I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly on the hunt for new skincare. There are two reasons behind this search. For one, once my skin gets used to a product I have to switch to a new one. Secondly, I’m always curious to see how new ingredients and skincare lines will work for my dry, sensitive skin.
My interest was definitely piqued when I had the chance to try Ao Skincare, a line completely new to me. Founded by dermatologist Dr. Mark Gray, Ao was developed with purity and potency in mind. Each product contains a combination of skin beneficial ingredients, such as pure New Zealand Artesian Water, New Zealand Manuka Honey, Kiwi Seed Oil, Zinc Oxide, Retinal, and Niacinamide.
Ao Skincare is also made in the USA and doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, petrochemicals, DEA, TEA, PEGS, and artificial fragrance.
In addition to loving the sleek, modern packaging, I was also drawn to the fact that unlike other skincare brands, Ao uses cold processing to manufacturer their moisturizers. In other words, they don’t expose their products to intense heat, which can damage the integrity and effectiveness of the ingredients. Ao also doesn’t use emulsifiers that can disrupt the natural oil/moisture balance in your skin.
I choose three products from the 6 step regimen, the Prepare Cleanser 1, Fortify Day 2 (moisturizer), and Repair Night 5 (moisturizer).
This was probably my least favorite product of the three I tried. The gel, oil/water composition really didn’t work for me. To use this cleanser, you first have to apply it with dry hands on dry skin, similar to using a cleansing balm or oil. After rubbing in onto your skin in a circular motion, you then use warm water to turn the gel into a milky solution.
I didn’t really notice a gel to milk transformation, and I never felt like my skin was fully clean probably because it wasn’t. Instead, I always felt like I needed a second cleanser to completely remove makeup or my night time serum. If I used a toner, I noticed lots of leftover product on my cotton pad, which left me wondering just how well the cleanser was working.
While the cleanser didn’t live up to my expectations, the moisturizers certainly did. I really enjoyed their lightweight formulas. I only needed two pumps of each to cover my entire face. I even had a little extra to apply on my neck and decollete.
Neither moisturizer irritated my extremely sensitive skin. Instead, my skin felt soothed, nourished, and hydrated. I attribute this to ingredients like Manuka Honey, Plant Stem Cells, Vitamin C, Totarol, Vitamin B3, and Resveratrol. After a few weeks of use I actually noticed a difference in my very dry skin. I had a smoother, less noticeably dry canvas on which to apply makeup, and my skin on the side of my face, below my cheeks, no longer itched.
Although Ao Skincare is a high-end skincare line I do think it is worth the investment, especially if you have dry, sensitive skin. It’s made right here in the U.S.A. and is formulated with lots of high-grade, good for your skin ingredients, and none of the bad like parabens and artificial fragrance.