If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may know I'm quite a big fan of glycolic acid as my skin type seems to really benefit from a bit of help with cell turnover. A little recap for those of you asleep at the back: Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid which can be derived from natural sources of sugar. It improves the smoothness and firmness of skin by lowering the pH of the skin making the cells work hard to raise it back up, stimulating the production of hyaluronic acid (the water-binding one in hydrating products) and collagen to help keep skin plumped out. Best of all (for me) it exfoliates the skin, helping to avoid congestion and dullness, by melting the 'glue' bonding dead skin cells onto the top layer of your skin. Over time this can help with acne, hyperpigmentation and aging. Win, win, err...win? It does make the skin a little more vulnerable to sunlight however, so make sure there is a good SPF somewhere in your routine following treatments.
Back to the product in question, Malin+Goez 10% Glycolic Acid Pads*. These pads launched in August, and I've been testing them out for the last month or so, swiping them over my face them once or twice a week in the evening in lieu of moisturiser. The packaging does state to leave the treatment on for 20 minutes and then rinse with water to neutralise (this is do-able with any glycolic treatment at a concentration of 10% or under) for the first three weeks, but I left it on overnight from the second use because
I'm hard I've used similar treatments in the past and my skin was perfectly comfortable.
One of the questions I get most about Alpha H's Liquid Gold glycolic treatment (reviewed here) is how much should be poured onto cotton pads, how many cotton pads etc., so these pre-treated pads do make things super simple - you just need one. However the first time I used them I found the material to be very scratchy, a little bit reminiscent of those super-astringent-teenage-face-killer-pads. They didn't cause any redness, but it just wasn't quite as comfortable as my own cotton pads and it's something to be aware of if you have hypersensitive skin. That said, Mr. Malin, one half of the brand's power couple, has a few skin disorders (rosacea, eczema, seborrhea and fragrance allergies to name a few) and the formula was created in part to cater for his own needs. So perhaps it is a safe bet for more sensitive skin types too, but skincare is very subjective so please do use caution.
I generally forget I've used a glycolic treatment in the morning when I wonder why my skin looks so glowy, even if it happens to be looking a bit spotty. Fading scars and improving congestion won't happen overnight, but you'll most likely notice your skin looks more taut and radiant. The results I got from the pads were on par with Liquid Gold, without wishing to compare them too much. There wasn't a remarkable difference from the extra 5% of glycolic acid in the Malin+Goetz pads, and nor were they any less effective without the addition of silk proteins and liquorice extracts. I think the main difference, which you might notice if you happen to own both, is slightly less 'burn' from Malin+Goetz owing to the omission of alcohol. Personally I like the purer ingredients list, and if they bring this out in liquid form, or with softer pads, I'll most definitely be stocking up.
£38 for 50 pads. Available from Space NK and Liberty.
Ingredients: Purified water, Glycolic acid, Ammonium hydroxide.