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Skin Care Product Review: M2 products, what’s in this stuff?!

Posted Jul 08 2009 11:17pm

I’ve actually heard the MaMa Lotion named bounced around occasionally in conversations about acne, but I’d never gotten around to trying it. Recently I got to remedy that, with the opportunity to try MaMa Lotion as well as a couple products from the newest MaMa line, M2.

The formulation for these may seem like a typical AHA product, but there are a few subtle differences. For one thing, they contain Mandelic and Malic acids. Malic acid is the acid found in tart apples and as an additive in candies like SweetTarts. Malic acid brightens and helps to hydrate the skin. Mandelic acid is derived from bitter almonds and is a great antioxidant which also has antibiotic properties, in addition to the regular exfoliating properties of AHAs. One of the key things about the choice to use Mandelic acid is that the molecules are larger than glycolic acid and are generally more tolerated by the skin. Together, these two ingredients play off one another and boost the efficacy beyond what would be available from only one of them. And, because they’re more easily tolerated than some other acid products they can be ideal for sensitive aging skin, particularly aging skin that is still battling mild to moderate acne.

Another difference with these is the way they’re used.  HP Skin Refinish, a serum, is something between a peel and a traditional serum. Instead of  being used twice a month or everyday, it’s used every other night for the first two months (less if there is irritation), and as needed or tolerated after that. It’s more aggressive than a plain lotion, but less aggressive than a chemical peel. This means that more skin types can benefit from these products, especially skin types that can’t generally make use of strong AHA, Lactic, or Glycolic peels and I think that is wonderful news for those wanting to try an AHA product. In addition to the two acids, these products contain some of my other favorite ingredients, like Aloe Vera and Hyaluronic Acid. I consider these to be staple ingredients when discussing anti aging and anti inflammation.

MaMa lotion was the old standby with these ingredients,and has developed quite a following. There have been a few tweaks in the formula for these new products though, including the removal of parabens and fragrance, as well as some reformulation. This makes the new HP Skin Refinish as effective as the MaMa Lotion while being less likely to cause redness, stinging, and irritation. It was hard to limit my use of the HP Skin Refinish, but I managed to show restraint and follow the directions to the letter. There was some irritation with my initial use, but I can honestly say it wasn’t nearly as intense as many of the peels I’ve used in the past. After the first couple of uses this faded entirely and I can now use it regularly with no irritation at all. Very sensitive skin types should be cautious when using an AHA product for the first time and use the smallest amount possible to avoid irritation. I am very happy when rinsing my face in the morning and have seen gradual but noticeable (to me at least) results in my fine forehead lines and in the overall texture of my skin. Also, my blemish problem has become much more manageable. While I still break out on occasion, it is a case of individual blemishes rather than patches of blemishes like I experienced previously. The redness and discoloration fades more quickly now, which is a huge consideration for me since I have very fair skin. As a side note, I love the packaging as well. A simple twisting motion raises the pump head and a twist in the opposite direction lowers it after use. This keeps the serum fresh and helps me to not accidentally make a mess when traveling or when I’m just plain clumsy. One or two pumps is plenty for your whole face, though I opt for a bit less since there is a lingering sticky sensation when I use too much. Because so little is used this bottle could easily last months at a time and I think the $44.50 price tag is more than reasonable considering the efficacy, product amount, and cost of other acid peels or anti aging serums.

The Skin Recovery Moisturizer is another product I have enjoyed. There was minimal irritation with my first few uses, so minimal that I can’t say with any certainty that it was the lotion and not related to my recent battle with pollen allergies. Whatever the cause, the minor itching has passed and I’m experiencing no other signs of irritation. I have absolutely no increased oiliness from this lotion, and it is light enough that I feel comfortable using it even on hot days. The packaging is, again, something I enjoy, and a full pump of product is more than is needed to cover my entire face. A pleasant effect of this lotion, other that just soothed, smoothed skin is the changes in my skin tone. I began noticing a while ago that some areas of my face were becoming slightly darker than others and it got so annoying to me that I started searching for a skin lightening cream locally. Thank heavens I couldn’t find one in my price range because goodness knows what I could have done to my fair skin with too strong a product. My skin has now lost those darker areas and I am happy that they are remedied (if only for now) without damage from a harsh lightener. I am happy with how this lotion makes my skin feel and look, since it is smoother, brighter all over, and lacking many discoloration marks from acne blemishes that I had before. I feel like I have more of a glow and today I even went to work with no foundation at all, just a few touches of concealer. For me that is major, major stuff. Priced at only $30.50, this is less expensive than just about all big name moisturizers/wrinkle creams and I feel like it gives me much better results. The amount needed is so minimal that I again feel like it’s a great value.

The bottom line is that there is a risk of some skin irritation with this, as with all AHA products. However, this is the mildest AHA product I have ever personally tried that still maintains such a high level of results. M2 products have really opened the AHA door to many who previously couldn’t use them. In my opinion the prices are reasonable given the amount of product needed and the results. For uneven skin tone, acne blemishes, rough texture, and large pore appearance these are products that could certainly benefit you at a cost much lower than some other big brands. I have been impressed and I give them a definite thumbs up!

Note: Please, please, please remember to always use a good sunscreen on your face, especially when using an AHA or other acid product. Prevention is the first step!

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