I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
I feel like I’ve tried every popular skincare line on the planet. I used them all, from Proactiv to the Clinique Three Step System to the Clarisonic—anything that promised me clear skin. But as my budget for skincare dwindled away, my acne decided to kick things up a notch (that’s stress for ya) and give me my very first set of cystic acne spots a bit more than a year ago.
So I read up on my newfound acne that had settled in nicely amongst my regular whitehead friends and made a few changes to my routine that had reduced my under-the-skin spots, but I was still stuck with scarring on my jawline that wouldn’t lighten up. I went on to try some oils and kept up my exfoliating routine, but nothing I could find in the drugstore or grocery store could rid me of both my spots and my scarring.
That was until I tried out the Nip+Fab Glycolic range.
Did you know that glycolic acid is the smallest AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid)? That’s a little fun fact for you. I guess I figured that because salicylic acid is in pretty much every acne-focused skincare line in the drugstore that it just had to work for my skin. Bit silly, right? Salicylic acid is a BHA (beta-hydroxy acid) by the way, and it was the only type of acid I was using. I always tucked away thoughts of AHAs into this nifty little box to remember when I got worried about wrinkles. Although salicylic acid did do its job in reducing inflammation and shooing away bacteria, it was doing squat with my deep-under-the-skin-acne and scarring.
But as Taylor pointed out in her super helpful article explaining a bunch of different types of acids and what they do, at a low concentration, like you see in drugstore skincare, they are boss at killing bacteria and loosening oil, but not so much at exfoliating. Also, if you want a crazy-in-depth look at AHAs, take a gander at this article by Rio that ever so correctly points out that AHAs are the bomb for acne and anti-aging because they exfoliate and moisturize. Welcome to my skin, AHAs!
My first taste of the line was the Kylie Jenner-loved Glycolic Fix Pads. I picked them up because a) they were on sale and b) my beloved (since I was but a wee teen) alcohol-free Stridex wipes were sold out. I figured it couldn’t hurt to pass up yet another BHA acne wipe and instead try out one of those fancy anti-aging AHAs and see how it went.
And it went well, my friends. In fact I like these pads so much that I’ve purchased them not once, not twice, but three whole times in the last four or five months.
I give my face and neck a good wipe with a pad every morning after cleansing, following it up with SPF and moisturizer. I noticed in just a week after using these wipes, that my skin was far clearer, and that seemingly magically, my current cystic spots were clearing up. It didn’t sting, it didn’t burn, and it didn’t even make my face a striking tomato red. But that is just the handy little exfoliation-plus-moisture combination that glycolic acid is known for.
So after three full months of just using the wipes alone, I decided to kick things up a notch and picked up the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Serum. This packs four-percent glycolic acid and is meant to be a wrinkle-reducing savior. But instead of working on my completely non-existent wrinkles, adding in this booster to my skincare routine started to make my scars do a disappearing act.
I like to go every other day with my other serum of choice, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair 2. I switch between the two because my skin is sensitive and all that exfoliation can be too much of a good thing. Also, ANR packs a punch of my other favorite acid, the moisturizing hyaluronic that soothes my stressed skin.
Lastly, my most recent addition is the Nip+Fab Glycolic Scrub Fix. This has glycolic and salicylic acids and the tiniest micro-exfoliation particles I’ve ever come across. I find that the scrub is too much for my face, and with the other two products, I just don’t need more manpower. So instead, the rest of my bod is getting in on the glycolic treatment.
I like to take the scrub into the shower with me, and at the very end I turn off the water, scrub what needs some scrubbin’ and it wipe off with a washcloth. For the price and the size you get, it’s not something I want to use liberally on my whole body. That, added to the fact that my face has all the exfoliation it needs, makes this the one product that will not be repurchased (or you know, quadruple-purchased).
I am still in awe that one skincare line has made such a difference in my skin and has worked so well for so long. As it turns out, all my post-teenage acne needed was a swift kick in the butt with some exfoliation and a little loving with some moisture.