Facial Radiance Pads
First Aid Beauty’s Facial Radiance Pads have been reformulated slightly since we originally tested them and have earned an upgrade from our team. They’re a mixed bag, with both the ability to effectively exfoliate dead skin and a risk of irritation.
These pads contain a blend of lactic and glycolic acids, two very effective forms of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). The lightweight, watery formula steeped into each pad makes it an ideal choice for most skin types (including acne prone).
Unfortunately, these pads also have added fragrance in the form of potentially irritating citrus extracts, which means they miss out on a higher rating. There are too many truly fragrance-free exfoliants to settle for one that presents a risk of irritation. And fragrance isn’t this exfoliant’s only problem…
The mix of AHAs is present in a 5% concentration and the pad’s pH of 3.8 allows them to exfoliate. You get a few antioxidant and anti-irritant ingredients, which is also great; unfortunately, their jar packaging means your skin won't benefit from them after a few uses. See More Info for the details on why jar packaging is a problem for these types of ingredients.
Check out the alternatives in our list of best AHA exfoliants instead.
- Contains some helpful water-binding and soothing agents.
- Effective amounts of AHA ingredients formulated in the correct pH.
- Contains a few fragrant citrus extracts.
- Jar packaging renders the antioxidants and anti-irritants ineffective.
Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.
Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin!
References for this information:
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10
A daily treatment pad that contains just the right amount of Lactic and Glycolic Acids to safely and effectively exfoliate, tone, and brighten all skin types, including sensitive.
First Aid Beauty At-A-Glance
Strengths: Several fragrance-free products; relatively reasonable pricing; sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection; wonderful fragrance-free body wash.
Weaknesses: AHA pads contain a low amount of glycolic and lactic acids; some products contain fragrant plant extracts; every product contains feverfew extract, which has benefits, but also can be an irritant; jar packaging; for a line meant for sensitive skin, their use of common irritants is disappointing.
With a name like First Aid Beauty (FAB for short), it's obvious this line is meant to rescue your skin from distress, and, indeed, these products are targeted toward those who have sensitive, easily irritated skin, but who still want an elegant, department-store flair. Ironically, FAB falls short on both ends of the spectrum.
Despite the company's claims of providing "therapeutic action" for "tough skin conditions," some of the products contain irritating ingredients that are extremely problematic for any skin type, especially for those with sensitive or compromised skin. It was disappointing to see known irritants like sulfur, balsam resin, and witch hazel in products claiming to calm your skin and reduce redness. "What were they thinking?" was a question that came up more than once while reviewing this line!
On the bright side, First Aid Beauty does have a very good fragrance-free body wash. There are also a few products that omit the fragrance, which is a definite must for sensitive skin, although, in fact, all skin types do best with fragrance-free products. Unfortunately, the fragrance-free formulas in this line come up short on important ingredients, like antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.
It is best to avoid their Ultra Repair Cream, the SPF 30 sunscreen, Detox Eye Roller, Blemish Eraser, and the Anti-Redness Serum because they all contain enough irritating ingredients to make conditions like acne, redness, and sensitivity worse.
For more information about First Aid Beauty, visit your local Sephora or Ulta or call (800) 322-3619 or visit www.firstaidbeauty.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.