Wow, it’s been a while since I did a full scientific review of a game-changing new skincare launch. When Ameliorate got in touch to share their plans to launch a new anti-blemish skincare range my insides exploded with butterflies.
Firstly because I know this is a BIG skin concern for you (and me) and pretty much any human woman living on planet Earth right now.
And secondly because scientifically I’m a huge fan of Ameliorate. Huge. Their skincare’s based on published science and they also do clinical trials to prove their skincare works. Wahoo.
No one wants to waste time on anti-blemish skincare that doesn’t work. Am I right? Breakouts can really get you feeling self-conscious and insecure. And you deserve to feel like the awesomesauce you are my friend.
Question is – can Ameliorates new blemish skincare help you feel confident in your skin again?
This is what the science says 😀 and psst – I have favourites (!) A few of these new Ameliorate blemish products are making me jump for joy (the kind of jump I’ll do if you hand me a slice of sticky chocolate fudge cake 😂) and a few are making me feel, well, just a bit meh (like if you handed me a slice of plain Victoria sponge).
This post is sponsored and made possible by Ameliorate – opinions are 100% my own and supported by science. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors who support Honesty For Your Skin, they allow me to be by your side always.
Ameliorate’s NEW Blemish Skincare Range
There are 6 new anti-blemish products in Ameliorate’s Blemish skincare range and I can’t wait to tell you which ones are winners.
Psst – if you haven’t heard of Ameliorate before, they’re a go-to brand for dry, keratosis pilaris prone skin. KP for short. Their skincare revolves around a key active they’re calling their LaH6 Complex – code for lactates – and not to be confused with human lactation 😂 we get to use all the best words as scientists 😂.
Lactates and other molecules in the same family – like lactic acid – are skin-identical and skin similar to your skin’s own natural moisturising factors. They attract and lock hydration into your skin while also softening and conditioning. Wahoo – a dream for dry, textured, bumpy and rough skin.
And boom – they now have an anti-blemish range consisting of six brand spanking new products;
- Balancing Facial Moisturiser
- Transforming Clarity Facial Serum
- Overnight Clearing Therapy
- Clarifying Facial Cleanser
- Clarifying Clay Body Wash
- Transforming Clarity Body Spray
Will any of these 6 help you get clear skin confidence back?
1. Ameliorate Balancing Facial Moisturiser Review
It squirts out to give you a surprise. Well, it does me. A bright green moisturiser now stares back at me from my fingertips and I wonder, did I pick up the tube? Am I supposed to mask with this? or look like an angry smurf? 😂
It’s amazing how quickly the green pigment blends. It’s satisfying.
But why is Ameliorate’s new Balancing Facial Moisturiser green?
I’m so glad you asked my friend, you ask all the best questions 😉
Green is what in science we call a complementary colour to red. And this is going to blow your mind.
Complementary colours cancel each other out. They make each other invisible. Poof. Gone. A real-life Harry Potter Invisibility cloak.
When you find yourself with red breakouts and blemishes this is a big win. It can take red, angry breakouts and visibly calm them down.
But yes, yes, yes – you know it – this is not a calming effect but more of a calming veil. Think of this benefit like makeup. It makes you feel better, more confident, but it’s also not healing your breakouts or technically making them better.
So what is? Does Ameliorate’s Balancing Facial Moisturiser contain anti-blemish actives which work?
These are ingredients you must know about;
1. Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract. The top ingredient catches my eye as I’m scanning down Ameliorate’s Balancing Facial Moisturiser ingredients list. Its position means there’s most of this key active inside.
Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract is a HEROINE of the new Ameliorate Blemish range. You’ll find it starring in all six new products. But what does it do?
Here’s the deal – Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract is a source of salicylic acid.
Salicylic acid is a leave-on exfoliating active that can help soften away dead skin cells inside your pores, preventing them from causing you breakouts.
There’s also some science to show there are some powerful polyphenols in the mix too – aka plant antioxidants. You want to be using powerful antioxidants when you have breakout-prone skin because they help stop your skin’s oils (sebum) from going off/oxidising (like how an apple turns brown).
