A little late in the game, I recently discovered the beauty of glycolic acid pads (or peels). I’ve seen them around, but always had the misconception that my skin was going to literally peel off if I used them, so I’ve always stayed away.
While earlier versions of acid-based exfoliating treatments could make skin visibly slough away, the latest formulas leave skin glowing, not flaking. Many include several alpha and beta hydroxy acids, rather than just one at a higher concentration. “When you combine acids at lower strengths, they’re potentially less irritating,” says New York City dermatologist Dennis Gross. And you don’t have to see peeling to see results. “As the acid dissolves the cement between skin cells, you may have thousands of them coming off at the same time—but the shedding is still invisible to the naked eye,” says Neal Schultz, a clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
After a friend explained to me what glycolic acid pads are really all about, I decided to give them a try and ordered the Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme from Bashara Care. The glycolic acid ingredient is an active compound that contains many benefits for the skin. It can treat everything from dullness to dry skin! While some products have a higher percentage of glycolic acid, I tend to go for ones that have a lower percentage, so that I can use them consistently for better results. After using glycolic pads, I find that my skin is more smooth and bright! These products are great for all skin types from sensitive to acne-prone skin.
These pads contain 3 essential acids; when I first started getting into skincare, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the concept of treating skin with acids. However there are certain acids that are essential in an effective skincare regime, and these pads contain 3 of the best. While glycolic acid and lactic acid are both from the Alpha Hydroxy acid family, salicylic acid is from the Beta Hydroxy Acid family. Alpha hydroxy acids are a group of natural acids found in foods.
They contain glycolic acid, which is a naturally derived from sugar canes, although nowadays some companies make it synthetically.
Glycolic exfoliation effectively removes the dead cells that both sit and accumulate on the surface of your skin. These dead cells lead to dull, discolored, and uneven skin. Glycolic exfoliation, therefore, removes those dead cells restoring radiant, even-toned skin. Glycolic exfoliation also stimulates the healthy, live lower layer, therefore, kin, causing them to generate new live, healthy skin and even produce collagen, all making your skin firmer. Lastly, glycolic exfoliation is instrumental in the prevention and treatment of acne breakouts and minimizing the appearance of enlarged, clogged pores.
The next acid they contain is salicylic, which is a must-have for anyone prone to acne. It helps break down clogged up pores and dead skin cells and penetrates the skin to give a really ‘deep’ clean.
Lastly, they contain lactic acid, which like salicylic, also helps to weaken the bond of dead skin cells that lead to congested skin.
How to use
They are so simple to use; once your skin is clean and cleansed, you just wipe one over the necessary areas. I wipe one over the areas where I’m not spotty too, to prevent getting spots in those areas if that area is clogged and congested. They recommend using them 2-3 times a week, hence I use them every alternate night, followed by a rich moisturizing night cream.
The Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme are described as being a more potent version of their bestselling Glycolic Fix Pads. The Extreme Pads contain their highest level of Glycolic Acid at 5% and have been further enhanced with the addition of Salicylic Acid to make them the ultimate night time treatment to refine the pores, brighten the complexion and decongest the skin through exfoliation. Unlike the ordinary Glycolic Fix Pads, Nip and Fab recommend using the new Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme only 2-3 times a week, and those with sensitive skin should only use them once a week which really emphasizes how potent they are.
The 5% Glycolic Acid works to gently exfoliate the skin, whilst helping to fade discolouration on the face such as acne scarring and pigmentation issues. The Salicylic Acid penetrates into the pores to unclog them as well as helping to combat blackheads and reduce blemishes. Lactic Acid removed dead skin cells and toxins from the skin for a smoother and more even toned surface, whilst Hyaluronic Acid improves the skin’s hydration and keeps the skin plump and soft.
Appearance wise, the pads look exactly the same as the original Glycolic Fix Pads except for the Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme have a very different scent as they smell strongly of grapefruit, whereas the original pads smell more medicated. I can state this as my friend uses the original ones and I’ve seen them too. I personally love the grapefruit scent; it’s so fresh and invigorating, which might not be a scent you want before bed but I love it.
Incredibly smooth and clear skin. I honestly cannot recommend them enough if you’re plagued with acne scarring like myself, they really do make a significant difference to how quickly my scarring fades, and the exfoliation from the acids means any blemishes aren’t left dry and flaky (grim I know) so they’re a lot easier to conceal. I think they’re such fantastic value at just AED 119 considering you’re getting 60 pads in a pot, which is amazing considering how effective they are.
