What’s Cleanical Skin Care?
The rap against clean skin care—that it was only about pretty-sounding herbs and never about science—has never been accurate, and now a new, rapidly growing category within clean beauty, “cleanicals,” is proving it. At goop, we’re proud to be part of it, and proud to be science-backed, with the clinical results to prove that our skin care does what it promises to do. And we’re proud to amplify other brands that are doing the same. Here, the best of the best new cleanical skin care, from glow-boosting acid treatments to powerful supercreams and serums.
We first started clinical testing with our GOOPGLOW line. “With ‘glow’ right in the name, the products really had to deliver results,” says GP. Even before we start testing, we begin by formulating with clinically proven ingredients. Then we test our products on people of various ages, looking at markers like immediate payoff and cumulative results over four and eight weeks.
Ultimate Face Scrub
In creating GOOPGLOW Microderm—a blend of four powerful glow-inducing microexfoliating minerals plus glycolic acid to help sweep away dry, dead skin cells and refine the appearance of pores for skin that’s visibly softer, smoother, and more radiant—we had to know that it really worked. In clinical studies, after just one use, 94 percent of test subjects agreed that their skin felt smoother, and even more importantly, 92 percent showed improvement in skin barrier function. That let us know that the formula doesn’t cause micro tears in skin and in fact helps strengthen the skin’s barrier.1
Powerful Skin Peel
We were inspired by the results we’d gotten from professional chemical peels when we were coming up with these intense exfoliating overnight acid peel pads. Once a week, sweep one on overnight—it’s made with 15% glycolic acid, plus potent fruit extracts and naturally moisturizing hyaluronic acid—and wake up to fresh, soft, smooth, beautifully glowing skin. After a single use, 95 percent of women in the study said their skin looked and felt dramatically smoother.2
Vitamin C Treatment
With both immediate and long-term glow-inducing benefits, this daily serum combines two skin-care powerhouses, L-ascorbic acid (proven in research to be the purest, best-for-skin form of the antioxidant vitamin C) and moisturizing hyaluronic acid (a hydrator that’s naturally present in the body). Ninety percent of the women in our study said their skin looked and felt brighter and smoother after they used the serum twice a day for four weeks.3
In developing GOOPGENES, our focus started with epigenetics, an emerging science that studies how our lifestyle affects the ways our genes express themselves. We can’t change the genetic code we were born with, but we can change some of the ways our genes are expressed. Good food, healthy exercise, and clean skin care without possible endocrine disruptors can have positive effects.
We made this luxuriously rich all-in-one moisturizer with a megadose of plant-based ceramides, squalane, and seven highly active botanicals—including Schisandra fruit, illipe butter, and caviar lime. After just four weeks of use, it significantly improved firmness, elasticity, glow, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and brightness in our study.4
We knew this eye cream was amazing the first time we patted it on—it’s made with active ceramides, caffeine, and botanicals like Schisandra fruit and arjuna extracts—but hearing that 100 percent of test subjects saw significant improvement in the appearance of eye-area fine lines and wrinkles and that 97 percent of them saw improvement in crow’s-feet pretty much stopped us in our tracks.5
The Body Miracle
We get a lot of fan mail addressed to this body butter, believe it or not. Made with three ultranourishing butters (bacuri, cupuaçu, and shea), the cream melts in to repair dry skin, leaving it moisturized for 72 hours, so it looks and feels silky-soft, smooth, firm, and toned. After four weeks of use, 96 percent of test subjects agreed their skin showed significant improvement in the appearance of tone and skin felt dramatically more silky-smooth to the touch.6
For top New York dermatologist Macrene Alexiades, MD, founder of MACRENE actives, clinical testing is a nonnegotiable. “Lab-based evaluations determine whether and how ingredients work on cells, while clinical tests show their effectiveness on actual people,” says Alexiades. “In the absence of both kinds of scientific proof, you risk including an ingredient that a) does nothing to benefit skin and b) could harm the skin.”
Peptides, Antioxidants, and More
Alexiades uses both cameras and computer analysis to measure improvements from a baseline; this means the data are reported differently than they would be if she were looking purely at the number of test subjects who saw an improvement. MACRENE actives’ bestselling cream is made with over fifty active ingredients—including purslane, researched-back peptides, and vitamin C—that work synergistically to reduce the appearance of fine lines, redness, sun damage, dryness, and dullness. It also helps fight free radicals and works to refresh and rejuvenate the skin. In clinical trials, a computer analysis found a 17 percent reduction in subjects’ appearance of crow’s-feet, as well as fine lines and wrinkles, and a 10.9 percent reduction in the appearance of red blotches after eight weeks of use, compared with baseline measurements.
The Makeup with Real Results
Alexiades also clinically tests her brand’s makeup: Her works-on-every-skin-tone no-makeup makeup tinted moisturizer is made with forty-five active ingredients to smooth and nourish skin. After subjects used the moisturizer for twelve weeks, a computer analysis showed a 4.16 percent improvement in the appearance of their global fine lines and wrinkles compared to the baseline—an impressive difference, especially considering it’s not even a straight-up skin-care product.
The Wrinkle-Smoothing Serum
Tata Harper, founder and CEO of Tata Harper skin care, approaches clinical testing with a computer analysis device for measuring wrinkles; a cutometer, which measures elasticity; expert visual grading to study sagging and crepiness; and a corneometer, a hydration measurement instrument. She used them all in developing Elixir Vitae, the brand’s superserum. Packed with seventy-two powerful high-performance ingredients, including Spanish lavender extract, acmella, summer snowflake bulb, date-seed extract, algae, and pistachio resin, the serum is one-and-done for addressing all kinds of issues, from restoring plumpness and volume to targeting deeper wrinkles. Harper’s trials found that using Elixir Vitae twice a day for eight weeks reduced and improved deep, moderate, and emerging wrinkles in a group of thirty-three subjects between forty-seven and seventy-five years old.
The Radiance Boost
This smoothing, glow-inducing, restorative serum is infused with all-natural ingredients to balance skin tone and help soften the appearance of dark spots. It was clinically proven to make skin more radiant after four weeks of the test group’s using it twice a day.
Twice the Moisturizing
True Botanicals uses consumer studies to measure improvements from a baseline, and it also always compares its numbers against one of the most iconic (and expensive) creams on the market. In one study, it went a step further and looked at the effects of combining two of its most popular products: Renew Pure Radiance Oil and Renew Repair Serum used together for forty-five days showed a 48.8 percent increase in hydration.
1Based on an after-one-use consumer-perception and clinical study conducted on twenty-eight women ages twenty-seven to fifty.
2Based on a clinical study of thirty-one women ages thirty-seven to fifty-five.
3Based on a four-week third-party consumer and clinical study of fifty-five women ages twenty-seven to fifty.
4Based on an eight-week third-party consumer-perception and clinical study conducted on thirty-three women ages thirty-five to sixty-five.
5Based on an eight-week third-party consumer-perception and clinical study conducted on thirty-three women ages thirty-five to sixty-five.
6Based on an eight-week third-party consumer-perception and clinical study conducted on thirty-three women ages thirty-five to sixty-five.