was using the old formula all over to help with blemishes and overall clarity and refinement, but it's just not possible with this new formula, which is disappointing. Also, I am not a big fan of Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, as I prefer my skin care to be natural.
Second, the new packaging allows for a lot of waste. As soon as you remove the cap, the gel immediately starts to leak from the dispenser. I have tried storing it on its side as opposed to upright, but that doesn't seem to help with this issue.
Third, this formula is alcohol-based and drying to the skin. You definitely feel a sting for about 30 seconds after applying it. While the old formula was non-drying, this can be seen as a pro because the faster you dry that blemish out, the faster it disappears! I did notice a bit of sensitivity after using this for a few nights in a row, though.
In conclusion, I prefer the old formula, and I will not be purchasing this product in the future. I am grateful that I was given the chance to review both formulas, but I would never spend $68 for this, as there are far better and cheaper options available.