You can't talk about Glossier without talking about "Glossier skin." Images of fresh-faced young women with naturally clear, plump, luminous complexions are a key part of the brand's identity, like Chanel's interlocking C's or the Nike swoosh. These women smooth on the Priming Moisturizer to enhance their natural dewiness before applying the Perfecting Skin Tint to even out their already-even complexions, dabbing the Stretch Concealer here and there on "problem areas," like their nonexistent dark circles and the occasional pimple. (Just the one.)
Glossier's products are the icing on an already-beautiful cake, for the every-girl whose mother was a model and whose father owns a record label. But for the regular people, the ones with the dark spots and the clogged pores and the hormonal acne, who want that Glossier skin but don't have Glossier genes (or just aren't 16 anymore), the brand has created a solution. It is called, literally, Solution.
Out today, Solution marks Glossier's first venture into the world of real-deal skin care. Which is not to say that there's anything wrong with the existing offerings — it's just that this is the first time they've come out with something this powerful. That would be a surprisingly gentle blend of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) in the form of lactic and glycolic acids, which exfoliate the skin's surface; beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) salicylic acid, which penetrates deep into the skin to unclog pores and stave off acne; and the lesser-known polyhydroxy acid (PHA) gluconolactone, which increases the formula's potency while balancing out the other, more abrasive ingredients to keep it kosher for sensitive skin.
If you're familiar with other exfoliating liquids like Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid and Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion, then you already know what to expect — a slight holy-shit-is-my-face-burning tingle the first time you apply it and, after just a few days of use, a miraculously clearer, happier complexion. That's the magic of chemical exfoliation. But Glossier is harnessing those already-extant powers and bringing them to the people in the most Glossier way possible: by putting them in a pretty millennial-pink bottle with a push-down pump on top to easily soak your Glossier-branded cotton rounds (also out today).
I'm not mad about it — and neither is the brighter, smoother, more even skin I've uncovered after two full weeks of hitting the bottle after cleansing and before moisturizing every night. The combination of active ingredients has even made it possible for me to simplify my routine, which officially puts me one step closer to being a wash-and-go, easy, breezy, genetically blessed Glossier girl... and damn, it feels good.
Glossier Solution Exfoliating Skin Perfector, $24, available at Glossier.