This exfoliant appears to be a European exclusive; it’s produced by Cantabria Labs, a Spanish company, which many of you may know for their brand called Heliocare.
The formula of this product is uncomplicated there are two main ingredients glycolic acid (15%) and salicylic acid (2%). Glycolic acid at concentrations higher than 10% is effective at reducing acne lesions, by removing dead skin cells and clearing the pore walls. Moreover, it can help with hyperpigmentation left by acne. Salicylic acid as one of few acids belonging to the BHA family can dissolve and penetrate through sebum to clear the pores inside, which makes it a perfect ingredient potent enough to fight against both whiteheads and blackheads. Salicylic acid can also regulate sebum production. There’s one emollient in the formula – saccharide isomerate. Like most of Neostrata’s exfoliants, this product contains a lot of alcohol, so if you can’t or don’t want to use skincare with alcohol, then you should avoid this product. Despite the high quantity of alcohol, I didn’t find this exfoliant irritating. The formula is free of fragrance and dyes.
The combination of salicylic and glycolic acids makes this product an excellent antiacne treatment. Both acids are at optimal concentrations to deliver desirable results, and I can notice a decrease of blackheads and sebaceous filaments when I use this product. I’ve been using it over the past ten months, and I can see the effects that this product brings. In my experience, the main results that come from using this product regularly, are smaller-looking pores, less visible sebaceous filaments, and fewer blackheads. These are actually my main concerns; I can’t rid myself of blackheads and sebaceous filaments, and this exfoliant significantly improves the situation. In my opinion, this product is one of the best exfoliants out there.
I have been using this exfoliant for nearly a year with a few intervals to determine the best way to use it for myself. Hopefully, this knowledge will be somehow helpful for you to decide how often you want to use the product. When I first started using the product, I was following the instructions, and I was using it as directed, namely every night for about two months. During the first two weeks I noticed a little bit of purging, I mean I’d had an increase of new breakouts, but they went away as quickly as they came. My skin is accustomed to various acids, but I’d felt that using this exfoliant nightly was too much for my skin, so I took a break of a few weeks to let my skin rest. After the interval, I resumed applying the product only three to four times a week. The second time, there also was an increase of spots, but not as many as before. Every once in a while, I stop using the product, but when I return to it, I continue with the same application frequency – not more than four times a week. I would say it isn’t necessary to use this exfoliant every night; every other day is enough, and this is what works for my skin. But, if you feel like you need to use the product more frequently because you have a lot of spots or very oily skin, then you can try applying it nightly for some time, given that your skin is used to exfoliating products with acids.
Overall, this exfoliant is a fantastic antiacne treatment; it can be used on its own or with other products aimed at fighting acne, not retinoids though. It can be used by any skin type, as long as you tolerate all of the ingredients. It’s an excellent option for someone who wants to fight acne and hyperpigmentation at the same time or wants to upgrade from a basic glycolic acid exfoliant. I highly recommend this exfoliant to everyone. Last but not least, don’t forget to use sunscreen, especially when you use acid exfoliants.
Water, Alcohol denat., Glycolic acid, Propylene glycol, Saccharide isomerate, Salicylic acid, Ammonium hydroxide, Polyquaternium-10, Tetrasodium EDTA. (the packaging)
The Gel Plus Salicylic is available from Neostrata’s stockists worldwide.