Hello dear readers! It’s been a while since I posted, hasn’t it? After all, nothing makes life more interesting than having sudden projects and super serious presentation to VPs sprang up on you. While I did make time to cleanse and moisturize daily, I didn’t even remember when was the last time I exfoliated. Was it 2 weeks ago? 3 weeks ago? My skin kindly reminded me of it last week with extra flaky/rough skin and bumps that threaten to erupt into breakouts if I don’t get my act together. So, instead of the usual one step exfoliation I went with a super serious and fancy 3 step peels instead.
I’ve blogged about Ole Henriksen Power Peel Transforming Facial System before, read about it here. It starts with physical exfoliation to scrub off the top layer of dead skin, then a chemical exfoliation that contains a blend of acid to brighten the skin and clarifies the pores. Lastly, you end with a calming chamomile mask to soothe the skin after all that heavy-duty exfoliation. My skin was slightly red for a few minutes but there were no irritations, it feels soft and smooth but slightly dry. The whole process took 15 – 20 minutes and cost $50 for 6 treatment. But! For $5 more, you can get the Ole Henriksen Power Bright 3-Step Professional Brightening System! What’s the difference? Let’s find out.
While the Power Peel focuses on smoothing skin texture and brightening pigmentation, the Power Bright focuses on brightening and anti-aging.
Step 1: Moment of Truth™ 2-in-1 Polishing Sugar Mask
You can buy this product by itself. I’ve reviewed it previously when it goes by a different name but the product is the same. The fine sugar and pomegranate seed granules are slightly abrasive and rough, but the honey and oil solution of the mask mitigates that and nourishes the skin at the same time. It rinses off easily, leaving the skin soft, smooth and hydrated. It’s slightly gentler and not as drying as the walnut scrub or the almond scrub in step 1 of the Power Peel. It’s a great scrub by itself so even if you find the system to be a hassle, I recommend giving this a try.
Step 2: Truth 25% Vitamin C Concentrate
This step is not sold by itself and is only included in the 3 step system. Unlike the Lemon Peel in step 2 of the Power Peel, which chemically exfoliates with glycolic, citrus and lactic acids, the step 2 of the Power Bright uses a high concentration of pure vitamin C (25%). It is a beige creamy mask with creamy sweet orange scent. My skin did tingle/itch/sting slightly in some areas when applying but it wasn’t unbearable. You are supposed to wait 2-3 minutes then apply step 3 on top instead of rinsing this off.
Step 3: Uncover the Truth™ 3-in-1 Melting Cleanser
This step is sold by itself. It is a clear yellow cleansing balm with the same mild orange/citrus scent as the rest of the vitamin C line. It feels thick like Vaseline in the jar but melts into an oil once you rub it onto dry skin. When used by itself, it does take off makeup pretty well but leaves a moisturizing residue. It’s great as a cleanser if you have dry skin, but if you have oily skin or is prone to acne or clogged pores, use it as makeup remover and follow up with another cleanser instead. As the last step of this Power Bright system, you apply it on top of the vitamin C concentrate, which helps to calm the skin so the tingling/itchy feeling goes away.
After I gently wiped/rinsed everything off with wet sponge and warm water, my skin feels smooth and soft but not drier than usual. After a good night of sleep to let it take effect, my pores look cleaner/smaller the next day and the skin feels smoother with smaller bumps. While Power Peel and Power Bright are both great, Power Peel feels a bit more drying and leaves my skin slightly more sensitive the next day. Both peels start with manual/physical exfoliation to get rid of dead skin on the surface and ends with a calming/moisturizing mask. The biggest difference is the chemical exfoliation in step 2, whether you prefer AHAs (glycolic/lactic acid in Power Peel) or vitamin C (asorbic acid in Power Bright).
AHA exfoliates, helps with oil-control and softens fine lines. Vitamin C supports collagen production and combats sun damages (dark spots and premature wrinkles from environmental stress). Also, fun fact, pure vitamin C usually have a pH range of 3.5-5.5 while AHAs are in the 3.0-3.5 range so AHAs are better as exfoliation and a prep that allows treatment to absorb better while vitamin C is better as treatment. So if you have oily skin with large, easily clogged pores and want a heavy duty exfoliator, go with Power Peel. If you have mature/thin, dry or sensitive skin and could use some hydration, extra collagen production or brightening, then go with Power Bright.
As for me, I love the Moment of Truth Sugar Mask from the Power Bright and Lemon Peel from Power Peel so I’ll buy and use those individually instead. For now, my skin is perfectly content with single step exfoliation, as long as I do it at least 1-2 times a week. How do you like to exfoliate?