I have been using this for about 6 weeks now, so I thought it's time for a review (especially since I see a lot of traffic to this blog from people googling about the REN Radiance range). But then I realised I have been putting off writing a review for this because I am not sure what to make of it.
To those who are not sure what AHA is, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) acts as an exfoliant, getting rid of the old skin cells and therefore allowing to renew itself. It's this renewal process which makes your skin appear brighter and smoother.
The liquid itself is clear and quite runny. It doesn't smell citrusy like the other Radiance products.
The press release from REN states the following:
What is it?: An AHA fruit acid complex that instantly energises skin to leave a toned complexion. Leaves skin looking brighter, smoother and healthier.
How does it work?: Used over a period of 7 days it will complete the skin exfoliation process and leave it ready to renew itself over the next 14 days, thus completing the natural cycle of regeneration. The complex of AHA acids in synergy with enzymes loosens the 'gel' between surface skin cells and digests dead skin cells to give a deep exfoliation.
Who is it for?: Jet-lagged, sallow and dull complexions. Uneven toned and sun damaged skin, skin with age spots. All skin types.
Results: Skin looks more luminous, radiant, even toned, plump and healthy. Regular use helps reduce the appearance of sun damaged skin and hyper-pigmentation.
How to use: At night, apply one pipette onto clean skin over the face and neck avoiding the eye area. Follow with Radiance Perfecting Serum. Slight tingling may be experienced during application, particularly for the first few days of application. Use for 7 days and then take a break for 14 days.
On the REN website it includes this:
Gently exfoliates so skin appears radiant, even toned and smoothed
Reduces the appearance of pore size and fine lines
Improves moisture retention and the efficacy of your skincare routine.
I bought this hoping for smaller looking pores (I know dermatologists say pore size can't be changed, but I mean smaller looking as in clearer pores, therefore smaller looking), lightening of some freckles/pigmentation and more even skin tone.
Now, first things first, my skin is pretty even before I used this but I was still hoping for a tiny bit more improvement. To be honest, after six weeks, I didn't really see much improvement in this aspect. I have a few freckles across my nose from being the sun much longer than I ought to have been (I was wearing spf50!), so I would count this as sun damage. My freckles are still the same.
Now for the pores. Some people using AHA for the first time get the "skin purge", where they get more spots and breakouts than they usually do. Some say it's because the AHA is helping the skin purge out all this congestion. Some say it's just your skin reacting to the acid. For me I did get a few spots and more congested pores across my cheeks than usual from using this, but nothing that bad. However, after 6 weeks, I don't really see any difference in pore size.
As for fine lines, I don't have any yet (phew!) so I can't say whether it's effective in that area.
Whilst using this, I had more flakey skin issues than usual. I guess this to due to the "getting rid of old skin cells". Usually my Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask and cleansing with a muslin cloth takes care of my flakies but when using the REN AHA, I found I needed more manual exfoliation - I guess that's why they have the Micro Polish in the same range.
The really confusing thing is, every source I read has different instructions for how long you should use this for. The above press release says 7 days, then 14 day break. The packaging box says use for 3 weeks, then 1 week break. The website and the bottle doesn't mention anything about the break period at all.
To sum up this REALLY long review, I would say, if you want to try this, don't expect miracles. It does help the skin cells turnover but it didn't really do anything drastic for me, and I can't really tell whether it helped moisture retention or helped by making my other products more effective. I much prefer the mask and serum in this range.