Exposed Skin Care
Exposed Skin Care is a line of skincare products meant to eliminate all four causes of acne to keep your skin looking its blemish-free best.
Exposed Skin Care Review: Ingredients, Side Effects, Alternatives
Founded in Seattle in 2002, Exposed Skin Care is a line of products designed to give you radiant skin by minimizing blemishes and acne.
According to the company website, Exposed Skin Care products are guaranteed to clear up acne-prone skin within 30 days by targeting all four causes of acne: clogged pores, acne-causing bacteria, unregulated oil production, and inflammation.
The brand states that their products “combine the power of advanced science with the soothing properties of pure natural extracts” to give you clear, healthy, and balanced skin. According to the company website, Exposed Skin Care developers worked with a range of skin experts to develop their full spectrum system for treating acne.
Does it live up to these claims? We looked at the facts and talked with some experts to help you choose whether to commit.
How Does Exposed Skin Care Work?
We learned from the company that Exposed Skin Care is designed to act as the first full-spectrum system to treat and prevent acne in all the ways it establishes itself.
Their range of products targets multiple causes of acne by unclogging blocked pores, killing acne-causing bacteria, normalizing your skin’s sebum production, and heal skin lesions and redness.
Each product relies on a range of ingredients like salicylic and glycolic acid and micronized benzoyl peroxide, as well as natural extracts like tea tree oil, licorice root, and green tea extract.
So long as you choose the right combination of products and use them as directed, the company states that your skin will improve within 30 days or less.
At the time of writing, Exposed Skin Care’s range of beauty products included the following.
Facial Cleanser: A gentle soap-free face wash designed to prevent blemishes ($15.95)
Clearing Tonic: A powerful facial toner designed to rebalance your skin after it’s cleansed ($19.95)
Acne Treatment Serum: This serum penetrates the pores to prevent new blemishes from forming ($19.95)
Clear Pore Serum: A lightweight gel that works to clarify and rebalance skin overnight ($19.95)
Moisture Complex: This oil-free gel hydrates skin but keeps your pores clean ($25.95)
Microderm Scrub: This exfoliating scrub works to resurface rough, dull skin ($30.95)
Body Wash: This gently full-body wash is designed to control breakouts everywhere in your skin ($25.95)
Body Acne Kit: A three-piece kit designed to give your entire body clear skin ($34.95)
Clarifying Mask: A powerful, mineral-infused mask that purifies skin and minimizes your pores ($25.95)
Probiotic Complex: This naturally daily supplement is designed to give your skin the nutrition it needs from the inside out ($34.95)
Derm-X Cloth: This microdermabrasion cloth exfoliates dead skin cells and removes dirt ($9.95 facial cloth, $12.95 body cloth)
You can determine which Exposed Skin Care products are best for you through the company’s online skin profile. You’ll first select from a range of skin responses which one most describes you (oily, dry, pimples, and more).
The website then highlights their four skincare kits (Basic, Expanded, Ultimate, and Body Wash) and lets you know what percent of a fit each one is. Each kit costs between $49.99-$94.95 before the Member Discount.
About the Exposed Skin Care Membership Program and Guarantee
It’s possible to purchase each Exposed Skin Care product as a one-time purchase, but the company also offers discounts for those who order as members. These include $10 off every kit and 30% off individual products.
Signing up for a membership enrolls you in a subscription program where you receive a new kit at your chosen frequency (the default is every two months). Per their terms and conditions, there is no minimum to buy, and you can cancel your membership at any time without cost.
The company also offers a full year guarantee for all first-time purchases made through a membership. This means that you can test out your first kit for up to a year—even using all the product—and then return it for a refund (minus shipping) if you don’t like it. Regarding other purchases, the company will accept returns for any unopened orders within 30 days of delivery.
You can initiate the refund process from their website, call the company at (866)404-7656, or message them at email@example.com.
Analysis of Ingredients
Exposed Skin Care offers a range of skincare products with dozens of ingredients in each. To get a sense of what they offer for your skin health, we choose to look closer at the active ingredients that the company highlights online.
Unless otherwise specified, we used data from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) database.
According to WebMD, Benzoyl peroxide in an organic peroxide used to treat mild to moderate cases of acne. It works by reducing the number of bacteria on the skin that can trigger acne.
Salicylic Acid (BHA)
This mild acid works to shrink and unclog pores, so they don’t get filled with dead skin cells. According to the company website, it acts as a complementing ingredient for many acne products.
Similar to salicylic acid, glycolic acid works to break down dead skin cells and unclog pores at both the epidermis and dermis of the skin.
According to Healthline, sulfur-based products offer a gentler alternative to Benzoyl peroxide that absorbs excess oil on the skin and unclogs pores, though they can be too drying for many people. This makes sulfur-based products a better choice for those with naturally oily skin.
Used to reduce the inflammation that can lead to acne, azelaic acid works to help your skin shed excess skin cells and prevents the growth of acne bacteria.