One of the big oils your skin’s sebum contains is called squalene. Have you heard of it?
Well, take a peek at this science quote;
Squalene oxidization leads to the production of comedogenic molecules.Int J Cosmet Sci. 2015 Aug;37(4):357-65
Don’t worry if this sounds gooky, all comedogenic means is it blocks your pores. And if you want clear skin, you don’t want blocked pores.
2. Ameliorate’s new Balancing Moisturiser power’s up their pore-clearing formula with a natural active called Morinda Citrifolia Leaf Extract.
It could help to end that frustrating cycle of one breakout clearing up only for another to go BOOM. Meaning you never get completely clear skin.
That’s because studies show us this natural leaf extract can;
All M. citrifolia extracts showed a wound healing activity at a concentration dependent manner; however, leaf extract significantly increased wound closure time in treated mice compared to the control.Phytother Res. 2010 Oct;24(10):1437-41
3. Then there’s Amylopectin.
Sounds fancy eh. This dudette’s responsible for making Ameliorate’s Balancing Moisturiser mattifying. It’s a ground-up powder from the babassu nut absorbing oil to get control of your sebum.
While I enjoy the mattifying effect – like the green pigment, this is a short term benefit that will last as long as you keep using the moisturiser.
4. The final superstar you should know about – a blend of 4 Korean plant extracts which could help reduce your pore size – wahoo!
The suppliers who make this active tested it on real human skin and their results show us – after just 3 weeks of using it pore size can decrease by an average of over 47%. Pretty awesome eh.
Big benefits of Ameliorates new Balancing Moisturiser;
- Anti-redness (temporary green pigment effect)
- Skin tone evening (temporary green pigment effect)
- Can help speed up the healing of your breakouts
- Helps keep your pores clear
Would I buy it? Yes I would.
Overall rating: 6.5/10.
2. Ameliorate Transforming Clarity Facial Serum Review
You know how every film has a main character? Like Shrek or Crulla De Ville or Katniss Everdeen?
Well every new skincare launch has the same – and this is it (!)
Just like Ameliorate’s new Balancing Moisturiser, the new Transforming Clarity Facial Serum contains;
- Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract
- Morinda Citrifolia Leaf Extract
- Those 4 Korean marine extracts to help reduce your pore size
And then it’s powered up with the big 3;
- Niacinamide – shown to help reduce breakouts and prevent spots from forming, while also reducing the oiliness of your skin
- Vitamin C – superstar antioxidant to help stop your sebum going off and blocking your pores
- Vitamin A – aka a retinoid – helps reduce pore size, reduce oil production and reduce pore-clogging
On top of these hard-hitting actives there are also ‘natural moisturising factors’;
- Sodium lactate
Your skin needs these to stay hydrated, smoothed, softened, even in texture and healthy.
I feel like mother of the bride right now – gushing 😂.
Is there a bad side to Ameliorate Transforming Clarity Facial Serum?
It’s not so much a bad side, but there’s one key fact you should be aware of. The concentration of active ingredients matters big time. Imagine having a chocolate cake that was 1% chocolate 😱 😭 or a chocolate cake that was 47% chocolate chips 😀. More chocolate means more tasty. And more of a skincare active can also mean better results.
Well, Ameliorate’s Transforming Clarity Facial Serum has a nice hit of niacinamide, however, it’s got just a sprinkle of vitamin C and vitamin A. They can still help your blemish-prone skin get clearer, however, if you have moderate or severe acne, this is not the do-it-all serum for you. But if you’re a – I breakout occasionally or have mild acne kind of gal, yes, yes, yes. This is an awesome choice.
Psst – keep in mind skincare can’t do it all alone, you also need to be following a clear skin diet – grab your copy of my free acne diet cheatsheet here to get a headstart on inside-out factors too.
Would I buy it? Yes, yes, yes.
Overall rating for mildly breakout-prone skin: 8.5/10.
