What sparked the Betty shop?
I've been wracking my brain over which product to feature first...and then it dawned on me...it simply HAS to be the ones that got this Betty ball rolling!
In an attempt to start making a more concerted effort to take care of my skin, I stumbled across these babies, and boy, oh boy I’m so glad I did!
A few years back when I went from being a single working woman to an even harder working stay-at-home mom (yes it’s true) and essentially dropping a salary, one of the first things to go were my professional (and expensive) skincare products, and I had to start looking into more affordable options. Although the cheap pharmacy products got me by, they were a far cry from the active ingredients backed up by all the latest technology that salon-grade products offer. But since I’m approaching 39 this year, I decided it really is time to get back on the skincare bandwagon. So I went in search of something that would provide visible results, without breaking the bank.
Long story short, I discovered the UK brand “Nip+Fab”. The name itself already got me interested...I mean when you’re this close to 40, a bit of a nip (and tuck) here and a bit of fab there, sounds oh so appealing doesn’t it?!
When I read up some more on the brand, I was further intrigued...This is what their bio had to say:
"Nip + Fab is an innovative, results-driven beauty brand, providing targeted and effective treatments. Renowned for our use of cutting-edge ingredients in our skincare ranges, from our cult Glycolic Acid range through to Dragon's Blood and Syn®-ake, our industry-leading products provide targeted fixes to smooth, firm, hydrate and tighten the skin, with a tightly edited range of skin firming + toning body care".
And their payoff line is - “Accessible, affordable + effective.” - Perfect!
Then I delved deeper and started reading all the reviews, which just made me want to try them even more! It seems that these little pre-soaked pads, along with their “big brother”, the Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme, have acquired somewhat of a cult following...and for good reason!
If you too are looking for a brighter, more radiant complexion, I have one word for you...EXFOLIATION!
I, for one, am not a huge fan of the granular scrubs, because I feel like they usually over stimulate my skin, causing breakouts, so I do tend to prefer the chemical variety, and in this case, the star of the show is definitely glycolic acid.
If you aren’t too clued up on this magical ingredient, allow me to give you the basics… it happens to be the smallest of the alpha hydroxy acid group (AHA’s) so it is easily absorbed by the skin, giving you fast results. When used correctly, it can treat all sorts of skin concerns, like dullness, oiliness, blackheads, acne (and scarring), fine lines, roughness, sun damage, and the list goes on..
How it actually works is, the acid “dissolves” the bonds between the dead skin cells, which allows them to be sloughed away. This, in turn, stimulates the production of new skin cells at the basal layer, speeding up the cell renewal process (which naturally slows down as we age) revealing a brighter, younger complexion. With this comes the added bonus of allowing any other products that you apply thereafter to penetrate deeper into the skin so they can work at their full potential. Win, win, win!
There are a couple of things to remember when using glycolic acids though...Firstly, when starting out on this journey, less is more! Allow your skin to get used to lower levels of acids first before moving on to the higher percentage products to avoid reactions like redness, sensitivity, peeling, pigmentation, etc.
And secondly, in the words of Baz Luhrmann, “if I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it”.
Seriously though, we should all be wearing sunscreen every day anyway, but especially so when using glycolic acids!
The strength of acids in these particular pads is only 2.8% (which is perfect for someone starting out, or anyone with sensitive-prone skin), as well as hyaluronic acid to hydrate and refresh, and blue daisy extract, which soothes and calms.
I would suggest using them only at night after you’ve cleansed and dried your face (it would essentially replace your toner) followed by the rest of your night time skin care routine. Do this for a week, and then start using them morning AND night.
TIP: Use on clean, dry skin, and for best results, allow the acids to dry completely before applying your serum/moisturizer/SPF. Also, remember to keep the jar tightly closed to prevent the pads from drying out.
I used 1 jar of these, and then progressed onto the slightly stronger pads (5% strength), which I mentioned above. I think I’m on my 3rd or 4th jar already, and have never looked back! I also love how they so easily fit in with my current skincare routine...these have essentially replaced my toner (which I wasn't really using anyway), but if you love your toner and want to keep using it, I would suggest using the acids at night and your toner in the morning. Who doesn't enjoy the best of both worlds?! For seasoned acid users, you might want to skip the milder one and dive straight into the "extreme" variety (don't be put off by the name, its not as extreme as it sounds!).
SIDENOTE: Since my last order, they have introduced a “gentle” version, so even the sensitive Susans of the world can benefit from glycolic acid - no excuses!
Each jar contains 60 pre-soaked pads, so depending on how frequently you use them (AM and PM or just PM) they will last you 1 or 2 months...which is not bad at all considering the price.
Which leads me to the 'Grande Dame', so to speak, of the brands' glycolic acid toners...The "Liquid Glow"...This bad girl has 6% strength glycolic acid, as well as salicylic acid (to unclog those pesky pores, and allantoin to soothe and protect with its gentle, non-irritating qualities, that also assist in cell regeneration. Yes, I have tried it, and no, I didn't buy it again...but I WOULD, I just felt like playing with other products instead. This one is a liquid and comes in a 100ml bottle. If I'm honest, I think I prefer the pre-soaked pads, because for some reason, I'm always a bit heavy handed with the liquid. Overall, I did enjoy this product, but I actually have my eye on other things to try next.
I honestly saw and felt a difference in my skin after the FIRST use, which is what prompted me to ask the question “Why isn’t everyone using this stuff?!”
And that is how the idea of Betty came about! I wanted to take the hassle out of getting your hands on awesome products that we don’t have easy access to here. So go check them out here , here and here, and I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts.