Let’s start off by saying, you don’t typically need to sell me on a probiotic. As the former blogger for a supplement e-retailer, I know my way around the probiotic department and have taken one daily for more than five years now. I know what they can do for you from the inside out. But when I got a bottle of TULA Pro-Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel in my Ladybox from fave podcast The Ladygang, I suspected I was being sold a bit of marketing sorcery.
When ingested, probiotics help keep your gut balanced. In short, they’re the good bacteria that keeps the bad bacteria in check. Think, Sharks vs. Jets in your tummy. Taking a probiotic daily (I’m partial to this one) keeps my digestive system moving so I’m less bloated, boosts immunity by helping me get the most from the healthy foods I eat and contributes to keeping my skin clear. [Sorry, brief flashback to my life as a health writer.]
But a topical probiotic, that’s something new.
This is where you have to remember your skin is an organ. The biggest one you have in fact. And when you apply things topically and they get absorbed, they actually enter your body and can either start helping out or fucking shit up. This knowledge has made me much more picky about the products I choose for my skin and is another reason why I like to give a product a thorough test run.
My second question about TULA Pro-Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel was, is this a toner or a serum? It’s too thick to really be a toner or an essence, so I used it as a serum. I started applying it at night following a double cleanse and tone. I chose to apply the product with a cotton pad since the directions said to swipe it onto the face. This, for me, meant using 3-5 pumps.
No burning, no irritation to report at all and this continued until I used the last drop. In fact, my skin really seemed to like this product. My skin looked more calm right after application, it layered well and if I had any breakouts going into the weekend, it helped me reduce them in a couple of days without any peeling or other unpleasantness. So, I started off just using it on the weekends as a break from retinol, but I eventually began to notice more fluctuations in the clarity of my skin by using one product consecutively for 5 days and then 2 days off.
It was then I remembered a tip from my dermatologist in Metro Detroit, Dr. Lori Haddad. She recommended mixing a glycolic product with retinol to enhance their benefits. As they say today, “cocktailing.” If you have sensitive skin or are new to glycolic acid, retinol or both, I don’t recommend jumping in with this right away. But since my face has become a tough old bird, I went for it. When combined with a pea-sized amount of SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream, I got the result I was hoping for. The tingle factor definitely kicked in a bit, but I was still able to use the combo daily without any trouble and it really helped reduce any congestion in my t-zone, for a smoother look with less visible pores.
After I switched to a different retinol that was stronger, I felt it was best to forgo the cocktail each night. Instead, I began alternating either the TULA Pro-Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel or my new retinol (review coming soon) each night and still loved the results.
To wrap this (surprisingly long) review up, I found TULA Pro-Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel to be a very versatile product that I was able to work into my routine in multiple ways for gentle, but effective chemical exfoliation. I always followed it with a moisturizer and found my skin both looked and felt more balanced the next morning. If you’re new to glycolic acid, I strongly recommend trying this one to get you started. And P.S. the bottle lasted me almost a year, even using 5 pumps each time. Solid bargain.
Good bacteria is good for your skin. No bullshit.