My first foray into glycolic acid came under the guise of a facial mask. As a longtime lover of glycolic acid in various solutions, I find that it not only brightens and tightens my complexion—it gives me that fresh facial effect overnight without the need to go anywhere. Bear in mind that glycolic at a higher percentage is a strong acid and needs to be handled properly. If you want to ease into the world of skin brightening and don’t know where to start, a gentle exfoliating mask like this one from Caudalie will do just that.
Taking the gentle approach to liven up a dull complexion, generally speaking, works best if your skin isn’t used to acids. This dual-action treat combines the effect of a physical scrub and chemical peel in one, formulated with 85.7% natural origin ingredients. I worked my way through at least 8 tubes of this before finally graduating to something stronger, but I still recommend this Caudalie mask as a starting point. Apply a sufficient amount onto cleansed skin and leave it on for 15 minutes. However, you can leave it on for longer once your skin gets used to it—keeping the mask moist will lengthen your wear time. I do recommend you remove this with a washcloth and not just by splashing your face with water. Occasionally I left it on for about an hour, followed up with their vinoperfect serum and a basic hydrating moisturizer. Nothing fancy needed, the glow was apparent already and overtime only got better. If you really want to up your game, do a multi-masking session where you start off with this peeling one, followed up by a pore cleansing clay mask and then something hydrating. It’s like a spa at home without the high price tag.
Do keep in mind that once you start using acids, sun protection is a must. You cannot go fight dull skin and have that fresh layer of skin readily exposed to sunshine—the worst thing you could do if you’re fighting off pigmentation.