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Meet Strawberry Smooth BHA + AHA Salicylic Serum

The skincare world hasn’t historically taken a kind approach to various types of skin texture, be they blemishes or small bumps. If anything, there’s been a more-is-more strategy, with aggressive formulations designed to resurface and even peel away the top layers of skin — all for a super-smooth, more even skin texture. It’s a good way to wreck your skin barrier, and keep from looking and, more so, feeling its best. 

But times have changed. The skin barrier is queen, pores aren’t just necessary but beneficial, and a gentler, accepting attitude is driving the skincare conversation. That’s music to our ears, as we’ve long championed more nuance in skincare, from tuning into the state of your skin to putting complicated formulas into context.

And it’s the reason we’re so excited to debut our Strawberry Smooth BHA + AHA Salicylic Serum, our brand-spanking-new product that gently smoothes texture, improves breakouts, and refines pores — all while actively calming and soothing to leave skin with a soft glow. It’s powered by our Clarity Acid Complex, which provides all the gain without the usual pain. Here, exactly what makes this so effective and so gentle.

What’s Inside

Let’s kick things off with our 10% Clarity Acid Complex, which is the heart of our Strawberry Smooth BHA + AHA Salicylic Serum, as it retexturizes, clears, and — at the same time — actively soothes skin. Embedded within this multitasking complex is the namesake strawberry water, enzymes, and leaf extract. It was inevitable that strawberry would eventually comprise one of our fruits, since it’s something of a skincare powerhouse. Not only is it a natural source of beta hydroxy acid (specifically, salicylic acid), but it also contains pH-balancing malic acid and vitamin C — which translates to brighter, smoother skin. It’s also rich in ellagic acid, which helps inhibit collagen production; this in turn helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Not surprisingly, then, you’ll find strawberry at a whopping 3.5% in our complex; it’s sourced and processed in a way that minimizes waste and reduces water and energy usage.

Also within our Clarity Acid Complex is a blend of 2% BHA and 1% AHA. Instead of just springing salicylic acid on your skin, though, we’ve encapsulated it; this keeps it closer to skin’s natural pH level and minimizes irritation compared to free-floating salicylic acid. That also prevents the formula from having a sticky texture, too. Then, there’s the AHA; we use mandelic acid, which is a larger molecule that exfoliates the more superficial layers; since it’s relatively big, it sinks in at a relatively slower rate than other exfoliants, making it better tolerated by more sensitive types. And don’t sleep on the 3% azelaic acid, which soothes breakout-prone skin and has gentle blemish-fighting properties in its own right. (The magic? It helps quell inflammation, which can take down the redness and swelling associated with zits.) Last but not least is succinic acid; at 0.5%, it hydrates and decongests skin.

While we carefully selected acids in an effort to deliver results without overdoing it for skin, we wanted Strawberry Smooth BHA + AHA Salicylic Serum to go the extra mile to make sure skin stays comfortable. That’s why we also infused this formula with hyaluronic acid, allantoin, and bisabolol. We’re of course big fans of hyaluronic acid around here, since it has the ability to draw and retain water, while allantoin and bisabolol have long been known for their soothing properties. Together, they make for a bouncy, lightweight gel that offers all gain, no pain — and, best of all, works for all skin.

How to Use It

After cleansing and applying a toner, smooth Strawberry Smooth BHA + AHA Salicylic Serum onto skin. You can cocktail it with other serums to get multiple benefits in a single step; if you experience blemishes, for instance, you can always layer it with Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum to address blemishes and the marks they leave behind. (And if you have other exfoliating products from Glow Recipe in your routine, rest assured that our products are formulated to be paired together — so you can’t go wrong.) The only thing not to use with it is benzoyl peroxide, which can lead to irritation.

Also: If you’re new to acids, welcome to the club! It’s a good idea to do a patch-test first, especially if your skin tends to be on the sensitive side. Then, you can work your way up to using it morning and night (just make sure to use a sunscreen afterwards if you wear it during the daytime). 

And the payoff? Here’s the overview:

  • In a clinical study of 34 participants over six weeks, 100% had shown an improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, while 100% had significant decongestion and reduction in pore size.
  • In a different consumer claims survey of 31 people, 93% agreed this serum smoothed the texture and bumps on their skin after four weeks of use.
  • 93% of those in this group also agreed that their skin did not feel tight or dry after using this serum in the same time period.

The math checks out, proving that you don’t need to sacrifice comfortable, calm skin for the sake of clarity. We’re thrilled to be introducing a new, powerful fruit to the Glow Recipe fam, and can’t wait for you to try the Strawberry Smooth BHA + AHA Salicylic Serum for yourself. Got questions? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!

Learn more about keeping skin clear:


Glow Recipe

Strawberry Smooth BHA+AHA Salicylic Serum


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