Seriously, there are so many of them—from chemical exfoliants to physical exfoliants, each of which encompass a whole lot of different methods (AHAs! BHAs! Sugar scrubs! Salt scrubs! Walnut scrubs!) that it can be hard to keep track of what to use when and why and for what. But with Ole Henriksen's latest launch, we've officially found the most fun one of all.
The brand recently launched its PHAT Glow Facial ($49) that can best be described as a facial in a bottle. It also smells like bubblegum, which makes it truly a joy to slather all over your face. The treatment uses a combination of PHAs (or, in science-speak, polyhydroxy acids) and Nordic birch sap, and pink bentonite clay to diminish lines and dark spots and leave your skin luminescent in 15 minutes flat.
Like the other members of the hydroxy acid family (hi alpha! hi beta!), polyhydroxy acid is a great chemical exfoliant. But because it's gentler than its A- and B- cousins, it's a great option for anyone who needs a little extra sensitivity in the sloughing parts of their routine. "Polyhydroxy acids are humectants and antioxidants. They attract moisture to the skin so they tend to be less irritating than AHAs or BHAs," says board certified dermatologist Jeaneen Chappell, MD FAAD. "PHAs would be a great alternative for someone with sensitive skin or skin prone to drying out easily. I suggest trying this product as part of an acne or anti-aging regimen." In addition to the skin-friendly PHAs, the birch sap helps to hydrate skin while the clay packs some serious clarifying powers for your pores, so you're getting three different benefits from a single use.
When you pump the product out of the bottle, it looks and smells like a piece of chewed up Bazooka bubblegum. For real—it takes me right back to the playground at Rocky Hill Elementary School circa 1996. But as you rub it onto your face, it turns white and the smell dissipates slightly so you aren't walking around smelling like your childhood all day long. Leave it on for 15 minutes, and when you wipe it off your skin genuinely will feel like it did in the fifth grade... AKA long before your complexion dealt with stressors and dark spots and acne, oh my—a #TBT worth slathering on, for sure.
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