I received by deluxe sample of NeoStrata Canada's Skin Renewal Peel Solution in last month's TopBox. I was immediately intrigued by this item as it "...contains 10 per cent glycolic acid and 10 per cent gluconolactone, the highest potency available of AHA" in a non-prescription product. That means it should work, right?
NeoStrata Canada claims that all that AHA results in the "ideal quick fix for uneven and dull skin" by "remov(ing) build-up of dead cells on the surface of the skin," "even(ing) out complexion" and "revealing radiant, younger-looking skin after just one treatment." I did one treatment and, over the past few weeks, I used it a few more times, just make sure that I was fully testing out the solution.
While I've labelled this product a "mask," it's not a mask in the traditional sense. To apply it, you use the supplied dropper to saturate a cotton pad with the milky liquid. You then massage the pad across your face to distribute the solution, let it sit on your skin in for five-15 minutes and then rinse it off with water.
I used this product four times and after each usage, the results were the same: My skin did look brighter and did feel smoother however, fine lines weren't at all impacted. Also, almost every pore that had gunk in it was opened up and that gunk was brought to the surface.
As a result, my skin actually looked scarier immediately after I used the solution than before. However, getting all that nastiest out of my pores was for the best, even if if meant that using the solution turned into a process that took over 30 minutes: 15 minutes for the solution to do its thing and then at least 15 minutes to do manual extractions and get rid of the gunk.
I found that my skin always looked best the day following my use of the solution, when my pores were cleaned out and the redness that temporarily results from that had gone away. Still, even then the results weren't anything amazing. Yes, my complexion did look more "radiant" but there are plenty of products out there that achieve that same result.
The solution does have a strong scent to it that may make some people think twice about using it. The smell is quite acidic and not very pleasant. It also sticks around until the solution is washed off. But while the solution does smell like it's going to burn your skin off, it never irritated or in any way harmed my skin. At most, it left my face feeling a bit "tight" as it dried. However, because it does contain a high amount of AHA in it, along with a high amount alcohol, I feel that this is a product that should be avoided by those with sensitive or ever overly dry skin.
Retailing for $75 for 50ml, this is not a cheap product. Thankfully, for that price, you get proper packaging that, well nothing fancy, properly protects the solution from the outside world. While the dropper does seem a bit odd at first, it's really smart design and I'm glad that NeoStrata went that route.
*Note for international readers: The product reviewed above is made by NeoStrata Canada, which is not the same company behind the NeoStrata brand found in the US (and eslewhere). While both companies are known for their AHA products, their products have different formulas.*
Would I buy this product: Probably not. For $75, I expect a product to do away with pore gunk, not just bring it to the surface.
Should you buy this product: If your skin's not sensitive, you're comfortable doing manual extractions and you've got money to burn, go for it.