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Give Your Skin Life With The Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Bi-Phase Peel

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Let’s not mince words: in the context of skincare, the word “peel” is just short of terrifying as our minds tend to become flooded with images of Freddy Krueger’s burnt face or Seth Brundle’s mucus-covered countenance as he morphed from human to winged insect in The Fly. But, for one moment, let’s move past the nomenclature. Let’s re-imagine that the word “peel” so that it’s synonymous not with stripping, scaling, or shucking, with detraction and loss, but rather, with new beginnings, with clean slates. Let’s, at least for a moment, think of a “peel” as a “retexturizer.” Sounds better already, right? Now, once we’ve moved past the intimidating nature of the original semantics, we can talk about the astounding difference a great peel can make on fatigued, dull, lifeless skin — specifically, what a difference the Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Bi-Phase Peel ($85 for 1.69 fl. oz. at Algenist.com and Sephora.com) can make.

Like most peels, this formula relies on an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) to exfoliate dead skin cells and reveal a smoother, bouncier, more radiant complexion with a more even tone. The AHA of choice for the Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Bi-Phase Peel is glycolic acid, which is a phenomenal exfoliant because it penetrates the upper layers of skin, loosens the junctions that binds dead skin cells together, and hence allows these layers to be removed, thereby revealing the smoother, unblemished, vibrant skin beneath. Glycolic acid also has humectant capabilities, binding moisture to skin cells so that the complexion looks more radiant, fine lines appear less deep, and skin appears taut and supple. The BHA of choice, meanwhile, is salicylic acid, which helps to tackle any acne breakouts and detoxify skin, unclogging pores and controlling sebum production.

Now, here’s the challenge: through both salicylic acid and glycolic acid benefit the skin, when used together they can often dehydrate and irritate the skin. The Algenist GENIUS Anti-Aging Bi-Phase Peel makes the union of these two acids palatable to all skin types by incorporating a tertiary active ingredient that nourishes, soothes, and conditions skin: microalgae oil. Sourced from microalgae, this breakthrough ingredient contains a high concentration of oleic acid, which is incredibly moisturizing, as well as phytosterols that encourage collagen production and hence have an anti-aging effect, tocopherols that have antioxidant properties, and tocotrienols that protect the skin against photo aging. Vitamin E-rife olive oil completes the magical potion, penetrating deep into the skin and providing long-lasting hydration.

The “bi-phase” nature of the peel refers to the difference in solubility between salicylic acid and glycolic acid. In other words, while salicylic acid is water soluble, glycolic acid is oil soluble — and, as we all know, oil and water don’t exactly mix. This also explains why, when you look at the product bottle, you’ll see a very clear division as the water in the formula remains in the lower half of the bottle and the oil portion floats above it. In order to activate the peel, then, you must first shake the bottle thoroughly, dispensing the product onto one of the 30 cotton pads in the box and then smoothing the pad all over your clean and dry face.

Because salicylic acid is water soluble and water is more rapidly absorbed by skin, it’s the first ingredient to really kick in, and you’ll feel a slight tingling as it starts purifying those pores. The glycolic acid, cushioned in a base of microalgae oil and olive oil, will start working its magic soon thereafter but, since this AHA takes a bit longer to be absorbed by the skin, you’ll have to give it a few minutes to kick into high gear. That said, the nourishing oils in the formula make the 3-5 minute period between applying the peel and rinsing it off simply fly by. The initial tingling sensation dissipates in a matter of seconds and there’s no burning or aching — in fact, you’ll have to keep your eye on the clock or set a timer on your cell so you don’t surpass the 5-minute mark and forget to rinse off the product.

Once you rinse off the peel, you’ll notice your skin appears revitalized. This effect is only amplified with regular product use so that, after three weeks, you’ll notice a much more luminous complexion and you’ll see that dark spots, wrinkles, and blemishes are less visible, and that pores appear smaller and your skin is smoother and softer to the touch. That said, because AHAs make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, it’s essential that you use a sunscreen throughout the day and reapply every two hours.

I’ve been using the Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Bi-Phase Peel for a month now, applying it three times per week (in the evenings only!), and my skin has never looked more radiant — well, at least not past age 25! In fact, even while I was fighting a terrible flu two weeks ago, my husband looked at me and said, “How are you so sick and your skin is still glowing?” Now, I adore my other half, but, like most men, he’s not necessarily the most observant creature in the world, so the fact that he mentioned the change and that he noticed it at a moment when I didn’t necessarily look my best just reinforced what I already knew: that this peel is sublime.

While some women with blemish-prone skin may want to use this peel to eliminate any blackheads and reduce pore size, it should primarily be used by women for whom anti-aging is a primary skin concern. In that regard, it’s an absolute all-star.

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