Team obsessions: Co-founder Maria on Cloud Water

Team obsessions: Co-founder Maria on Cloud Water

In this new blog series, we talk to our team members about their Common Clouds' must-haves, and go behind the scenes of the making of our star products.

Maria Ahlgren Common Clouds Cloud Water

Maria, co-founder & Beauty Director, on the story behind Cloud Water:

– The beauty of being a Beauty Director and brand founder is that you can create the products of your dreams!

I’ve been a fan of using BHA (salicylic acid) since 10 years ago, when I first got acne, and later when I wanted to curb redness and fade post-acne marks. But some BHA-products can also be too harsh and irritate skin if used to often.

So we decided to develop a BHA toner that is also calming and soothing, and suitable for sensitive skin, and packed the water with ingredients like centella, licorice and green tea. We also use encapsulated salicylic acid, which is far less irritating than old-school salicylic acid that needs a very low pH too be effective. It took about a year to get the formula right – it was also important to us that there wouldn't be any oily residue that could make pimple patches slip!

My skin type and concerns:

– I have sensitive, combination skin with mild rosacea – redness has always been my main skin concern, as well as hormonal pimples. I also have some red mark after old acne breakouts.

Skin concerns have been part of my life as long as I can remember. As a child and teenager, I had eczema and red, bumpy flare-ups. Trying to solve my own skin problems and deep-diving into skincare and skin health later led me to a career in beauty journalism. Before starting Common Clouds, I was a Beauty Editor and writer for various fashion publications, and wrote a few books on skin and skin nutrition. The connection between skin, gut and mental health fascinates me. Having quite severe acne in my early thirties let me experience first-hand the devestating effects acne can have on self-image and mental health.

– But I believe everything happens for a reason, and I think my long background in journalism with a special interest for ingredients and science, and my own experience with acne and rosacea, is what lay a lot of the groundwork for Common Clouds.


I used to cover my skin with so much makeup, and often used too drying products. At this point, my barrier was not in a good place!

How I use Cloud Water:

– I use Cloud Water about 4-5 times per week – that is the sweet spot where my skin feels it’s best and is beaming with health. Since I turned 30 (many years ago now!), I’ve religiously used retinol, and using salicylic acid and retinol in the same routine can be too much since both affect skin’s turnover of skincells. To avoid any risk of over-exfoliating my skin barrier, I use the skin-cycling method of using actives at different times. This way I get all the results, but none of the irritation. I’m obsessed with keeping my barrier healthy!

Usually, I clap Cloud Water into my skin with my (clean!) hands. I also use it on a cotton round and swipe over my neck and upper back. I have long, thick hair, and always get breakouts on my neck when the weather is warm and sweaty!

I use Cloud Water as the first step after cleansing, and then follow with serum and cream for my skin type and concern.


What happened to my skin since I started using Cloud Water?

– It blows my mind that my redness is almost gone. I’ve always felt insecure about my red nose and flushing cheeks, but my skin tone now is SO much calmer and the redness is more or less gone. Overall, my skin is brighter, clearer and my texture is milky smooth. Since I have combination skin with an oily T-zone I’ve always had enlarged pores in my mid-face area, and now when I’m older I’m also experiencing larger pores because of collagen loss. But my pores are hardly visible now, it’s almost like walking around with some filter on my face!

Sometimes I need to pinch myself – I truly believe we created one of the best and most modern products on the market for acne-prone but sensitive and reactive skin. We call it a liquid meditation, but really it’s also a liquid miracle!


Find out what others say about Cloud Water and shop the product HERE!