Acid, My Collection, Skincare

My Collection – Exfoliants / Retinol

A collection I don’t have a great deal of, but would really like to expand.

Just to clear a few things, I’ve included my retinol in this as I only have the 1, and not planning to do an in depth review on it. And just the 1 ‘physical scrub’, which is more of a enzyme powder (you’ll see on the write up). Otherwise, I strictly don’t use scrubs on my face, which I will do a whole other blog post on.

There are a great deal of ‘acids’ or ‘chemical exfoliants’ out there to choose from, depending on your skin type. From AHAs, BHAs, PHAs and so on, (I am currently in the middle of writing up a glossary page for my blog which will be linked onto my home page where I will go into detail on the different types of acids, and other skincare lingo) so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Thankfully, I find people are chemically exfoliating their skin more than scratching it off with shards of walnut and other beastly things, *sighs*. Thanks to brands such as Pixi and The Ordinary just to name a few.
And St Ives can quite frankly get. in. the. bin.

Let’s see what I’m using then…

Pixi – Glow Tonic

I’ll start with one of the most popular acids around at the minute, and for good reason, Pixi’s Glow Tonic.

Now this is a 5% Glycolic Acid, which is a lowish, effective form of acid. This is stonger than some forms of acid such as Lactic, so I wouldn’t say is suitable for a young teenage skin, but in your 20s onwards is perfect. My mum is in her 50s and loves it too!

If you’re going to start incorperating this into your routine, I would suggest using every other night, then see if your skin can handle nightly use.
My skin barrier was slightly comprimised when I started to use this on a nightly basis, but I can be prone to sensitivity so that won’t happen with everyone, you know your own skin.

As advertised, it can be used AM and PM, I personally use acids of a night time, as it can really do some work to your skin and isn’t coming so soon into contact with the sun. But there’s so issue with using in the morning but you MUST apply SPF, please please please.

Another little trick with this product is using as foot care… trust me on this. Soak a cotton pad and wipe all over the foot, giving extra love to the heel and balls of the feet (the hardest / dryest parts), let rest for a few minutes and then apply your fave body moistuirser. Do this nightly and your feet will feel amazing!
I also apply Glow Tonic on my Keratosis Pilaris, also known as ‘chicken skin’, the rough, bumpy skin on the tops of your arms. It really softens the skin, doesn’t rid the redness all together, but definately helps!

The packaging, as all of Pixi packaging, is lovely. Trademark bottle and logo. Also the orange and lime green together is stunning, I know it’s what inside that counts but it looks so lovely on my dresser.

A really affordable product for the results you get. £18 for the 250ml and £10 for the 100ml. Doesn’t break the bank at all.

I have repurchased this about 3 / 4 times, and have a travel sized bottle which is perfect for on the go.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Rating: 9/10
Bottle: 250ml (travel size is 100ml)
Company website:
Full INCI list: Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Hexylene Glycol, Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Biotin, Panthenol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragrance, Caramel, Hexyl Cinnamal, Red 4 (CI 14700). 

Pixi – Glow Tonic To-Go

Might as well keep the Pixi ball rolling, right?

Unopened, annoyingly left the shrink wrap on for the picture but hey – ho.

Haven’t used this as it came in the Spring Kits by Caroline Hirons, which was in lockdown, so have no reason to be ‘on the go’. But when I next go on my jollies (please lord be soon), I will be packing these babies.

It states it’s 5% glycolic with aloe vera, which I thought was the difference between these and the bottled version, but studying the ingredienct I found the bottle also includes aloe leaf juice.

I was really glad these came in the kits, as I have previously been pre soaking my glycolic and other toners, and keeping them in a zip lock, which I probably will keep doing if I only need 1 or 2 uses.

Rating: will update when I use them
Bottle: 60 pads
Company website:
Full INCI list: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycolic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Hexylene Glycol, Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Biotin, Panthenol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Caramel, Red 4 (CI 14700).

Dr Dennis Gross – Ultra Gentle Daily Peel

Now this was a product I didn’t fall in love with on first use, but by the second time onwards, I can really see a difference in my skin, theres an instant gratification.

I got these in the Spring Kits also.

Whole wipe

This is a 2 step system. A pack of 2 wipes, (I cut mine in half with clean sissors, and save the other half for the next night. I even see people cutting them in quarters! It depends on the size of your face, and the amount of product you want to use, it’s an expensive product at the end of the day).
You use the first wipe until it is dry, then the second once the skin is dry, also until the wipe is dry. (Say dry more).

