I Tried U Beauty's Cult-Fave Resurfacing Compound—And I Have Thoughts

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4.2

U Beauty Resurfacing Compound

u beauty resurfacing compound

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

What We Like
  • Eliminates other skincare products

  • Prevents breakouts

  • Improves skin tone

  • Sinks in fast

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Plastic packaging and hard-to-use nozzle

The U Beauty Resurfacing Compound may be pricey, but it replaces so many other beauty products—and actually improves skin—that it just might be worth it.

4.2

U Beauty Resurfacing Compound

u beauty resurfacing compound

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

We put U Beauty's Resurfacing Compound to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review. 

U Beauty's Resurfacing Compound might just knock everything else off your beauty shelf. While I tend to be hesitant about any product that says it can do more than one thing (looking at you, 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner), this cult-favorite product looked pretty enticing. Radiant skin tone, more even texture, reduced fine lines, and protection against the elements—all in one product? It might sound like a lot, but U Beauty’s innovative ingredient delivery system promises all of this without irritation. While the clinical studies back up the major claims, how does the Resurfacing Compound work exactly?

Keep reading to find out if the results are worth the price tag.

U Beauty's Resurfacing Compound

Best for: All skin types 

Uses: Fine lines, dark spots, acne, dull skin tone, texture

Potential allergens: Aloe, witch hazel

Active ingredients: Antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, peptides, retinol, hyaluronic acids, AHAs

Byrdie Clean?: Yes

Price: $228 for 1.7 ounces, $148 for 1-ounce, and $88 for 0.5 ounces

About the brand: U Beauty was designed with the desire to streamline skincare while creating a sustainable, clean, and clinically-tested luxury brand.

About My Skin: In need of acne scar-correcting

The biggest problem area I have right now is texture from acne scarring and leftover dark marks from blemishes. Thanks to wearing less makeup, my skin has been way less breakout-prone, but as someone who has dealt with acne for most of my life, a new spot always feels right around the corner.

With the confidence that my skin was already behaving fairly well, I decided to put the Resurfacing Compound to the real test and stop using all the other beauty products U Beauty claims to replace—no more vitamin C, no more HA serum, and no more retinol. Each morning and evening for two weeks, I cleansed with a simple Cetaphil wash, applied the Resurfacing Compound, and followed up with First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (plus sunscreen, if I planned on leaving the house). 

The Feel: A light, quickly absorbed gel

The first thing I noticed was how unassuming and plain this supposed powerful serum was. The yellow-tinted loose gel spreads across the skin easily, and the instructed one pump was enough to cover my full face (I like to do a second pump sometimes to cover my neck). Just as quickly as it applies it disappears into the skin, leaving a slightly matte, dry feeling. I apply moisturizer almost immediately afterward and haven’t experienced any weird pilling or absorption issues. 

The biggest disappointment has been the packaging. The bottle is plastic and the pump can be finicky to use—for this high price, I expected a glass bottle and a smoother pump.

u beauty resurfacing compound

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Ingredients: Lots of quality actives 

There are a lot of key ingredients in this one—which is one of the reasons it may be one of the only products you need. To start, it’s got a few antioxidants, which we’re all pretty familiar with as the antidote to skin-damaging free radicals. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate, a water-soluble and stable vitamin C boosts skin and plays well with other ingredients in the bottle. Vitamin E hydrates, while peptides boost collagen and help to firm the skin.

Retinyl palmitate, stable retinol that’s often gentle enough for sensitive skin, promotes cell turnover and lessens the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Various forms of hyaluronic acid, like sodium hyaluronate and hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, boost collagen and hydrate. And finally, AHAs exfoliate skin and even skin tone. There are a few types in the formula, including mandelic acid which exfoliates with less irritation because it doesn’t penetrate the skin as deeply as an AHA like glycolic acid (the Resurfacing Compound includes it, too!).

On top of everything, the U Beauty Resurfacing Compound is vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and is gentle enough to use around the eyes.

