Urban Skin Rx Review: Is "Inclusive Beauty" Effective?

Urban Skin Rx Review: Is "Inclusive Beauty" Effective?


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Urban Skin Rx is a brand focused on “inclusive skincare” that improves skin quality regardless of shade. The company is founded by a licensed aesthetician, and some of their products have won awards from health publishers like AskMen and Allure. 

But does Urban Skin Rx use research-backed ingredients, or are these just marketing claims? Does the brand use any questionable additive ingredients? How do real users rate and describe the effects of Urban Skin Rx? And what retailer sells this brand for the best price?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in two of Urban Skin Rx’s most popular products (Even Tone Cleansing Bar and Retinol Rapid Repair) based on medical studies, to give our take on whether or not they’re likely to be effective.

We’ll feature unsponsored customer reviews of the brand, and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells Urban Skin Rx for the best price.

Ingredient Analysis – Even Tone Cleansing Bar

Urban Skin Rx Even Tone Cleansing Bar

The ingredients in Urban Skin Rx Even Tone Cleansing Bar are shown above.

This formulation contains a number of research-backed ingredients, not only for enhancing skin quality but also for providing an anti-aging effect.

Coconut oil was shown to have anti-aging effects when applied topically to skin in a 2018 medical review

Kojic acid was described in a 2010 medical review to have the capacity to “reduce signs of aging.”

Black tea was found to protect skin cells from sun damage in a clinical trial published in the Photochemistry and Photobiology journal.

Witch hazel is a botanical ingredient that has an anti-inflammatory effect when applied to skin, as documented in a 2011 clinical trial.

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that’s frequently used in cosmetic formulations, and has a natural hydrating effect as we documented in our review of Skinbetter Science.

Glutathione is primarily a skin-lightening agent, although it can also increase skin elasticity according to a medical review published in the Dermatology Research and Practice journal.

There are several other active ingredients in this cleanser with research backing, but readers can tell at this point how potent this product is.

The best part about Even Tone Cleansing Bar is that it’s entirely free of questionable additive ingredients like fragrance and harsh preservatives, which is uncommon for cosmetic products we review on Illuminate Health.

We recommend this product from a formulation perspective, and consider it likely to have an anti-aging, skin-hydrating and general quality-promoting effect.

But how do real users rate this brand? Before analyzing the ingredients in another one of Urban Skin Rx’s best-sellers, we’ll feature some unsponsored customer reviews.

Real People Try Urban Skin Rx

A YouTube creator named Tashara shared her experience using Even Tone Cleansing Bar for a month:

A YouTube creator named La’Porsha Hope had a worse experience with the brand, and suggests their products caused a facial burn:

Ingredient Analysis – Retinol Rapid Repair

Urban Skin Rx Retinol Rapid Repair ingredients

The ingredients in Urban Skin Rx Retinol Rapid Repair are shown above.

This formulation contains many of the same effective active ingredients that we analyzed in the previous ingredient analysis section and believe to be effective, including niacinamide, kojic acid and glutathione.

Retinol is the main active ingredient, and this form of vitamin A is very well studied for dermatologic benefits.

Retinol is clinically shown to have significant anti-aging effects and a favorable safety profile, as we documented in our Meaningful Beauty reviews article.

Malva sylvestris flower/leaf/stem extract is another active ingredient unique to this formulation that was shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on skin in a clinical trial published in the Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy journal.

Unlike the previous formulation, there is one inactive ingredient in this one that may be questionable from a health perspective.

Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative shown in a 2020 clinical trial to be toxic to human cells.

Sometimes preservatives are necessary to ensure the safety and potency of cosmetic products with many botanical ingredients like Retinol Rapid Repair, but we prefer preservatives with more favorable safety profiles (in our opinion) like ethylhexylglycerin.

We consider Urban Skin Rx Retinol Rapid Repair likely to improve skin quality and have an anti-aging effect, but we don’t currently recommend it due to the inclusion of phenoxyethanol.

Doctor Reviews Urban Skin Rx

A doctor and cosmetic formulator named Vanita Rattan reviewed Urban Skin Rx in a video that focuses on potential efficacy in people of color:

Where to Buy Urban Skin Rx for the Best Price

Urban Skin Rx is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here’s a price breakdown for the two products featured in this article at the time of publishing:

Even Tone Cleansing Bar (3.7 ounce)

Brand website: $25 (plus $5.99 shipping, link)

Walmart: $25 (free shipping, link to official Walmart listing)

Amazon: $25 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Retinol Rapid Repair

Brand website: $26 (plus $5.99 shipping, link)

Walmart: $22.69 (plus shipping, link)

Amazon: $19.50 (free shipping, link to Amazon listing)

Urban Skin Rx is currently around 10-35% cheaper on Amazon than the brand’s website for single orders of the above-listed products when factoring in shipping rates.

Our Clean Skincare Picks

There are skincare products containing ingredients shown in clinical trials to be effective for reducing wrinkles and improving skin quality.

Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum is our top anti-aging serum.

It contains hyaluronic acid which was described as a "skin-rejuvenating biomedicine" in a medical review due to its ability to reduce wrinkles and signs of facial aging.

HYDRAGLOW by CLEARSTEM is our top moisturizer pick.

It features bakuchiol as an active ingredient which was described in a 2014 clinical trial as "clinically proven to have anti-aging effects." 

Bulletproof Collagen Powder is our top skin supplement.

Collagen supplementation was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology to reduce visible signs of skin aging as well as improve skin elasticity and skin hydration.

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.

Real Customers Review Urban Skin Rx

Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

Even Tone Cleansing Bar has been reviewed over 6,000 times on Amazon, with an average customer review rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Heather" who gives the cream a 5/5 star rating and claims it resolved PTSD rashes:

"So I have ptsd rash (to put it simply) so I breakout every time I’m stressed out or whatever and I have scars all over my face tot he point I refuse to not wear make up and I just cry in the mirror sometimes...I have literally only used this 3x and whaaaa ya girl is lookin amazing"

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "marilyn krause" who gives the cream a 1/5 star rating and claims it caused an infection:

"I used this stuff and my face broke out in cysts! Sent it back today. Now I have a large infection on my face."

Even Tone Skin Cleanser currently has a 4.3 out of 5 star rating on Google.

Pros and Cons of Urban Skin Rx

Here are the pros and cons of Urban Skin Rx as a brand in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Highly effective formulations
  • Many active ingredients with research-backing
  • Minimal questionable additives
  • Affordable given potency
  • Mostly positive online customer reviews

Cons:

  • Brand website charges for shipping
  • Retinol cream contains synthetic preservative
  • Doesn’t appear clinically tested
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Urban Skin Rx is one of the better cosmetic brands for the price.

The formulations of the two products we analyzed in this article (Even Tone Cleansing Bar and Retinol Rapid Repair) are as potent as nearly any brand we’ve reviewed to date on Illuminate Health, and some competitor brands charge 500% or more.

We currently recommend Even Tone Cleansing Bar based on its ingredients, while we don’t recommend Retinol Rapid Repair due to the inclusion of one synthetic preservative.

Most of the online customer reviews we came across while researching this article were favorable, but we did come across a few YouTube reviews where the creator described burning skin after use of Urban Skin Rx products.

Amazon currently has the best prices on this brand.