I love the idea of peels. I am a firm believer in exfoliation of the skin. Exfoliation whether slow and gentle, or fast and irritating, has been what has saved my skin from being marked up by acne, texture and pigmentation wise. I shudder at the idea of not being able to exfoliate my skin. I have previously mentioned that I always use a prescription strength vitamin a derivative to exfoliate my skin on a nightly basis, the strength depending on my current needs, but I also like to use daily topicals. This can get tricky though. You have to calibrate and make sure that if you are using something strong at night, that you use something much weaker during the day, and vice versa. I am still figuring that out as I try to new products to figure out what goes with what.
1. Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Peel, 2.0 oz for $68.00
I love the idea behind the Arcona brand. Natural but strong actives. This is great! Except sometimes it’s a little too great! I have tried various Arcona products in the past, and I find they are definitely strong actives. Unfortunately, I always seem to try them when I am on a particularly bad skin period, like now, where I am using some serious strength retinoids, which is unfortunate. I recently tried the Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Peel and this is a wonderfully pulp textured, refreshing, tarty smelling peel. It exfoliates and hydrates the skin, while improving skin circulation and minimizing irregular skin pigmentation. This is a great peel if you are using a weak prescription retinoid like Differin, but it can be irritating if you are using Retin-A, and especially Tazorac. Sadly, I was using Tazorac while I was using this and it stung the hell out of my skin. However, I was actually quite pleased with this. It means the actives are stronger than what was in REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask, which felt like nothing at all. I mean, check out the ingredient list – it is awesome – lactic acid, gluconic acid, malic acisd, mandelic acid, lycopeene, salicylic acid! But it also meant that I should not be using it with Tazorac, which literally lifts my skin into dry husks. Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Peel is a great peel for those individuals who are NOT on retinoids, and are looking for an effective peel that will truly exfoliate their skin. I do not feel someone with dry and sensitive skin should use this product. But if you have normal to coarse skin, and especially if you are oily, with mild acne, then this is an awesome peel to use.
Ingredients: Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit, Aqua (Water), L-lactic Acid, Vaccinium Macrocarpon,(Cranberry) Fruit, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Fruit, Glycerin, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit, D-gluconic Acid, Tartaric Acid, L-malic Acid, L-mandelic Acid, Papain, Bromelain, Lycopene, D-alpha-tocopherol, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Punica Granatum Bark Extract, Citrus Junos Peel Oil, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Wine Extract, Salicylic Acid, Hamamelis Virginiana(Witch Hazel) Water, Benzyl Alcohol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract.
2. Arcona Tea Tree Mask, 2.0 oz for $30.00
I could not resist to try a combination tea tree AND sulfur mask meant for acne-prone skin. YOWZA! Well, I should have waited. This is a bit stronger than the REN ClearCalm 3 Anti-Acne Treatment Mask, I previously reviewed. It is not as soft and pliant, and dries slightly on the skin in a thin film. The REN ClearCalm 3 Anti-Acne Treatment Mask never actually dries down but stays moist on the skin. The REN mask also had a strong aromatic scent of lavender and thyme, which I very much enjoyed. The Arcona Tea Tree Mask has lavender, as well, but the scent is a tad herby/medicinal, but not very strong, unlike the REN mask. I find the Arcona Tea Tree Mask a stronger active than the REN sulfur mask. If I didn’t use retinoids, the REN version would be too weak and the Arcona version would be perfect. But I do use retinoids, and the history of my skin, suggests that I will always have to use retinoids (plus – HELLO, ANTI-AGING anyone?!). Arcona’s Tea Tree Mask is a great mask for those who are not on a prescription strength retinoid, who have normal to oily and mildly acneic skin. This is probably more cost effective and gentler than most prescription strength acne medication. But this should definitely NOT be paired with benzoyl peroxide.
I still love ARCONA! For those of you who are looking for effective and strong active ingredients in a natural formulation, Arcona is your brand. I actually think it would be very ideal for most men’s skin types, while women will have to be a little more careful with the non-sensitive skin product formulations. But pay heed to the other stuff you use around it, regardless.
Ingredients: Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Sulphur, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Plant Oils), Kaolin, Bentonite, Titanium Dioxide, Melaleuca Altenafolin (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Allantoin, Lavender Extract, Geranium Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract.