Review: Malin and Goetz Resurfacing Glycolic Pads (#1 For Sensitive Skin?)

Typically with sensitive skin it is very difficult to use products containing glycolic acids, lactic acid, and retinol, without a certain degree of redness, burning, and irritation to the skin.

In discovering Malin and Goetz’s Resurfacing Glycolic Pads, for the first time I was able to use a product containing this ingredient safely, effectively, and with no irritation to the skin, and certainly wanted to recommend it as an option for those struggling with topical conditions or sensitivities seeking options for deep exfoliation and corresponding benefits.

The pads are the equivalent of a very gentle DIY chemical peel, and are suitable for all skin types.

The company is famed for products suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive skin types, including those with topical conditions. One co-founder who suffers from personal topical skin conditions and sensitivities offers himself as a personal tester for every product and its safety and efficacy prior to launch, to ensure it can be used for those with sensitive skin safely, while providing all of the same benefits of products suited for more resilient skin types.

This review will cover some main product features, some positives and negatives to bear in mind prior to purchase, a breakdown on glycolic acid and corresponding topical benefits, and a final verdict, in order to make a more informed purchasing decision prior to any point of sale.

Malin+ Goetz Resurfacing Glycolic Pads
Image Credit: Malin+Goetz

Review: Malin and Goetz Resurfacing Glycolic Pads (#1 For Sensitive Skin?) 1

Review: Malin and Goetz Resurfacing Glycolic Pads

Malin and Goetz’s Resurfacing Glycolic Pads contain 50 pads per container, and are multi-use products designed to provide deep exfoliating benefits and anti-aging benefits to the skin.

In terms of exfoliating, the skin is left detoxified and dirt, oil, and debris are removed from the skin, resulting in a minimized appearance of pore size, and a refreshed aesthetic. The skin is left feeling and looking soft and smooth even after first time use. In terms of anti-aging benefits, the glycolic acid contained in the formulation helps erase signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, and even helps decrease acne scarring and signs of hyperpigmentation.

With 10% glycolic, it is comparable to an at-home facial peel, and can be used with any skin type, even sensitive skin.

If you’re looking for other at-home skincare treatments, Dr. Jart makes some amazing sheet masks we reviewed here.

I experienced benefits including brightening, more evened texture, a more radiant and youthful aesthetic, and minimized appearance of pore size. I also noticed my skin appeared more radiant and felt extremely soft following use. If you have never used the product before, it’s important to only leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse off immediately. While some with more resilient skin use the product as an overnight treatment, the skin needs to build up a tolerance prior to using the product this way, so it’s very important to pace use and start slowly.

You can use the product 1-3 times per week, but generally once per week is sufficient. You may also be able to eliminate the need for other products, such as weekly scrubs or harsh peels. While those with sensitive skin can use this product, it is very important to bear in mind that many will still be too sensitive to use this ingredient in general, and while you can certainly return it upon reaction, spot testing is also advisable.

Additionally, it is very important to use an SPF product (such as the Malin and Goetz SPF 30 Moisturizer, a face mask with an SPF, or a foundation containing SPF), following the use of any glycolic product.

Malin+ Goetz Resurfacing Glycolic Pads 2
Image Credit: Malin+Goetz

Malin and Goetz Resurfacing Glycolic Pads: The Ingredient

Glycolic acid is part of the group of active compounds known as AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) are found in sugar cane. It contains very small molecules that are able to penetrate the skin easily and deeply, often making it a great and safer option in comparison to heavier chemical peels that can damage the skin. Here is a look at some key benefits with topical use of the ingredient in the exfoliating pads:

  • Deep exfoliation benefits, detoxifies the skin
  • Improves the appearance of dull skin, restores a radiant glow, helps improve the appearance of dark spots
  • Dissolves dead skin cells, removing whiteheads, breakouts and blackheads
  • Anti-acne benefits, treats dead skin cells, cystic acne, sebum, and acne treatment
  • Minimizes the appearance of pore size
  • Improves collagen production and elasticity
  • Anti-aging benefits: reduces signs of fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots and pigmentation
  • Restores healthy PH balance to the skin
  • Brightens skin and restores radiance in dull or sallow skin
  • Works very quickly, in comparison to other ingredients and formulations
  • Evens out texture of the skin and plumps the skin to create a more youthful texture and complexion
  • Helps other products absorb better following use (i.e. creams, serums)

How To Use Malin and Goetz Resurfacing Glycolic Pads

From the manufacturer,” At night, smooth a pad over clean, dry skin, avoiding your eye and lip area. Leave on for 30 minutes, then rinse with water to neutralize. After three weeks of use, pending tolerance, the treatment can be left on overnight. Use 1-3 times per week or as recommended by a dermatologist. The following morning, apply an SPF to protect renewed skin.”

For first time users, I would recommend trying the product out for 15-20 minutes. I would also recommend waiting some time before trying overnight usage to ensure the skin has developed a safe tolerance the ingredients, as you would not want to use this product as a first-time user overnight, even with resilient skin. If you are very sensitive, it is also advisable to spot test prior to use. Always use an SPF product with the use of any glycolic product.

