Resurfacing glycolic acid agents have clearly become the latest skincare "trend," with the likes of Alpha H Liquid Gold swarming the online beauty world. I'm a bit put off by that particular product, since applying a straight liquid and not moisturizing on top is more than a little unsettling, but I've found a more accessible (and cheaper) way to give this resurfacing thing a go.
Enter the VICHY Normaderm Anti-Age Resurfacing Care.
I got this in the European pharmacy section of my Duane Reade where, predictably, the sales associate didn't seem to know what it was. I had no clue what resurfacing was, but vaguely guessed it to be some sort of mixture between a chemical peel (without the full-on peel), and cell turnover.
I suppose I was sort of right, according to VICHY's description of this product: "To fight imperfections, 2 active ingredients (LHA+Glycolic Acid) have proven their efficacy in dermatology. These ingredients work to gently exfoliate the skin, unclog pores while also helping cell renewal.
To fight the signs of aging, Vitamin Cg is well known for its anti-aging, anti-oxidative and firming properties. Normaderm Anti-Aging contains glycosylated Vitamin C (Glucoside Ascorbyl), which offers a double-wrinkle action on luminous and even complexion."
Again, the glycolic acid is clearly the magic ingredient, but I think this product should be marketed as anti-imperfection first, and anti-wrinkle second. Granted, I don't exactly have many wrinkles, but put very simply this is "wake up to better skin" skincare. You know I have all sort of skincare issues (cystic acne, weirdly bumpy/clogged pores on my chin, acne scarring and hyper-pigmentation--the full monty) but every single time I use this, I wake up to improvements in all of those departments. The brown spots are slightly faded, my bumpy chin is a bit smoothed over, and I swear even my cystic monstrosities look less inflamed. I'm not sure if you're supposed to, but I've even used this as an eye cream and thought my under-eye crinkles looked smoother the next morning. I've honestly never seen such quick results from a skincare item, and I can completely see how you could become addicted to this kind of glycolic acid product. I can't imagine my skincare routine without this anymore, but being that it does use quite chemical peel type ingredients, I only use this once or twice a week.
This kind of product is also perfect for the lazy folk who just want to wash their face and then slap something on--no layering of serums, spot treatments, moisturizers and the like. Who doesn't love an all-in-one?
In terms of texture, this definitely replaces moisturizer for my oily skin, and I find that it sort of feels like a combination of moisturizer and primer. It feels like it's giving my face sufficient hydration, but there's an element of smoothness and almost siliconey-slip to the texture as well. It gives the sort of perfectly saturated effect that you never have to worry about rubbing off on a pillowcase; think of it as a treatment with a built-in sealing agent.
I've been using this for a few months now, and still never fail to be surprised by the next morning's results. Some people use this type of thing a lot more regularly than I do, but for some weird reason or another, I feel like something that produces such quick and noticeable effects should be used sparingly. (Am I crazy, or do other people feel this way?).
I've actually started planning when I use this moisturizer-- the night before a day when I don't want to wear makeup, or before a special event when I want my skin to look
This kind of discovery makes me extra grateful for the influx of European products in New York drugstores!
Certainly, I haven't tried enough glycolic acid type products to talk about resurfacing as a whole, but it's easy to see why they're having their moment!
Let me know if you've tried the Liquid Gold and think it's worth the hype!