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Reviewed and recommended: Adorage Cleansing Formula - for skin so clean it's spooky

Is a Solution for:
Rosacea, Dull Skin, Oily Skin
October 27, 2008 Reviewed by admin 4 Comments
What is transparent on the outside, green on the inside, and spurts runny slime?  If you're thinking Slimer from Ghostbusters, take a break from prepping for Halloween or reliving the 80's, and join me in trying to solve the more timely riddle of aging.  The first thing that came to my mind was a bottle of Adorage's Cleansing Formula, which I have been using morning and night for the past 10 days.

Recommended to me by a specialist to prevent acne breakouts and tame the problem areas of combination skin, Adorage's lightweight gel cleanser is the first step in its range of cosmoceuticals.  Though it might lack some of the powerful active ingredients present in Adorage's serums and creams, the gel cleanser packs in an antioxidant-based glycolic acid compound calibrated at 5% in addition to a few phytoextracts. Combined with a deliciously fresh fragrance redolent of a pine forest, this potent green goo gives new meaning to the word "clean".

I must admit that I was expecting the exfoliating effects of the glycolic acid and the antiseptic nature of the formula to make my skin taut and dry.  On the contrary, my face was perfectly comfortable and only required moisturizer in the form of sun protection, since all AHA products leave skin more sensitive to the sun.  My skin appears perfectly happy and healthy, without a blemish in sight.  Adorage's two cleansers, which differ in consistency but not in concentration, are pictured below:

At 5%, this cleanser's level of glycolic acid is just gentle enough not to aggravate, but strong enough to do what it does best - lightly exfoliate the surface, clarify any discolorations, clear follicular debris, and accelerate cellular turnover.  Glycolic acid is also believed to prevent skin thickening and to protect skin from free radical damage.  For the most part, the cleanser's inactive ingredients do not disappoint, drawing on resources found in nature.

All of Adorage's products contain phytoextracts, which are antioxidant-rich organics long believed to hold the power to keep skin vibrant and youthful. The cleansing formula contains a sprinkle of thyme and rosemary extracts, both natural antiseptics and antioxidants with great antimicrobal power. Touting one of the strongest antioxidant properties known in dermatology, rosemary extract promises the prospect of miraculous lifting and rejuvenating benefits.

In addition to the phytoextracts, there is lysine PCA, a semisynthetic compound derived from amino acids which contributes moisturizing, as well as coco-betaine, a coconut oil extract which acts as a foaming and cleansing agent.  Cetrimonium chloride, also derived from coconuts, lightly conditions in tandem with zinc PCA, a popular component in cosmetics intended for oily skin since it suppresses sebum levels.  All ingredients are non-comedogenic and paraben-free, though there is shady propylene glycol lurking about.  Nothing else should give you fright, except perhaps the $47 price tag.


Water, Coco-Betaine, Glycolic Acid, Lysine PSA, Thyme Extract, Rosemary Extract, Xanthane Gum, PPG-1-PEG-9 LaurylGlycolEther, Zinc PCA, 5 Bromo 5, Nitro 1-3 Dioxane, Ceteareth-9, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, Ammonium Hydroxide, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cl19140 (FD aC Yellow5), Cl42051 (FD aC Blue1).
  • January 28, 2009

    by Michelle

    Thank you TIA team! Your response was very helpful! I guess I will still have to search for a more affordable alternative to the Amla cleanser. However, I'm suspecting that it's gone so quickly because my 14-year old sister has been using it as an attempt to clear her acne prone skin. hm..... this kind of reminds me of how Marta's husband took one of her products and used it as an aftershave. =P

  • January 27, 2009

    by copley

    Hi Michelle,

    The TIA team collaborated on how to respond to your question. Tracie Martyn Amla cleanser still reigns supreme- it is more of an anti-aging treatment than a mere cleanser. Though it is great at closing pores, Stem Organics is unfortunately no substitute for Amla. Both are more moisturizing than Suki's Exfoliating Cleanser, which should only be used a few times per week. Adorage's glycolic content will tighten pores and lightly exfoliate, but it might not leave the silky sensation that you are used to with Amla. The most recent Five Best Cleansers post can be found here:

  • January 26, 2009

    by Michelle

    Hi Copley,

    How would you say this compares to the Tracie Martyn Amla Cleanser, or the Stem Organics cleanser? I liked the Tracie Martyn Amla because it leaves the skin feeling soft and silky, and also seems to tighten/reduce pore size. I think the Stem Organics also tightens pores? I'm looking for something to do the same, and perhaps even exfoliate a little. However, the amla cleanser is quite expensive for the amount you get, and it goes very quickly for me. I can probably go through it in about 1-2 months of regular use. =x I'm not sure which post (or date) is the most updated for the Five Best Cleansers, but if you don't have other suggestions, or if you think the stem organics, adorage, or suki cleansers are just as good as the amla, I'll buy those at a lower price tag. Thank you!

  • December 15, 2008

    by Diana

    This sounds awesome! I have very oily/acne prone skin. Nothing leaves my face feeling squeaky clean. I have had 3 Fraxel Laser Treatments due to Melasma/sunspots and finding a good cleanser has been tough. My skin is stubborn and I still have a lot of sun damage. I'm only 33 and feel like I have the skin of someone at least twice my age. :(

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