I’ve been always intrigued by REN. The brand offers quite an elaborated skincare line with different ranges for different skin types and concerns. There were a few on my wishlist, though I never really came to prioritize which one I should get first.
Then came a chance of this product, at a good discounted price. With no second thought, I snapped it.
REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate.
What it is (from the box):
A concentrate formulated to resurface the skin and renew the complexion giving a radiant, youthful glow. A complex of Glycolic, Lactic, Tartaric and Citric acids promotes skin-cell turnover leaving skin looking revitalized, brighter, smoother and more healthy.
Clearly, it’s laden with Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA), just like the name. REN is definitely not shy about putting different AHAs in it.
The instruction said to use it at night time only for 7 days then take a break for 14 days. I found that it’s similar to how I use my Sunday Riley Good Genes so that’s easy. However, I took a 21-day break (give or take) instead of 14 days. I just find it’s easier for me to remember the schedule. I usually use this in the beginning of the month. I use 4-5 drops on my face and extra 2 drops for the neck. I wait for about 10 minutes before moving on.
REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate has a noticeable scent. Whenever I use this, I am reminded of a cough syrup, I don’t know why.
To use, shake the bottle well beforehand to reactivate the gel. Now here’s the thing, the actual consistency of the REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate is NOT a gel. It’s more like water, a touch more viscous and more slippery when applied, leaving a slight sticky finish. I thought I got a dud stock, but as I researched around, it is how it’s supposed to be. Phew.
That being said, I like that it’s more watery than a gel, because I can really spread it evenly across my face. Usually, with the 5 drops, I can layer a little bit extra on problematic areas such as my post-acne spots. I will not lie that this stung my skin the first time I use it, more so than Sunday Riley Good Genes and PIXI Glow Tonic. There’s some heat going on as well but definitely less than Alpha-H Liquid Gold. The latter’s alcohol content is too high for me to handle. I do not like it at all.
Another thing I noticed within the first 3 days of use, my skin became drier. Although to be honest, it’s probably normal. I like to layer a hydrating serum afterwards, such as TATCHA Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum or Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum. Layering a hydrating toner underneath will also help boost up the hydration level. Seal everything with a face oil or moisturizer.
I still use an exfoliating toner, just because I want to make sure that the dead skin cells’ outer layer is sloughed off, resulting in a maximum absorption of the rest of the skincare products. I don’t go crazy though. I switch it around between FAB Facial Radiance Pads and Blemish Pads Patrol. Or something milder like Menard Fairlucent Clear Lotion and Menard Beauness. It’s very rare that I use PIXI Glow Tonic.
My latest favorite combination to use REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate is to layer 2 drops Aurelia Revitalize & Glow Serum with 2 drops of KYPRIS Beauty Elixir I – 1,000 Roses or II – Healing Bouquet (mixed together creating micro emulsion) and seal everything with TATCHA Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream. I wake up with a radiant, even and balanced complexion in the morning. An absolute treat.
For the first 1-2 months, I didn’t see much of a difference. Entering the second-to-third month, I started to see a slow yet noticeable change. During the break period, there’s something good happening. I couldn’t pinpoint what it is until the results became more visible. I noticed my skin looked more even and smoother, more so than usual. The skin’s texture became more refined overall and it was less cranky too.
The best part is to see my previous older acne spots had faded even more. Hallelujah!
It wasn’t just a hallucination. The result is indeed subtle and a slow progressive one, but I’m more aware of these good improvements when I wear my base makeup. With the same amount of makeup I use, I saw those spots weren’t so apparent anymore. And without question, my makeup applies smoother too. TERRIFIC!
Everything was looking great until, I had a massive breakout few months ago (a bitchy, hormonal one). I suddenly accumulate multiples of new acne scars. They’re ugly. It’s like going back to ground zero. Months of hard work vanished with a killer breakout. I am devastated to be honest. The rest of the skin has improved greatly but my lower cheek areas are a MESS, especially the right one.
FYI, I didn’t use this during the breakout, so I missed about two cycles. The product did reduce some of the smaller acne and blemishes but it also aggravated the larger, cystic ones. I decided that it’s best to calm the breakout first then when everything is clear(er), I’ll start to use it again.
Despite feeling down, I’m keeping my head up and chin high. I’m just going to take it as yet another challenge, keep continuing and finishing up REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate. I still have about less-than-half a bottle to go through, so this will last me for a few more months. I might actually amp up the usage to the 7-day-straight-14-day-break cycle. Heck, I might even spot-treat with it.
Now the catch is, I don’t know if REN discontinue this product or not. I wasn’t able to find this anywhere online, not even a single trace in their own website. There might be some still available in physical stores, but I can’t know for sure. I haven’t got the chance to ask REN directly. I’ll be sad if they do discontinue it, but I’m also glad that I got a chance to try it and reap its benefits. Until the very last drop.
Have you tried REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate? What are your thoughts?