Neostrata have done a lot for the cosmetic industry as they have done a lot of research on acids – AHAs and PHAs. It’s thanks to Neostrata that we know so much about glycolic acid today. Neostrata are the OG of acid game.
This product contains a pretty short, but potent list of ingredients, which includes 15% of glycolic acid. The formula includes denatured alcohol, which is often found in glycolic acid products, but you need it to make the exfoliant work. You can mitigate the drying effect of alcohol by applying a moisturiser, but I don’t find this product particularly drying. This gel is so terrific that there are many copies of it. Some of them were even proclaimed gold in liquid, not in my opinion, though. I have tried a few products that also included high concentrations of glycolic acid, just like this product. They have done nothing other than irritate my skin; however, this one is different. And as a quick reminder, glycolic acid is exfoliant which has the ability to stimulate collagen production, reduce sun damage and the appearance of pores, moreover, in a concentration higher than 10% it can be helpful for symptoms of acne.
I don’t use the gel according to the instructions. I’d used the product nightly for the first month, then I decreased the frequency when I was happy with the results. I didn’t follow the instructions, and I didn’t increase the usage to twice a day, it would be too much for my skin. Your skin may get irritated by this product during the first few days of using it, also if you overuse it. So follow your intuition and knowledge of your skin, you don’t have two use this product twice a day. It is quite potent; two or three times a week is enough.
I have been using this exfoliant for a few months, and I must say it is superb. I noticed the difference in my skin after a few uses. It’s easy to apply and doesn’t leave a sticky layer like many other products with glycolic acid.
After the summer, I didn’t have sun damage per se, but my skin got a bit of tan. This product has helped me to lighten my skin tone; also, it has shrunk my pores, to a level that my sebaceous filaments are less prominent. My skin has become glowing, not in a bad sense, brighter and overall better looking. It is also much smoother now, as this product desquamate very well, that’s why I think there’s no need to use it too often. It also very useful for spots, it helps the undecided blemishes to rise to the top, so you can remove them quickly and avoid weeks-long hyperpigmentation.
I recommend this product if you need something that can effectively exfoliate and improve the condition of your complexion. It is also a great exfoliant for those of you who want to step up your acid game if you know what I mean. This gel delivers the effects attributed to glycolic acid. I use it on my face and body; it is pretty efficient as you don’t need much of it, a little goes a long way. I would say this exfoliant is suitable for almost all skin types; people with sensitive skin may prefer a product with a lower strength of glycolic acid. Neostrata have a wide range of options. Also, for acne suffers and people with acne-prone skin, in a few countries, there’s a similar product to this gel that includes 2% of salicylic acid. It might be a better option, but Neostrata suggest the Gel Plus for combatting breakouts, too. I bought the other gel with salicylic acid a few weeks ago, and I will see how it compares to this one. Last but not least, don’t forget to apply a sunscreen if you use this or any other product containing exfoliating acids.
Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Alcohol Denat., Glycolic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Ammonium Hydroxide, Polyquaternium-10, Tetrasodium EDTA. (neostrata.com)
Neostrata’s Gel Plus retails for €54 available at Neostrata’s website, pharmacies and other authorised stockists worldwide. The packaging of this product has been changed recently, the new packaging is a squeeze-type tube, mine is in the old bottle packaging, but the formula is untouched.