Green tea contains a high level of antioxidants that offer protective properties to the skin.
Passion Flower Extract
Exposed Skin Care states that passionflower extract has long been used for its anti-inflammatory effects to soothe the skin and prevent irritation caused by acne medications.
Licorice Root Extract
When applied topically, Livestrong states that licorice root extract will reduce inflammation and redness on acne-treated skin.
Tea tree oil’s natural antibacterial properties means that it can treat bacterial infections of the skin, including acne.
Says Diane Elizabeth, a skincare expert and founder of Skin Care Ox, "Tea tree oil is often used as a natural and effective spot treatment, and it can cleanse your entire face as well... It has antimicrobial, antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and also keeps the skin’s natural moisture barriers intact."
Aloe vera has soothing, moisturizing qualities that make it useful for treating skin that has been burned or otherwise irritated.
Per a study published in Planta Medica, the sage extract has natural anti-inflammatory effects that are beneficial for treating acne and reducing irritation caused by topical acne medications.
Potential Side Effects
Are there any side effects associated with these ingredients? Benzoyl peroxide caught our attention. The Mayo Clinic states that this compound can be extremely drying on sensitive skin and can potentially lead to redness and irritation, and in some cases burning or blistering. That’s because the compound works to dry out your skin to reduce the oil production that triggers acne.
Likewise, Everyday Health states that salicylic acid has the potential to cause rare but serious allergic reactions that lead to redness and skin irritation. In a few reported cases, it can trigger stomach pain, headaches, and shortness of breath.
For these reasons, RX List suggests that you apply small amounts of topical products that contain these ingredients to your skin until you know how your skin will react.
What Do Customer Reviews Say About Exposed Skin Care?
One of the best ways to learn what your experience with a product could be is to look at customer reviews from people who have used it first.
Amazon has over 1,600 reviews for the Exposed Skin Care treatment kits, so we decided to start there.
After these reviews, the Exposed Skin Care line averages 3.9 stars out of five. According to the top-rated commenter, the product line led to a significant improvement in the quality of her skin in just a few months without drying it out.
Other reviewers confirmed that they found this product worked faster than the competition and left them with clear skin that wasn’t irritated.
We noticed lots of comments from people who struggled with adult-onset acne who stated that Exposed Skin Care removed both their current acne and the previous scarring and that they could maintain those results after several years of using the products.
This product does have some negative comments, and most of these reviewers reported that it made their breakouts worse or irritated their skin. In many cases, the people who left negative reviews indicated that they got better results with Proactiv, an Exposed Skin Care competitor.
Overall, we found that these reviews showed that people either loved Exposed Skin Care and used it long term, or they believed that it made their skin worse from the first use.
Exposed Skin Care vs. Proactiv
Throughout our research of Exposed Skin Care, the competing skincare system Proactiv was repeatedly mentioned.
As we point out in our review of Proactiv, it claims to clear up chronic acne and other skin blemishes to shrink your pores, rehydrate dry skin, and smooth out your skin texture. So, what’s the difference between these two systems? Let’s go through the basics.
Proactiv is a three-step system acne-fighting system that includes a Renewing Cleanser, a Revitalizing Toner, and a Repairing Treatment. You purchase all three for about $19.95 as a reoccurring monthly subscription. This makes it a little less expensive than the equivalent Exposed Skin Care kit, which retails for $49.95 for a two-month supply.
Regarding ingredients, both products rely on benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid to kill acne, brighten your skin, and even out your complexion. These ingredients can be drying, but they are recommended for treating persistent acne.
So, should you consider Exposed Skin Care over Proactiv? Our research showed that customers seem split on whether Proactiv or Exposed Skin Care made a bigger difference for their acne needs.
Many people found that their skin responded better to one than the other, so it might be worth experimenting with both yourself. We think this shows that the results from skin treatments tend to depend on a variety of personal factors, so products that work for your friend might not deliver for you.
The Bottom Line
In light of this information, do we think you should consider Exposed Skin Care products for clearing up chronic acne? The evidence seems to show this product line works for some—but not all.
Overall, we think that Exposed Skin Care products might work to clear up your skin, but you might discover that your skin doesn’t react well to them. While the company brands itself as a solution for addressing every source of acne, the customer reviews we looked at showed that a significant number of people found that the product irritated their skin or even made their acne worse. For those people, Expose Skin Care competitors like Proactiv often led to better results.
But should you consider acne treatment at all? One expert we spoke with, holistic beauty expert Dr. Anthony Youn, reports that you are most likely to get positive results from a skincare regimen that attacks acne from multiple angles.
“The best way to treat it is to ideally get to the root cause of the acne and treat the symptoms at the same time,” he said. “This includes taking a daily probiotic, reducing or eliminating inflammation-inducing foods such as dairy and processed foods, using pore-cleansing skincare such as salicylic acid, and improving the diet by eating more organic fruits and vegetables.”