REN very kindly sent me a cute little mini tube of their Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, which I really wanted to try after reading the ingredients, it sounded like the most incredible plant-based acid exfoliator ever – and as I’m not keen on scrubs this really appealed to me. My Konjac Sponge is still amazing, but its nice to have the occasional peel to make your face feel good.
The ingredients list just sounded like a lovely fruit salad to me. I thought it would smell delicious and I wasn’t disappointed, its so fruity and sweet, with freshness from all the citrus oils and the bergamot. It smells like apricot jam mixed with marmalade, in a word, incredible.
My tropical bedsheets came in handy here, pineapple and grape – two ingredients in the mask! The list of plant extracts is so long its tough to get a handle on just what’s in it, so I thought I’d break it down into three parts so you can see what’s really at work. Lactic acid is another main ingredient, so its not like its all plant power, but they never said it was, its just my obsession with slathering plants all over my face that makes me focus on these particular ingredients.
Plant Extracts: Bergamot leaf, Giant Granadilla, Lemon, Pineapple, Grape, Papaya, Sea Buckthorn
Seed Oils: Blackcurrant, Grape, Cranberry, Grapefruit
Other Oils: Orange Flower, Mandarin Peel, Tangerine Peel
I mean…wow. The plant extracts are all quite acidic, and pineapple contains an enzyme to further aid the exfoliation process.* Sea Buckthorn is an amazing plant that contains massive levels of vitamins C and E as well as polyphenols. I use Weleda Sea Buckthorn products and I love them to bits. The only thing I know about the Giant Granadilla is that I’ve eaten its normal-sized cousin while I was in Peru and it was delicious, like a Passionfruit (which is another relation of both fruits) but the seeds look exactly like tadpoles. The seed oils are all full of fatty acids which are super nourishing for the skin. I know Blackcurrant seed oil can be anti-inflammatory, and Grape seed oil is packed with antioxidants, though I think Grapefruit seed oil is there as a preservative. Then the lovely peel and flower oils… I think these are what gives the mask its gorgeous scent.
So there it is! It has a pleasant, almost honey-like consistency, with a very subtle grainy quality to it, like honey that’s crystallised slightly. Going on it felt nice, very thick and I wasn’t sure if I’d have enough in my sample bottle because it doesn’t spread much, but I did, still have some left actually. You sit with it on for ten minutes, and it tingles while its on. The smell is so good, seriously I didn’t want to wash it off. It came off really easily though, I used damp cotton pads, then rinsed my face and moisturised.
My face felt incredible after using it. Still slightly tingly, and soo fresh, it really felt like the air was getting to a new layer of skin. I loved it! There’s no point showing photos of my face because it doesn’t look any different, but it was really soft, and a persistent dry patch that I’ve been battling recently was definitely reduced slightly. I think if I use it a few more times I’ll really get to see a difference. I highly recommend it!
*I actually think that pineapple’s inclusion in skincare is fascinating for this reason, it contains bromelian – a protease enzyme, one which breaks down proteins, and means that pineapple juice can even be used to tenderise meat! It’s suitability for a chemical exfoliator must be making sense now…it literally eats the dead skin off your face!