3. Ameliorate Overnight Clearing Therapy Review
This one my friend is a spot treatment. From a scientific point of view – I’m in love with how Ameliorate’s Overnight Clearing Therapy has been made. Don’t you find it crazy annoying when spot treatments don’t stay in place? You put them on your spots and 10 minutes later as you’re collapsing into bed your spot treatment’s on your bedding, your neck, your hair 🙈
This spot treatment’s actually more like a clay mask formula. A kaolin clay mask formula – meaning it can help seal and protect the area you pop it on overnight. Give it 10 minutes before popping your head down for sleepy time and it will stay in place till morning.
But does it work?
Here are the top anti-blemish ingredients 😀;
- Kaolin – to absorb excess oil and seal and protect skin
- Niacinamide – to heal breakouts quickly and reduce redness
- The heroine actives – Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract which contains salicylic acid plus Morinda Citrifolia Leaf Extract which is shown to speed up skin healing and the Korean marine extracts to help reduce your pore size
- Sulphur – helps exfoliate skin to unclog pores which is what we scientists call being a keratolytic active – there’s just a pinch in this formula
Now, my friend, I must tell you how quickly Ameliorate’s Overnight Clearing Therapy can help you clear up breakouts overnight, will depend on the type of breakouts you have.
Are your breakouts blind headed or cystic and deep-rooted? If it’s a big yes then Ameliorate’s Overnight Clearing Therapy can help but you’ll not be waking up to clear skin after just one night.
However – if your breakouts are more like small blemishes which are ripe or have been picked and are now healing. This is where Ameliorate’s Overnight Clearing Therapy spot treatment really shines.
Would I buy it? Yes – especially as it’s a very reasonable price for a spot treatment.
Overall rating: 8/10.
4. Ameliorate Clarifying Facial Cleanser Review
Did you see me talking about how to choose your best cleanser over on Instagram last week? And how it’s not all about choosing a pH balanced cleanser because psst – new science studies show a pH balanced cleanser containing anionic surfactants (a type of cleansing active with a negative charge e.g. sodium lauryl sulphate) can be harsher to your skin than a cleanser which isn’t pH balanced.
Harsh cleansing actives like anionics can leave your skin constantly dehydrated, dry, irritated, prone to redness and unhappy. That’s because their negative charge disrupts your skin barrier.
Bottom line – to be super protective of your skin health and therefore how well your skin resists breakouts and blemishes – steer clear of cleansers with big doses of anionic surfactants.
So, question is, does Ameliorate’s new Clarifying Facial Cleanser fit the bill?
It’s so, so close.
Ok, so here’s what I see when I look at the formula. Even before we get to a cleansing active there’s Pentylene Glycol sitting pretty – it’s super hydrating to skin which is winning. This active will help to stop a cleanser from drying out your face (a very, very bad thing if you want to get rid of breakouts long term).
Then I see these cleansing actives – listed in order of concentration we have;
- Polysorbate 20 – a non-ionic surfactant aka it’s gentle to your skin – wahoo
- Coco-Betaine – don’t worry too much about this word – coco-betaine is an amphoteric surfactant – aka not anionic and therefore gentle
- Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate – this is an anionic surfactant – boo – but wait for it – out of the whole family this is a super mild version plus it’s not the primary cleansing active meaning there’s less of it
- Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate – ditto to the above
If you’re used to a face wash or foaming cleanser then you will love Ameliorate’s new Clarifying Facial Cleanser however in my scientific opinion to gold-star your skincare routine, you should ideally be looking for an anionic free formula. I’m here if you need my help with that.
Quick extra note – Ameliorate’s Clarifying Cleanser also contains those hero actives to reduce oil production, breakouts, blemishes and pore size. However, in a facial cleanser, they’re mostly getting washed down the sink. Always look for anti-blemish actives in leave-on serums and moisturisers.
Would I buy it? No, purely due to the anionics – but I’m a purist when it comes to skincare.
Overall rating: 5.5/10.
5. Ameliorate Clarifying Clay Body Wash Review
Wahoo, a body wash targeted to breakouts – these are so hard to find.
