Monday, January 11, 2010

A Radiant Winter Glow: REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask

It doesn't matter if you live in Minnesota, California, or anywhere in between, winter skin will drive you bonkers. For me, it means switching to a richer moisturizer and eye cream and a more hydrating foundation. I also try to schedule a facial for early in the new year as this seems to effectively remove the dead skin and get everything back in balance. This month I've been swamped with work, so I haven't been able to get in my January facial. But I have found a new-to-me product that has renewed my dull winter complexion without a trip to the day spa.

REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask is one of those off-the-beaten-path treasures that you'll rarely hear about. While REN is a fairly well known skincare company in the UK, it is just starting to get traction here in the US. I learned about the brand 18 months ago as it was making its debut in my local Sephora. I've tried their cleansers and moisturizers, but never had experimented with their masks.

During one of the last Sephora mega promotions, I decided to splurge on a mask. The company's glycolactic mask received great marks by several national beauty magazines, so I wanted to see if it lived up to its hype. And...it did!

This mask is described as a potent bio active peel that is designed to renew the complexion, reduce fine lines and dramatically improve skin tone, firmness and radiance. It has been formulated with a fruit acid complex (lactic, glycolic, tartaric and citric) and papain enzyme to give a gentle but potent exfoliating peel that will leave skin glowing and in optimum health. According to the company, this mask is particularly recommended for congested and mature skin, and works well on post acne scarring, blemishes and blackheads plus sun damaged skin. They also added the disclaimer that it is not suitable for sensitive skin types. However, I missed the sensitive skin warning and didn't realize it until I broke open the product. Normally...I run the other way when I see warnings not to use on sensitive skin. But I decided to take the chance since I've had good luck with glycolic products in the past. Thankfully, I had no averse reaction.

Instead...my face was glowing and it felt simply amazing. My skin tone appeared more even and all of the dry patches were gone. I found that I applied less foundation and concealer since I had less to cover up. Since my initial application, I've faithfully have used the mask weekly for nearly a month. And each time I use the product I love the results. In particular, I enjoy using it in the morning before a big event for an extra bit of glow.

One important usage note: I discovered that this mask is not one of those peel types, even though the word "peel" is in its name. You simply apply a quarter-sized dollop to clean, dry skin and let it do its magic for about 10 minutes. I then rinse off with warm water and thoroughly remove any residue with a washcloth. No peeling required!

Purchase info:  REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask is available at select Sephora locations, Sephora.com, REN Skincare.com, as well as specialty boutiques. It retails for $55 (1.7 oz jar).

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