As someone with sensitive skin and a history of a damaged moisture barrier, chemical exfoliation is a tricky subject. Learning my skin’s tolerance levels, being painstakingly patient and knowing the right product and how many applications is not easy. I’ve found success with alternative ingredients like niacinamide and arbutin, but I’ve also been curious to discover a chemical exfoliant that might, indeed, suit my sensitive skin, and I think I have!
So today I want to introduce a new product, By Wishtrend Acid-Duo Hibiscus 63 Cream, and talk about two lesser-known acids that could be just the ticket for sensitive skin.
My skin type: Combo/dry, dehydrated and sensitive
Heads up: This product was provided to me by Wishtrend as a press sample
Acid-Duo Hibiscus 63 Cream
Wishtrend describes this product as an exfoliating light cream moisturizer that’s gentle enough to be used daily. It uses sensitive-skin friendly LHA and PHA, plus utilizes 63% hibiscus flower extract to help support the effectiveness of the acids and provide antioxidant protection.
This is meant to be used as a moisturizer and can be used day or night. The texture is a very humectant, thin and lightweight gel. This absorbs pretty quickly in a very light layer, but I personally didn’t feel like this was enough for my skin and always used another moisturizer on top.
The cream has a light pink tinge to it, which naturally comes from the hibiscus extract and there are no colorants in the formula. The cream has no detectable scent.
INGREDIENTS: Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Butylene Glycol, Water, Glycerin, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, 1,2-Hexanediol, Cetyl Alcohol, Gluconolactone, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Hydroxyacetophenone, Carbomer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Potassium Hydroxide, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Dimethicone, Cyanocobalamin
Highlights: Essential oil, fragrance, alcohol free.
Hibiscus Extract: The cream contains 63% of this flower and gives the product its pink hue. Hibiscus is rich in antioxidants which can help protect the skin from environmental stressors like UV rays and pollution. Hibiscus is a great natural source of AHA, BHA and AKA (alpha keto acid). This means that hibiscus can help skin shed dead skin cells, but it also means that hibiscus can help support the effectiveness of other acids like PHA.
Gluconolactone (PHA): Also known as a polyhydroxy acid (PHA), it has similar benefits to its more famous acid sister AHA, with less potential irritation. PHAs have larger molecules than AHA, which is potentially why it has proven itself to be less irritating.
PHA can help exfoliate dead skin cells, help improve skin texture and clarity, increase skin thickness and help decrease fine lines and wrinkles.
Capryloyl Salicylic Acid (LHA): Also known as a lipo hydroxylic acid (LHA), it has similar benefits to BHA. LHA has the ability to help loosen the “glue” that holds dead skin cells in place, making it especially effective for those who suffer from acne and clogged pores. LHA is soluble in oil, meaning it can dive in deep into your pores to help clear up any pore-based problems (acne, clogged pores, blackheads, etc.). LHA is generally regarded as being more well tolerated and gentle on the skin.
NOTE: As with all chemical exfoliants, PHA and LHA can greatly increase your sun sensitivity, so please make sure you have a consistent sunscreen routine in place when using.
I was particularly attracted to this product’s claim of being super gentle on the skin. As someone who deals with sensitivity, I’ve shied away from chemical exfoliants and haven’t used any kind of exfoliator in about 4 months for fear of irritating my skin.
My skin was feeling healthy and balanced, yet I was noticing a little dullness and some texture showing up. I knew could benefit from some exfoliation, so I accepted the press sample from Wishtrend for this new gentle exfoliating cream.
As stated at the beginning of this review, I always pair this with an additional moisturizer as it’s not protective enough for my combo/dry and often dehydrated skin. As an exfoliating cream layered under a moisturizer, I found this worked really well and didn’t feel too heavy or oppressive on my skin. I also only used this about 1-2x a week, as I felt it was not necessary to use daily.
I mostly wanted to improve the little bit of texture and clogged pores I was seeing, some blackheads on my nose and hopefully perk my skin up from looking dull. And I wasn’t disappointed.
The first time I used this cream I noticed my skin immediately brightened up overnight and was super soft! I was very impressed. I was surprised to feel no irritation on application or in the days to come. I think sometimes we get stuck in the trap of thinking that irritation can only occur within about 24 hours of application. But this isn’t always the case, as irritation can occur days after application, so it’s important to pay attention to your skin in the four days after your first application of an active or acid.
So my first application was a success, but I was still cautious because sometimes the issue comes after multiple applications; I wasn’t out of the woods yet.
I stuck to using this 1x a week and occasionally 2x a week over about a month and I noticed that my skin was brighter and smoother. My texture issues seem to be mostly solved and slowly but surely, I’m seeing improvements in my blackheads.
Now, this review might be a little unconventional as I haven’t used this quite as directed. However, I appreciate how easy it is to use this cream according to your unique needs. This will work for any skin type (moisturizer for more oily types and layered with other moisturizers for dry types). This also can be used as many times a week as you like. I do think this could easily be used more than 2x a week as it’s very gentle, but my skin needs just don’t call for it. (never feel like you need to do more if you’re seeing results with less!)
I really like this. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin but still effective enough to show results. I also appreciate that I was able to make this work even though it wasn’t an effective moisturizer for my skin. Don’t let the daily moisturizer label hold you back if you only want to use an exfoliator 1-2x a week.
I must admit that this is probably not going to be an impressive product for those with more aggressive and consistent exfoliating routines, but for sensitive skin and those looking to start with chemical exfoliation, this could be just the ticket!
What I love:
- Light texture can function for all skin types
- Gentle and non-drying
- Acids with AHA-like benefits (skin smoothing and brightening)
- Acids with BHA-like benefits (clearing clogged pores)
- Effective without irritation