You’ve probably seen the Zenmed ads in any number of magazines: Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Allure, Elle, and New York, just to name a few. But, if you are suffering from conditions such as severe acne, rosacea, and eczema, no doubt every ad for products promising relief catches your eye. You’ve likely spent a small fortune, and more than a few prayers, on gels, creams, salves, and ointments in hopes of a clear skin solution.
So what is this Zenmed all about? And, more importantly, do their acne treatment products actually work? Let’s take a look…
Table of Contents
With a background in homeopathy and alternative healthcare, Mandy Shahi launched the Zenmed line in 2000 with one product: the naturally-based Derma Cleanse Cleanser. She began working with a custom natural skincare formulator based in California to develop a skin care line that was not only effective for people with severe skin conditions, but that was reliant on natural ingredients. Basically, she wanted a clinical-strength product without any of the chemical hazards so prevalent in clinical-strength products.
After selling the Derma Cleanse Cleanser online for several months, with a hard push to educate consumers on the nasty ingredients in some products marketed for skin care, sales boomed and Shahi committed herself to Zenmed full-time. By 2003, the very popular Derma Cleanse Cleanser became known as Facial Cleansing Gel, and the brand had swelled to 29+ products, encompassing cleansers, masks, moisturizers, serums, and supplements. A pharmacologist was brought on board to continuously analyze the use of numerous medicinal actives on skin. Today, “Creating Products with Conscience” is Zenmed’s motto and objective in all that they do.
Products and claims
Zenmed has specially formulated products for many serious skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema, but our review focuses on the acne line. As found on the Zenmed website, products in the acne line include:
Oil-Free Day Lotion – Applied over various Zenmed treatments or to bare skin, this mild, calming moisturizer provides a non-greasy dose of moisture. High concentrations of Vitamins B5 and E leave the skin feeling and looking supple and nourished. Ideal for use on sensitive skin or after an exfoliation treatment (Skin Eraser Kit). Soothing, neutral pH moisturizer without retinols, Vitamin C, alpha or beta hydroxy acids. Can be used as frequently as needed. Great for people who are sensitive to petroleum or lanolin products.
Refining Scrub – Created to give troubled skin a gentle buff while clearing away excess oil using natural fruit acids as opposed to strong detergents. When used twice a week, sufferers of active, oily skin notice a visible improvement in texture and pore size. Leaves a refreshing effect on the skin, created specifically acneic/oiliness prone complexions.
Derma Cleanse Acne Mask & Spot Treatment – When applied to affected areas, expect a quicker healing time and severity of an Acne breakout. The mask component of this treatment helps remove unwanted greasiness that may be aggravating an already troubled complexion. After cleansing off of product, skin does not feel dehydrated or uncomfortable. Applied as a spot treatment to Acne pimples, whiteheads and clogged pores, a dramatic difference is seen in healing time and redness and inflammation.
Botanical Acne Body Wash – This a formulation created specifically for Acne involving the body. It provides an exfoliating action with Ground Walnut Shells and effective cleansing enriched with extracts of Oregano Oil, Tea Tree, Peppermint and Rosemary. Ideal for use with or without a bathing sponge, washcloth or loofah. Ideal for use after the gym to prevent breakouts that are commonly caused by friction with clothing and/or excessive perspiration. Naturally-scented.
Facial Cleansing Gel – This is a naturally-based formulation (Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel and Tea Tree) designed to remove oil, makeup, and unwanted residue from the surface of the skin while maintaining the skin’s natural protective barrier. This is the first step in helping prepare the skin for using our Acne treatment products like the Derma Cleanse Acne Gel or Botanical Acne Mask and Spot Treatment. Oil-free, alcohol-free, Doctor-formulated to be gentle to sensitive skin or skin undergoing aesthetic treatments like peels and Acne medications.
AHA/BHA Complex – A predictable complexion starts with healthy cell turnover and preventing build-up. After cleansing with a mild cleanser such as the Zenmed Facial Cleansing Gel – Sensitive, this product provides the much needed step of clearing dead skin cells out of the way. Helping the cell turnover process, using this product smoothes unwanted bumpiness and flakiness. Since this product does not strip oil like traditional toners are meant to do, there is no “rebound effect” that is commonly seen with major brand named products. Try for 7 days, then stop for 7. See what a difference it makes.
Derma Cleanse Acne Gel – Applied to areas affected by Acne pimples, whiteheads and blocked pores, you can expect a far quicker healing time than by leaving the skin untreated. By healing pimples faster, you prevent the inflammation process from causing unneeded damage to the skin leading to possible scarring. Also prevents new Acne from forming by preventing excessive build-up of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. Upon initial contact with skin, you may feel a slight tingling due to the higher acid content (pH 3.5). If persistent, rinse off after initial application and slowly let the skin become more accustomed to it. If persistent tingling or burning occurs, discontinue use.
