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Somme Institute exfoliating Transport Pads

Reviewed by Marta February 15, 2010 17 Comments
I first tried a Somme Institute product (it was the serum) about two years or so ago and there were many things that I liked about it. My inner nerd appreciated the advanced form of vitamin delivery, my design diva loved the packaging, but my skin? Well, it liked Somme Institute Serum ($82), but didn't love it. Not enough to buy another bottle. Now I am reunited with Somme Institute by a box of  glycolic acid-soaked Transport Pads ($58) that was given to me as a sample and I am intrigued to see if, this time, it can win me over on all counts.

Transport is a tub of glycolic acid, antioxidant and vitamin soaked cotton pads that are supposed to exfoliate, brighten the skin and deliver nutrients. I have just started to use them on my neck, decollete and hands. I must say, it is delivering on the first two promises big time. I need to give it a few more weeks to see if I am getting a longer term benefit. Initially, I was intrigued by the idea of pads. What's the point, I asked myself.

I think I do get the point now. These pads are extremely well-saturated with product (so much so, I could easily get two uses out of each) and I really feel as if I can rub in and target specific areas with more control - and more product - than if was to apply a serum with my fingers. For a large area, like the decollete (no, I'm not bragging, I mean relative to my face), coverage is efficient and even. For a small area, such as an age spot, you can really spend some time rubbing the pad - an activity that could be worthwhile given that the second ingredient is exfoliating glycolic acid.

Somme Institute basically has one tune in its repertoire, so it had better be a good one. It is something called Molecular Dispersion Technology (MDT5). Developed over seven years and tested on 5000 participants, MDT5 is a combo of vitamins A, B3, B5, C and E. They have been attached to proteins that target skin cell receptors to ensure that the nutrients are deeply absorbed.

Well, that could be a tune worth humming along with, especially as Transport Pads also have antioxidant green tea, grapeseed, chamomile and aloe. Unfortunately, there are a few things I don't like: tetrasodiume EDTA may or may not be an irritant, but it is certainly an environmental pollutant; methylchloroisothiazolinone is an irritant that has largely been removed from cosmetics other than rinse off ones; there are similar concerns for the controversial methylisothiazolinone.


Water, Glycolic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Green Tea Extract, Ethoxydiglycol, Ammonium Glycolate, Molecular Dispersion Technology (MDT5), Panthenol, Chamomile Extract, Aloe Powder, Menthol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Grapeseed Extract, Palma Rosa Extract, Ylang Ylang Extract, Jasmine Extract, Geranium Extract, Lavender Extract, Marigold Extract, Galbanum Extract
  • June 27, 2011

    by NoeyD77

    I'm REALLY big on exfoliating pads. I've tried the Glycolix Elite 20% but it contains a high amount of alcohol and acetone! I have been using them on my elbows and feet with great results.

    I have used Dr. Denese's Firming Facial Pads the longest, as they contain 10% glycolic acid and a host of other beneficial ingredients. The issues I have with that product is that my skin becomes acclimated to AHA's quickly and at 10%, I'm no longer experiencing the same results as when I first began using them, duh! I have been alternating with Peter Thomas Roth's Un-Wrinkle Pads, which include several different aha's at a 20% concentration, but Im not too fond of having to rinse it off afterwards. I have also used the regular strength and the extra strength Alpha-Beta Peels by Dr. Dennis Gross, which I like very much, but the price ($85 for a month's supply) is just a bit too much when included in my overall beauty budget for one product. So for now, I alternate most days with Dr. Denese's and PTR's Un-Wrinkle PAds, then for a couple days I use Dr. Gross's Extra Strength Pads.

    I am very interested in the Somme Transport Pads. MARTA- do you know the % of aha's in them????

  • July 2, 2010

    by Naja

    I have to agree with Leslie Wayne. For the money, Glyxolix Elite's 20% treatment pads, which also come in 10% and 15% stenghts, are a much more effective and better option. Plus, they are pretty cheap!

    Even better than Glycolix is DCL 20 % Glycolic Acid pads, which are sold on Althoug the percentage of glycolic acid is the same, the pH is much lower for DCL (2 pH) than with the Glyxolix product, which makes for a stronger acid and a deeper peel.

    I stay away from any AHA pads that don't provide the percentage and pH of the acids. You should know what you're getting.

    Also, Beatriz, there is a world of difference between chemical and mechanical exfoliators. Chemical exfoliators, such as alphahydroxy acids, TCA and retinoids, do much more than simply smooth the skin. They are potent anitaging substances in and of themselves.

    Unlike mechanical exfoliators, chemical exfoliators stimulate and boost collagen production, firm the skin, greatly smooth the appearance of wrinkles and eliminate skin discoloration, such as melasma, sun damage and scars. Moreover, they smooth skin at a much deeper level than mechanical exfoliants, which only act on the top layer of skin. Because of this, any antioxidants in chemical peels will penetrate the skin more effectively.

    Simply put, chemical exfoliators can dramtatically change and enhance skin in a way that pure mechanical peels cannot.

  • February 18, 2010

    by Jaysie

    Marta - Do you happen to know what the percentage of glycolic acid is and what the pH is of the formula? Also - and sorry to be so nerdy - did the company tell you what percentage of niacin (vitamin B3) is in their MDT5? Thanks!

  • February 18, 2010

    by michlny

    I actually love the packaging on this product! :)

  • February 18, 2010

    by L

    If this is something you like and you are giving
    some away for a review, I would be happy to try it and give a review.
    Thank you and have a wonderful day!
    By the way, you not only have great products, but also great customer service!

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