The first wipe contains key ingredients such as, 3 AHAs and BHAs, (so is important you’re using SPF) and chamomile, which soothes.
The second contains retinol, which is probably why there is pretty much instant results, it is more or less the best over the counter ‘anti-aging’ ingredient there is, so maybe not use this every night if you’re just starting out on this product, I use this when I’m really indulging the skin, and so I can prolong the pack, I think I will be repurchasing once I finish it, better start saving now haha. Green tea exctract is also in there, this acts as an anti oxidant against free radicals.

As you can see, this is the Ultra Gentle Peel, there are stronger stregths too.

This is great for even sensitive skin, the wipe is really gentle on the face and doesn’t even sting in my experience.

Dr Dennis Gross is a really good, prefesssional brand, which is raved about by even the highest professional derms and estheticians. If you’re a mature client, this is sure a brand to have a gander at, as the active ingredients and properties it’s products have are really substantial. Pricey, but worth it.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

Rating: 8.5/10
Bottle: 30 packets – 2.2ml each step
Company website:
Full INCI list: Step 1: Water/Aqua/Eau, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Polysorbate 20, Lactic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Rose Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower/Leaf Extract, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit/Leaf Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Copper PCA, Zinc PCA, Glycerin, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Triethyl Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Benzoic Acid, Potassium Sorbate
Step 2: Water/Aqua/Eau, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Colloidal Oatmeal, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Soy Isoflavones, Phospholipids, Resveratrol, Ubiquinone, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Copper PCA, Sodium PCA, Zinc PCA, Glycerin, Octoxynol-9, PEG-30 Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sorbic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate

Dermalogica – Daily Microfoliant

God knows I LOVE me some Dermalogica.

Now I just want to reiterate, this is the ony ‘physical scrub’ I use on my face, and I use that word very loosly on this product.
This is a rice enzyme powder which reacts and emuslifies with water, and doesn’t have the ”scratching’ feel typical face scrubs have. This also includes salicylic acid, which is a nice, mild chemical exfoliant commonly found in cleasners.

I first discovered this product while studying Beauty Therapy a couple of years ago. I loved using it on clients as it’s extremely easy to apply and remove. I still use it for my in home treatments (mum and boyfriend lol).

If you’re reading this and think ”scoff, a frothy powder is hell not going to exfoliate my skin” you’re wrong. My face feels really soft afterwards, it activates while being massaged into the skin.
This is gentle enough to use every day, (hence the name). I like to use it in between my acid days and for treatments. But you can use an acid afterwards, just be careful you’re not overdoing it.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Rating: 7/10
Bottle: 13g (you can also get 75g)
Company website:
Full INCI list: Microcrystalline Cellulose, Magnesium Oxide, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Colloidal Oatmeal, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Hydrogenated Coconut Acid, Allantoin, Papain, Salicylic Acid, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, PCA, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Cyclodextrin, Sodium Isethionate, Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Copolymer, Maltodextrin, Melaleuca, Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch Hydroxyethyl Ether, Water/Aqua/Eau, Limonene, Citric Acid 

The Ordinary – Granactive Retinoid 2* in Squalane

Some of you might think it’s a bit soon to be using retinol at 23, and I kind of agree, but I’m a firm believer in ‘prevention is better than cure’, and being so indulged skin care, I understand the side effects retinol can have, so I have gone for a buffered down version.
35+ is when you should definately consider a form of retinol as this is when the first signs of ageing really starts.

This is a great starting point for a retinol, as it doesn’t irritate the skin, which is the main side effect a high percentage retinol can have.

Packaging is the standard The Ordinary, glass bottle, pipette, full ‘to do’ on the label. Bliss.

Retinol is another name for vitmain A, and an extremely effective anti aging product which can fade fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation. It can come in many forms, serums, creams, eye prodcuts ect. It’s fast becoming the ‘in’ ingredient in skincare, and rightly so.

Please be careful and do your research if you are wanting to dip your toes in the retinol game.

Rating: 4 out of 10.

Rating: 4/10, not a concrete rating as my only retinol product and doesn’t have much to do on my skin.
Bottle: 30ml
Company website:
Full INCI list: Squalane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Bisabolol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone.

There are definately more versions of acids I would like to try out.

Let me know if you have any of these or want to try any!

Remember, Love your skin? Come and join in!

L.K. x

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Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the brands in my post, and everything is my honest opinion.

2 thoughts on “My Collection – Exfoliants / Retinol”

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