I hopped onto the exfoliation bandwagon fairly late. I have normal skin, I breakout once every two years, and those are due to allergic reactions to products. I saw no reason to use exfoliants when they are mostly lauded for the management of acne and oily skin. Then came Cure Natural Aqua Peeling Gel. I saw how my face became so much smoother after the layers of skin came off, and I itched to get my hands on those AHAs/BHAs. I purchased Alpha Hydrox 10% Glycolic AHA Enhanced Cream together with Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask, both highly rated products on MUA.
Based on online reviews alone, I did not expect much difference between the two. Both rely on glycolic acid to slough off dead cells on skin surface. I was however more excited to try the Alpha Hydrox, as the Andalou did not label its product with the percentage of glycolic acid, while the Alpha Hydrox did. And I like it when my skincare appears to be clinical, scientific and specific. The Alpha Hydrox is supposed to:
- Helps prevent fine lines & wrinkles
- Refines texture & evens tone
- Improves elasticity
One day into using the Alpha Hydrox, I broke out along my entire jawline with pustules and papules. I have never gotten acne before, even in my teenage years I’ve been blessed with blemish free skin except for the occasional pimple or two.
Breaking out after using the AHAs is supposedly part of the normal process of “purging” or “detoxification” after a quick google search. I didn’t know that organs other than the liver conduct the detox process, but I stuck with it. MUA loved it; Paula Begoun loved it; so it must work for me.
Two more uses on alternate days and the acne got worse, and I finally gave up. Alpha Hydrox is not working. The painful acne is not a result of “purging”. It’s my body begging me to stop. Either the concentration of glycolic acid is too high, or the cream contains something else that is irritating my skin.
I have not given up on exfoliants yet, the Andalou mask works beautifully and I’ looking forward to try other AHAs. But lesson learnt—a product that works for others may work poorly for me, and I should trust what my body is telling me.
Repurchase? No. I’m trying to finish up what I’ve left on my body, which thankfully is incapable of breaking out.
(If you’re in the US it’s easy to get hold of this. If you are elsewhere in the world good luck. I got this off drugstore.com, with a hefty shipping charge, oh well.)