A'Pieu Aqua Peeling Cotton Swab (Intensive)There were many "Firsts" that came with buying and trying the A'Pieu Aqua Peeling Cotton Swab (Intensive). First time using a chemical exfoliator for the face. First time using an A’PIEU product. First time trying an AHA & BHA swab. And might I dare say, first time I experienced such drastic overnight results.
A'Pieu's description (translated from those pretty Korean product infographics):
The AHA 8% + BHA combo works as a peeling essence to remove rough and thick dead skin for smoother, cleaner, and brighter skin. The sterilized cotton swab is made with 100% pure cotton and has a long handle for easier application and grip. The cotton bud is 5x larger than typical cotton swabs, which makes it quicker to applying the essence to the entire face with just a few swipes.
AHA 8% - Effectively removes dead skin
BHA - Removes dirt and sebum from pores
Aloe Vera Extract 10% - Soothes sensitive and irritated skin
Purslane Extract - Helps skin irritation
Depending on the skin’s condition, use 2-3 times a week as the first step in your nightly routine after cleansing.
*Must use sunscreen if used in the morning.
Use the cotton swab and swipe across the entire face, moving from the center of the face outwards. Avoid the eye and mouth areas.
Do not wash off. Allow the essence to soak into the skin. Then follow with normal skincare routine.
Slight tingling/stinging sensation is normal since this has a strong concentration of AHA. If persistent, wash off immediately.
A’PIEU’s Korean site: 1,000 won
RoseRoseShop: 1,000 won
MASKSHEETS: USD$ 1.50
oo35mm: USD $2.99
Cosmetic-Love: USD $3.12
Yesstyle: USD $3.90
Right out of the package, I was shocked by the size of the swab. I bought this item purely on a whim and didn’t read up on it after I had it in my hands. The cotton swab is huge and hefty! The whole stick is about the length of my palm and the actual cotton portion is almost as big as my thumb. The cotton swab is one-sided and is more of an ovular shape than a typical spherical one, hence the bud itself is flat on two sides. (Think a paddle shape.) All those characteristics seem have made it easier to apply an even layer of product. I also like how using a cotton swab as the distribution vehicle allows for less contamination, i.e. don’t have to use my hands for applying.
There isn’t much extra essence in the package like with other one-time-use skincare goods. Somehow, the comically large cotton swab effectively holds a ton of serum. There is more than enough in it to swipe the entire face twice without the cotton feeling like it has dried out. The essence has a slight fruity acidic smell, kind of like a weak apple cider vinegar scent.
My face got slightly pinkish and a little tingling after swiping. But it didn’t linger. It was really satisfying to see the dirt and change of color on the cotton bud after I swiped it across my face. When the essence isn’t completely dry, there is a slight tackiness. Immediately after it dries though, my face had an instant smoother feel. It even felt slicker as I applied my moisturizer on afterward. I couldn’t tell for sure then if it was because a layer of dead skin was truly removed or if there is some kind of silicone in the serum (I haven’t found any English ingredients list online nor does the packaging have any.)
My face also looked softer and smoother the next morning. When I washed my face with cleanser, the smooth feeling lasted! That was what felt different from anything I have ever tried before. Many a times I would apply products at night and wake up to my skin looking nice because skin just naturally repairs itself overnight. The same effects usually do not last past a morning cleanse; it might still look good, but not as nice as it did pre-wash.
The real deal breaker came when I put on a foundation I have that is prone to catch onto any skin textural issues and is very matte. I was shocked by how smooth my base makeup looked. I had literally never experienced that finish with that particular foundation before because, let’s face it, my exfoliation game is very weak. I was just about to give up on the foundation altogether because the skincare I had didn’t give me the right skin condition for it. Lo and behold, there wasn’t a prominent layer of dry skin or flakiness to be found amidst the layer of base product. Call me impressed!
I would say the effects lasted only a 2-3 days max, which seems to align with A’Pieu’s suggestion of using the product 2-3 times a week. With that considering, it would get pretty expensive to use this as my sole exfoliator. 2-3 times a week * 52 weeks is 104-156 cotton swabs a year. Even if I could get it at the lowest price point, that would be $100+ for exfoliating alone! Although I would repurchase this again, it would only be for special occasions or if I really can't find a better chemical exfoliator that is more cost effective per use.