Malin+ Goetz Resurfacing Glycolic Pads & Scrub
Image Credit: Malin+Goetz

Malin and Goetz Resurfacing Glycolic Pads Pros & Cons

The main positives with use of these pads were the skincare benefits experiences corresponding with daily topical use, and the fact that it was even possible to use them with sensitive skin. In terms of negatives, while the price point is high, the product does offer longevity as once per week use is generally sufficient. The main downside is one other users have experienced, which is a general irritation and allergy to the ingredient itself, and a topical irritation following use. With that in mind, here are some key pros and cons to bear in mind prior to purchase:


  • At 10% glycolic acid per pad, the formulation has a slightly higher concentration than most competitors, without being overly harsh on the skin
  • Product can be used for very sensitive skin for 10-20 minutes and washed off
  • Over time and after using the product for shorter periods, the product can be used overnight (if you are very sensitive, you may want to opt to continue to just use the product for 20 minute periods and rinse off, but if you have normal or resilient skin, you will likely love benefits of overnight use)
  • Works like a gentle at-home chemical peel
  • Can be used safely with any skin type, even sensitive skin and topical conditions (but spot testing is still important prior to use)
  • Multi-use benefits: product provides deep exfoliation benefits as well as anti-aging benefits
  • Anti-aging benefits include improvements in the signs of fine lines, wrinkles, feathering, deeper set lines, acne scarring, and sun spots
  • Can eliminate the need for other products such as anti-aging treatments and weekly exfoliating products
  • Did not irritate, burn, sting, or breakout my sensitive and acne-prone skin
  • Helps to minimize the appearance of pores
  • Helps treat dull and sallow skin, restoring radiance
  • Helps to minimize the appearance of pore size
  • Helps to even out texture of the skin and even out the surface
  • Glycolic ingredient used in product is physician-grade
  • Helps promote collagen production, firmness in skin, and increases elasticity
  • Removes all dead skin cells and debris to reveal fresh and soft skin that’s left feeling “baby soft” following use
  • Can be used about 1-3 times per week, depending on preference and tolerance to product
  • Wonderful product for both men and women, and the product is enjoyed equally by both
  • Much less irritating and gentler than other products and formulations in the category, and much safer for use in those with more sensitive skin
  • Results are visible after first-time use
  • Great for combination or oily skin but also acts as a humectant (draws water into skin) for those who are dry
  • Skin feels refreshed and smoothed following application
  • Some users claim this product can help clear up acne and treat breakouts
  • Product longevity: while it is not cheap, generally once per week use is sufficient, so the product does offer great value, and has a good shelf life, without the pads drying out over time
  • Safe for use on darker skin tones, as long as concentrations are not too high (which can cause pigmentation)


  • At $52, the product is certainly not cheap, however compared to the amount of pads provided and the product longevity, you can certainly expect to have the product for many months and obtain benefits with use for quite some time
  • For those with extremely sensitive skin, the product may still be too harsh on the skin to use, so spot testing first is quite important, as with any topical product
  • Following use, it is extremely important to use an SPF product (irrespective of season) to protect the skin from damage, as surface layers are newly exposed, which could create damage upon sun exposure
  • Upon first time use, the product may burn, this does not necessarily mean you have a product allergy, and may be a normal reaction to first-time use of this ingredient
  • For some, the ingredient may simply be too harsh for the skin, and even with a gentler formulation, redness, irritation, and breakout may occur (you may elect to return the product and receive a full refund in this case)
  • It is important to avoid glycolic products if you are using any other products containing Vitamin A or AHAs, which can result in skin “frosting,” a skin crusting reaction that can take days to heal

Malin and Goetz’s Money-Back Guarantee

Especially considering the nature of the product and the ingredients it contains, which some can be sensitive to, it may be important to consider the return and exchange policy.

The manufacturer, Malin and Goetz, has a strong return and exchange policy that honors full refunds upon dissatisfaction or allergy, and this policy favors the consumer, both new and returning, if there are any issues or problems.

If you are dissatisfied with the use of the product, or if it does not work for your skin to provide suitable skincare benefits with respect to anti-aging or exfoliation, or you experience any product allergy, reactivity, or sensitivity to the formulation, you may elect to return it at any time.

Malin+ Goetz Resurfacing Glycolic Pads 3
Image Credit: Malin+Goetz

Review: Malin and Goetz Resurfacing Glycolic Pads (#1 For Sensitive Skin?) 1

Malin and Goetz Resurfacing Glycolic Pads: Worth It?

Malin and Goetz’s Resurfacing Glycolic Pads are another winning item for the brand (like the famed deodorant we recently reviewed), which boosts an excellent offering of skincare and apothecary products formulated for sensitive skin and with high quality ingredients.

Prior to trying these pads out, I was fairly certain considering my skin sensitivities the use of a glycolic formulation in any product would be an impossibility, but with this product, I experienced visible benefits and no negative skin reactivity, even upon first time use. While it took some convincing from fellow skincare junkies with sensitive skin to try these out, I was extremely pleased to try them, and would certainly recommend them if you’re seeking an anti-aging and exfoliating pad product that works for different skin types.

With that said, I cannot say I would recommend these free of any reservations. Considering the ingredient and how sensitive it can be to the skin, even the gentlest formulations can still be irritating to some, so it is always important to spot-test prior to topical application, and important to bear in mind that you may experience product reaction with topical conditions or very sensitive skin.

However, considering the generous return policy and speaking from personal experience and other testimonial of those with sensitive skin, I would still definitely recommend trying these out. If you’re like me, they likely won’t be an overnight remedy, but even using them and rinsing off after 20 minutes provides amazing benefits with use. If you have normal or resilient skin, you’ll likely love this product as both a mask/rinse option and an overnight option.




Malin + Goetz Glycolic Pads



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