Stop the press! I have found the secret to smooth glowing skin: Glycolic Acid. You have probably heard of it, maybe even used it yourself.
So, what is Glycolic Acid, and how does it work? Despite the scary sounding name, Glycolic Acid is a natural ingredient, and is actually taken from sugar cane. In very simple terms, it works by removing the very outer layer of skin, leaving behind fresh new skin underneath. In skincare products that can be used at home, the concentration will be fairly low (probably under 10%) although if having a professional treatment it will be anything from 50% upwards. It is normal to feel a little bit of tingling when using products containing Alpha Hydroxy Acids (of which Glycolic Acid is one) this simply means it is penetrating the skin and doing its job. What you shouldn’t experience, however, is burning, redness, or peeling.
Back in July I went on a little shopping trip, and bought a couple of skincare items (here, if you would like a read) one of which was the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Cleanser. I was a little nervous about using the cleanser initially, what with it having ACID as an ingredient, but eventually I decided to man-up (in a very female way) and try it. It turns out that my hesitance was unnecessary; there was no burning or smoking from my face – just super smooth, soft skin. Result! Some may argue that the Glycolic Acid content is too low to actually do any good (it is 2%), but I am certain that it has made a difference to my skin. In collaboration with this, I have been using the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Serum , which contains a slightly higher concentration of Glycolic Acid: 4%. In all honesty, I haven’t noticed a dramatic change after introducing this serum, it is a very thick, sticky product, that isn’t especially pleasant to apply. You do need to wait for it to dry before applying moisturiser, which can be a bit of a faff in the morning, when time is short. It hasn’t had a negative effect, so I will continue to use it, but probably would not repurchase it.
The real star of the show for me though, is the Alpha-H Liquid Gold. This hugely raved about cult product really is as good as everyone says. I actually came to own this because I had heard great things about the Alpha-H Absolute Eye Complex. While researching the eye cream, I came across the Discovery Collection, which contains four small skin care products and is a great way to try out a skincare range without committing to full size products. (I have mentioned before that I absolutely LOVE it when brands do this, it suits my fickle nature down to the ground).
Anyway, I digress. Liquid Gold has 5% Glycolic Acid, and brightens the skin by giving it a little boost. Best used three or four evenings a week, simply wet a cotton wool pad with the Liquid Gold, and wipe over the face after cleansing. It is actually recommended that the skin is left to work uninterrupted overnight, which means not applying moisturiser. Having quite dry skin, it really goes against the grain to not follow up with a rich night cream, I can tell you. I initially expected to wake up looking like the Crypt Keeper, but actually the opposite was true. When I use Liquid Gold (and I don’t use it more than three times a week) my skin is plumped, refreshed and smooth the following morning.
The reason that I actually reached for it (because, as I said, it was just a bonus item with a much wanted eye cream) was that I became frustrated that I couldn’t seem to find anything that would smooth out my bumpy forehead. I don’t suffer hugely with spots (well, until recently but that’s a whole other blog post) but I have always had a lumpy forehead, which I believe is caused by congested pores. I have tried all manner of methods to rid myself of the pesky bumps, and the combination of these Glycolic Acid skincare items has done the trick.
I would expect that anyone with very sensitive skin should approach any skincare products containing Glycolic Acid with caution. For anyone looking for skin that is as fresh as a baby’s bot though, I would recommend finding your Glycolic Acid soul mate – you won’t regret it.