Review: Medik8 Press & Glow

May 19, 2021

At the risk of over-simplifying a very complex topic, I’m going to do a sixty-second, super basic run-down of the world of skincare acids. Here we go…
There are three categories (AHAs, BHAs and PHAs). All of them are exfoliating but they each have individual characteristics too. AHA’s are water-soluble, they are the most common category typically and include Lactic Acid, Mandelic Acid and Glycolic Acid among others. BHA’s are oil-soluble, making them ace for busting spots and for use on acne, they help break down the excess sebum causing congestion in the skin. And finally, there is PHA’s, probably the least common category but that seems to be changing a bit now. What’s special about this category is that although being exfoliating, PHAs are also hydrators, they have humectant properties that attract moisture to the skin and because of their larger molecule size, they tend to work more slowly. Now I know what you’re thinking, who wants slow working skincare? Well, if you’ve got sensitive skin or even just skin that is new to acids ‘slow’ is actually a blessing, because a more gradual penetration of the skin translates to a lesser chance of irritation and more stable results.

There are multiple types of PHAs but the one used in Medik8 Press & Glow is Gluconolactone Acid which is an antioxidant acid. What makes this acid in particular so special is that as well as doing the usually exfoliation and hydration it also helps protect the skin from UV damage, it strengthens the skin barrier and can help maintain elasticity. In summary, it’s a good egg.

Medik8 Press & Glow

What Makes It Special:
As we’ve just chatted about, Gluconolactone Acid (which is the acid used in the Medik8 Press & Glow at 5.5%) is a pretty special ingredient, but the rest of the formulation is pretty encouraging too. It includes Prickly Pear extract which can speed up the rate of the cell renewal process and improve the clarity and luminosity of the skin. It also contains Aloe Vera which works wonders for reducing skin irritation and enhances moisture retention in the skin.

And now on to the packaging. If given the choice, my preference will always be for ‘pretty but practical’ packaging but this is extra special. Not only does it tick both those boxes with its easy to use pump lid, it also ticks the environmentally friendly box too. The first time you purchase this it will look like it does in these photos, but for any follow-up purchase, you can buy just the re-fill bottle (no pump top) and just replace your empty canister and reuse the pump you already have (and save yourself a few dollars too). This is important because the pump is actually the bit that household waste companies struggle to recycle. It has multiple moving parts and usually metals springs inside which means a lot of time and effort to pull it all apart, and so usually garbage sorting companies don’t bother with it and the whole thing goes straight into landfill.

Why I Like It:
Love the packaging, so they get a tick there. But separate from that the product itself is great. It gives my skin a great glow without any redness or irritation like some acid toners do, it’s gentle enough to use most days, gives my skin a glow and gets rid of any dullness. It also works well with other products and contains no added artificial fragrance or colours. Although this markets itself as a ‘daily’ exfoliant, I actually found I had the best results when I used this a few times a week.

What I Don’t Like About It:
Not much. Medik8 Press & Glow isn’t going to give the results of a once-weekly acid toner but that’s not what it’s promising. It’s a daily use (or most days) product that gives consistent glow and exfoliation.

Grab a cotton round/reusable cotton swap (I’ve been using these ones for a few months now and I love them!) and douse the round in the liquid from the push-down pump (3 to 4 pumps) and swipe all over your face. I apply this after cleansing and before everything else, but I like to wait a minute to let this settle before moving on with my routine.

Product Claims:
Skin is visibly resurfaced, hydrated and smoothed – agree
It helps to gently lift the appearance of hyperpigmentation and can brighten the skin surface – definitely brightens the complexion overall, but I haven’t seen much effect on hyperpigmentation though
The complexion is left visibly glowing, soothed and toned – agree
The overall health of the skin is visibly maximized – agree

Aqua (Water), Gluconolactone, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Citrate, Hydroxyacetophenone, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.

Available From:
Adore Beauty
Cult Beauty

200ml Unit – $55 / £25
200ml Refill only – $49 / £23

This is a great option if you’re looking for a gentle start into the world of skincare acids. Or if you’re looking for a daily/most days option that won’t send your skin into a tizz. I’m not sure if I’d purchase it again, or if I’d stick to something stronger that I use less often (weekly/twice per week) but that’s purely down to personal preference of what I like in my routine each day, and not an issue with the product itself.

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