So what does this mean for you?
Zenmed is basing their entire premise on the fact that the right combination of natural ingredients can produce professional level results often seen in more chemically-laden products. You may think that “natural” products are not “aggressive enough” for severe skin conditions, but Zenmed is out to prove you wrong… by finally relieving your problem skin.
Key ingredients found in many of their acne products, according to the Zenmed website:
Purified Water, Witch Hazel Distillate, Propylene Glycol, Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Sage, Coltsfoot, Yarrow, Balm Mint, Chamomile, Rosemary, Althea, Wild Thyme, Horsetail,
Cucumber in Purified Water, Disodium C 14-16 Olefin Sulfonate (Source: Coconut),
Cocamidopropylbetaine (Source: Coconut), Cocamide DEA (Source: Coconut), Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Vitamin C, Pro-Vitamin B5, Allantoin (Source: Comfrey Root),Tetrasodium EDTA,
Sodium PCA, Vegetable Gycerin, Disodium Oleamido Sulfsuccinate (Source: Coconut), PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate,Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin,Vitamins A, E, & D3
Essential Oils of Rose, Geranium, Lavender, Tangerine, Sodium Lauryl / Laureth Sulfate (Paraben Free Formula)
Zenmed product ingredients are all either naturally based, “certified organic,” or what’s known as being “bioidentical.” In order to be categorized as natural, the base formulation of each product has to be sourced from vegetables instead of petrochemicals.
Application and regimen recommendations
The Zenmed website recommends the following regime when using their line of acne products:
Oil Free Day Lotion – Apply after cleansing and after the application of any serum or acne treatment product. Can also be used on clean, bare skin daily. Apply as needed.
Refining Scrub – For use once to twice a week with Derma Cleanse Acne Treatments. (No other instructions found for this product).
Derma Cleanse Acne Mask & Spot Treatment – Best used as a spot treatment to shrink pimples overnight. Apply a thin layer of mask product to affected areas only, avoiding eyes, nostrils, and lips. Wait until mask dries, about 2-5 minutes, and then rinse off completely or leave on overnight. Follow with Oil-Free Day Lotion. Best used twice a week.
Botanical Acne Body Wash – Apply in shower on wet skin. Apply to affected areas and rub in gentle, circular motions. Leave on for about 2 minutes then rinse completely. Use up to three times daily, starting off at once per day and gradually increasing as needed. If excessive dryness occurs, cut back usage to once per day or every other day.
Facial Cleansing Gel – Apply to damp skin, massaging into face and neck in circular motions. Rinse well with warm water. Use up to twice daily. Avoid contact with eyes.
AHA/BHA Complex – Cleanse skin and pat dry. Apply product to a cotton pad and then apply to face and neck avoiding eyes, nostrils, lips and earlobes. Use up to twice daily. Do not use on skin that is broken or irritated. If pregnant or nursing, ask a health professional before use.
Derma Cleanse Acne Gel – Cleanse Skin before applying medication. Apply to the affected areas in a thin layer once per day before bed. If dryness or peeling occurs, reduce application to every other day. If pregnant or nursing, ask a health care professional before use.
Consumer reviews on the Zenmed website, and elsewhere on the web, are consistently positive. Many people seem to have found Zenmed after becoming unsatisfied with Proactiv and other similar products. Improved texture and decreased redness are the most often noted improvements. Most people saw results fairly quickly, but there were several consumers who noted that it took several weeks of consistence use before results were seen.
After all the suds have cleared, here’s the “take away” for Zenmed’s acne line, as compiled by facts on their own site and customer reviews:
- Formulated specifically for sensitive/problem skin
- 100% natural – Products do not contain pore-clogging ingredients, parabens, lanolin, petrochemicals, synthetic scents or dyes
- No animal ingredients, not tested on animals
- Zenmed’s operations, packaging, and product consciously make the least amount of environmental impact as possible
- 100% Money-Back Guarantee
- Higher price point than drugstore brands
- Not typically found in stores; order online only
Overall, Zenmed presents an impressive product range, impressive claims, and an impressive, user-friendly website. Basically, you could say we’re impressed. While not every product will work on every type of skin, Zenmed has spent the past 13 years establishing themselves as true contenders in the industry, competing with much larger, much more chemically-dependent brands. With such a firm footing in both science and nature, Zenmed products seem to be the real deal, and offer an encouraging step toward healing your skin through natural means.