Glossier’s Solution, My Problem

It’s rare that I test a Glossier product and don’t love it. In fact, it’s only happened once before, with the original Priming Moisturizer, which made my skin break out. But here I am, about to tell you why Glossier’s newest skincare product, Solution, actually caused huge problems for my skin.

Solution is a liquid exfoliator made to help those with acne. Its potent formula contains a trio of acids: alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) to chemically exfoliate your skin’s surface, beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), which helps to unclog pores, and polyhydroxy acid (PHA) to increase potency. Unlike a manual exfoliator which scrubs at the surface of your skin, a liquid exfoliator like Solution uses the chemicals to gently rid your skin of dead cells to reveal smoother, brighter skin. Glossier claims that after a month of “daily use, expect cleared acne and blackheads, smaller pores, and reduced redness. Skin’s texture will be smoother and softer, and the fabled glow of balanced, healthy skin will be in full force.”

Now, in retrospect, as someone who no longer suffers from acne on a regular basis, perhaps I shouldn’t have even tested the product. I kept this diary for over three weeks, recording my thoughts on my skin on Solution in real time. 

Day 1

It’s here! I eagerly open the package and marvel at the beautiful pink bottle. After a rigorous double-cleanse with my Milky Jelly and La Roche Posay Mela-D, I use Solution for the first time.

Initial thoughts: it has a nice, light scent and tingles slightly. I like products that tingle; it makes me feel like they’re working. My hope is that this product will be able to help with my enlarged, clogged pores on my nose and generally-shiny T-Zone. Other than that, my skin is pretty much in the clear (LOL) as it is!

Week 1

My skin is going through the detox phase, meaning it’s going to get slightly worse before it gets better. I have a few small blemishes and my skin is dryer than usual, peeling a bit. I liken this to a snake shedding its skin.

Week 2

My skin still seems to be purging, but it’s weird, because I really didn’t think my skin had this much to purge. I’ve developed larger, more painful acne around my jawline and chin, much like the cystic acne I had in my earlier 20s. I also have a few smaller zits on my cheeks, which never happens. It’s all making me very self-conscious and it’s definitely unpleasant.

Week 3

I’ve decided to stop using Solution to see if my skin goes back to normal. Call me vain, but after years of suffering from horrible acne and a lot of hard work to get to the almost-perfect skin I’m now used to, I’m not willing to risk it for this new product.

Week 4

Save for a lingering zit and a new acne scar on my jawline (awesome), my skin is almost completely clear again. I’ve changed nothing except for removing Solution from my routine, which confirms my suspicion that it was the cause of my recent skincare woes.


Some people are really loving Solution, and some people, myself and a few other Glossier Reps included, would qualify their Solution experience in the not-great to terrible end of the spectrum. Would I ever try it again? Highly doubtful. Do I recommend it? No. It made my skin worse than it’s been in years, and I saw zero improvement whatsoever. Does this mean it won’t work for you? Of course not. But I’m never going to lie to you about products that not only don’t work, but have adverse effects on my skin.

If you do try Solution, leave me a comment or email me and let me know how it goes for you!

*While I am a Glossier representative, all opinions and experiences recorded here are my own

[Photo courtesy of Man Repeller]

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