Hi, everyone! Here is my first-ever skincare review on this blog. While makeup is my main focus, I've always had a soft spot for skincare as well. And since my skin has always given me troubles, I've had a lot of motivation to try a variety of products! In particular, my skin is quite acne-prone (which becomes more and more irritating as I get farther and farther away from my teen years), but is also very sensitive. This makes finding suitable skincare tough, because most acne-products are very harsh, and most products for sensitive skin are very rich, which my oily skin does not like!
Recently, my skin has been acting out in the worst kind of way: I'm both breaking out and getting dry patches, which a) doesn't look pretty! and b) makes makeup application difficult. I decided that what I needed was a good exfoliant, something to remove the dead skin from the top layers of my face, which both works to reduce acne and eliminate flakiness. While manual exfoliants (those with scrubby particles) can be fun to use, they can also be quite irritating, damaging delicate skin and spreading bacteria. So I figured that some type of chemical peel would be a wise choice.
I went to Sephora with high hopes and an open mind. After speaking with an incredibly sweet and knowledgeable sales associate (wish I had gotten his name!), this is what I chose:
Dr. Dennis Gross's Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel is advertised as the "#1 Selling At-Home Peel" and boasts 40 Anti-Aging ingredients (!). This product promises a wide-range of benefits for the skin, specifically:
· Skin-clearing- Controls oil, minimizes pores and acne scars
· Anti-aging- Reduces fine lines and firms skin
· Reducing Redness- Calms and soothes irritated skin
· Brightening- Evens skin tone and minimizes dullness
Even though this is is advertised primarily as an anti-aging product, it was the three other benefits that really caught my eye. Something that clears my skin, calms irritation, and evens out my skin tone? Sign me up! In addition to the main promises above, this at-home peel advertises some other benefits:
· Gentle enough to use on a daily basis - the sales person said that using the product on a daily basis consistently is a bit much, but the proposed gentleness of the product caught my interest.
· For all skin types, which I find is a promise that is rarely true- but we'll see!
· Minimal irritation, which, as someone with sensitive skin, is music to my ears, because so many exfoliants and acne products are extremely harsh.
· Dermatologist Results at home, again, another exaggerated claim that many dermatologist-inspired lines promote. But again, only time will tell!
· Easy application, which is always a plus.
· Vegan and Cruelty-Free. Something very important to me, especially when it comes to cruelty-free beauty products. And something that many dermatologist lines cannot claim, so this impressed me!
· Paraben-free. Fewer preservatives is always a nice bonus.
This peel consists of two necessary steps: Step 1, which is the active exfoliating treatment, and Step 2, which is a calming and soothing post-treatment. In the packaging I bought (the most affordable choice, a 10-pack; $32 CAD, at Sephora), they come in individually packaged packets like this:
Step 1 contains powerful exfoliants such as Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Salicylic Acid, as well as antioxidants and anti-irritants like Chamomile Extract and Green Tea Extract. Step 2 includes Retinol, which is also an exfoliating anti-aging ingredient, as well as a variety of antioxidants (such as Vitamins A, C, & E) and calming agents, and is supposed to help skin "recover" from any irritation during Step 1.
I used the peel last night for the first time, and here are my intital reactions:
- The product, which comes on moistened towelettes, is very easy to use. Just rub gently on your face until the towelette feels dry. That's it! No rinsing required.
- Any irritation I experienced was very brief
- I woke this morning to find many of the blemishes on my forehead had significantly reduced in size. What a nice thing to wake up to!
- My face was less dull and flaky this morning, and my makeup applied much more smoothly over it.
- I did experience a stinging sensation on my face, that lasted for a few minutes.
- My skin became somewhat red following the treatment, and was still a bit blotchy in the morning.
- This product is extremely pricey, and will be an expensive habit if it continues to help!
Overall, I'm giving this product rave-reviews so far because it passed my important "morning after" test. That is, while many facial masks and treatments make skin look better instantly, usually by the next morning my skin has returned to its usual frazzled state. With the Alpha Beta Peel, my skin looked even better upon wakening. Although my skin was slightly irritated afterwards, the stinging and redness were very mild and definitely tolerable.
So, I'm going to keep using the Alpha Beta Peel for the next month or so, and I'll continue to update you on the results. Actually, I'm off to use it again right now! Hopefully this ongoing review will be honest and informative, and will inspire you to seek out solutions for your own skincare issues. Let me know if you have any questions!