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- Maelove’s Glycolic Acid cream, The Night Renewer ($27.95), was designed as a highly potent AHA cream that’s gentle enough for sensitive skin.
- AHA helps create smoother, brighter skin by encouraging rapid cell turnover and stimulating collagen production. It’s often used to fade scarring, reduce fine lines and pores, and soften skin.
- I used The Night Renewer for a few weeks consistently, and it made good on claims of delivering the benefits of a chemical peel without the harsh side effects.
If you — like many of us lost souls — sometimes feel like you’ve been put on this earth just to complete a seemingly impossible crusade for effective, cheap skin care products, you may have already stumbled across newcomer Maelove. If not, take note: It’s a line of skin-care basics meticulously formulated by MIT grads (with the help of some AI) and designed to work for all skin types. Best of all, each product is priced under $30.
Maelove’s line is full of standouts, but perhaps most noteworthy is the gentle Glycolic Acid cream, The Night Renewer ($27.95), that took the company two years to accomplish. It’s noteworthy because, unlike many potent AHAs, it’s not supposed to be too harsh for sensitive skin types to use. The Night Renewer combines 10% medical-grade glycolic acid to slough away dead skin overnight, as well as hyaluronic acid to hydrate and calm the skin. While AHA breaks down the glue holding tired, dull skin cells together to even tone, stimulate collagen production, and give you smoother skin overnight, ingredients like Vitamin E, Squalene, and Aloe nourish the skin.
In other words, it’s supposed to be the secret to locking in the benefits of glycolic acid without paying for it in irritated, dry skin.
When asked by Business Insider which Maelove product was her favorite in February 2019, Maelove co-founder Jackie Kim gave the nod to The Night Renewer. After testing the nighttime cream for myself, I can see why Kim elected this as her all-time favorite, even in a line with a $28 Vitamin C Serum that launched the startup to fame.
I started out using The Night Renewer three times per week as recommended. On application nights, I’d wash my face with my Holy Grail cleanser (a $38 cleansing gel from Dr. Dennis Gross), pat my skin dry, and evenly cover my face with a small dollop of The Night Renewer cream (a little goes a long way). Most of the time, the glycolic acid stung slightly upon application — but, while noticeable, the sting wasn’t painful, and the tingling sensation disappeared about 30 seconds post-application. In the morning, I’d swipe my go-to micellar water across my face to remove any residue and proceed with my typical morning routine.
I’ve been using it consistently for a few weeks, and my skin is markedly softer, scars are noticeably faded, and fine lines and pores both appear less defined each morning after using.
When Kim describes The Night Renewer as gentle but effective — two words I grew up viewing as incompatible variables in skin care — she’s telling the truth. My pale combination skin often responds to powerful resurfacing agents like glycolic acid and deep clay masks by turning bald-uakari-monkey-red — like I just moved a couch into a seven-story walk-up. This isn’t the case with The Night Renewer. Other than the initial tingling, I don’t notice any overt reaction from my skin.
Despite the transactional mindset (pain exchanged for beauty) we often apply to skin-care, The Night Renewer manages to resurface the skin without requiring discomfort. It makes good on its claims of delivering the effectiveness of a chemical peel without the harsh side effects.
I often recommend Maelove as one of the internet’s best-kept secrets. It’s radically affordable for the no-nonsense quality, and it’s designed to work for all skin types. And if you’re looking for a glycolic acid cream that will resurface the skin for a brighter, smoother, more even complexion, I recommend checking out The Night Renewer.
However, it bears repeating that skin-care is notoriously subjective. Luckily, Maelove also has a 100-day, 100% money-back guarantee — so you’re not risking much if you want to give it a try yourself.
Tip: Use the code "TEN" at checkout for 10% off any purchase of two or more products for a limited time.
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