This Serum is a 10% Pro-Grade AHA Glycolic Acid. I started using Glycolic Acid in my late twenties because I preferred to use peels to remove my dead skin instead of exfoliating it, my skin was just a smooth and more even in tone and texture without having to irritate it with grains and scrubbing. I read skin over 30 and sensitive skin respond better to peels than scrubs, and I found this to be true.
I especially like Glycolic Acid because skin doesn’t visibly peel and slough, which can sometimes be uneven and leave behind the partially peeled skin. Rather, with Glycolic Acid, dead skin just seems to melt away, and skin glows. It also helps with acne and blackheads. The reason is that Glycolic loosens the “cement” that binds dry and dead skin, so it just loosens and virtually melts dead skin, but it doesn’t alter fresher skin unless it irritates it with chemical additives.
As much as I love Glycolic Acid, it can sting and make skin red, and the chemical additives in many Glycolic Acids can irritate skin enough that it needs to be washed off fairly quickly. Ideally, if one can leave it on the skin for 10-30 minutes, it makes a huge difference on how much peeling can occur.
I like that the Serum Ceuticals AHA Glycolic has both soothing and treating ingredients in the serum. These help the skin tolerate the Glycolic remaining on the skin for longer periods of time because this can give the best short term smoothness and long term collagen regenerating result. It also does not contain any harsh chemical additives that irritate my skin, so I was able to leave the serum on my skin for a full 30 minutes, which is about 15 minutes longer than I have tolerated any other Glycolic. Like all their products, Serum Ceuticals uses a natural charge to preserve their products, which means it is more powerful with a longer shelf life than other organic/natural AHA’s and causes less irritation than AHA’s filled with chemical preservatives.
Test a small dab of the serum on your earlobe 48-72 hours before use to see if you get any irritation. I did this step even though I have used AHA’s before.
There is no detectable scent, it is a watery consistency and comes in a bottle with an inverted dropper than only dispenses a drop at a time.
If you have not used AHA’s before, you might want only to leave the serum on about 10 minutes the first time. If you have used AHA’s, check the mirror frequently for redness but try for the full 30 minutes if you can tolerate it. I have sensitive skin and use Retinol but still was able to tolerate it for the full 30 minutes.
First, I slathered the serum on my forehead since that skin is less sensitive. Then I lightly applied it all over my face except the eye area, paying extra attention to some dark brown spots and wrinkles, the nasal folds, and the areas that my pores seem larger on both sides of the nose in the area of my cheek below my undereye bags. I also have some dark brown sunspots on the top of my cheekbones that I made sure had a good layer of the serum.
I didn’t feel any stinging or irritation, but at almost 30 minutes the apples of my cheeks had some redness, but it was not uncomfortable. I washed it off and applied a light moisturizer. If you have the Serum Ceuticals Ceramide, this is a great post-peel product to use to reduce any redness quickly. The redness lasted a few hours, but it was not painful and returned to normal. I did feel some skin exfoliate off my jawline, but mostly it was just smoother and even, especially my forehead. Two whiteheads that were just stuck in my skin and would not come out despite topical medicines expelled while washing the serum off my face and some clogging of blackheads around my nose and cheek disappeared. A pimple that was a just red bump for an extended period shrunk in size. My forehead wrinkle appeared shallow. My skin was very soft. I took two days off and did it again for the full thirty minutes.
I also used this on my hands for the full 30 minutes. My hands show more aging than my face does due to not applying sunscreen on my hands all these years. One treatment on my hands lightened some of the darker skin on my knuckles and cleaned up my chronically dry and uneven cuticles. The lines on my hands do not appear as deep. There was no irritation or redness.
Highly recommended for use 1-2 times a week, does not cause irritation even on my sensitive skin and I could see improvement after the first use. Will continue with the full recommended course and I will be purchasing this AHA again.
I received this item for testing and unbiased review purposes. If you have any questions about my experience with it, leave it in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to answer it!