Here’s What Happened When I Tried Solution, Glossier’s Acid Exfoliator That’s Taking Over the Internet


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Glossier has won over a legion of skin-care obsessives with its smart products (they’re famously designed to address its plugged-in community’s needs) and a rock-solid social media game (I’ve double tapped too many shelfies to count). But despite all the buzz, I hadn’t actually dipped my proverbial pores into its pink portfolio of products yet.

So when I got the chance to try Glossier’s Solution, an acid exfoliator, I was intrigued—but the word “acid” gave me pause. Like many women, I went through a period in sixth grade where blackheads set up permanent shop on my forehead (yay for getting through puberty!), and now deal with redness and irritation. With my sensitive skin, angry patches pop up when I’m out in the cold for a couple minutes, or just, like, take a shower. Would the formula be too intense?

“Acids aren’t as scary as they sound […] Chemical exfoliants gently let go of dead skin by dissolving the bonds between cells.”

Melissa Souto, Director of Product Development at Glossier, says sensitive-skin worriers like me should chill. “Acids aren’t as scary as they sound,” says Souto. “Unlike tough physical exfoliants—the grainy, bead-filled ones many people are familiar with—chemical exfoliants gently let go of dead skin by dissolving the bonds between cells.” Phew, no face-melting for me.

Yep, acid exfoliation can work for sensitive skin. Here are 3 things that happened when I tried Glossier’s Solution.


glossier solution
Photo: Glossier

1. My usual post-shower redness has started to dissipate—and my skin is just way softer

My main goal was to see if Solution would rid me of the unwanted red splotchy areas on my face, and after two weeks of applying morning and night—there’s a tiny zing and slight flush upon application, which settles down once I add moisturizer—the acid exfoliator has basically acted like a dimmer on the tomato-like pigment on my cheeks. 

The science behind all this facial goodness? “Solution uses a 10 percent blend of three active acid types to deliver the best results,” Souto explains, name-dropping alpha, beta, and polydroxy acids. “Glycolic and lactic acid, both AHAs, reduce acne and dark spots while breaking down the water bonds attached to dead skin cells to improve tone and texture. Salicylic acid, a BHA, unclogs pores by breaking down excess oils, and Gluconolactone, a PHA, exfoliates while moisturizing and conditioning the skin.”

On top of that, my now-not-red cheeks are baby-smooth. Even after my first full day of using Solution, I felt so bold, I asked my editor to feel my right cheek for herself. [Editor’s note: This really happened, and it was really smooth.]


glossier solution
Photo: Glossier

2. My face looks brighter, and I received (unsolicited!) compliments for it

Like I said, my skin is good, but nothing to rave over. I don’t deal with a ton of acne, aside from an occasional period-induced zit on my cheek, but I’ve never really glowed…until now (dun dun dun). 

I recently was walking around Brooklyn with a couple of close friends (read: they see me all the time), and they both noted how bright and clear my skin looks. It got me thinking: Am I a Glossier model now?

“Solution was designed to take a 360 degree approach to skin—the formula treats acne and blackheads, reduces redness and pore size, improves texture, and gives your skin that extra glow,” says Souto. So far, I’m reaping all the benefits, and my selfie scroll is proof. 


glossier solution
Photo: Glossier

3. I started to pay more attention to my skin care in general

Before my time with Solution, I didn’t use an exfoliator at all. I did the basics: face wash, toner, and moisturizer—and that’s all on a good day. Not only does the pink bottle upgrade my bathroom shelfie situation, this extra step forces me to pay attention to my full regimen, and devote some time to actually caring for my skin.

Because I’m a millennial and live for instant gratification, seeing results so quickly has made me look forward to the soak-and-swipe ritual. As a person who used to be (emphasis on “used to be”) forced to take a shower after soccer practice—this is huge. Now that I have this glowy, not red, compliment-machine version of my face, my skin-care routine has grown up (glowed up?), in a good way.

In partnership with Glossier

Top photo: Well+Good Creative

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