Last Updated on October 12th, 2020
The best way to treat and prevent acne is with a gentle skin care regimen designed to treat acne and take care of your skin at the same time. But finding a kit that can do both is tricky. In this ZenMed review, we want to investigate the ZenMed Acne Therapy kit for combination skin, since the vast majority of people have skin that is a combination of oily and dry.
Does this kit treat acne effectively without overdrying the skin or causing more problems? Can it help reduce all kinds of acne, from whiteheads to pimples?
Let’s find out.
Article Table of Contents
Whenever we investigate an acne treatment product, we always check to see if it successfully addresses the root causes of acne, which are clogged pores, excess oil production, acne-causing bacteria, and inflammation. If a product or kit only addresses one or two of these root causes, it cannot treat and prevent acne completely. It has to treat all four causes in order to be successful.
If this sounds like a tall order, it is. Not many acne regimens actually treat acne as a whole, but it is possible. Exposed Skin Care offers acne treatment products and kits that actually tick all of the boxes, so whenever we investigate another product, we compare it to Exposed Skin Care. Let’s take a look at how ZenMed Acne Therapy compares to Exposed Skin Care.
As you can see, the ZenMed Acne Therapy kit doesn’t address nearly all of the issues related to acne. It tries to do so much more, like reduce inflammation and remove excess dead skin cells and oil, but for most people, it doesn’t do those things successfully. Check out our formula breakdown below to find out why ZenMed tries but fails to effectively treat and prevent acne for most people.
Looking at the ingredient lists on skin care products can be intimidating, but we’re here to make it simple. Let’s look at each product in the Acne Therapy kit and find out why these products might not work as well as they’re meant to.
Facial Cleansing Gel
All good acne treatment regimens begin with a cleanser. It’s important to cleanse away some of the excess oil and dead skin cells so that the treatment and moisturizing products can do their jobs better.
The ZenMed Facial Glensing Gel is a good face wash in general because it contains very gentle surfactants that won’t irritate the skin.
Surfactants are chemicals that bind to oil and dirt, then foam up to pull them away from the skin. Then when you rinse the surfactants away, you also rinse away the oil and dirt. Many surfactants are too harsh for the skin and end up causing more problems than they solve, but this Facial Cleansing Gel is actually very gentle. It also contains many natural ingredients like wild thyme, chamomile, aloe vera gel, and several essential oils. Many of these natural ingredients are antioxidants that help prevent inflammation, but the wild thyme has actually been shown to kill the bacteria that cause acne1.
It’s important to note that this face wash doesn’t contain many ingredients specifically designed to treat acne, but this actually isn’t a terrible thing. Most acne-fighting ingredients need to absorb into the skin to work and are relatively useless in a face wash where they get rinsed away.
The next step toward healthy skin is exfoliation. The Facial Cleansing Gel removed some of the oil on the surface of the skin, but to unclog your pores, you need to exfoliate using a physical or chemical exfoliator. Physical exfoliators, like oatmeal or small microbeads, are generally much too harsh for the skin. Chemical exfoliators, when used in small doses, are actually much safer and usually unclog pores without causing too much redness or irritation.
The ZenMed AHA/BHA Complex contains only 5 ingredients, and 3 of them are chemical exfoliators. This product contains witch hazel, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid, along with some water and propylene glycol, a conditioning agent used to help the skin absorb the other ingredients better. For most people with combination skin, this product is going to be much too strong. A little chemical exfoliation is a good thing, but too much of it can actually cause more acne. Excessive exfoliation irritates the skin, which encourages inflammation, which is one of the main causes of acne.
Derma Cleanse Acne Gel
This product is the second step in the treatment stage, and it’s a spot treatment only meant to be applied to areas with active acne breakouts. It contains salicylic acid and witch hazel to help unclog pores and clear away excess dead skin cells, but it also contains gentle ingredients meant to reduce any potential inflammation caused by the salicylic acid and witch hazel. These gentle ingredients include glycerin, which helps keep the skin moisturized, meadowsweet extract, which is commonly used to help reduce skin irritation, and vitamin B5, which also helps keep the skin moisturized.
It’s great to see a product like the Derma Cleanse Acne Gel that combines acne treatment and gentle skin care. Based on its formula, this is actually a very good product.
Oil-Free Day Lotion
Many people with acne tend to skip over the moisturizing stage of skin care, but the truth is, people with acne need moisturizer just as much as people without acne. Moisturizer keeps our skin safe from irritation and inflammation, which helps prevent acne. You just have to be sure that your moisturizer doesn’t contain any comedogenic ingredients (ingredients that clog pores).
