As we age, the texture of our skin can become uneven. Glycolic acid is the best product for smoothing out wrinkles, acne scars and rough patches. How does it work? Glycolic acid removes dead skin cells, which stimulates the skin to generate new cells and collagen. Both exfoliating the skin and allowing new cells to rise to the surface helps soften the skin and smooth fine lines and unevenness.
You can find glycolic acid and other AHA acids can be found in soaps, scrubs and serums. My favorite delivery vehicle? Pads.
Splurge. Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads ($45). These pads are lightly textured to help with exfoliation, and the formula feels powerful when you use it. It results in a mild tingle to the skin, but nothing too uncomfortable. The pads also have a mild medicinal scent but aren’t heavily perfumed.
To use the pads, you swipe on the formula, lightly scrubbing the skin. You then wait for your skin to absorb the remainder of the glycolic serum on the pads to absorb into the skin. My issue with these pads is that it takes quite awhile for the liquid to absorb. Over the two weeks that I used them, I often waited 15-20 minutes until my skin felt like it had absorbed the liquid.
Save. Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Pads ($11). I picked up these pads while on a vacation. My skin was suffering in a new climate, and I wanted a quick, inexpensive fix.
The pads are lightly textured and have a pleasant citrus scent. There is almost no tingling when you swipe them across your skin. The liquid absorbs quickly, but your skin will feel a bit tacky to the touch after you use the product.
Verdict. Draw. While the products seem comparable, they’re not. The PTR pads are 20% glycolic acid, while the Nip + Fab pads are just 4%. So which pad you buy depends entirely on your needs. If you are older or have skin that is in need of intervention, then you should go for the pad with more acid. If you are just looking for a mild product, the Nip + Fab will give you a healthy amount of exfoliation but long-term results will either take longer to achieve or be non-existent.
I like both products, but choose the one that’s best for you based on your needs and your price point. If you need more power but you can’t afford $45 for two dozen pads, I recommend this Boots No. 7 Advanced Renewal Glycolic Peel Kit ($25). It has more intensity than the $11 pads, but is an occasional use treatment.