Why Glycolic Acid is better than the Rest
Magnanimous girlfriends and pug owners insist that size doesn’t matter, but cosmetic chemists disagree. The smaller a molecule, the more easily it gets into the skin. Because glycolic is the smallest of all the acids, it yields the most dramatic results. “There’s a reason glycolic is the acid used the most in anti-aging products and doctor’s-office peels,” says Hirsch. “It does the job.” Almost as well as a prescription retinoid, says Schultz. Try Glycolic Acid Pads to help clear pores and retexturize skin. Some dermatologists believe that no one talks about how glycolic acid changes the structure of the skin because then the FDA will call it a drug, regulate it, and suddenly we’ll need to see a doctor to get it. But the truth is that it regenerates collagen, thickens the epidermis and dermis, and evens skin tone. (Shhhh.)
Even the Supersensitive can use them
“Acids don’t work like retinoids, which repair skin by kick-starting inflammation,” says Ranella Hirsch, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine. “They dissolve the upper layer of cells to trigger repair.” Plus, unlike with scrubs, the skin is not damaged by abrasives. So if you’re sensitive, acids are actually a wise choice. Look for formulas that combine them with an amino acid,, which slows their penetration into the skin. And don’t rush in. “Irritation can take a while to show up,” says Hirsch. “You may get to day four, then all of a sudden your skin reacts.” Take a month to ramp up to daily use.
5 Common Myths about Glycolic Acid
Myth #1: Glycolic acid is only effective on mature skin
Glycolic acid can be used by all ages to address different skin concerns:
– From age 15: to effectively treat acne
– From age 20: to prevent signs of skin aging, to even out skin tone, and to reduce blemishes and scars
– From age 30: to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
– From age 50: to increase skin tone and firmness, and to prevent skin diseases
Myth #2: Glycolic acid irritates the skin
While some skin types can experience a reaction to glycolic acid (skin damaged by sunburn or vigorous scrubbing), in-clinic glycolic acid treatments and those sold in pharmacies for “at-home” use are safe and effective. However, it’s perfectly normal to experience a temporary tingling sensation or redness shortly after a glycolic acid-based product has been applied on the skin. If these symptoms persist, rinse your face and space out your use of the product.
Myth #3: Glycolic acid’s exfoliating action only works on the skin’s surface
Glycolic acid’s exfoliating action works on two distinct layers of the skin: the outer layer (epidermis) and the deeper layer (dermis). Exfoliation on the skin’s surface reduces dilated pores, blackheads, acne and pigment spots, while exfoliation within the deeper layers boosts production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin to moisturize skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and prevent premature aging.
Myth #4: Sensitive skin won’t tolerate glycolic acid
Glycolic acid is an active ingredient indicated for sensitive skin. As a precaution, it is recommended to first test the product on a small area of the jawline before proceeding gradually.
Begin with a low concentration of 5% every other day for 4 weeks, then gradually increase frequency, i.e., once a day, in the evening. Once your skin has adapted to the lower 5% concentration, switch to the 10% concentration (the highest concentration approved by Health Canada for over-the-counter sale).
Myth #5: Glycolic acid treatments are not recommended for daily use
Home-based skin care products formulated with glycolic acid are gentle enough for daily use, year round. However, it’s essential to apply an SPF 30 sunscreen every morning. Since glycolic acid’s exfoliating action removes dead surface skin cells, the new, underlying skin cells are more vulnerable and sensitive to sunlight.
This is the best skincare product I’ve ever used till date. These have honestly cleared my skin up. I have no spots at the moment, just a little bit of redness from where the spots used to be which is fading every day. My blackheads & whiteheads are completely gone. My skin tone is getting even now. The grainy like texture of my forehead has become smooth as ever which is the best thing. I don’t go for facials anymore since my skin is already so clean and clear. I don’t know why some people are petrified of using glycolic acid but after thorough research, I can confidently state that glycolic acid is safe to use even for the teenagers in order to treat acne and retexturize the skin. Having said that, over usage of anything is bad. Use it twice a week in the beginning and once you feel that your skin has accepted it, then you can start using it thrice a week. I personally wouldn’t recommend using it daily, unless you’re 35 plus.
The Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme can be ordered online from BasharaCare. They are priced at AED 119.