The Era of Chemical Exfoliants

REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask (left) and Alpha H Liquid Gold (right)

This subject is very close to our heart that we decided to put together both of our favorite products into one post as they serve the same purpose.

We personally think that exfoliating the skin is important to get rid of the dead skin cells, fasten up the skin renewal process.  Also, it is supposed to keep the acne under control by unclogging the pores. Our first attempt towards the chemical exfoliant triumph started when we felt like physical exfoliant (also known as face scrubs) often irritated and aggravated our skin. When we found out that there was another less harsh option to do exfoliation, we didn’t think twice. We finally come to a conclusion that we prefer to go with the chemical exfoliant over the physical exfoliant simply because it works from within without actually anger the skin. Plus, we both see noticeable difference on our skin just after the first time around.

These two products have a major faithful followers. Then again, there’s a reason why they become a cult beauty.


Alpha-H Liquid Gold 200 ml (51.98 EUR)

This Australian brand is making a hit worldwide with Liquid Gold as the star product.  It is a clear liquid with strong astringent smell in a rather unattractive opaque bottle. To be quite honest, I was a little bit anxious trying this out. Like most of the chemical exfoliants, it gives the tingly feeling for a few seconds right after the application. The difference is you leave this product on your face overnight.

How does it really work? Ruth from Amodelrecommends describes it best. Liquid Gold contains glycolic acid and it is supposed to lower the skin natural pH and while I’m getting my sleep, the skin will try to increase the pH back to its normal state. Some sort of a work out for the skin, if you will. Because of the liquid texture, it allows to go deep down the pores for a maximum exfoliation, (something that a physical exfoliant cannot do) and eat away the dead skin on the top layer.

Now, it is actually a personal preference, but in order to achieve a faster and better result, use Liquid Gold exclusively for the night time skincare routine after cleansing. It might feel tacky and dry at the same time (believe me it is not drying out my already dry skin at all) but adding a moisturizer will only boost and balance pH level which lessen the effectiveness of Liquid Gold. In terms of how frequent I use this, twice a week is enough, maybe even once a week for starters to see how the skin would react. The application is simply pour a little bit on a cotton pad and swipe it all over your face and neck.

I finished my 100 ml bottle after a year of using it religiously for twice a week. The result? Dull face, gone by the morning. Sunspot, disappeared. Discoloration, evened out. Congested and blemished skin, cleared. It does everything that a combination of skincare products could ever be equal to. Unfortunately, it didn’t do anything for my redness. But at least, it did not make it worse.

REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask 50 ml (27 GBP)

If you fancy muslin cloth, this comes with a free one to remove the mask after 10 minutes of application. It comes in a pump (which I love) and it only means that its more hygienic (it has a cap and a small connecting stopper on the outlet, giving extra protection), it is not too big to travel with although it’s a bit bulky. I use it once a week after I cleansed and towel dried my face and I have been using it for probably 6 times (maybe more) now. I think one bottle will last me 10 to 12 times application.

It is orange colour and has a gel-like texture with quite strong citrus scent, which most probably comes from the bergamot orange leaf extract and other natural fruit acids like lemon, passion fruit, grape and pineapple. At first I thought it only uses lactic acid as the chemical exfoliant compound, but it apparently uses also papain from papaya that works as an exfoliant as well. As stated on the bottle, this mask may sting slightly during application. To me, the tingling sensation is worth it because it gives my skin that healthy glow look and a lot softer feel as well. So, let’s see if this mask gives the results as mentioned:

  • Removes dead skin cells to renew skin complexion? Yes
  • Skin looks brighter, healthier, and more radiant? YES
  • Help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles? I’m not sure, I’m not there yet
  • Combats congestion, blackheads and blemishes? Yes


A great thing comes with a great price.
Using chemical exfoliant will make your skin more sensitive to the sun exposure. We strongly suggest our reader to use sunscreen with minimum of SPF 15. There is no harm in extra protection, anyways.

So, are you going to join the cult?