First, quick check, just like we talked about before, does Ameliorate’s Clarifying Clay Body Wash contain dehydrating and irritating anionic cleansing actives? That’s a no, no, no. Which I say yes, yes, yes to 😂
Meaning this formula is gentle and protective of your skin health. Psst – you need super healthy skin to get your skin resisting breakouts, most people make the mistake of trying to just dry out breakouts which wrecks your skin health and leaves you extra breakout-prone in future.
Instead what you want to do is skyrocket your skin health so you get zero breakouts. You’re going to do this with both great skincare and a great diet (click here to get your copy of my free acne diet cheatsheet).
Just like the face wash, keep in mind that anti-blemish actives in Ameliorate’s Clarifying Clay Body Wash are getting washed off your skin quick – however you also have an option to use this as a body mask. I love this. Your skin will get extra benefit from the anti-blemish actives this way. Ameliorate recommend leaving on for 2 minutes – you could do longer too.
And those anti-blemish actives are;
- Kaolin – to help absorb excess oil from your pores
- Montmorillonite – another clay to help do the same
- Inulin – a prebiotic active helping your skin grow good healthy bacteria and get rid of the breakout causing ones
- Piroctone Olamine – you can also find this active in anti-dandruff shampoo – it has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial activity – so this is great to use after a workout when sweaty skin can cause a fungus overgrowth (sounds gross eh – don’t worry your skin naturally has fungus, it’s so normal and in the right concentration, it’s healthy)
- Plus – the heroine actives – Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Leaf Extract and those 4 Korean marine extracts for helping exfoliate, unclog pores, speed skin healing and reduce your pore size
Would I buy it? Yes – but only if I was planning to leave it one for the mask treatment – this is where the best anti-blemish, skin-clearing benefits come from.
Overall rating: 8/10.
6. Ameliorate Transforming Clarity Body Spray Review
The final child in Ameliorate’s new anti-blemish range. When I work with wonderful women like you who have blemish or acne-prone skin, there’s one group of products I struggle with. Body treatments for blemish and acne control.
There are so few.
When I find one it’s like finding gold at one of those touristy gold shifting stalls – where they get you panning for yellow glints. Have you ever done it before?
You find a gold glint and with beams of excitement streaming from your eyes, you’re turning to your mum as she says, ‘well-done darling, but know, this is fool’s gold not real gold’ 🙈.
I get this feeling when I find body treatments for blemish and acne-prone skin because most have a super high alcohol content.
Alcohol drys out your skin – which temporarily helps clear up breakouts – but in the process wrecks your skin barrier and your skin’s long term health. Making your skin blemish and acne-prone. Yikes right.
Ameliorate’s Transforming Clarity Body Spray is here to do things differently. It does not contain drying alcohol levels. It does contain anti-blemish actives which are skin health boosting. Wahoo.
Here’s a peek at them;
- Ammonium Lactate – a super hydrator that smooths, softens and gently exfoliates, also with mild antibacterial actives to help cull overgrowths of breakout bacteria
- The heroine actives contained in all of Ameliorate’s new anti-blemish products – to help unclog pores, speed skin healing and reduce pore size and breakouts
- Hydrolyzed Milk Protein – skin health-boosting, hydrating and there’s some evidence it can help boost skin cell regeneration plus decrease acne symptoms
- Natural moisturising factors (e.g. serine, urea) to hydrate and smooth skin plus boost your skin health
It’s safe to say I’m a scientific fan girl of this formula.
Would I buy it? Yes.
Overall rating: 9/10.
And there you have it my friend. The full scientific review of Ameliorate’s new anti-blemish skincare range. Overall I’m impressed, I love this as an option for blemish-prone skin. Which blemish busting product are you most tempted to try out?
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist, skin health expert & award winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim’s to help you get healthier, happier skin you feel comfortable, confident and like the freakin’ awesomesauce you are in. Select the option which best describes your skin health here to see and hear the amazing transformations you could be getting.