REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask review

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask smells like summer. The zesty citrusy aroma reminds me of careless days spent at the beach, sipping a refreshing lemonade while gossiping with my friends.

It’s divine. And bad news for skin (anything that smells too good is). Here’s why I’m not a fan:

What’s In REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask?


Don’t be fooled by the name. REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask does NOT contain glycolic acid.

REN begs to differ. It’ll tell you the glycolic acid is in the pineapple extract. But fruit extracts have very low exfoliating powers. You know what that means? This is a lactic acid exfoliant.

Lactic acid is the gentlest member of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) family (the same family as glycolic acid). It does doubles duty:

  1. It exfoliates skin: It dissolves the glue that holds skin cells together, so they can slough off and reveal the brighter and smoother skin that was hiding underneath.
  2. It hydrates skin: It works by attracting moisture from the air into the skin.

The catch? Lactic acids works best when left on the skin for hours (especially true if you’re using them to fade away dark spots).

REN recommends you wash off the mask after a measly 10 minutes. If you have sensitive skin that can’t tolerate acids on for long or you just want a subtle glow before a special occasion, this will do.

Everyone else, you’re better off with a leave-on exfoliant. You can check out my fave picks here.

Related: Glycolic VS Lactic Acid: Which One Should You Use?


REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask is loaded with berry oils. Cranberry and black current, to be precise. Here’s what they can do for your skin:

Who knew that berries were so good for your skin, too?


So far, so good. So what’s my problem with REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask?

This stuff is loaded with citrus extracts and oils – some of the most irritating ingredients used in skincare. If you have sensitive skin, this is something you need to avoid.

I could forgive REN for adding one or two… but these many?! This is just a recipe for trouble…

So why are they here? Citrus oils and extracts have brightening properties that can give skin a subtle glow. But they’re kinda weak… Really no point in using them.

Related: 7 Natural Extracts That Can Irritate Your Skin

Struggling to find skincare products that don’t irritate your sensitive skin? Download your FREE “Skincare Ingredients To Avoid” cheatsheet to find out what the most common culprits are and cut them out of your skincare routine:


Thick, sticky gel that applies easily on the skin.


Citrusy. Zesty. Summery.

How To Use It

One or two nights a week, right after cleansing. Leave on for 10 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water.

Performance & Personal Opinion

A pale orangey-yellow in colour, REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask is surprisingly easy to remove, too. After 10 minutes, just splash water on your face and massage it off and away. Done.

REN warns the mask can tingle – and it does. I rarely experience this with exfoliants, especially one as gentle as lactic acid. I suspect that has some more to do with the irritating extracts here…

But are the results worth it? Once I took off the mask, my skin was softer and a little brighter. It’s nothing major. In 10 minutes, the mask doesn’t have the time to exfoliate much.

If you’ve got dry skin that has lost of its glow or are trying to fade away sun spots, you need to use it frequently to see results. Me? I’ll pass.

REN glycol lactic radiance renewal mask review

Who Is This For?

I don’t recommend this to anyone.

Who Is This NOT For?

I don’t recommend it to anyone, but especially not for sensitive skin. The potential irritation isn’t worth the risk considering the limited results you’ll get.


White and orange tube with a pump applicator. It’s pretty and practical.

Does REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask Live Up To Its Claims?

A potent exfoliating mask formulated to remove dead skin cells to renew the complexion. True.
It helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Any exfoliant can reduce the appearance of wrinkles. But they don’t make wrinkles smaller.

Price & Availability

$56.00/£36.00 at Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Feel Unique and Sephora

Do You Need It?

No, there are gentler and more effective options around.

Dupes & Alternatives


Aqua (Water), Polysorbate 60, Glycerin, Lecithin, Lactic Acid, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Maltodextrin, Sodium Lactate, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Passiflora Quadrangularis Fruit Extract, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Alcohol Denat., Limonene, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum* (Fragrance), Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Linalool, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Bisulfite.