The Science: Clinical studies to back it up

The magic of the U Beauty Resurfacing Compound is that it manages to combine powerful actives without irritating skin. It does this through a technique they’ve dubbed SIRENS. Basically, it works by delivering powerful ingredients directly to the skin that actually needs it without impacting healthy skin. Because the actives aren’t impacting as much surface area, irritation and dryness are avoided.

U Beauty has clinical research that shows big changes within 30 days (and in some cases, just one use). Skin brightness, for example, had an average 16% improvement after 30 days, and a 5% improvement in just one use. You can see all the results on U Beauty’s site.

u beauty resurfacing compound

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

The Results: Clear skin and fading dark spots

I was wary that my good skin streak would continue when I ditched the products I rely on every day. At one point I felt the familiar head of a zit forming on my chin, but it shrunk into nothing after a day or two. I noticed a few blackheads (which may have stuck around since before I started the serum), but the Resurfacing Compound seemed to have no effect on these.

After two weeks of testing U Beauty's Resurfacing Compound, I can confidently say my skin looks more even and less dull, and I’ve avoided a single breakout.

U Beauty says results can be seen as soon as three to six days, and while I didn’t see any major benefits in this time frame besides softer, smoother skin and fewer breakouts, over time I saw dark marks fading. They haven’t disappeared completely—no topical product has ever worked this fast—but I’m looking forward to seeing what comes with continued use.

I didn’t see any improvement in my acne scars, but then again, getting rid of them will probably take a trip to a dermatologist. And I didn’t notice a big difference in the few minimal fine lines I have either, but again, using the product over a longer period of time may have more impact.

Overall, the changes in my skin that I’ve seen in just two weeks have surpassed the results I’ve gotten from any other product. My skin feels better, looks clearer, and is only improving. I thought I needed all of the products I was using morning and night, but it turns out the U Beauty Resurfacing Compound might be all I need.

u beauty resurfacing compound

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

The Value: It's expensive

The largest size is 1.7 ounces and costs $228. This is essentially my car payment each month—is it worth it for a bottle I can hold in my hand?

If you’re already dishing out for high-cost skincare, then yes, going all-in for the U Beauty Resurfacing Compound can be worth it if it means you’ll stop spending on other products. The major results I’ve seen so far have already got me wondering if I can fit it in my budget to repurchase. The smallest size is a half-ounce and costs $88, and while it’s more expensive per ounce than splurging on the biggest size, it’s more palatable for those just trying it out.

u beauty resurfacing compound

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Similar Products: Not much else like it

African Botanics Nutritive Molecule Serum ($250): It might not be a more affordable dupe, but it is one of the most similar. At $250 for an ounce, this serum is actually more expensive than the Resurfacing Compound, but it still packs some major key ingredients. Try it out if you’re looking for something rejuvenating—it’s got vitamin C vitamin E, niacinamide, resveratrol, and more.

SkinCeuticals C + AHA ($136): While you’ll have to apply your retinol separately, this serum from SkinCeuticals packs vitamin C, AHAs, and other antioxidants in one little bottle. Like the Resurfacing Compound, this serum is recommended for boosting your complexion, reducing fine lines, and preventing acne. It also comes with a similar, albeit smaller, price tag of $136 for an ounce.

Final Verdict

If it’s in your budget, go for it. I love that the U Beauty Resurfacing Compound streamlines my routine down to just a few products, which almost makes the high price worth it. But even better are the results I’ve seen after just a few weeks of testing—glowier, more even skin, and non-existent breakouts.

Specs

  • Product Name Resurfacing Compound
  • Product Brand U Beauty
  • Price $228
  • Weight 1.7 oz.
  • Ingredients Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Dimethyl Sulfone, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Glycerin, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycolic Acid, Superoxide Dismutase, Lactobionic Acid, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Glutathione, Acacia Decurrens/jojoba/sunflower Seed Wax/polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Mandelic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol, Linolenic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, N-prolyl Palmitoyl Tripeptide-56 Acetate, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid

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