Whoever promised all your skin-care woes would vanish in your 30s is a lying liar, but I'm not here to dwell (maybe a little bit). As a 32-year-old with oily-combo skin (which is oily 98 percent of the time, only to suddenly and dramatically transform into sandpaper if I make one wrong move), an uneven complexion, and hormonal acne that just won't quit, I'm always on the hunt for a product that'll knock out all my problems in one swipe. And Ren Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic ($39) is one of those products.
Ready Steady Glow is a daily toner that works overtime to resurface dull skin and combat hyperpigmentation and uneven tone. It also tightens, hydrates, and leaves skin feeling supple and soft before you move on to the next step in your skin-care or makeup routine. And it's been my go-to for the last few weeks, and one of the very few skin-care formulas that have shown drastic improvement in my—let's be real—high-maintenance complexion.
Its star-of-the-show ingredients are lactic acid (an AHA) and salicin (a BHA), which are both exfoliant acids that derms love to suggest to folks dealing with the previously mentioned skin issues. "Exfoliant acids like lactic acid and salicylic acid help to remove excess dead skin cells and reduce oil production. This can help even out skin tone and improve texture," explains Michele J. Farber, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Philidelphia.
And if you're also climbing what feels like an uphill battle with acne and inflammation, Ready Steady Glow has got the goods to help. The formula features azelaic acid, which "can help reduce acne and even out pigment," Farber tells W+G. It also has willow bark (like, from the tree), which is a natural inflammation fighter. "[Willow bark] may help to reduce inflammation and associated redness, and it may have an antimicrobial effect," explains Hadley King, MD, a NYC-based board-certified dermatologist.
While Ren claims Ready Steady Glow is safe for all skin types, you may want to be extra careful if you have sensitive skin, because the formula may be drying and contains essential oils, which can be irritating on certain complexions. To make sure your skin can tolerate it, start out using it a few times a week or dilute the formula with water. I've personally been using it every morning, and have been happy with the results (although afterward, I always slather on either an ultra-hydrating serum or moisturizer, especially if I'm applying a retinol product at night).
Thousands of shoppers agree. "Hands down my favorite product. I am now on my second bottle. I notice a big difference in the texture of my skin and the overall look and feel. I cannot live without my AHA tonic!" one customer writes. Another writes, "I've been using this product for over a year now, and will continue to purchase again and again. I can hands down say that it has had such a positive impact on the looks and complexion of my skin and has visibly reduced my pore size."
And if your skin is just not digging the formula, Ren has a really good return policy—send the product back within 60 days, and you get a full refund. But I have a feeling you won't have that problem.
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