I’ve only had maybe two facials my entire life. Because I don’t have a lot of skin issues — and I’m pretty good about having a regimen at home — I never felt the need to hit the spa routinely. However, the older I get, I realize it takes a bit more effort to maintain bright, smooth, youthful looking skin. So I’ve gradually been adding more high-grade skincare products to my beauty cabinet and Bliss’s That’s Incredi-peel Spa-strength Glycolic Resurfacing Pads to Smooth & Brighten is one of them.
If you like sheet masks, I have a feeling you’ll love these resurfacing pads. While there’s nothing like a luxurious at-home mask experience, we don’t always have time for that entire process, which is what makes this simple swipe-on product so great. The spa-strength formula on the pads is made with 10% glycolic acid which is released into the skin overnight to target fine lines, discoloration, and other imperfections to leave your skin looking smoother and brighter by morning.
If you’re not familiar with glycolic acid, it’s a small molecule whose main function is exfoliation, or “ungluing dead cells from each other,” as board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo told HuffingtonPost. “Whether you’re talking about a little blackhead or a big acne cyst, if you look at it under the microscope on a skin biopsy, [it all] starts from dead cells getting plugged up within our pore.” That means glycolic acid’s ability to clean out these clogged pores can reduce acne and also remove the rough texture and dull skin that comes with all of that buildup. Normally, you might look to a scrub to do that job, but, again, that’s where the convenience of these pads comes into play.
The instructions for the pads are essentially: open packet, swipe over face, and go to bed. They should be used at night on a clean, dry face and once the product is absorbed into the skin you should follow with a gentle moisturizer. Because of the glycolic acid, it’s recommended you apply SPF daily when using the wipes, as alpha hydroxy acids can increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun. In addition to Glycolic acid, the pads are formulated with a number of antixodiants and nutrients to calm, soothe, and hydrate skin: Vitamin E, Licorice Root Extract, Calendula Flower Extract, Witch Hazel, and Glycerin.
After cleansing my face with Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (another convenient skincare staple in my cabinet), I removed one of the pads from the individual packet and began wiping it across my face. Immediately, I felt a slight tingling sensation — the kind I like because it lets me know a product is working. As the product settled and began drying, my skin instantly started to feel tighter — not the kind of tightness you experience when your skin is dry, but more like my face was being pulled taut. Keeping it in the Bliss family, I applied my Bright Idea Vitamin C + Tri-Peptide Collagen Protecting & Brightening Moisturizer and Eye Cream and called it a night. (I skipped the serum in the Bright Idea set because the resurfacing pads were my treatment for the night.)
When I woke up the next morning my skin felt and looked about as good as usual. The major thing I noticed was it appeared the blackheads on my nose were somewhat reduced. (I plan on tag-teaming them with a clay mask which I’ll likely write about next week). After I washed with my typical cleanser (Urban Skin RX Clear Skin Cleansing Bar) and applied my Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, I peeped what looked like tiny red bumps coming up to the surface of my skin. Assuming this was a result of the “resurfacing” the pads are formulated to do, I consulted Health.com, which confirmed my suspicions. Asked about this phenomenon of breaking out after trying a new skincare product, known as “skin purging,” Arielle Nagler, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center, said, “Acne starts out as what we call microcomedones, which are under the surface of the skin and not visible. Some treatment products increase the turnover of skin and help to reveal these microcomedones earlier, or in an accelerated way.”
I’ll keep an eye on these “micromedones,” but for now I’m not worried. Plus you can barely see the bumps unless you look super close so I feel good about my simple at-home spa night. Plus, since I wanted to be sure to follow the guidance regarding sunscreen after using the pads, I tried Urban Skin Rx’s Complexion Protection Moisturizer and found out the SPF 30 product really doesn’t leave a white residue on melanated skin. All in all, this regimen was a win.