My Fave Way To Use Glycolic + Salicylic Acids Together

by Gio

nip + fab glycolic fix overnight purifying gel

Is it weird that I bought Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel because I have a massive girlboss crush on the founder, Maria Hatzistefanis?

It all started when I picked up her book, “How To Be An Overnight Success.” The hard work and dedication she consistently put in for 18 years to make her brands, Rodial and Nip + Fab, an overnight success (yes, it takes that long!) inspired me so much, I just had to give something back and buy her products.

I settled onto Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel because it has TWO of my fave exfoliants: glycolic + salicylic acids. If you have combo skin like me, this is winning the skincare jackpot. Here’s why:

Key Ingredients In Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is the smallest member of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) family, a group of exfoliants. They work by dissolving the glue that holds skin cells together, so they can slough off.

You see, those dead cells on the surface of your skin are old. They had to put up with the blistering sun, cold winds, pollution and all kinds of attacks from the environment. In the process, they became rough to the touch, got a little darker and lost their glow.

When you give them the boot, you expose a new layer of cells that are still soft, glowy and even-toned. Sun damage, like fine lines and dark spots, slowly fade away and skin looks younger and brighter.

Plus, glycolic acid goes one step further: it hydrates skin to boot. This makes it the best exfoliant for dry + sun damaged skin.

P.S. The small size of glycolic acid makes it the most effective exfoliant in the AHAs family. But also the most irritating. If you’re new to it, use NIP + FAB Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel only a couple of nights a week.

Related: The Complete Guide To Glycolic Acid: What It Is & How To Use It

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a must for oily, acne-prone skin – or anyone with blackheads.

This oil-soluble exfoliant is a member of the Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) family. Like the AHAs family, it works by dissolving the glue that holds skin cell together, so they can slough off the surface of the skin.

BUT, because it can penetrate through oils, salicylic acid is able to get deep inside the pores and remove all the crap – think excess sebum, dead cells and dirt – that’s clogging them up and giving you blackheads, whiteheads and pimples.

It doesn’t stop at this either. Salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the redness and irritation that comes along with pimples.

I often get asked if you can use glycolic acid + salicylic acid together to get the best of both worlds. Usually, I’m not a fan. When you mix a GA exfoliant with a SA exfoliant, you risk overexfoliating your skin. No bueno.

But in NIP + FAB Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel, these two exfoliants are already formulated to work well together. You know what that means? This time, you can indeed get the best of both worlds without going over the top with exfoliation (unless you use it all the time – then you can irritate your skin!).

Related: Why Salicylic Acid Is The Key To Spot-Free Skin


Know the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none?” Well, niacinamide is a Jack of all trades – BUT it has mastered them all.

Studies show this from of vitamin B3 can do EVERYTHING for your skin:

  • It reduces water loss, keeping your skin hydrated
  • It brightens skin, fading away dark spots and discolourations
  • It helps fight premature wrinkles
  • It soothes irritations and rosacea
  • It helps treat acne

It doesn’t matter what skin type or concerns you have, adding niacinamide to your skincare routine can only do your skin good.

I’m so happy to see it’s the second ingredient in Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel. Well done, Maria!

Related: Why You Should Add Niacinamide To Your Skincare Routine ASAP

Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use & Opinion

If it wasn’t clear, I’m in love with this formula: glycolic acid + salicylic acid + niacinamide in ONE product? Yes, baby!

But I do have one small criticism: remove the fragrance! I know it makes it smell like a bunch of freshly-cut flowers but it can be irritating and has no place in skincare.

(For the record, this exfoliant didn’t irritate my skin. But if your is sensitive, you may want to avoid it, just in case).

Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the texture. Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel is a lightweight, non-sticky gel that absorbs immediately.

I admit I was worried about pilling. I had checked the reviews online before I bought it and quite a few mentioned the gel makes their moisturiser ball up.

I didn’t experience anything like this. Phew! But I’m a minimalist. I don’t believe skin needs ALL the ingredients and I can’t be bothered to put 10+ layers on my skin.

On exfoliation nights, I just cleanse, apply Nip + Fab Glycolic Acid Overnight Purifying Gel and finish off with either squalane oil or rosehip oil.

If your skincare routine is more complicated than this, you may experience some peeling. If that happens, check out my tips on how to deal with it here.

When I wake up in the morning, my skin looks so much better. The texture’s smoother, my complexion has a dewy glow an my whole face is just softer. Plus, the gel gets rid of the blackheads that stubbornly insist to pop up on my nose (it’s the oiliest area on my face).

Who needs two exfoliants anymore? If you got both oily and dry patches, get yourself a tube of Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel and call it a night. 🙂

Available at: $14.99/£14.95 at Feel Unique and Ulta


Ingredients: Aqua (Water/Eau), Niacinamide, Polyquaternium-37, Glycolic Acid, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Salicylic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Parfum (Fragrance), 1-Methylhydantoin-2-Imide, Bisabolol, Disodium EDTA, Benzyl Benzoate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Geraniol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citral, Linalool

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Jill September 26, 2018 - 2:32 am

Can you use this during the day so that you can use your retinoid at night?

Gio September 26, 2018 - 7:10 pm

Jill, yes you can. Just make sure to pile up the sunscreen afterwards.

Tatiana September 28, 2018 - 6:18 pm

So this product is basically a Framboo Glycolic serum in a cheaper price?
Can use the ordinary niacinamide 10% + zinc with Framboo?

Gio October 4, 2018 - 7:21 pm

Tatiana, I wouldn’t say they’re exact dupes. Framboo has more antioxidants than this. But if the exfoliating benefits you’re after, this does the job just as well. Yes, you can use them together.

Caroline November 12, 2018 - 10:14 pm

Purchased this after reading your review a while vack and allthough i am only two weeks in it seems to be do wonders for my acne! Yay! I am following your tip on just adding some squalane after on my exfoliating night but i find that i still feel a bit dry- is it ok to add some CeraVe Facial Moisturing Lotion as well? Or will it be overkill on the niacinamide??? Thanks so much in adcance, i love your blog!!! x

Gio November 23, 2018 - 1:13 pm

Caroline, so glad to hear it’s doing wonders for you too. It’s wonderful, isn’t it?

Yes, you can add CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion before squalane oil.

Phuc February 22, 2019 - 8:45 pm

Hallo, can i use this after rosehip oil? I have a feeling this peel off my face if i add rosehip oil after. Thank you .

Gio February 28, 2019 - 5:35 pm

Phuc, you can try and see how it works that way. But as a rule, it’s always better to apply exfoliants after cleansing.


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