Review: Neostrata Renew and Restore

Neostrata is a fairly recognizable household name. In fact, they’ve been around since 1991. But they just went through a major rebrand, and now they’re back, and better than ever.

I was lucky enough to get a few complimentary products (thanks to Influenster) from the brand’s reformulated line. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you haven’t signed up, you’re really missing out!

If you’re not already familiar with Neostrata, it’s a Canadian brand that was a pioneer in introducing glycolic acid (AHA) to skin care products with proven pharmaceutical benefits.

I’m definitely a big fan of chemical exfoliants and acids, especially when you compare them to harsh physical exfoliants. But I’m also a massive advocate for “clean beauty”, so brands like Neostrata haven’t really been on my radar… until now.

I was sent four different products from the brand to test out – two from their Restore line and two for a Renewal line. The Restore products come in the form their Bionic Face Cream and PHA Facial Cleanser.

The face cream has a very interesting texture – it’s a balm-gel hybrid. It’s very lightweight and absorbs into the skin fairly quickly while keeping your skin feeling calm and moisturized. I really like using this product after I hit my face with a harsher chemical peel, or when I feel like my skin just needs a little break.

The PHA Facial Cleanser reminds me a bit of the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, in that it has a very similar texture. It doesn’t foam up or even really emulsify but it leaves your skin feeling clean and smooth after every use.

I also tried the brand’s Glycolic Renewal Smoothing Lotion – and while this isn’t something I would typically choose for my dry, sensitive-reactive skin, it does provide light hydration while gently exfoliating your face. Like any Glycolic-based product, it’s going to feel a little drying, and will sting on any spots or blemishes. The thing that I like most about this product is that it’s a perfect medium-intensity exfoliation that can smooth out the texture of your skin when you need that little bit of extra glow. If you have oily or normal skin this is something that you even might be able to use daily – but if you do, make sure you wear sunscreen!

Now lets talk about the real star of the show here – the Smooth Surface Glycolic Peel. When this arrived it came in two separate packages – a jar filled with cotton pads, and a bottle filled with the Glycolic solution. Once you combine the two you can use the wet pads on freshly cleansed skin to give a deep peel and exfoliation. This product has seriously transformed my skin. Before this I had been exfoliating with chemical masks, which required that I leave them on for several minutes to even be effective. The peels are SO easy to use. It’s just one quick swipe, then apply the rest of your skincare routine and boom! Wake up the next day fresh faced.

Obviously Neostrata knows what they’re doing when it comes to skincare. They’re clearly experts in acids, and that’s exactly what I’m looking for when it comes to trying out new skincare products. The brand also carries a variety of other products – for both oily and dry skins – so if you’re on the hunt for something new, they might just have what you’re looking for! A+ Neostrata! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next.


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