9 Apr 2018

Review: Aqua Peeling Swab - Are They Worth The Hype?

The aqua peeling trend emerges in the k-beauty industry about 1-2 years ago. REME+G is one of the few to come out with aqua peeling mask. It combines aqua swab, brightening ampoule and sheet mask into one and sells them as an over-the-counter beauty remedy. Slowly, brands like It's Skin, The Saem, A'pieu, Nightingale, Mediheal, Primary Raw, Tony Moly and so on are catching up on their own aqua peeling kit.

In today's review, we are gonna talk about several aqua peeling products and the whole aqua peel trend and whether or not it is worth the hype!

One thing about aqua peel is that they are NOT CHEAP. Each aqua peel costs about KRW 5,000 on average, which equals to RM 15-20. That is the price of a very good sheet mask, or about 1/5 the price of an acid treatment from a decent brand. You can only use them once, so each treatment will cost you a lot of money.

Aqua peel normally comes in the form of a oversize cotton swab soaked in acid. Normally they are made of AHA like glycolic or lactic acid. Those made of lactic acid is also known as milk peel which is gentler than the one made of glycolic acid.

You apply the cotton swab all around your face especially around your nose, cheek and chin. It will help to promote cellular renewal and turnover in those area, leading to lesser acne and blackhead problems. It basically offers you all the benefits that acid treatment do for your skin.

I bought many aqua peel, either just the swabs or the kit that comes with a mask over the past 1-2 years, and must be very honest with you guys that I am entirely unimpressed by the entire aqua peeling trend.

First of all, they are too costly for their performance. I can get the same results from my Make P:rem PHA Overnight Mask or Dr. Wu Mandelic Acid Serum at significantly lesser the price I pay. Those from Dr. Wu, Make P:rem and so on can last me a lot longer, hence requiring less packaging (and less environmental waste).

Secondly, they are NOT GENTLE. Even the milk peel from Primary Raw and The Saem aren't as gentle as say, Krave Beauty Kale-Lalu-yAHA or SK-II Clear Lotion. Those I have tried from Mediheal and Nightingale stings a lot and I need to use a soothing mask to calm down my angry skin! That's worrying.

Thirdly, they are NOT AS EFFECTIVE AS ADVERTISED. Among aqua peeling swabs I have tried, I only see results with Nightingale and The Saem. The rest is actually the least performing chemical peel that I have tried, especially the cheaper one (~RM 5) from It's Skin and A'pieu. Given the results I might as well go for Blithe Splash Mask which smells better, works better and is more cost-effective than these swabs.


BUT, if you are a real aqua swab fan, and want to give these gigantic Q-tips a try, I would suggest that you check out REME+G and The Saem. They are more effective, smells like weird, and gentler than the rest. Don't bother going for anything below KRW 3,000. It is a waste of money. Get Blithe Splash Mask, Dr. Wu Mandelic Acid and Make P:rem PHA products if you want to get Primary Raw Milk Peel. I seriously think those milk peel are meh, and too pricey to be so "meh". I know The Ordinary Lactic Acid has earned many fans so you can check that one out as well although personally I haven't tried it.

[Disclaimer] Products are purchased with my own money. All copyright of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.

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