Review: Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial pads

I’ve been using the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial pads for about 2 months and I’ve actually been enjoying them. They were an impulse buy when all Nip+Fab products were on sale at superdrug so I picked them up for £3 or £4 instead of the usual £6. It was mainly because the chemical exfoliator I was using (the pixi glow tonic) didn’t seem to have any effect on my skin.
These exfoliating pads contains AHA in the form of glycolic acid. AHA stands for alpha-hydroxy acid, there are several different AHAs, the most common one is glycolic acid, but mandelic acid and lactic acid are also used. These are chemical exfoliators. What AHAs do is they remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and cause dull skin! They can also speed up cell turnover (this is quite important because as we age cell turnover actually slows done). Another good thing about AHAs is that any treatment after exfoliating is able to penetrate better and be more effective. AHAs are great at brightening dark spots, reducing appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. However AHAs can cause photo sensitivity, therefore sun screen is an absolute must!!

Now onto the actual review… 

You get 60 pads that are already pre-soaked with the solution, the pads have a textured side on one side and a more gentler side on the other. It says that you are able to use this both morning and night but I’ve only used it at night time since I tend to use other actives in the morning that might not pair well with the AHAs.
You are meant to use the rougher side first and then use the gentler side, I find that for people with sensitive skin the gentler side is enough, on days when my skin is extra sensitive (e.g. during colds) the rougher side tends to irritate my skin.


When I first got them I was a little eager and decided to use them every night, since I had been using the pixi glow tonic every night, which contained 5% glycolic acid and the Nip+Fab only contained 2% glycolic acid I thought my skin would handle it pretty well. I was wrong.
The first time I used it I felt a slight tingling sensation in the most sensitive areas of my face, the next day the tingling sensations remained but I wasn’t too worried since most AHAs can cause a little bit of sensation and it would only last for around 30 seconds but the third night was when I really noticed the difference, my skin felt a lot more drier, and this time the tingling sensation was burning and actually lasted for a quite a long time, even after applying my last step. After that I stopped using the pads straight away. I was a little confused because while the pixi glow tonic was stronger it never caused this much of a reaction (I did mix it with a toner but I still used the toner before using the pads so I didn’t think it could be that) until I took a look into the ingredients.


Here is the cosdna for the Nip+Fab pads.

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Glycolic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Hydroxide, 
PEG-12 Dimethicone, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, 
Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Alcohol Denat, Disodium EDTA, 
Globularia Alypum (Blue Daisy) Extract, Panthenol, Lactic Acid, 
Parfum, Limonene, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dehydroacetic Acid,
Sodium Hyaluronate, Linalool, Geraniol, Citral

When you look at the Nip+Fab ingredient list there’s denatured alcohol, witch hazel, also there are quite a few red flag ingredients such as geraniol, citral, linalool, while it does contain sodium Hyaluronate (a form of hyaluronic acid) it’s quite low on the ingredients list. I think the main reason it caused the burning sensation is because there aren’t many skin soothing ingredients in this, when I compared it to the pixi glow tonic, (here’s the cosdna for that) I found that it contains Aloe Barbadensis Leaf juice as it’s second ingredients, as well as Aesculus Hippocastanum Seed Extract, which are both skin soothing ingredients. It doesn’t contain any denatured alcohol but it does contain witch hazel. This probably explains why the Nip+Fab pads seemed more harsh despite having a lower concentrations of glycolic acid since there aren’t many skin soothing ingredients, while the pixi glow tonic does which makes it feel less harsh. Also the denatured alcohol can explain why my skin felt so dry and tight.

However I didn’t want to give up on the pads, instead I started using it twice a week and using no other actives and using hydrating treatments after using the pads (e.g. rosehip oil, sheet masks, hyaluronic acid serums, sleeping masks) I found that when I did this it worked a lot better and my skin was a lot less irritated and there was no break outs either. Since I started doing this my skin has actually been a lot more smoother, the bumps I’ve had on my face are slowly becoming smaller. Also after using the pads I’d wait for about 10 to 20 minutes and my skin still didn’t feel uncomfortable which is a huge plus!!

Overall I find that it can be effective however some of the ingredients are sensitising and wouldn’t be suited for anyone who is sensitive to any of the ingredients (especially the denatured alcohol). I also couldn’t use it daily so please bear that in mind as well. I also like that they’re already in pre-soaked pads since it makes it easier to apply, however this can be wasteful. I think what they taught me was to definitely look into the ingredients, even if it was an impulse buy. Also when I run out I will probably switch to the ordinary lactic acid since it’s meant to be much more calmer than glycolic acid.


  • It’s affordable especially since you get 60 pads
  • It does show results
  • They’re pre-soaked pads
  • Travel friendly


  • Has sensitising ingredients
  • Has a strong smell (very lemony)
  • I wouldn’t recommend for daily use

Where to buy?

There are several places you can buy the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial pads.

Amazon* / Amazon (UK) (£5)

Superdrug (£5 (on sale) )

Boots (£8.99 (on sale) )

Nip+Fab website (£12.95)

Amazon* / Amazon (US) ($9.87)

Ulta ($12.99)

* = affiliate links





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