Thursday, 28 April 2016

NeoStrata Smooth Surface Daily Peel Pads

What is it?
'A daily home use peel is expertly formulated at an effective pH using a NeoStrata-developed delivery system for gentle yet optimal skin penetration.'

Aka - acid toner with a kick

Who is it for?
All skins but particularly oily/acne and sun-damaged, mature and/or dull.

What’s in it?
Aqua (Water), Glycolic Acid, Alcohol Denat., Ammonium Hydroxide, Arginine, Acetyl Tyrosinamide, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin

What's not in it?

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
Man made/vegan

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?
No/unknown (will confirm if I find out)

How does it smell?
Fragrance free

How does it feel on the skin?
Mild tingle, nothing unusual for acid

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
NeoStrata recommend PM use only, after cleansing.

How long before you should see results?
Obviously it depends how long you have been using acids, so either immediately or over a short period of time - but acids are generally quick.

How long did I test it for?
A few months

How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
£47.00 - £50.00 depending where you purchase - 36 pads so approx £1.30(ish) a pad.

What’s good about it?
NeoStrata are a professional brand only available through clinics and every product is backed up by a clinical, not consumer, trial.
These pads are the complete antithesis of something like the Juice Beauty pads previously reviewed here. The set comes with the liquid in its own bottle and the pads are dry and ready to be soaked, meaning it stays completely sterile before use and then the pads are well and truly soaked when you empty the 'juice' into the pads container.
The pads contain a 10% concentration of glycolic acid along with amino acids delivered via a patented system called Aminofill, amino acids basically being the building blocks of collagen and thus helping to smooth out the lines and wrinkles. These really do 'start' your routine once your face is clean.

What’s not so good about it?
They're not cheap, but the price is basically the only negative if you have budget concerns. This is by far the best acid packaging I've seen thus far. It's SO satisfying emptying the liquid onto the pads and shaking them around.

Works well with?
Any serum you follow this up with will penetrate better than without using an acid - but in all fairness you can say that about a lot of acids - that's rather the point of them.

What’s the website like?
This is where there is room for improvement. The downside of brands only being available in professional clinics/spas is that the websites are usually non-transactional and lacking information, and sadly, like Biologique Recherche and SkinCeuticals, this is the case with NeoStrata in the UK. The 'Where to Buy' page doesn't work for me, so I can't even help you with a few London addresses. Don't let that put you off though. There's a phone number. Call them and ask where you can buy because the products are brilliant. Properly brilliant. The exception to the website 'fail' is the 'Heritage' page, which goes into good detail about how the brand started, and why they lead the path in many ways.

Similar products?
Zelens PHA+ Pads
Dennis Gross MD Acids
Kate Somerville Clinic-To-Go Pads
Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Pads

NeoStrata Smooth Surface Daily Peel Pads are approx £47/50.00 and more information on where to buy can be found here in the UK: along with an online stockist here:

and here in the USA: - the USA website is good.

And if you are outside the UK and the USA go here:


  1. Hello there, would these be better value than the Pixi glow peel pads?

  2. Neostrata is Canadian I believe. Their products are in almost every drugstore.

  3. Hi Caroline, have you tried the Neostrata smoothing lotion? Am wondering if it is an alternative to Alpha H liquid gold?

  4. Caroline! You enabler! Great review! I od'd on acid toners and my skin suffered with spots. I only do it 2/3 times a week now. Have a great bank holiday with your family xx

  5. Hi all,

    You can buy Neostrata in spanish pharmacies and parafarmacies (online too), but not this products yet

  6. Hi Caroline. Should I replace my Paula's choice BHA with this? I'm posting a comment I left on your blog a few days ago but I'm sure you havent seen it. Hopefully this time I'll get your advice *fingers crossed*

    I'm back to your blog after exactly 6 months! It's been 6 wonderful months of having a good skin or lets say a 'better' skin ever since I started to follow the skincare routine you suggest on your blog. Right now I'm facing a dillemma which is either to stick to this routine and products or switch a few. I must say I dont break around my chin as often as I used to anymore (hormonal) and my skin feels okayish. I could use a bit of some miracle item which would make my indian skin eventoned (mission impossible?) So here goes my routine: am I cleanse with firstaidbeauty cleanser followd by firstaid facial pads- firstaid radiance serum (blue bottle you like) active moist dermalogica and on top SPF.
    At night I cleanse my face with Paula's choice cleanser- followed by 2% BHA Paula's choice- Rose water- Adance night repair (Estee Lauder) and on top active moist (Dermalogica).
    What do to? Stick or nay? Please please please help me out if you're reading this. Oh by the way I'm 25 and have typical yellowish indian skin with a darker chin and forehead, yes awful.

  7. So many acids to try... I am still faithful to my Alpha-H Liquid Gold as my glycolic fix, but these sound lovely to. Too bad I have only one face.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  8. Hello Caroline,
    I just wanted to say a big thank you. I only discovered your blog a few months ago and have found your advice SO helpful! I use the budget products you recommend and got a compliment about my skin for the first time in my life recently - I am 58.
    I enjoy your vlog too - you are very entertaining to watch and seem to be a genuinely lovely person. God bless you and yours

  9. Maybe this is just in Spain but I buy my NeoStrata products in pharmacies or OTC's

    1. In Portugal we also have it in pharmacies and in el corte ingles

  10. In Ireland you can get the NeoStrata products in independent type chemists (not sure about these actual products). I don't find the price points too high, not cheap cheap but for what you are getting they are very good value.

  11. You can get NeoStrata in Brazilian pharmacies too (not this product though).

    Caroline, do you think Malin+Goetz resurfacing glycolic pads are a good sub for the NeoStrata ones?

  12. Can't wait for more of your blog posts! LOVE THEM :)

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Effortless stock Neo Strata products

  15. Hi Caroline, what do you think of NeoStrata as a whole? I have been using their Oily Skin Solution for a long time and I absolutely love it. I am thinking of buying more of their products, what is your opinion on their cleansers?
    P.S: My skin type is oily/combination/acneprone.
    Thank you!