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
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
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 that contain ingredients shown in clinical trials to be effective for reducing wrinkles and improving skin quality generally.
Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum is our top skin cream pick because of its effective and clean formulation. 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.
Interested consumers can check out Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum at this link to the product page on the official brand's website.
Interested consumers can check out HydraGlow at this link to the product page on the official brand's website.
The only oral supplement we recommend for skin quality improvement is Bulletproof Collagen Powder.
Oral collagen supplementation was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology to improve visible signs of skin aging as well as improve skin elasticity and skin hydration.
Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Collagen Powder at this link to the product page on the brand's official website.
None of the products recommended in this section contain additive ingredients that we consider questionable from a health perspective.
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:
- Highly effective formulations
- Many active ingredients with research-backing
- Minimal questionable additives
- Affordable given potency
- Mostly positive online customer reviews
- Brand website charges for shipping
- Retinol cream contains synthetic preservative
- Doesn’t appear clinically tested