Our Rating: 4 stars

Arcona is bold about the way it formulates. Although it focuses on natural ingredients and studiously avoids chemicals, it goes where many other natural beauty brands fear to tread. It doesn’t hesitate to find powerful actives and formulates for maximum potency. Arcona’s The Solution Pads ($42 in the shop) is an excellent example of this.

Solution Pads are simple but effective. They are pre-soaked with a powerful concentration of glycolic acid, my favorite free radical scavenger - spin trap, glucosamine and some antioxidant grape seed extract. And that’s more or less it. Each ingredient is well chosen with a good balance between exfoliation and anti-aging. If you’ve been looking for a good glycolic-based exfoliator, then Arcona’s The Solution Pads could will be the solution.

With so few ingredients, it is worth looking at them in some detail. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that typically comes from sugar cane. Here is a glycolic acid polymer. The difference is that regular glycolic acid is a single molecule, the polymer is a “long chain” structure. This is supposed to make the penetration more efficient and effective, while reducing irritation.

Glycolic acid is given a helping hand with beta glucosamine. This is an amino derivative of glucose and is used as a pH adjuster in skincare and it helps with exfoliation. Recent studies have found that stable forms of glucosamine can help reduce age spots.

The other key ingredient in The Solution Pads is spin trap (phenyl butyl nitrone). These busy and useful molecules can seek out electrons, or free radicals, that are spinning out of control and rectify them before they can do any damage.

The Solution Pads are for face, neck and décolleté. However, my face is too sensitive to enjoy using them. The glycolic acid (notwithstanding the advantages of its polymeric form) in this product really tingles, even though it is a 4% concentration. My neck and décolleté are made of tougher stuff – and as I mentioned in my post, This Works for Neck and Decollete – need some turbo charged exfoliation. The Solution Pads provide it and now that my free sample is used up, I will be buying a new supply. There are 45 pads in each jar, making them about $1 per application. Note: Arcona recommends using them two to four times a week.

Ingredients: Agua (Distilled Water), Glycerine, Glycolic Acid Polymer, Beta Glucosamine, Beta Fructan, Spin Trap (Phenyl Butyl Nitrone), Lavandula Angustifolia Oil (Lavender), Vitis Vinifera Seed Extracts (Grape), Grapefruit Seed Extract (Citrus Grandis).