Three ships start new treatment with resurfacing | Good+Good

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My entire personality for the year 2024 is a beauty editor bride. One of the first things I did after getting engaged was to make an appointment with a dermatologist—a full year before my wedding—to find out what I needed to do to get my skin in tip-top shape for the big day. The doctor prescribed me tretinoin and a pro-grade brightening serum to help combat the stubborn acne scars that even the best OTC products have failed to fade, and made me promise that while I was working with such powerful actives, I would keeping the rest of my routine calm. I thought that meant exfoliation until I was newlywed, but then I discovered the new Three Ships Fresh Start Resurfacing Treatment ($24).

Why “gentle” exfoliation?

Exfoliation is an important part of any skincare routine (which is admittedly why I was stressed about leaving it off for a whole year), because it helps remove dead skin cells from the skin's surface to make way for new, healthy cells. The practice offers a whole host of benefits, including boosting collagen production, improving skin tone and texture, unclogging pores and brightening dull skin, but only if you find the perfect balance to do it right. Too much exfoliation can damage your skin's barrier and increase the risk of breakouts and irritation. That's why it's important to keep things gentle.

While physical exfoliation (AKA what you get when you shake your skin off with a gritty scrub) tends to be more aggressive, chemical exfoliation (where you use hydroxy acids to melt away dead skin cells) gives you a little more control over the intensity. There's a whole spectrum of chemically exfoliating acids, from hardcore glycolic acid to gentle but effective lactic acid, meaning you have options when it comes to choosing what's right for your individual skin tone.

Right now, my pre-wedding skin and I are living by my dermatologist's edict: “the softer, the better,” and that's where Three Ships Fresh Start Lime Pearl + Prickly Pear 5% PHA Resurfacing Treatment comes in handy.

What is the Three Ships Fresh Start Resurfacing Treatment?

The treatment's key ingredient is a 5 percent concentration of polyhydroxy acid (PHA), a dream ingredient for those (like me!) looking for an exfoliant that packs a punch without irritating your skin.

As you've probably guessed, PHAs are part of the hydroxy acid family, but are much gentler than the alpha and beta hydroxy varieties found in most exfoliating products and a great option for anyone looking for a peeling routine that does not cause any sensitivities. .

“Polyhydroxy acids are humectants and antioxidants. They draw moisture to the skin, making them less irritating than AHAs or BHAs,” says a board-certified dermatologist Jeaneen Chappell, MD, FAAD, in Dallas. “PHAs would be a great alternative for someone with sensitive skin or skin that dries out easily. I recommend trying this product as part of an acne or anti-aging regimen.”

The formula combines the PHAs with lime pearl extract, which contains citric acid that also acts as a gentle exfoliant. This ingredient is known for its brightening and skin tone-evening properties. Like PHAs, lime beads also provide antioxidant protection and hydration, and also have anti-inflammatory benefits that can help counteract any irritation associated with the exfoliating beads (although it's worth repeating that because it's super gentle, this is unlikely to happen).

Also in the mix is ​​aloe vera, one of the world's most beloved soothing ingredients (there's a reason it's a post-sunburn staple), and prickly pear extract, which is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids. “The extract is high in vitamin E, oleic acid, and linoleic acid, which have anti-inflammatory properties and won't clog pores or cause acne, making it a great ingredient for acne-prone skin,” says a board-certified dermatologist. and founder of Visha Skincare, Purvisha Patel, MD. “The fruit is also high in vitamin B, beta-carotene and iron.”

My honest thoughts

The Three Ships Fresh Start Treatment is an exfoliating toner, which means it has a watery texture, is meant to be applied with a cotton pad and does double duty as a second cleanse. And an active treatment. “Acid-based exfoliating toners are a smart method to remove dead skin cells and remove the superficial layers of skin,” says Rachel Nazian, MD, dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. “Regular use can improve skin texture and reduce hyperpigmentation [and] they provide a secondary level of cleansing that may not be achieved with basic cleansers for those who may need deeper dirt removal, such as people who wear heavy makeup.”

The formula has absolutely no scent — which is another check in the “pros” column for those with sensitive skin — and I've been using it on my non-tretinoin nights for a week and a half.

As someone whose skin is lopsided, I was initially a little nervous that an exfoliant that targets oily and combination complexions would leave me dehydrated. However, after each application, I've been pleasantly surprised to find that my skin doesn't feel stripped at all, just hydrated and slightly dewy.

After six uses, my skin looks noticeably brighter: In the past week, three people (all beauty editors!) have asked me what I changed in my routine. And while I'm sure skin prescription products play a role, they've been around for a while months…and no one made a single comment until I added this $24 treatment to the mix.

Needless to say, my job as a beauty editor made me a bride extremely I don't know what I'm putting on my face these days, but I'm confident that the Three Ships Fresh Start Resurfacing Treatment will be a staple of my regimen long after the honeymoon phase is over.

Our editorial team independently selects these products. If you make a purchase through our links, Well+Good may earn a commission.

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