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REN Radiance Renewal Range

REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate Review I have gone a little bit AHA crazy recently. After the Liquid Gold success story, I wanted to try out some other exfoliants and see how they compared. (For those of you didn’t follow my little summer skincare saga, have a look at my ‘skincare miracles‘ post for a brief catch-up.) Chemical exfoliants are now definitely my beauty ‘gold’ – they seem to have an instant clarifying and brightening effect on my skin and longer-term, they appear to be keeping it plumped-up and blemish-free. Last week I stopped using chemical exfoliants completely (by chemical I mean as oppose to mechanical scrub-type products, not necessarily that the exfoliants aren’t ‘natural’) and I instantly got four spots – two on my cheek, one at the side of my nose and one next to my lip! Now knock me down with a feather if that’s a mere coincidence?

 The latest product on my testing list is REN’s Resurfacing AHA Concentrate. I used it for a good few weeks with no side-effects or strange, bubonic reactions. It’s an overnight serum that contains a complex of glycolic, tartaric, lactic and citric acids to promote cell-turnover and exfoliate away dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. It smells fruity-ish, quite pleasant, really, but beneath the surface there’s a whiff of something business-like and functional. Which is always reassuring when you’re after results rather than a nice-smelling sugar-pill product. I’m not entirely sure how effective the various acids are in the serum as I have no details on what quantities they are present in and at what pH they work at and so on. If I dug out my A Level chemistry books I could probably have a stab at doing a little bit of research, pH-wise, but quite frankly I’m time-poor this week and more importantly, I wouldn’t have a clue what I was doing.

Overall, I’d say that my skin is most definitely bright and clear in the morning after using REN’s Resurfacing AHA Concentrate, but it doesn’t feel as though it’s had quite as much of a ‘workout’ as I get with the Liquid Gold. I think that this is probably a much milder product – it certainly feels that way, and I have been using it without any problem for nine nights in a row, which wouldn’t be at all advisable with a low pH glycolic exfoliant. This could be a nice choice if you want to ‘dip your toes’ into the overnight exfoliant world – it’s a fruity, friendly introduction, and though I’m not utterly convinced that it’s performing at the same level as some other resurfacers (more reviews soon) it’s a gentle way to ease yourself in. The fact that it can be used nightly makes it easy for those who need to stick to the same routine day-in day-out, but I’d say, from my testing so far, that the results are gradual and subtle. There’s also a mask in the same range which has a beautiful brightening effect – the Glycolactic Radiance Mask. It has the same acid cocktail inside the bottle, but this one gets rinsed off after ten minutes – I’m assuming that the ingredients are more potent, but again, I couldn’t tell you for sure!

I really, really rate REN products and I’m pleased that they’ve introduced this range – it’s a bit more ‘active’ than the other products, so those looking to step up from a gentle routine have something to dabble with. The serum is £30 and the mask is also £30 – I’d definitely recommend these over the scrub. Though the scrub smells gorgeous and leaves skin soft, in general I’m just more inclined towards non-abrasive exfoliants these days!

Both products can be found at LookFantastic.com – I’ve linked through to the right page!


  1. ciao bella, I just finished reading you post with the first coffee of the day, and I totally agree with you – in fact I am writing a post about REN skincare right now!
    Love the brand, love how gentle their range for sensitive skin is, and everything about it in general.
    A big plus for me, and a virtual high five to you! :)
    have a nice day x

  2. I’m so glad you reviewed this products, which seems to have been oerlooked by bloggers! I was very skeptical about this product but bought on an impulse along with other REN products, and for me it has been extremely effective. I had been plagued for months with those tiny bumps that appear under the skin and just refuse to budge, and it is the only thing that made them disappear (though sadly if I discontinue use the bumps come back).

    I tried liquid gold as well but it unfortunately it felt like it really damaged my sensitive skin and gave me more bumps.

    • @Alice yes, it is possible that the REN would be more suited to sensitive skin – I’m glad you’re getting on well with it! x

  3. hi Ruth! are you still using the clarisonic? i’m wondering how to incorporate physical scrubs and chemical ( alpha-h etc ) into a routine without overstripping our skin. thank you

    • @Pansy OK, have a look at my post on the dangers of over-exfoliation! If you type that into the search it’ll come up – I talk about how often I use each thing inc. Clarisonic! x

  4. Hi Ruth,
    I love reading your AMR over my breakfast, it always manages to brighten my day :).I am just wondering if you have tried the Palmers Cocoa Butter AHA and BHA body lotion? If not, you really must! It does smell rather peculiar but it has been a total lifesaver for me and I find that it is a great alternative to the really grainy body exfoliants. (Also, it is super duper cheap from Amazon!)

    • @Alice I have never heard of this! Is it a US product? xx

      • Gotta agree with Alice, Ruth, this stuff really really WORKS, my skin has never felt so gorgeous, even a few days after not using it. It’s about 4 quid from Boots or Superdrug so available pretty much everywhere. It’s fab, best thing I’ve ever used.

  5. Hi Ruth, do you think this product would suit a 24 yo? I am always confused as to when it’s the right time to start using these prodcuts… Thank you ! :)

  6. I didn’t use alpha-h last week, and have two chin zits xxx

  7. I’m so glad you posted about this! I’d been looking at getting a chemical exfoliant for a while, but I’ve been unsure about which one to get and also a little bit scared (seeing as we’re talking about putting acid on your face). Once I take the plunge it will probably be this product, as it seems there’s less of a risk of it accidentally eroding my face.

    • @Chrissy you can’t go far wrong with chemical exfoliants so long as you follow the instructions and use your common sense! If they are designed to be left on overnight then it’s easy – you just leave it on! They have been carefully formulated to only eat away the dead skin cells so as long as there are dead skin cells there to eat you’ll be fine! (By that, I mean so long as you haven’t just scrubbed the s**t out of your face or used another exfoliant immediately before!) x

  8. I’ve been using the mask your mentioned for about one and a half months now, and I really do like it. I gave up mechanical exfoliators about a year ago and much prefer it this way!

    I do have a question though, and wonder if you can help. I have medium asian skin – about NC35 – but much darker ashiness around my chin and the area surrounding my mouth. I like to wear a natural looking base and my foundation doesn’t cover this up and it still looks shadowy and grey. Can you recommend anything that I may use to help brighten this area, whether it be skincare or makeup?

    Thanks :) x

    • @Hinna is it like darker pigmentation? Make sure you wear an SPF to stop it darkening further – have a search on here for NIA24, it helps lighten as well as prevent further darkening, I THINK…. Also, have a look at Alpha-H’s White Gold, I have heard great things about it re pigmentation! xx

  9. last summer i ordered the glycolic mask and followed the instruction but my face still got really red and irritated for the following days. Right now I’m using the brightening Liz Earl mask but that doesn’t do much for me. Do you have any recommendations? Thanks in advance :)

    • @Alice do you have very sensitive skin? Sometimes skin just doesn’t like being tampered with – it sounds like yours might be like that? Do you react to anything else? xx

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