Zelens PHA+ Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads

Zelens is one of my favorite brands. I have tried almost all of their products. Their PHA+ Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads have been on my list forever. When SpaceNK clearanced out Zelens at 50% off I grabbed a few packages of this. Details per Zelens:

The next generation in facial peeling formulated with PHA (polyhydroxy acids) plus alpha and beta hydroxy acids. This one-step resurfacing treatment gently exfoliates the skin while providing antioxidant protection. Multi-functional peel helps refine skin texture, evens out skin tone and reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores. Skin looks more radiant, smoother, firmer and younger-looking.


  • Gently exfoliates the skin without causing irritation or skin dryness
  • Helps to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores and uneven skin tone
  • Reveals healthy, glowing and more youthful-looking skin

ApplicationĀ Use daily, morning and/or evening. After cleansing, wipe the entire face with one pad avoiding contact with eyes. Leave on or if you prefer rinse with water after approximately 5 minutes. Follow with moisturiser.


Active Ingredients:

Zelens PHA+ Bio-Peel contains a unique formula combining polyhydroxy acids (PHA) with alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA). Pre-soaked resurfacing facial pads are infused with a blend of four different hydroxy acids.

Polyxydroxy acids (PHA)
Polyhydroxy acids (PHA) are the next generation of hydroxy acids. They are natural, safe and non-irritating. PHA enhance exfoliation of stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin). A significant advantage of PHA is the fact that their large molecular size allows slower topical penetration. Thus, these acids can be used for the exfoliation of sensitive skin without side effects. Zelens uses lactobionic polyhydroxy acid, which has strong hydrating properties. By binding atmospheric water lactobionic acid is forming a natural gel-film that gives hydration, plumpness and smoothness to the skin. Lactobionic acid demonstrates excellent antioxidant properties and helps prevent skin damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. It also has a capacity to remove excess dangerous metal molecules.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA)
Zelens uses two bio-available AHA: lactic acid (produced by fermentation of sugar) and citric acid (derived from citrus fruits). AHA promote exfoliation and thus stimulate skin renewal. Lactic acid is used in two forms: pure lactic acid and sodium lactate (sodium salt of lactic acid). Sodium lactate acts as an exfoliant but it is also a very effective natural moisturiser that helps adjust the pH of the skin.

Beta hydroxy acids (BHA)
Unlike alpha hydroxy acids, there is only one beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid. Salicylic acid gently exfoliates the skin and helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This acid is an effective peeling agent at much lower concentrations compared to AHA (as little as 1/5 of the concentration of glycolic acid). Salicylic acid is able to penetrate the oily material blocking pores and thus it effectively cleans the pores and helps reduce their appearance. Salicylic acid is used in the treatment of acne due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties.

You get a package of 50 pads for $95. Not exactly cheap. These have been on my wishlist forever as they are a Caroline Hirons favorite. That usually makes me want to try something. I like the texture of the pad, it’s not too rough and feels just right. Some of these types of pre-soaked pads can be a bit rough. The pads are not sopping wet & they were a little on the dry side. They were wet but I had a hard time using it on both my face an neck. I was able to fully coat my face but then it was dry on my neck. If I turned the slab of pads over everyday it seemed to keep the fluid going between top to bottom better instead of just keeping the bottom pads saturated only. Or I could use two pads-one for my face and one for my neck. At $95 for 50 that was pretty pricey to do. These pads need more juice in the container to get a good saturated application. I really prefer a bottle of toner to a pre-soaked pad for that reason. Pads always get dry and never have enough in them, plus pre-soaked is always pricier than a bottle of toner.

I love the combination of acids. I find the formulas that use more than one acid really tend to work better for me. I love PHAs as they are more gentle and less drying than AHAs. Lactic acid is one of my favorite AHAs as well because it’s more gentle. Add a touch of BHA and you have a well rounded acid pad minus glycolic acid. Dr Lens doesn’t like glycolic acid so you’ll never see it in his line. I find it harsher than the other AHA versions. Overall I loved the acid combination which should be gentle and able to be used daily in theory. Acid toners are more gentle than acid serums. Most are less concentrated than serums. I get a more gentle peel with a daily acid toner versus the serums. An acid serum can sensitize my skin faster than an acid toner.

These pads do contain alcohol. A lot of these types of pads do. I’m not a big alcohol fan but again Caroline Hirons favorite and I love Zelens so I had to try this. Some alcohols in formulas don’t bother me, it really depends which alcohol they used and how much of it. I know SD 40 Alcohol dries my skin into a winkled raisin and makes it red so I stay away from that one. Denatured alcohol which is the common one in products like this is hit or miss for me. Totally depends which one they used.

Why do companies put alcohol in their formulas? Multiple reasons. It dries the product quickly on your skin once applied and can make the products feel lighter. It can also help make oilier skins feel like they got rid of some oil which is appealing. Some companies use it to preserve formulas. A lot of companies use alcohol to help the other ingredients penetrate the skin better by stripping that first layer off. My guess is that’s the main reason it’s in this formula. To help the acids penetrate better. The drag about alcohol in formulations like this is that it can be very drying and irritating. Add on some acids and retinol at night and you’re officially irritating and drying your skin out daily. Whether or not your skin can take it depends on your skin.

This product actually smells like rubbing alcohol that’s how strong it smells. Not like a full blown bottle of rubbing alcohol but it’s very very noticeable. Some pads like this have alcohol but you can’t smell it as much. I did power through and was able to almost use this daily until it was gone but towards the end it was hard and I had to skip days due to the effects of the alcohol on my skin. This product is better for use as a non-daily exfoliator, maybe 1-2 times a week. I don’t see how skin could tolerate twice a day use from this unless you’re not sensitive to alcohol at all. So that’s really the only negative about the pad besides the amount of juice in the package. Otherwise I love the combination of acids. It’s a shame the alcohol takes away from what could be a fabulous product.


Aqua (Water), Alcohol Denat., Propylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Glycerin, Sodium Lactate, Salicylic Acid, Lactobionic Acid, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Parfum (Fragrance), Disodium EDTA, Linalool.

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