Our Rating: 5 stars

I have been searching for a really good glycolic product for a long time. My favorite used to be Image Skincare’s Ageless serum, but for various reasons (they changed the formula and the price, plus it isn’t easy to buy) I found it frustrating enough to seek an alternative. I have finally come across one that trumps the best glycolic creams that I had previously been able to find: La Vie Celeste’s Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask ($60 in the shop).

La Vie Celeste is a brand that I have only just discovered and I was sent the glycolic mask, along with a day and night cream and an eye cream (I will be reviewing all of them over the coming weeks). The founder of La Vie Celeste, Teri Dourmashkin, holds a Doctorate in Health Education from Columbia University and she launched her range because she wanted an effective, gentle, non-toxic and affordable anti-aging/anti-wrinkle cream.

Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask certainly seems to meet her criteria. Massage it in and leave it on for five minutes before rinsing to reveal skin that is much more even in tone and polished-looking. I have tried it out a couple of times on my neck (an area of particular focus right now), my face and even my knees and the results are so good that I know I am going to have restrain myself from using it more than twice a week.

With a 5% concentration of glycolic in a soothing base of organic aloe, this mask is both effective and gentle (I only had a brief tingling sensation on my face). Glycolic acid is regarded by skincare professionals as one of the breakthrough ingredients of the last 20 years. It is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) naturally found in sugar cane. As the AHA with the smallest molecule and the greatest penetration, glycolic acid deeply exfoliates to remove skin that is dry, coarse, or dead. It shouldn’t be overdone (see our post on how to use glycolics and AHAs), but for kick starting a serious anti-aging skin regimen, it is essential.

La Vie Celeste has ensured glycolic’s brightening and smoothing effects are given a helping hand by exfoliating bamboo grains, licorice and bearberry extract, which is loaded with alpha arbutin a natural (safer) hydroquinone. Organically sourced antioxidants include white tea (supposedly better than green tea) and melon.

Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask is definitely going to be a key part of my neck and décolleté regimen and I will use it on my face when it needs a pore closing pick me up. I’m interested to see if the eye cream and day/night cream hit the bar set by the mask.


Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Gel*, Aqua (Purified Water), Sclerotium Gum, Bamboo Grains (Bambusa Vulgaris) Extract, Kaolinite (Pink Clay), Glycolic (Hydroxyacetic) Acid, White Tea (Camellia Sinesis) Extract*, Bearberry (Acrtostaphylos Uva Ursi) Extract*, Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabral Licorice) Extract*, Melon (Cucumis Melo) Extract*, Chamomile (Anthemis Nobillis) Flower Extract*, Cosmocil CQ (Polyaminopropyl Biguanide), Grapefruit Seed Extract (Citrus Paradis) Extract*, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic) Acid.

*Certified organic