It’s 4.40 a.m. And for the third time this week, at this unearthly hour, I am WIDE AWAKE. This is not ok. Pre-5 a.m. is a terrible time to be conscious (unless you a, have a new-born baby, or b, are jet setting and en-route to the nearest airport – in which case, do please carry on). With neither of these factoring into my current witching-hour dilemma, and reasons for the early starts remaining unknown, just a couple of weeks into this nocturnal routine and the repeatedly broken, barely-there sleep has left my mental capacity in tatters and my skin in a state of disrepair… Whilst a power-yoga class and multiple hits of caffeine will get me some way towards dealing with the lingering tiredness, my skin isn’t quite as easy to salvage; stubbornly bearing the brunt of its limited overnight recovery time by way of congestion, oiliness and a listless, dull tone that makeup simple can’t conceal.
Although the premature wakeup call seems to be out of my hands, I refuse to allow my face such freedom, and so I turn to the only guaranteed fix for sleepless-skin: amped-up exfoliation. And exfoliation doesn’t come more supercharged than Alpha-H’s Beauty Sleep Power Peel – which, despite the title, doesn’t actually require a full 8 hours sleep (luckily for me).
Instead, a powerhouse combination of 14% Glycolic Acid and 0.5% Retinol, come together in this potent yet controlled, skin peel to target all manner of scarring, sun-accelerated ageing, enlarged pores, pigmentation and dullness. It’s the perfect fix for when skin is misbehaving, or has simply stopped rebooting itself effectively.
Giving congested and weary skin a gentle chemical nudge, the Glycolic Acid – an effective water-based Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) – acts like the skincare equivalent of Pac Man – eating away at dead skin cells and debris. Once a pathway has been cleared, the Retinol then gets to work, boosting collagen and revving up skin cell metabolism to refine and revive the skin for a plumped, smoothed, fresher and firmer face.
Expect a little heat and a gentle tingle from the creamy, gel-textured serum and, if you’re unaccustomed to the active ingredients, the potential for skin to look a touch pink once removed (forget flaking, peeling or raw skin – this is stimulating but not invasively resurfacing). But what you can also expect, is for your face to look so refreshed, energised and brightened that to stick to the twice-weekly recommended usage will take some very real resolve. Instead, bolster the overnight peel by spot-treating targeted areas with a 10 minute flash-peel, and just before rinsing, add a touch of water to activate.
It’s like an espresso shot for your skin. Or 8 hours sleep. Now wouldn’t that be nice…