This product was sent to me by StyleKorean for review purposes. I was not paid for this post but please note that affiliate links are used on my blog. These go towards supporting Oh My Stellar and future content.
I was seeing this cream from Nakeup Face all over my Facebook feed and I was so curious to test it out, but the title Scaling Cream felt really intimidating – not to mention that I had no idea what it even was. However, I did keep it at the back of my mind and I recently checked out the StyleKorean website to find out what it is.
It turns out that this product is a AHA Scaling Cream – it is essentially a chemical exfoliator in the form of a night cream. It helps to remove dead skin cells, keratin and sebum (which block pores) and to help with skin balance and tone. It comes in two concentrations, 5% and 10%, both of which StyleKorean had generously sent me to review in order to determine what sort of routine and system best worked for my skin type. As reference, I have combination skin which can be both dry and oily in different areas or times. The cream is currently selling for USD$21.03–24.30 on their website, so definitely go and check it out while they are also having sales and special coupons available.
All of that said, let’s go right into the review!
I want to spend more of my time talking about the actual product, so I will skip over most of the packaging. Basically, it comes in a plastic tub without a spatula. There’s nothing negative or particularly stand out about it. The design is nice and clean, giving it a classy and almost clinical feel – sort of like Medicube.
Here are the main points from the product description:
- Promises to relieve problematic skin in 30 days
- Dissolves keratin and sebum to create a smoother skin tone
- It is a cream that does no require to be washed off
- It contains Glycolic Acid within the AHA to clean skin without damaging it
- AHA is a fruit acid and is derived from natural ingredients
- Normalizing skin balance and increases elasticity of the skin
- The product also contains Argan tree kernel oil, Caulerpa racemasa extract, Allantoin, Centella extract (great for soothing skin) and Niacinamide (a whitening/brightening ingredient that is FDA certified)
Exfoliation is a very important part of skin routine and, generally, there are two types of it – manual exfoliation (done with scrubs or other physical exfoliants) and chemical exfoliants; the latter is definitely better for your skin, especially if it is sensitive, but should not be done too frequently. This step helps to remove dead skin cells and would help to improve your skin texture, turnover, as well as how your skin absorbs other products.
Since the AHA Scaling Cream is available in two concentration levels, it is claimed that the higher concentration has better results. However, your skin does need time to get used to this treatment so – similar to the Elizavecca Retinol Cream – it is better to start off at a lower concentration and work your tolerance up. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin!
The product is suggested to be used after washing your face. If you use a toner (and I do), it is to be used afterwards and should also be following up with a good moisturising routine.
For myself, I chose to start off my routine with the SkinEditor toner (blue for hydration) and then the Missha Time Revolution FTE – which has such a thin texture that I felt it was necessary. Afterwards, I would apply the AHA Scaling Cream and follow it up with the Laniege Balancing Emulsion in Moisture. I would also apply other hydration products if needed, but I would avoid another acidic products (especially any whitening or Vitamin C products which are usually abundant in my routine), as I didn’t want to over treat my skin.
Below is an image of the cream. It pats into your skin very easily and absorbs well, though it does leave a slight sticky residue. Since this is an acid, I’m not sure if it is safe to use during the day, but I generally stick to using all of my acids at night only.
Strangely enough, I noticed that the two creams had very different textures, even though they were essentially the same thing. The 5% AHA Scaling Cream has a soft and creamier texture, much like every other cream that I had used. It smoothed out and blended into my skin the easiest, as it almost melted in. The 10% AHA Scaling Cream, however, was a lot more dense and it almost felt like a semi-balm (?). It didn’t spread as easily on my skin and I had to rub it in a little for it to warm up and absorb. Aside from that though, both of the had a very minimal scent that is hardly noticeable.
I started out using the cream once every few days (around 4) but, after two or so weeks, I had started to use it every second night instead. It worked in easily with my skincare routine where I would have a simplified routine on one night, then my full routine the next (where I would focus a lot on hydration and also my usual brightening). I showed it on my Instagram so feel free to check that out.
At the beginning, I tested two sides of my face with 5% on one side and 10% on the other. You could definitely feel that there was a tingling sensation on your skin (especially with the higher concentration) and it felt really soothing to put my moisturiser on after to soothe it. It isn’t painful (unless you have any broken skin in which case it will burn you like crazy), but it is uncomfortable at first.
However, my skin didn’t see a lot of sensitivity to the product and I soon moved onto using 10% all over my face. I definitely saw better results with the higher concentrate – my skin was smoother, my pores felt cleaner too. The AHA Scaling Cream isn’t effective enough to fully eliminate my blackheads, but it did refine them significantly and improve my overall skin tone significantly. I also saw very obvious brightening effect.
Overall, it is a good product and my skin saw great effects from it. Even though it is quite strong and makes my skin tingle (and any broken skin from pimples must be avoided so that I am not screaming in pain), the results from this cream are visible. Once you stop using it though, your skin does return to it’s normal state so the effects aren’t permanent.
That being said though, I am still a bit on the fence about the product and I am unsure if it will become a holy grail or staple product in my routine. I’ll definitely use up both tubs that I have (though the stronger one has better results) but I wish that the results were more permanent or long lasting. Around a few days of discontinuing use is enough for my skin to go back to it’s original state.
Well, even though I am still very unsure, here’s the verdict!
SO WHAT IS IT?
An exfoliating face cream using AHA in 5% or 10% concentrate
- Minimal scent
- Absorbs well
- Available in two concentrates
- Removes dead skin cells and minimises sebum effectively, leaving skin super soft without the use of scrubs
- Obvious brightening effect
- Helps to treat problem skin over time (due to improving skin turnover)
- No spatula
- The higher concentrate is more balm-like and doesn’t melt into the skin as well
- Makes skin tingle
- Burns like crazy on even small broken skin areas – may be problematic for acne prone skin
- Temporary results that require continuous use
- PACKAGING | 4/5
- PRICE POINT | 4/5
- EFFECTIVENESS | 4/5
- EASE OF USE | 4/5
OVERALL RATING? 8/10
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
This is something that I think will be different on all skin types so I do recommend trying it out for yourself. Definitely start off with the lower concentrate first and then use the higher one if you like. If more sensitive or dry skin types, make sure that you are taking it slow and hydrating a lot. For combination or oily skin like mine, however, I don’t think that we are as susceptible to dryness from the higher concentrate so – if you’re brave – you may be able to jump right into the 10% AHA Scaling Cream!
WHERE TO GET IT FROM
The AHA Scaling Cream (5%/10%) is available at StyleKorean for USD$21.03–24.30 – also, check out the Nakeup Face page to see the rest of their offerings!