Splurge or Save: Glycolic Acid Pads

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When I was 22, I fancied myself one of those women who would age gracefully.  Who would calmly and coolly entered her 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond embracing whatever Mother Nature had to throw at her.  What an idiot.

Once your skin starts aging in earnest, you will notice.  It will lose its glow.  Small wrinkles will appear.  It will no longer heal as quickly or completely as it once did.  Every pore will quadruple in size.  And if you’re anything like me, you’ll start sampling and purchasing an array of products that promise to slow down the aging freight train.

To care for my early-30s skin, I’ve embraced the power of lactic and glycolic acid.  It exfoliates dead skin and promotes the production of new skin cells.  Cell turnover is your friend.  And one of the best products for breathing life back into your skin is a chemical peel pad.

Dr. Gross Alpha Beta Peel ($80) is the original glycolic acid delivery system.  Use these pads on your face, neck, decollete and your hands to promote the formation of brighter, smoother skin.  You can use the pads each day, but since I have sensitive skin, I use them once or twice per week.

When I use them, I notice a real difference in the clarity and brightness of my skin.  I also feel like my moisturizer and serums penetrate better and are more effective.  And they’re great for travel because they don’t count against the TSA’s draconian 3oz. rule.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads ($28) have been on my list to review for a while, because whenever I buy a dept. store product, I want to know if the drugstore version matches up.

Let me cut to the chase, the verdict on this Splurge vs. Save is SAVE!  I have sunk hundreds of dollars into the Alpha Beta pads, and these wipes from First Aid Beauty are just as good.  They’re not quite as potent as the Alpha Beta pads, so I just use them a little more frequently to get the same results.  And at less than half the price, I’m happy to find a less expensive product that delivers the same level of exfoliating and brightening power as the pricier alternative.



  1. DC Gal says:

    Hi Belle, have you written yet about minimizing the little wrinkles that start forming around your eyes in your late 20s-early 30s? If not, could you? I’ve just started noticing them… Good times.

    August 8, 2013/Reply
  2. RT says:

    OMG, you just changed my life. Well, at least helped my monthly beauty budget. These pads were a hefty line item. Can’t wait to try the First Aid pads!

    August 8, 2013/Reply
  3. Sarah Truong says:

    Love love love! Thank you so much for this post. I was THIS close to buying Dr. Gross’ pad yesterday after reading some rviews, and I’m so glad I procrastinated. Thanks for saving me some $$ 🙂

    August 8, 2013/Reply
  4. Amanda says:

    When would be the best time to start using these? I am about to turn 26, and I need to know if I should start now, or if I should have started months/years ago!

    August 8, 2013/Reply
  5. ohraq says:

    Belle, as someone in their mid 20’s and on a serious budget, what would you recommend first and foremost to combat aging?

    August 8, 2013/Reply
  6. Addison says:

    awesome, these are an Amazon prime item! Thanks for the heads up, I’m definitely going to give these a shot.

    August 8, 2013/Reply
  7. Jenna says:

    Woohoo! I love to find a save that’s actually just as good! I’ve been using the Avon pads (I cut them in half) but I’ll have to give these a try since there are so many more for the price.

    August 8, 2013/Reply
  8. MissMary says:

    Only $20 on Amazon for the FIRST AID BEAUTY Facial Radiance Pads 60 Pads! SOLD!

    August 8, 2013/Reply
  9. Sarah says:

    So timely! I just received a sample of the Dr. Gross from Sephora and loved it, but was unsure about the money. Thank you!

    August 8, 2013/Reply
  10. Cynthia W says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the Amazon sale price, MissMary – I had a gift card balance and am a Prime member. Score!

    August 8, 2013/Reply