“The first dermatologist-developed, naturally-inspired skincare brand.” A mouthful it may be, but as a tagline for beauty brand Goldfaden MD, it makes me sit up and listen.
I am both an avid fan of natural beauty and a cynical science nerd. Sadly, often in the world of beauty, coalescing these two things seems nigh impossible. When natural beauty brands spout marketing taglines like “Chemical free!” (water is a chemical, people) and “Organic!” (do they even know what that really means), I find myself drawn to it — and I roll my eyes at it. So a beauty range that is both rooted in dermatological science and natural ingredients seems like a dream come true. With the highly-raved Doctor’s Scrub* and Detox Clarifying Facial Wash* in tow, I set out to see whether the Goldfaden MD range could meld together my two loves in beauty.
First of all, let’s talk about the brand. Goldfaden MD was developed by 40-year-dermatology-veteran Dr. Gary Goldfaden. His mission to combine the elements of a healthy, natural lifestyle with physician-strength results in beauty products is what led to the development of Goldfaden MD. So far, so good, right? Even better: the entire range of products fits the cruelty-free, paraben-free bill. Here is what you will (and won’t) find in all Goldfaden MD products:
- Organic and Natural Ingredients
- No Animal Testing
- Mineral Oil-Free
To make your eco heart sing even more, all packaging is sustainably made from recycled materials. The emphasis on sustainability, science and using natural ingredients are what really sell this brand story for me.
— DETOX CLARIFYING FACIAL WASH —
First up, the Detox Clarifying FacialWash. This face cleanser is designed for problematic skin. With its combination of Lactic, Glycolic, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, it’ll tackle clogged pores and congestion like a champ. It also has claims of detoxifying and anti-pollution barriers: issues important to me, considering I live and work in Central London.
One pump of this wash is all you need, and a silky-smooth foam comes tumbling out. In a previous life, I hated foaming face washes. This is because I must have always used cheap versions, because when they are good, boy are they good. Thick, but so light and soft, and you can really work it into your face. I never thought I’d feel such joy about foam.
At first, I was a bit nervous first using cleanser on my face, though, as I don’t have problematic skin (just looking tired and sallow all the time, but that’s just life I think). My skin is quite sensitive, and I worried it would turn me into a flaky mess.
I needn’t have worried: despite its ‘for Problematic Skin‘ title, this cleanser was incredibly gentle. So if you have combination/congested skin that’s also prone to dryness and sensitivity (EVERYTHING BUT THE SPOTS), this is an amazing option for you
At one point, I even stopped using it for a few days. And suddenly, lo and behind, I had spots on my nose. And near my mouth! What was this, the apocalypse? (For reference: the pill has drastically helped my skin, so I almost never get spots, mostly just general congestion). With my head hung low in shame for doubting its Magic Powers, I immediately switched back to using it. And my skin has been one happy camper ever since.
— DOCTOR’S SCRUB —
Goldfaden’s Doctor’s Scrub is definitely a cult product. A ‘Ruby Crystal Microderm Exfoliator’ (yes, I didn’t know what that was, either), these round exfoliants are gentle enough to use every day and encourage cell turnover.
First of all, I need to address my only major gripe with this product: the packaging. A tub with a screw-on lid that’s akin to juggling when you attempt to scoop the product out with your hand. I use this guy in the shower, and the dexterity required to put the lid back on often means pools of water end up in the tub.
With that minor complaint out of the way, I can talk about the star of the show: the product. The consistency is more like a cream, which surprised me when I first opened the lid. These are some fine, densely-packed crystals. The texture of this cream, though, is very gritty, as you would expect from an exfoliator.
Although it’s poised as an everyday product, I actually found it quite harsh — not necessarily in a bad way, but in a “my skin is going to be like a baby’s bottom” kind of way. In recent years, I had shied away from abrasive exfoliants for chemical ones. It was a nice change to go backsmooth. This is something I would use in the summer months, and go back to chemical exfoliants in the winter.
However, based on the slew of positive reviews this baby has, if you love yourself an old-fashioned scrub-a-dub exfoliator, this is a great one to go for.
Would I buy these products again?
I really loved the Detox Clarifying Facial Wash — enough that it’s up there with my other Holy Grail of facial washes, one that keeps my congestion at bay. Not many face washes have been able to do that for me. The Doctor’s Scrub, on the other hand, is one I’d have to think about quite a lot before repurchasing, considering its £65 price tag. I tend to prefer chemical exfoliation (i.e Alpha H’s Liquid Gold), as it fits better into my beauty routine.
*PR samples provided to me for review. However, I test all beauty products for months, and I will only ever give honest reviews — positive or negative.