Acnexus Acne Scrub – My Review


The botanical ingredients in Acnexus can irritate the skin, or even trigger allergies.

The advertising for Acnexus promises that you can get rid of 99.7% of your acne in just 4 weeks—and start to see visible results in just 72 hours. Acnexus is advertised as a one-step acne solution for teens and adults that will annihilate red, oily, itchy skin and get rid of blackheads once and for all—but does it really work?


  • The makers of Acnexus claim that it can get rid of 99.7% of blemishes in just 4 weeks, but most of the ingredients in the product can make sensitive skin acne worse.
  • Acnexus does not contain any chemical ingredients, only botanicals.
  • Most of the botanical ingredients in Acnexus can irritate the skin or trigger allergies.
  • Using Acnexus will probably make rosacea worse.
  • Acnexus offers the most generous return policy in the industry—but you are likely to need to return the product because it is highly unlikely to work.

A Combination of Natural Ingredients

Acnexus is made with a combination of natural ingredients. The makers of Acnexus point out that it does not contain mineral oils (which usually aren’t included in acne products), alcohols of any kind, parabens preservatives, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), or benzoyl peroxide. They note that leaving too much benzoyl peroxide on the skin can “burn a hole right through it,” although this is only true when benzoyl peroxide is used in a concentration 10 times stronger than appears in acne treatments.

According to them, Acnexus can heal existing blemishes while preventing new breakouts, get rid of blackheads and reduce the size of pores, decrease redness and reduce oil production.

What goes into Acnexus? This one-step formula, which comes in a 9 oz bottle, includes:

  • Aloe vera gel, which the makers of Acnexus say to be key to healing the skin. The kind of healing involved in acne, however, is stopping the overproduction of skin cells in the lining of pores, while aloe vera helps restore collagen production in broken skin.
  • White willow bark, which the makers of Acnexus claim releases salicylic acid which reduces inflammation and breaks up blackheads. Salicylic acid does in fact reduce inflammation and break up blackheads, but only when it is available in a concentration of 0.5% to 3% and at a pH of 2.9 to 3.9, which it is not in this formula.
  • Chaparral, which the company identifies as “a very expensive aqueous extract.” Chaparral was the original source of creosote, used to weatherproof railroad ties. The creosote in chaparral is carcinogenic, although there is not enough creosote in Acnexus to cause skin cancer.
  • Gotu kola, which the company identifies as “food for the brain.” (Don’t rub their product on your brain.) Gotu kola and caffeine in creams that help them adhere to the skin are actually valuable in treating cellulite, but they have no effect on any kind of acne.
  • Alfalfa, which the company claims contains an anti-fungal ingredient that alkalizes and detoxifies the skin. Alkalizing the skin actually makes it more hospitable to acne bacteria, and acne is not caused by a fungus.
  • Valerian which has “stimulant properties….which soothe the skin.” Stimulating the skin does not soothe it. Valerian is a mild sleep aid but the compounds in valerian are not absorbed through the skin.
  • Green tea, which the company claims stimulates the immune system. Since it is the immune system’s overreaction to the presence of acne bacteria that causes inflammation in pimples, stimulating the immune system is not necessarily a good thing. Green tea does, however, reduce sebum production in the skin, but it needs to be applied to the skin in a cream (that stays on the skin) in a concentration of at least 3%.
  • Redmond clay, about which Adnexus notes “Generations of people have used the clay for an all natural facial with no additives, chemicals or preservatives.” This product, however, adds 26 other additives to the clay. There is no reason to suppose it is harmful to the skin.
  • Glycerin, which the company says is produced by a complicated, “sophisticated” chemical reaction, hydrolysis. Hydrolysis is nothing more than breaking down a chemical by the addition of water. And while glycerin is produced by hydrolysis, the reaction requires both water and sodium hydroxide, also known as lye.
  • Avocado, which, the company points out, carries other ingredients deep into the skin, plus bergamot, juniper, lavender, geranium, ylang-ylang, rosemary, and patchouli oil, all of which can cause allergic reactions. The avocado in the formula increases the likelihood of an allergic reaction to these botanicals.
  • Chamomile, which is also advertised as an especially expensive essential oil (it’s one of the cheaper essential oils used in cosmetics) and as an anti-inflammatory, which it is, except for people who are allergic to ragweed.
  • Vitamin E, which is said to repair acne and stretch marks. It does repair stretch marks, but its primary use in treating acne is preventing discoloration of the skin (especially Asian skin types) as pimples heal. Any vitamin E in a product packaged in a jar breaks down as soon as the jar as opened. The vitamin E in Acnexus is more stable because it is in a pump bottle, but it is important not to leave the product exposed to the air.

Could Acnexus actually do any acne sufferer any good? If you don’t have sensitive skin, that is, you don’t have any allergies to botanical ingredients, putting the clay on your face might be a good way to soak up excess oil. There is no reason to suppose the product would counteract inflammation and it would actually be better if it did not deeply penetrate the skin, but some people will do better if they use the product every day.

If you have sensitive skin or allergies you should not use Acnexus. If you don’t have sensitive skin or allergies, Acnexus should not cause any significant skin problems. But if you don’t have sensitive skin or allergies, you might get a better response to 2.5% benzoyl peroxide in products that cost 70% to 80% less.

Acnexus seems to be a well-intentioned product that includes a lot of ingredients that have no claim to fame other than they are “natural.” Natural products can trigger allergies. The fewer ingredients a “natural” product has—preferably five or fewer—the less the risk of allergy. But there are 27 separate ingredients that can cause skin problems in Acnexus. If you have sensitive skin or rosacea, please leave it alone.

The only way using Acnexus is likely to help you is by the manual rubbing and scrubbing you do to apply it to your skin, and that’s just not how the best acne products work. A good skin scrub does all the work. You just put it on your skin and it cleans your pores. You don’t have to see a foam of big bubbles or hear the product fizz, and it should not leave your skin tingly. For a better approach to skin care, also with a money-back guarantee, check out Exposed Skin Care.

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