The Ordinary Peeling Solution Review
In my mind the word chemical peel is inextricably tied to a vision of Samantha from Sex in the City making a young girl scream when emerging from the dermatologist after a chemical peel because her face is a red, splotchy mess. Later she attends a party in full funeral garb with mourning veil so no one else has to witness the horror of her facial complexion. So I was hoping for something a little more mild for my first chemical peel experience and The Ordinary did not disappoint.
Chemical exfoliation has changed my skin for the better versus the physical exfoliators I used daily and loved for the tactile sensation. It was hard to break the habit because of the satisfaction of scrubbing little beads or small granules across your face. It feel great but it wasn't great for my skin and I stopped when I realized how irritating it was. I'm cautious when it comes to adding new things into my skincare routine to make sure they don't irritate my skin or cause more harm than good.
After reading gushing reviews from people of various ages and skin types on The Ordinary's website I added the peeling solution to my order. A short description pulled from the product description online: This treatment exfoliates at multiple levels in the skin to fight acne and restore an even, radiant tone. Who wouldn't want that? In this product the formulation of acids is 30% AHA and 2% BHA. I'm not as experienced comparing AHA with BHA so I wasn't sure what the difference would be in terms of results. Through my extensive research, reading articles by people who know more than me, on a very basic level AHA mostly works on the surface and BHA works on the surface and below to prevent pesky skin care issues like blemishes and dullness.
To keep any skin freak outs to a minimum I abstained from any exfoliation on the day of so the peel could get rid of any dead skin cells. The color is a reddish purple in the bottle and I thought it might look like blood when applied. I read the directions several times to make sure I didn't unconsciously do something wrong thus creating chaos on my face. I applied a very thin layer for exactly 10 minutes, the very precise time stated several times on the bottle, and washed off immediately. When first applied I could tell my skin was a little distressed with some minor burning in places but the sensation faded a minute after application and didn't increase. So no skin panic attack yet. The peel doesn't dry out and stays at a slightly sticky or tacky consistency. Overall it was a fairly painless process. It looked like I had a mild sunburn on my face when applied.
I had some little patches of redness after rinsing but nothing compared to the all over redness with the peel on my face. I didn't use my nighttime dose BHA exfoliant like I normally would and just went straight to moisturizer after washing and drying my face. Immediately afterwards I could tell my skin was smoother to the touch. It felt a little sensitive but I expected that. I tried to keep any additional irritation to a minimum.
When I woke up I was surprised to see no residual redness. I'm always worried about adverse reactions to my skin because it is so sensitive. It felt very soft to the touch and I made sure to moisturize and apply my daily SPF because another warning from the package was increased sensitivity to the sun. I'm interested to see if the chemical peel will speed up the turnover of some of the blemishes on my forehead and one giant pimple next to my chin that popped up overnight before the peel. So far I like this peeling solution as another chemical exfoliation weapon to add to my repertoire. If I wasn't worried about chemical interactions I would have done a moisturizing mask afterwards but wanted to keep any possible irritants to a minimum. Maybe next time!
One day later my skin is still smooth and the angry pimple is almost gone.
I would recommend this to anyone who wants to add an extra exfoliation treatment to their skin care routine. For under 10 bucks you have almost nothing to lose. All of the small breakouts on my forehead are almost gone and the giant pimple next to my chin is going down considerably. My skin texture has improved and my overall complexion is more even. No crazy, dramatic results just softer skin and helping pimple recede or dry out so I will keep using weekly.
Update 5/02: I've been using the peeling solution weekly and it is still working wonders! Every time a pesky pimple pops up I know the peeling solution will take care of it. I've expanded the places I use it to my decolletage and the backs of my arms where I have keratosis pilaris lurking and my skin texture has improved in both of these areas also. I don't get many breakouts on my chest but the few I do have will clear up quickly now. As for the KP it is a little too early to call on long term results but short term it really gets rid of a lot of the bumps and excess skin build up.