The ZenMed Oil-Free Day Lotion is a decent moisturizer, but it may cause a few problems. It contains some great ingredients, like glycerin, vitamin B5, aloe vera gel, and allantoin. But it also contains a few problem ingredients, like glyceryl stearate and cetearyl alcohol. These chemicals are meant to keep all of the ingredients evenly distributed throughout the moisturizer, which is important, but they are also slightly comedogenic. For some people, they won’t pose a problem at all, but for others, they could clog pores and lead to more acne instead of less.
One great way to determine whether an acne skin care line is good for your skin is to check out the one-star reviews online. It’s easy for big companies to manipulate five-star ratings, but one-star ratings often reflect the true problems with the product.
We analyzed 23 different one-star ZenMed reviews from Amazon, Reviews.io, and ZenMed’s website and pinpointed the top three complaints, which are increased breakouts, excessive dryness, and poor customer service.
The biggest issue seems to be that these products actually make acne worse. 10 out of 23 reviewers said that after using the ZenMed Acne Therapy, they were actually seeing more acne rather than less.
Some people discontinued use a few days after starting because of the worsening acne, but others stuck with it for weeks or even months, and still saw their acne only continue to get worse.
Another major problem is ZenMed’s customer service. 9 out of 23 one-star ZenMed reviews said they had some kind of issue with customer service. Some people said they had trouble returning the product, even within the 60-day return window, while others said they were having issues receiving the products at all.
Out of the 23 reviews we looked at, 4 reported dry skin problems after trying the ZenMed products in the Acne Therapy kit. Some reported itching and dryness while others said their whole face was so dry it was peeling.
Real One-Star Reviews
I normally do not like to give bad reviews but I’m afraid I had to for these products. I had mild acne when I bought these products and I got them mainly because they were advertised as more natural than most products. When I started using them the products started to dry my skin out like crazy which I thought was expected in the first week or so. I continued to use them and they honestly made my acne so much worse, and made my face get extremely red and start scabbing up. It was really bad. The only product that was halfway decent out of the four was the face wash and even then it’s definitely not worth the money. I would suggest trying Burt’s bees acne solutions because that’s what worked pretty well for me and the products are not nearly as pricey.
I had soooooo much hope in the products from this company, but unfortunately so far I’m worse off than when I started. Also, I kept hearing about great customer service. Mine was pretty poor. I had a defective bottle and had questions about using the derma clear pills and as far as online chat goes, it was pretty useless. If anything changes as far as product effectiveness or improved customer service, I will gladly change my review.
It left dry patches on my skin which burned when I put anything on them. Also customer service is lacking. Been waiting over a week for my refund well.
Based on our research, it seems like the ZenMed Acne Therapy kit is not the best skin care line for acne treatment, but because of their 60-day return policy, some people might be tempted to give it a shot and just return it if it doesn’t work out for them. With some companies, this is a safe way to test out new products, but if a company has a history of poor customer service, this approach could actually harm your skin and waste your money.
Before trying any new skin care products, it’s important to get to know the company. You want to make sure you can trust them with your skin and with your money. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get much information about ZenMed. Their site does not include an “About” page, and though it is sold in the UK and Australia, we had no luck finding the ZenMed UK or ZenMed Australia websites. With a little digging, we did eventually find an “About” page, but it didn’t have much actual information about the company. All we know is that it was founded in 1999 and all of the products were supposedly designed by a doctor. But the page doesn’t say who that doctor is or whether their specialization is in dermatology.
Worst of all, it appears that ZenMed doesn’t even have a profile with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB accredits businesses based on ethical practices and helps resolve customer service issues when the company fails to take care of the issue. Many businesses aren’t accredited but still have a profile, but ZenMed has no profile at all, which makes us very concerned about their business tactics.
Overall, we weren’t very impressed with the ZenMed Acne Therapy kit for combination skin.
The products seemed okay, but not great, and their business practices seem sketchy at best. Thankfully, you don’t have to settle for using ZenMed products.
If you’re looking for a gentle, yet effective, approach to skin problems, the best option out there is Exposed Skin Care. They are accredited by the BBB with an A+ rating, and their products really can treat and prevent acne to give you the clear skin you’re looking for.
The key is creating products that are designed to treat acne slowly instead of immediately. Even though we all want clear skin two days after starting a new regimen, the best products don’t work like that. If something clears up your skin in just a few days, odds are high that your acne will be back with a vengeance in a week or two. This is because products that work fast are typically far too harsh for your skin, even if you don’t have sensitive skin. It’s better to take your time, do it right, and get the results you want. Exposed knows that, and their products are designed to give you clear skin long-term, not just for a few weeks.
They do this by combining natural and scientific ingredients that reduce inflammation, kill acne-causing bacteria, unclog pores, and remove excess oil and dead skin cells. Their Basic Kit includes a Facial Cleanser, a Clearing Tonic, an Acne Treatment Serum, and a Clear Pore Serum, all of which include a variety of acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, tea tree oil, licorice root extract, and more.