Hi everyone! So I haven’t posted on here for a very long time. I know – I’m sorry. I’ve been focusing on building my beauty-dedicated Instagram page (if you haven’t yet, feel free to check it out @cosmeticaddictions) doing beauty posts and mini reviews. Insta-blogging is addictive apparently! But now I’ve moved into my new space for my Masters degree and I’m planning on getting back to “proper” blogging.
So a few months ago I was introduced to glycolic peels by a very good friend of mine (Preena if you’re reading this, I love you) and my whole skincare game changed. If you are unfamiliar with glycolic peels they are essentially chemical peels where the main component is glycolic acid. According to the internet: glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and is a fruit acid which is part of the alpha hydroxyl family of natural ingredients. YAY FOR SCIENCE! But if you’re anything like me you’re probably muttering under your breath: “well that knowledge is useless to me – what does the damn thing actually do?” Well because I love you, I’ll tell you. It’s a two step process. Primarily the peel works to exfoliate the skin and remove any dull or dead skin without the need for any hard scrubbing with harsh and abrasive products like your traditional face scrub. The second benefit of the peel is that it penetrates deep into the skin to promote the regeneration of skin cells or “rejuvenation” if you want to be fancy about it. This is supposed to really help with any wrinkles, fine lines, uneven skin-tone and acne scarring. Don’t believe me? Ask Google – because that’s where I got all this information from.
So initially, the thought of putting any product that contained an “acid” that claimed to “peel” my face made my stomach feel funny. It just doesn’t sound like something a sane person would do right? But I kept getting told that it wasn’t as harsh as it sounded and that it would do wonders for my skin. I was promised clear, unblemished and super smooth skin as a result of taking the ultimate leap of faith. Eventually the temptation was too much to resist and I caved (to be fair, it was only a matter of time).
So I was recommended the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel to begin with. According to the Superdrug website: Naturally Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel is formulated with a unique energising complex infused with Kiwi Fruit and Mulberry Extracts to help revive skin’s radiance and even out skin tone. With Glycolic Acid, a powerful Alpha Hydroxy (AHA) and a Fruit Acid blend, the refreshing gel formula also refines and retexturises the skin’s surface, providing a brighter, more youthful complexion. It normally costs £5.99 but I got it on sale for £2.95 (victory dance) and it comes in a 30ml squeeze tube. The texture is a very watery gel, so be careful when squeezing it out because a lot can come out and it can go everywhere. The smell is similar to a mild air-freshener – ‘chemically fruity’ as I like to call it.
I followed the instructions and applied it after my evening cleanse. I used a pea sized amount (although I have to admit I am prone to envisioning overly large peas when dispensing skincare products) all over my face and let it dry. It didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. I mean, I was expecting at least a tingle – maybe even a slight burning sensation, but it just felt like a serum. Then I went to sleep. When I woke up the next morning the first thing that I noticed was that my face was very oily. Like VERY oily. As in = if sebum could be an alternative to fossil fuels, I would be a bajillionaire just from that morning’s produce. Anyway, I went to go and wash my face using my Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser and lo and behold I DID notice a difference. My skin felt significantly smoother and the roughness around my nose that I haven’t been able to be rid of since I was 15 was COMPLETELY GONE. Also my skin just felt cleaner. I don’t know about you, but I can tell when my skin is feeling congested. I couldn’t believe how good my face felt, and that was just after one use! Skip forward a month and a half of me using it twice a week and the difference in my skin was clearly noticeable. My skin was no longer dull, it was much smoother, my acne scars were good as gone and my skin was generally a LOT clearer. I was very happy with the results.
Now a month ago, Nip + Fab went on sale in Superdrug and as I was browsing their products, I came across the Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel and I decided to try that to see how it compared to my Superdrug Naturally Radiant one. The brand’s website describes it as: A night-time clarifying treatment for dull and oily skin, this purifying gel contains glycolic and salicylic acid which combine to resurface and purify the skin by gently lifting away dead skin cells with a continuous deep pore cleansing action. By the morning skin will look and feel fresher and smoother and skin tone will improve over time. It also said: Glycolic acid: increases cell turnover to exfoliate the skin and helps fade discolouration – Salicylic acid: unclogs pores to help tackle black heads and reduce blemishes – Niacinamide: acts as an anti-inflammatory on the skin helping to reduce the production of sebum which causes large pores to develop and acne. It retails for £14.95 but I got it for just under £8 (half price sales are amazing), it also comes in a squeeze tube and you get 40ml of product. The gel consistency is similar to the Superdrug one but it isn’t as watery and if you look closely, you’ll see tiny white spheres running through the gel. The scent is a bit stronger in this product but it’s the same concept – chemically fruity.
So I did the same process and waited to see the results. There were all the expected similarities: no discomfort upon application, a bucket-load of oil on my face in the morning and baby-butt smooth skin. The results were pretty much identical. There was only one major difference between the two. I noticed was that my skin felt a touch drier and tighter the morning after using the Nip + Fab glycolic peel than after using the Superdrug one which indicates that the first is more potent. This could be down to a higher percentage of Glycolic Acid or the added Salicylic Acid in the Nip + Fab peel. As a result I found myself only having to use it once a week or every five days to get the same results as using the Superdrug one twice a week. This means that I don’t go through product as quickly which is GREAT. However it did mean that I had to use a richer moisturiser the morning after using the Nip + Fab peel whereas with the Superdrug peel, I could just use my normal, everyday moisturiser.
So overall I would recommend both products. If you want to save money, then just get the Superdrug glycolic peel. You’ll go through product faster but you’re only spending a third of the price of the Nip + Fab to begin with. If you have money and you’re willing to splurge then go for the latter. The only thing I would say is that if you have really sensitive skin then I would suggest trying out the Superdrug peel first, because it’s not as strong as the Nip + Fab one – and the same goes if you have a lot of acne. Because I only get the odd spot now and then, I didn’t have to think about what a chemical peel could potentially do to aggravate any acne I had. However, if your skin is very dull and rough or you suffer from acne scarring then I would recommend in investing in the Nip + Fab peel just because it is more potent and could help clear up your problems faster. But overall, the end result is the same. Since being introduced to glycolic peels, I have had no reason to use a manual exfoliator (like scrubs etc) and my skin has all but thanked me for it. I also like using it to help lighten the dark skin I have on my elbows and knees. I’ve recently started using it on my stretch marks to see if it helped lighten them at all and I HAVE noticed a slight improvement.
Just a couple points before I end this post:
- ALWAYS use SPF the day after using a peel because your skin is more sensitive the day after.
- ALWAYS do a patch test on your arm before you try it on your face.
- DON’T get it in your eyes – if you do, wash it out immediately.
Until next time loves,