Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Drugstore Acid Tone: Nip + Fab Exfoliate Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme

I love trying out new products (hence this blog, duh) and I keep purchasing new things even when I know I've already found a favorite in a given category. Case in point: I love the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (reviewed here), and I've repurchased them multiple times. But then I heard some buzz about these Nip + Fab Exfoliate Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme ($14.99 for 60 pads at Ulta), and I immediately thought 'Fabulous! These could be a dupe for the FAB pads at half the price!'. Uhm, yeah. So I bought them. Because I'm also cheap.
Needless to say, they're not a dupe, neither in terms of ingredients or performed function in my skincare routine (and speaking of dupes where it comes to skincare is tenuous at best, to be honest). But let me back up a little: the Nip + Fab exfoliating pads contain 5% glycolic acid and an undisclosed concentration of mandelic, salicylic and lactic acids; I'm guessing not very much since they're towards the end of the INCI list. The pads also contain glycerin, niacinamide and panthenol, and they're alcohol-free. They're not however fragrance-free; there's a prominent lemon scent which strongly reminds me of floor/ bathroom cleaner - that's probably my biggest gripe with the product.
The directions specify to use these pads 2-3 times a week at night, or just once a week if your skin is sensitive. I use these every night; 5% glycolic isn't actually very high (same as Pixi's Glow Tonic, for example, which is my second favorite - reviewed here), and I don't find these pads to be overexfoliating. They do however seem to be 'stronger' than the First Aid Beauty Pads - on my skin, Nip + Fab tingle a lot more, and I'd say they keep my complexion a bit clearer (but also a touch drier) than the more expensive pads. I can definitely see the difference in the texture of my skin when I use these, and I think they're effective at keeping pores a bit tighter and minimizing breakouts.
HOWEVER. That's not exactly what I was using my First Aid Beauty Pads for. I always liked to use the FAB pads in the mornings to give my skin a little exfoliating boost and help with the absorption of other products layered on top, overall providing a nice glowy canvas for make-up application. The Nip + Fab pads leave my skin a bit too red to be used in the mornings, be it due to AHA/BHA concentration, added fragrance or the rougher texture of the pad itself. Soo... for me personally, the Nip + Fab Night Pads Extreme definitely are NOT replacing the FAB pads in my routine, and I am going back to the more expensive option once I finish my tub.

As for trying to save some pennies (or being cheap, lol): that didn't work out all that great either. I actually cut my FAB pads in half, therefore paying $30 for 120 applications. With the Nip + Fab pads, they don't have enough solution to be cut and used over the whole face, working out to be $14.99 for 60 appplications, so pretty much the same cost per use as my favorite pads. Lesson learnt, folks - I'm not going to try to mess with a firm favorite. I've now tried A LOT of different AHA/BHA products, both drugstore and high-end, and I usually go right back to the FAB pads for my morning acid tone (I'm still more adventurous with the night time routine though). I hope this review was helpful and please let me know what your tried and true exfoliating product is!

2 comments:

  1. Oh, that scent would totally put me off as well. I'm so averse to using lemon on my face that the scent of it going anywhere near my precious facial skin would definitely not make me happy. Interesting cost per use analysis too - it's good to be aware of that instead of just looking at the absolute cost. The FAB ones do seem quite pricey, but if you cut them in half it's not bad! I haven't tried any exfoliating pads, actually. RIght now I'm using the NeoStrata 8% glycolic toner, which is okay, and The Ordinary 10% Lactic Acid, which I do like. I'd like to try the Glow Tonic (maybe in the pad format?), but not until I get through some of the acids I already have. I totally swear by chemical exfoliants, though.

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  2. Great read. I'll have to check out the First Aid Beauty pads! I probably wouldn't be a big fan of the lemon scent either.

    ahintofbeauty.blogspot.com

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