I first heard about Stridex pads from /r/SkincareAddiction. The community over there is very dedicated to the science of skincare & I trust their recommendations far more than those from any blogger. A lot of people on there recommend these pads as an acne treatment. They contain salicylic acid which helps to unclog pores & regulate oil production. It is especially effective on active acne, blackheads & sebaceous filaments. These pads contain 2% salicylic acid. It is much stronger than other acids & highly effective at lower percentages so 2% is the maximum you will find in any BHA product. Cotton pads soaked in salicylic acid are nothing new. If you have blemish-prone skin chances are you probably will have tried Clearasil pads at some point in your life. The main difference between Stridex & Clearasil is that these pads are alcohol-free. It's a very important difference because salicylic acid can be quite drying on it's own. Adding alcohol to that equation means that your skin can get completely dried out which will eventually make you oilier as the skin tries to balance itself out. It also irritates the skin leading to redness & inflammation. Stridex does contain menthol which is quite tingly on the skin but no more so than Caudalie Beauty Elixir so if you can tolerate that then you should be fine with these pads. Basically Stridex is a much better option. Although Stridex isn't sold in UK drugstores it is cheaply & easily available on Amazon.
As BHAs don't cause photo-sensitivity I like to use a Stridex pad in the morning to exfoliate my skin. I pat my skin dry after using a gentle cleanser and then wipe it all over my face. Now ideally you should leave acids on your face for 30 mins before continuing with the rest of your skincare routine but if you're in a rush just leave it until you can feel the acid dry on your face which will only take a couple of minutes. I used to use face washes containing salicylic acid but the trouble with cleansers is that they only stay on your face for a little while before you wash it off. By using a separate BHA product you're giving it a chance to really get to work on your skin & clear up any blemishes. The difference is highly noticeable as my skin is left feeling silky smooth instead of just clean. I've had fewer breakouts since I started using these & it has reduced the appearance of clogged pores. I thoroughly recommend these if you have oily or spot-prone skin, they really do make such a difference.
There are loads of different AHAs out there but I would say that most people are probably familiar with glycolic acid. I've raved about Alpha-H Liquid Gold countless times on here but it is quite a pricey product. If you're looking for a cheaper yet still effective glycolic acid product then these Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix pads are a great alternative. As I mentioned before acids come in different percentages. These pads contain 2.8% glycolic acid whereas Liquid Gold contains 10%. The Nip + Fab offering will be a lot gentler on your skin and you could use these on a daily basis without fear of making your face fall off. I normally use these at night before applying my moisturiser. With Liquid Gold you're supposed to leave it on your skin neat so I like that you can still carry on with the rest of your skincare routine if you use these pads instead.
The Glycolic Fix pads are really nice because they contain lots of other skincare goodies including lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, glycerin & blue daisy extract which will help to hydrate and brighten your skin. AHAs are a much better choice for those with drier skin types. They dissolve dead skin cells whilst stimulating collagen production. This helps to plump up the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles. I find that glycolic acid is especially good at clearing up my closed comedones & reducing any post-blemish scarring. I don't feel the same immediate difference when I use these as opposed to when I use Liquid Gold but that may just be because my skin is used to higher acid percentages. These are a really good introductory product to the world of AHAs though & the pre-soaked pad format makes them really easy to fit into your current skincare routine. If they're good enough for Kylie Jenner, then they're good enough for me! Using dedicated BHA & AHA products in my skincare routine is definitely the way forward. They're the ultimate combo for clearer, smoother & brighter skin.
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