Liquid exfoliating products that are meant to be left on your skin have always kind of freaked me out. My complexion’s inherently dry, so any sort of liquid that promises to resurface it without the addition of soothing ceramides or hydrating glycerin has historically felt like a no-go. So when I learned that Alpyn Beauty was launching its own exfoliating toner—the Pore Perfecting Liquid with 2% BHA + Borage ($39)—I was thrilled. I love the brand, and I knew the product would be formulated in a way that wasn’t going irritate or dry out my skin. It heroes salicylic acid, a powerful beta-hydroxy acid.
“Salicylic acid is an ingredient I have always had the utmost amount of respect for, stemming back to my days working for clinical beauty brands,” says Kendra Kolb Butler, founder of Alpyn Beauty. “However, when used incorrectly, it does tend to be quite drying for certain skin types, and it can cause irritation as well. I wanted to use this ingredient in an effective toner/leave-on liquid exfoliator format but wanted the formula to be extremely mellow, non-drying, and non-irritating so all skin types could enjoy the benefit of using a BHA on a regular basis.”
The Alpyn Beauty Pore Perfecting Liquid with 2% BHA + Borage ($39) pairs exfoliating 2 percent SA with a soothing and hydrating extract from borage, a flower native to the Mediterranean region that grows in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Kolb Butler is from. It also has other soothing ingredients like tremella mushroom, bamboo water, and tea tree. Plus, it contains vitamin C to brighten discoloration and protect against environmental damage.
Many of the brand’s ingredients, including borage extract, are wildcrafted in Jackson Hole by Kolb Butler and her team—meaning that they derive actives by picking pieces of plants while leaving the rest in place. Because these plants are so resilient in harsh environments, they can work wonders on skin that’s been exposed to the same aggressors.
“As a brand, it is our belief that clinical ingredients on their own are no match for the climate conditions that skin deals with at high altitudes, but the combination of wild plants plus potent actives is,” says Kolb Butler. “That is why we harvest Jackson Hole wild plants at their peak potency and craft them in as raw a form as possible, and then add them to clinical ingredients to magnify potency, effectiveness, and reach. It’s a best-of-both-worlds combination that’s honestly skin-changing.”
Salicylic acid is an ingredient that most benefits oily and combination skin, but the Alpyn Beauty Pore Perfecting Liquid was made with all skin types in mind.
“Because the formula is so non-drying, a dry skin type can use it,” says Kolb Butler. “Somebody with really sensitive skin that has not been able to use salicylic acid in their routine in the past may find great results with this formula.”
How to use Alpyn Beauty Pore Perfecting Liquid
Using the Alpyn Beauty Pore Perfecting Liquid is simple. Just pour a bit on a cotton round, rub it on your skin, and allow it to dry down before moving on with your routine.
I’ve gotten to use this treatment a few times and love the way it makes my skin feel. Primarily, I use it after cleansing in the morning to get in a little exfoliation. It leaves bare skin with the prettiest glow.
But late last week I used it to calm down my angry skin. I put on a brightening, somewhat tingly face mask that I love and turn to when I want my skin to feel invigorated. But I got distracted and left it on for three hours—far longer than the recommended 10 to 15 minutes. Even after rinsing it off with lukewarm water, my skin was still tingly and irritated. So I applied a bit of this Alpyn toner and hoped that its soothing benefits would outway the exfoliating and help neutralize the irritation. I was pleasantly surprised when my discomfort was dampened almost as soon as I put on the toner. I could still feel it in one spot that was particularly angry, but even that area felt better than it did before and the rest of my skin was calm.
The Alpyn Beauty Pore Perfecting Liquid is a new welcomed addition to my daily rotation and will be a go-to any time my skin is particularly irritated.
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