Keeping this in mind, I started using the cleanser and the Don’t Be Chai Tea Toner (which also contains glycolic acid) every other day to avoid stressing out my skin with more exfoliation than it’s used to. When I found on days when I used either product, my skin looked even and bright with no irritation in sight, so I took a stab at trying them together.
This combo, plus a dollop of the Better Half My Creamer Hydra-Rich Facial Moisturizer, made my skin feel clean and soft, which is a rarity during the sticky summer months. Even though the moisturizer is packed with hydrating cocoa butter and other hard-working ingredients, it doesn’t feel too heavy on the skin or make the routine feel too busy.
Despite my initial hesitation vis-à-vis exfoliating cleansers, the Milk, Sleep, Repeat Glycolic Facial Cleanser ended up being my personal standout from the collection. I’m about as boring as it gets when it comes to facial cleanser (Vanicream, I love you, and I’ll never leave you) but over the last couple of weeks, I found myself reaching for this cleanser over my usual ones. The cleanser feels extremely soft on the skin while tackling excess oil and grime.
I wasn’t the only one who spotted some stars in the collection. “I always take exfoliating treatments with a grain of salt. I’ve been burned — ok, just irritated — by many in the past so I’m wary of strong acid concentrations,” wrote Allure commerce editor Sarah Han. When she first tried the Coffee Break AHA + BHA Exfoliating Facial, she accidentally left it on for longer than the recommended two to five minutes and was pleasantly surprised that the extra time didn’t make her skin tingly or angry.
“I love coffee (as you can tell from the left photo), so incorporating coffee beans is such a mood boost,” she said. “And because there’s also lactic acid, salicylic acid, Moroccan lava clay, and rice extract present to suck all of the gunk out of my pores and sweep away dead skin, my skin feels so thoroughly clean but not stripped.” Dr. Rabach also noted that the beta hydroxy acids (BHA) in this formula are particularly good for oily skin and targeting acne.