No7 Resurfacing Skin Paste
Boots’ No7 Resurfacing Skin Paste has the makings of a great alpha hydroxy acid exfoliant, but some key aspects of its formula make it a less than stellar choice for all skin types.
Though described as a paste, this has a honey-like gel texture, and is packaged in an opaque squeeze tube that protects its light- and air-sensitive ingredients. To use, apply a thin layer on your face, let it sit for 15 minutes, then dab it off with a cloth soaked in warm water (Boots includes a soft, reusable cloth along with this product in its packaging), and rinse with cool water. After use, skin feels softer and smoother.
Looking at the ingredients, this contains the alpha hydroxy acid glycolic acid, at a pH (3.83) that allows it to effectively exfoliate (the optimal pH for exfoliation is between 3 and 4). In addition, there’s polyhydroxy acid gluconolactone, which also serves as a mild exfoliant. Supporting these ingredients are skin-soothing licorice extract and bisabolol, along with skin-conditioning jojoba oil and panthenol.
So why doesn’t this rate higher? First, AHAs, while excellent at exfoliating, hydrating, and helping even out skin tone, are more effective in leave-on products. Rinsing them off, even after letting them sit for 15 minutes, doesn’t give them the time they need to truly act as exfoliants (see More Info below for details), though they still can provide some hydration benefits.
Boots also makes claims that this makes pore appear clearer and reduces their appearance over time, but that’s more the work of a well-formulated BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant than an AHA exfoliant.
There’s also the issue that this contains lemon and orange extracts, both of which can irritate skin. They aren't in particularly high concentrations and are less potent than the oil form of either ingredient, but they’re touted in this formula as fruit acids to help brighten skin, and lab-generated vitamin C would give you the same benefit without the potential for problems.
- Contains an effective amount of glycolic acid at the optimal pH to exfoliate.
- Includes gluconolactone, which can serve as a mild exfoliant.
- Contains some skin-soothing and skin-conditioning ingredients.
- Leaves skin feeling smooth and soft.
- Packaged to protect its beneficial ingredients from light and air.
- AHA is rinsed off before it can reach its full potential to exfoliate.
- BHA is more effective than AHA at reducing the appearance of pores.
- Contains potentially-irritating lemon and orange extracts.
Powered by our AHA/PHA Peel Complex: An optimised 10.5% blend containing Glycolic, Glucano-delta-lactone & Fruit Acids with skin soothing Liquorice to effectively exfoliate while being gentle on the skin. Instantly complexion appears brighter, skin feels smoother & pores look visibly clearer. In 1 week skin texture looks dramatically improved, skin tone looks more even & the appearance of pores is reduced.
Originating in England, Boots is named after founder John Boot, and it already had a worldwide presence before its 2004 pilot launch in the U.S. retail market through select Target and CVS drugstore. (Note: Boots is no longer available at CVS.) Its success in these stores led to a full-scale launch in spring 2007. Boots has been part of England's cosmetic history since 1839, and now over 1,500 freestanding Boots stores dot the British landscape. Of course, history has its place, but Boots, on the basis of their longevity, believes that it offers consumers the best products full of quality ingredients and also at a value price. Although it's true that Boots' price point is lower than many drugstore lines (at least those whose products make similar claims and have the same target audience), their line consists of some impressive options, but also contains some areas that left us wanting for more.
Boots sunscreens tend to be good, but be aware that some have SPF ratings below the benchmark SPF 30+. Although there are dozens of moisturizers available, youll find that many are indistinguishable from one another in terms of their formulas. While there are many great options for sensitive skin among the Boots line, there are much fewer choices for those seeking impressive anti-aging formulas due to the lack of beneficial ingredients.
Boots does feature antioxidants, peptides, and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A not to be confused with pure retinol) in many of its products, but they tend to be present at less than impressive, or jar packaging compromises their benefits to skin due to light & air exposure.
You'll find some great options for cleansers, scrubs, sunless tanners, and treatments for dry, chapped lips, all at fair prices, and that's good news. (There are also quite a few impressive makeup products at surprisingly inexpensive prices.) Check our reviews for the products that shouldn't be missed (as well as the less-than-impressive options).
For more information about Boots, call (866) 752-6687 or visit www.boots.com.
Note: Boots No7 and Botanics brands (only) are sold in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart stores. In the U.S., most of the lines can be found at Target, Walgreens, and Ulta. As of August 2015, Boots has been acquired by Walgreens.
Strengths: Inexpensive; outstanding options for sensitive skin; good sunscreens; some impressive makeup products.
Weaknesses: Occasional use of jar packaging; some formulas with limited amounts of beneficial ingredients.
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.