Review: M2 Skin Refinishing Lotion 20%

By Voxy  

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the big guns.

M2 Skin Refinishing Lotion is not a polite product. It does not open the door for you. It does not hold your chair out at the table so that you can sit demurely. It does not offer you a drink, or a light for your cigarette.

What it does do is exfoliate like hell, so at least that’s something.

M2 Skin Refinishing Lotion is a blend of acids, primarily mandelic and malic. If you want a serious chemical exfoliant that’s still safe for use two or three times a week, then the M2 line might be something you want to check out. In spite of the things I don’t like about this product (see below), I can’t deny it’s done wonders for my hyperpigmentation spots. (For those who are new to the blog, or who for some reason don’t obsessively keep track of every detail of my life [what is wrong with you people?], I suddenly developed a whole cluster of brown spots at the end of last summer, due no doubt to a summer spent driving in the car and not realizing that I wasn’t wearing adequate sunscreen.)

This is quite clearly a product that means business. It is not a vanity product. It will not make you more beautiful while you are wearing it. (Well, except that it is working on getting rid of your dead skin cells, so … well, you know what I mean.) Putting this product on is like smearing honey on your face, except that it’s considerably less delicious and OW! it burns if you have a cut or other small opening in the skin. Actually, the only part of it that’s like honey at all is how sticky it makes your face. Really, it’s amazing. I feel like a piece of human flypaper when I’m wearing this. It also makes me shiny. Needless to say, I use it as a night treatment only! M2’s argument is that the stickiness holds the product in place so it can work overnight on your skin rather than rubbing off onto your pillow.

It is the consistency of corn syrup, although interestingly enough it doesn’t feel sticky when you pump it out onto your finger. But when you spread it into a thin layer on your skin, it becomes stickier than Elmer’s Glue, and more shiny to boot. I actually feel it sticking to my pillowcase at night. I know — gross, right? So you will understand when I say I only use this because dang! it does a good job of evening my skin tone and reducing hyperpigmentation. Overly frequent use is likely to result in dry skin, so start with a once or twice a week regimen at first. M2 also makes a moisturizer which I sometimes use on nights I’m not using the Skin Refinishing Lotion, but I’m not wild about it and besides it’s a really freaky shade of green. If you don’t like M2’s moisturizer, and also don’t like sticking to your pillowcase, you are allowed to apply a night cream of your choice once the Skin Refinisher has set (they say it’s about 15 minutes, but I usually find about 20-30 minutes to be a better window).

One thing I have to say about M2 is that they have taken a very forward approach to packaging and delivery systems; their delivery systems for the Skin Refinishing Lotion and the moisturizer are unique, which I like. And I like the results. If your skin is particularly sensitive or delicate, they also make a 12% Skin Refinisher, which you might want to start with. The 20% is OK for me, but it certainly lets me know if I have a small cut or other damage to the skin. Owie, owie, owie. And, of course, you must must MUST use a sunscreen when you’re using this product.


M2 Skin Refinishing Lotion 20%:  $48.50 via

Provenance: Purchased

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good, for right now. Since you can’t see into the container, it’s hard to know how long it will last.

Purchase again? Probably, though I’ll certainly wait for a sale!

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

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  1. avatar marigolds
    Posted March 23, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hmmm. Do you think something like this would be *more* aggravating to the couperose problem? (I’m actually seeing some spider veins on my face now, so I’m going to go ahead and say that YOU WERE RIGHT, and also that I really, really hope my face never ends up looking like those couperose photos you linked to!)


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