Review: Michael Todd True Organics Acne/Oily Skin Regimen



I've been sitting on doing this review for more than 6 months now, because I wanted to make sure I was giving you the most robust and fair information. More often than not, I find that people do these skin care product reviews after only using the stuff for a few weeks, but I truly believe that the test comes with time. It's easy for you to feel like you're seeing dramatic results after a few uses, probably because your excitement over having a new product colors your perspective. But after using something over the course of a few months you have a much better idea as to the impact the products are having on your skin. One other thing to keep in mind: I have very oily, acne-prone skin, and even beyond that, the quality and receptiveness of my skin to certain products will always be a very individual experience. So use these reviews as a foundation to craft your opinion, but remember that your results may be markedly different!

Let's start with the positives:

  • The folks at Michael Todd truly make an effort to eliminate the most widely recognized "harmful" ingredients. All of his products are paraben-free, sulfate-free and free of phthalates, triclosan, formaldehyde and other really toxic stuff. Most are 90%+ vegan, and although these products aren't listed in the Cosmetics Database, I checked some of the ingredients that sounded less familiar and nothing came up as higher than a 4 on the toxicity scale.
  • The products are all incredibly gentle, which is great for my sensitive skin. Nothing I used made me breakout or feel irritated, and even the toner was gentle, with absolutely no stinging.
  • Most of the products come in big containers that last a long time. I've been using the face wash for more than 6 months and am just now finishing my second bottle. I'm less than halfway through my second bottle of the toner, and because I use scrubs sparingly, I've still got about 1/5 left of the scrub (I rescind this comment when it comes to the serum and moisturizer, which I'll comment on shortly).
  • I really do like the Charcoal Detox cleanser. It's probably my favorite product from the line and something I would definitely repurchase in the future. The gel cleanser consistency feels great on the skin, and it really does an excellent job at removing makeup without ever making your skin feel tight or stripped. A small amount goes a long way, so again, the product will last you a long time.
Now we need to talk the negatives:
  • The company's practices give me the skivvies a bit. They border way too close to those infomercial/used car salesman marketing tactics that just rub me the wrong way and make me wonder if anything they are saying is actually true. Case in point -- they position their regimens (and a number of other products) as "on sale" with great discounts that are valid only until a certain date. But I have visited their site tens of times and this regimen has never once NOT been on sale at that same deep discount. As a marketer myself, I understand that this makes people feel more urgency to buy the product NOW, but as a customer, I want companies to not treat me like an idiot.
  • The packaging for their serums (and some moisturizers) is TERRIBLE. They are put in packaging with a pump that cannot be removed, so once the pump gets clogged, malfunctions or just can't reach the rest of the product, you're stuck and have to just throw the product out. This happened with my carrot facial serum, which ran out after less than 1 month of using one tiny half pump per day.
  • I'm really not convinced that these products are the be-all, end-all of acne skincare. Sure, if you look on their web site they show one picture of a woman whose cystic acne was completely cured using these products, but I'm skeptical. I found the cleanser to be very effective, but didn't feel like the other products did much at all, and they certainly did not cure my acne. If you have hormonal acne, or acne caused by something going on INSIDE your body (not just acne because you sleep in your makeup and never wash your face), no skin care regimen is going to completely change your biology. So buy these products with a grain of salt, use them for what their worth and just temper your expectations.
Talking specifically about the products, I also really like the Jojoba Charcoal facial scrub. It's a medium grit scrub that does the job without being overly abrasive. The color is black (as is the cleanser), so it might startle you a bit initially, but if you can get past that, it does a nice job. I'd pass on the moisturizers and serums, as I think you can get a much better product at a better price, and I'd say the toner is very take it or leave it (I don't notice an effect from using it at all).

I previously did a review on the Michael Todd True Organics Pumpkin Facial Mask and that stuff I LOVE. It's got glycolic acid in it so it gives you a great peel, and the smell/texture is just like pumpkin puree. Check out that full review for more information. :)

Have you ever tried products from the Michael Todd True Organics line? If so, tell me what you think in the comments below!



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