In the pre-pandemic world, I got up an hour before my morning commute to make sure that my hair was laid and my serums were layered in order, with enough time to absorb before smoothing sunscreen on top. At night, I hauled a bin filled with vitamin C concentrate, acne spot treatments, and reparative moisturizers up onto my bed to apply in front of a LED light-up mirror before falling asleep, waking up, and starting the whole process all over again, five days a week.
Then we got the directive to work from home to slow the spread of COVID-19. My initial thoughts weeks and months into quarantine were that I would use this time to "get my life together." I vowed to make it out of the pandemic healthy — and with spot-free skin. But as the anxiety of staying safe grew, my motivation and interest in my beauty routine declined. The idea of doing steps of anything aside from the ones I took to my laptop and back to my bed was exhausting.
Eventually, I realized that my skin was starting to look as dull and tired as I felt. Instead of throwing myself into a militant new regimen that would result in an inevitable crash, I started with baby steps into a new routine — this time, reaching for things that not only targeted my concerns, but made me feel excited. In the months since I started taking this more intentional skin-care approach, I've discovered a few gems along the way.
The new Lancer Gentle Exfoliating Peel Pads reminded me just how much I love exfoliating pads. There's something satisfying about knowing that a ton of powerful ingredients are waiting for you in an individually-packed wipe, and that it only requires a few swipes to get the job done. The latest from the celebrity dermatologist, whose fans include Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian, and Oprah, is the first peel pad in his range of results-driven skin care. Inside of the box, you'll find 45 wipes (an impressive amount for the price, if you ask me) soaked in 7% lactic acid, bakuchiol, and oatmeal extract.
Lactic acid is high up on the holy-grail list of AHAs, and dermatologists love it for its brightening and smoothing power while still being gentle. Bakuchiol is a newer ingredient on the skin-care block, praised for being a plant-based alternative to retinol with less potential irritation. The formula also has papaya extract, which aids in cell turnover. I was especially intrigued by the oatmeal extract, since most peel pads are packed with potent acids, but not ingredients to soothe your skin afterward.
At least three times a week, I thoroughly wipe my face and neck with the solution until the pad feels dry. My skin is left squeaky clean but not stripped, and I instantly look more revived. I've experienced tingling in the past with similar products, but I haven't had any discomfort after using these. It also helps that I don't have to break out multiple bottles and tubs to exfoliate my face.
My skin is on the combination side, so if you're drier, I would recommend starting slow before integrating consistent use of the peel pads in your routine. It's also worth mentioning that, when used in tandem with a few other products, I haven't had any major breakouts, which have increased in my chin area during the pandemic. While an effective skin-care regimen isn't a magic wand for making you feel like a person again, products like these are a reminder that the results are well worth the journey.
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