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Can 'Skin Rejuvenating Sets' Give You Smoother, More Glowing Skin? An Investigation

Tip: Always be careful with what you apply on your skin.
PHOTO: Getty Images/iStockphoto

We've been seeing a lot of skin rejuvenating sets being sold online and reviews of people who used it and saw great results. These promise to treat breakouts, smoothen out skin texture, and fade acne scars. The kit is usually composed of a cleanser, toner, cream, and sunblock that all aim to exfoliate and protect the skin.

Since we're all born with different skin, we decided to dig deeper and find out if these at-home peeling kits are worth trying. Cosmopolitan Philippines asked dermatologist and cosmetic formulator Dr. Kaycee Reyes of Luminisce Skin and Laser Clinic to enlighten us.

Are skin rejuvenating sets safe to use?

Dr. Kaycee: It depends on your concern (acne, pigmentation, fine wrinkles, etc), skin type, and the actives present in the product. Also, check if the dosage or concentration is considered as cosmetics or a therapeutic medicine already. If it's just cosmetic, it is safe to be done without guidance, but if it's a therapeutic dose it should be done by an experienced medical professional and should be labeled as "ONLY FOR PROFESSIONAL USE." With cosmetics, there is a lower chance of reactivity that is why it is readily available commercially.

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Short and sweet answer: It depends on your skin concern and skin type, plus the level of active ingredients found in the rejuvenating kit. Cosmetic grade is safe for at-home use, while therapeutic grade should be applied or guided by a professional when used.

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(Ed's note: Always use sunscreen if you're using a skin rejuvenating kit because the skin becomes photo-sensitive when you use exfoliants (we'll get on to those ingredients later). You might experience redness and hyperpigmentation if you fail to do so.)

How can we determine if the skin rejuvenating set's ingredients are of cosmetic or therapeutic grade?

Dr. Kaycee:  The recommended dose of glycolic acid for cosmetics (commercially available skincare products) is up to four percent and a pH level of ≥ 3.8.  Lactic acid should be up to a maximum level of 2.5 percent and a pH of ≥ 5.0. Further, FDA recommends that there should be appropriate warnings to the consumer of avoiding contact with the eyes and affording protection from UV rays whilst using products containing AHA. The suggestion of susceptibility to increased damage from UV whilst cosmetic products containing them are being used.

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With therapeutic medicine, although this has higher efficacy and promises less time to achieve results, it has higher chances of downtime and complication if not done right and without proper medical guidance. A qualified aesthetic physician or aesthetic dermatologist is a must if you are using a therapeutic dose of peel kits, and not the cosmetic dose available commercially.

Short and sweet answer: If the commercially available skin rejuvenating kit is FDA-approved, they're generally safe to use. But, you must always do a patch test before trying it on your face to check for irritation or possible ingredient allergies. You always have to be careful before putting anything on your face! Research for reviews or ask the brand for the ingredient concentrations. As much as possible, if it results in peeling, red, flaky skin, it's better to not use the said product.

If you bought it from a derma or it's labeled for "professional use" only, have a doctor guide you prior to using it.

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What ingredients should we look for if we want to do an at-home chemical peel or try a skin rejuvenating set?

Dr. Kaycee suggested the following ingredients and the names you might see on the product label:

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids- glycolic acid, lactic acid
  • Beta Hydroxy acids- salicylic acid
  • Antioxidants - eg. resorcinol
  • Brightening ingredients- tranexamic acid
  • Herbal extracts with brightening and skin rejuvenation properties
  • Phenol, TCA (trichloroacetic) peel, Hydroquinone, retinol peel- These all require strict supervision by an experienced aesthetic physician.

What should we keep in mind if we want to exfoliate our skin at home using actives?

Dr. Kaycee: If you are going to use actives for peeling, make sure that what you'll be using at home is within the cosmetic concentration range. You can use the product once or thrice a week, depending on your skin need (should also consult a doctor to properly analyze your skin). If you are using the therapeutic medicinal range product, it's always better to be done by a derma or supervised by a doctor who knows about the chemistry of these products. 

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Short and sweet answer: Check if your store-bought kit is FDA-approved, patch test to check for allergies, and use ingredients that target your skin concerns. If the at-home peel kit from your dermatologist have her guide you while using it.

Here are some skincare sets we suggest that may help you score smoother. glowing skin:

Hello Glow All Glow Set

You can score brighter skin with this set. It uses arbutin, kojic acid, and vitamin C to fade discoloration. The cleanser, toner, sunscreen, and rejuvenating cream won't turn your face into a flaky, red mess. It doesn't produce a stinging sensation, too!

Hello Glow All Glow Set, P360, Lazada

SOME BY MI Snail Truecica Miracle Repair Starter Kit

Many people rave about this line as it helps repair damaged skin and brings out your complexion's natural radiance. It's powered by snail secretion filtrate, an ingredient that accelerates the skin's renewal and regeneration process. It also has Centella Asiatica to soothe the skin.

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SOME BY MI Snail Truecica Miracle Repair Starter Kit, P1,050, Lazada

Luminisce Citrine Peel

This single-use peeling kit is formulated by dermatologists. It helps you score visibly brighter and smoother skin after just one use. A doctor will guide via a video call, so you can be assured that your skin is still in good hands even if you're doing it on your own. For maximum results, treat your complexion with this set every two weeks. Other available formulation is Coquille Peel (glycolic acid-enriched) and Pits Perfect (for underarm brightening).

Luminisce Citrine Peel, P1,550, Luminisce

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