My Favourite Nontoxic Serum for Congested Skin

With a surplus of nontoxic skin care products in my bathroom cabinet (see what I currently use for my daily routine), I really had no need for another serum. But call me a sucker for social-proof skincare items; Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum has hundreds of positive reviews on Sephora, so I bought it during the last Sephora sale.

For months, it just sat on my shelf as I used up my retinol serum, but when my skin got congested this season, probably as a result of stress, I decided to give this AHA serum a go.

AHA and retinol both work to resurface the skin, but retinol works by stimulating cellular turnover from the deeper layers up while AHA sheds unhealthy dead skin cells. In other words, AHA exfoliates while retinol doesn’t.

Both make the skin photosensitive, so if you wear either in the daytime, be sure to follow up with an SPF. I’m currently using it at night.

Although the Farmacy Honeymoon Glow serum is to be used 2-3 times a week, after my skin got used it, I’ve been using it every day for the past three weeks. The first few times I used it, my skin was tingly and a little red, but now no longer reacts at all. If you have sensitive skin, this will probably be fine to use.

It’s formulated with 14% AHA/BHA (AHA: lactic, glycolic, citric and fruit acid. BHA from willow bark, a natural source of salicylic acid) to exfoliate and a proprietary honey blend to hydrate. I do find it moisturizing—not drying at all. It leaves my skin silky, but I am following up with moisturizer because it’s currently winter.

When my skin gets really congested, I usually book myself in for a chemical peel at the dermatologist, but I’ve been getting similar results, albeit over a longer period of time, by using this gentle AHA serum. I didn’t have to suffer through any intense redness or peeling period either. After a week or so, my skin became clear again: no more clogged pores, breakouts, and dry patches. So yes, I’m chiming in on the hype for this product. It smells good too, faintly of honey.

Now that my skin is back to normal, I’m going to reintroduce retinol into my routine, alternating it with the Farmacy Honeymoon Glow in the evenings. This serum has really saved my skin. I’ll let you know if I find an AHA serum I like even better, but I’m pretty happy with this one that I will repurchase when it runs out.

Do you use an AHA serum? Let me know what you recommend in the comments below.

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