Beauty, Skin Care

Chemical Exfoliators by Bravura London – A Review on Acid Peels

Chemical Exfoliators

If you have read my previous post on Bravura London as a whole, you will know how much I love the brand.  Today I want to talk about their 3 chemical exfoliators – Glycolic, Lactic and Salicylic acid.

bravura glycolic acid and salicylic acid chemical exfoliators

These were the products that originally brought me to Bravura.  I was looking for something to improve the texture of my skin, along with sorting out the dodgy area on my chin that’s plagued with blackheads.  After reading all the information, I decided that the Lactic and Salicylic acids would be best suited to my skin. I popped them in the basket, along with the brush for applying the liquid to the face – still not quite believing what a steal the whole lot was!

Getting my hands on them

I ripped open the packaging, and as soon as I saw the beautiful glass bottles I was amazed!  They were stunning, and looked so classy.  I couldn’t wait to use them!  Both of the exfoliators came with their own (rather lengthy) safety instructions – which scared me a little I have to admit!  But after a good read I found that they weren’t as daunting as I first thought.

The main points to note…..

  1. You should definitely do a patch test 48 hours before using the product. Don’t skip this. Despite their soft floral scents, they are still pretty strong acids and you are just about to paint them all over your face!
  2. Make sure you aren’t using any other products containing acids already.  If you are, don’t use these for 12 hours before using the acids. (So basically use one in your daytime routine & the other at night.) Keep away from the chemical exfoliators if you are on strong treatments like Retinol or Roaccutane.
  3. Don’t go crazy sunbathing or on the sun beds (don’t do that anyway!!!) when using the acids, and if you are going to be out in the sun then slap on the SPF 50! (My favourite is The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence)

Glycolic and Lactic Acid

glycolic acid by bravura london

These are both AHA’s – or Alpha Hydroxy acids.  Im not going to go into all the nitty gritty because Bravura do a great job of that for you.  The important thing is that they are great at gently breaking down your skin cells over time, making way for the lovely new skin layer, without the need for you to massacre your face with those harsh scrubs that we all used to use. (Stop using them now!!!). Another bonus – they are humectants which means that they are great at retaining moisture.  Good news for those of us looking for anti ageing magic, as well as the repair of damaged skin.

I used the Lactic acid originally, as my skin was on the drier side at the time, and I wanted to start off with something a little more gentle.  However, my skin decided to have a hissy fit 6 months later so I went onto the tougher Glycolic acid.  The basics are the same for both though, so before buying just check out which one is more suited to your skin type.

How to Use the Chemical Exfoliators

It’s very simple.  You make sure your face is cleansed and toned properly. Bravura recommend using their pre-peel Revitalising Ginseng Toner to lower the pH of your skin just before use.  I have used this and it is a lovely toner in general, so I would recommend getting this too.

Using the pipette, place one full squeeze into a dish and paint it all over your face, (avoiding the usual delicate areas) with the special brush I told you to get earlier. At £3.48 a pop why wouldn’t you??!

Right, the important part.  Leave on for 5 minutes the first time you use it.  Thereafter you can increase by 1 minute after every use, up to a maximum of 15 minutes. Don’t be tempted to leave it on for longer, as I said before these are strong chemicals you are playing with and your face won’t thank you for it.

I got up to the 15 minute mark without any irritation or discomfort to my skin, but everyone is different, so go with what’s best for you.  If you’re feeling stingy at the 7 minute mark – keep it at that.  Once your time is up, simply wash off with cold water and feel your beautiful soft face!  Now is also a good time to put on those enriching serums and moisturisers, as your freshly exfoliated skin can drink them all in without the hindrance of those pesky dead cells.

Salicylic Acid

salicylic acid by bravura london

This baby is a BHA (yep, you guessed it, Beta Hydroxy Acid).  Salicylic acid’s job is to dissolve all the pimple causing oil by penetrating deep into your pores.  This makes it great for people with acne prone or oily skin.  So if you suffer with blackheads, whiteheads or acne in general, this little blue bottle is going to be your new best friend.

How to use

The method is exactly the same as for the AHA’s, except you only keep this one on for 1 minute the first time, and make your way up to a maximum of 10 minutes.  Again, rinse off with water and pop the rest of your skin care on – making sure they don’t contain any of the no go products I mentioned above.

Bravura recommend that you use these acids every other night, and you can also use all 3 products together by alternating them.

What Do I Think of the Chemical Exfoliators

I think they’re great.  Even after the first use, my face felt softer than it had for a long time.  As I said before, I bought these to combat the texture of my skin – mostly caused because I suffer from milia. (I plan to do a post on these little devils at a later date.)  I also wanted to brighten up my skin in general. I was hitting 30 and it just seemed noticeably more dull than before – booo! Lastly, I was getting a few blackheads on my chin and the occasional break out because of it, so I wanted that sorted too.

I have to be honest, these acids went to town on all of these problems! After 3 weeks of use (using them every other day) my skin was noticeably brighter and definitely softer.  Unfortunately they didn’t manage to defeat my milia, but it did keep them at bay – you win some you lose some I suppose. I will be talking soon about a product I found that did banish the dreaded things though!

The salicylic acid definitely helped clear the black heads on my chin, and I noticed that I was going a lot longer without those pimples rearing their ugly heads.  Much to my delight, I did have quite a lot of people commenting on how good my skin was looking (with and without make up) and also how it looked plumper! Thank you AHA’s!!

The only downside I would say about using these chemical exfoliators is the fact that it does add a fair amount of time onto your nightly skin care routine.  After a while, I did find myself feeling lazy and putting it off because I couldn’t be bothered to wait the 15 minutes for the acid to work.  And I think it is important to say that you really do need to use these regularly to get the best results.  I definitely noticed a difference in my skin when I began to get lazy.

All in all, if you have a specific skin complaint, or are just looking for a way to keep your skin feeling fresh and young, I definitely recommend that you give these Bravura chemical exfoliators a go.  You wont be disappointed!

Thanks for reading,

Tasha xx


Disclaimer – I have not been paid for this review, all opinions are entirely my own.