These Two Products Are the Holy Grail of At-Home Peels

at-home peels

I hate to say this, but I think some of the more well-known, glitzier skincare brands have been playing us all like chumps. Let me explain. Before I started working at Spa Week Daily I was convinced that expensive products in fancy little packages were absolutely the best solution to my skincare problems. I failed to realize that while they promised effective results they never really explained what was in them or how they worked. While I should have been researching ingredients and making sure these products could actually deliver, I was distracted by their pretty packaging. Well played.

By not doing thorough research, I was essentially throwing my money away. Sure, I was raking in Sephora VIB Rouge points like a boss, but to what end? Certainly not clear, bright skin. Prior to working here, my dermatologist had me on three prescription topical creams and a blood pressure medicine to help with my oil and acne. This exhausting regimen was barely working, but I figured if I held out long enough maybe my skin would give. No such luck.

But guess who hasn’t had to touch that stuff in months? Sadly, again — money down the drain, but thanks to two highly effective products packed with my favorite ingredients, doctor-prescribed skin care is no longer part of my beauty routine. Peter Thomas Roth’s 40% Triple Acid Peel ($88) and Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads ($45) are like a gift from god for super oily skin. Now that they’ve made it much less of an issue for me, I think back on all the time I wasted blotting away oil when I could’ve been doing things like making duck faces and taking flawless selfies. It’s a shame, really.

So let’s get into it. What is it about these products that has skyrocketed them to the top of my must-have skin care list? Let’s start with the Triple Acid Peel. As given by the name, this professional-grade peel utilizes three highly potent acids — TCA, glycolic acid and salicylic acid. TCA (trichloroacetic acid) works to reduce the appearance of acne and acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. It also helps to even skin tone and hyperpigmentation. Glycolic and Salicylic acid improve the appearance of wrinkles and uneven skin tone while exfoliating away dead skin cells to make skin look radiant and shrink pores. This peel comes 12 to a pack for once a week use. After applying to skin and leaving for two minutes simply rinse with water to neutralize the peel and blamo — gorgeous skin.


It always feels like my skin is actively fighting against me, unwilling to cooperate or behave. I finally brought the big guns with Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads. This gentle daily peel is packed with acids, vitamins, and botanical extracts. Together these ingredients exfoliate, resurface and clarify skin while minimizing pores, fine lines, and uneven skin tone.

It’s easy for me to get addicted to the immediate results of a peel. I always want another hit but I know better than to overdo it. Luckily for me, Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads are gentle enough for daily use. In fact, they recommend using it twice daily on oily skin. Score. This product is suitable for all skin types. The brand recommends that people with dry skin use it once or twice a week before building up to more frequent use and that people with normal skin use it three times a week to start.

I’m always trying to expand my knowledge base about skin care so I reached out to Peter Thomas Roth to ask him about these products and their powerful ingredients. Check out what the man behind the brand had to say about my new favorite at-home peels and their formulas.

What are Glycolic and Salicylic Acid?

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid while salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid. Alpha hydroxy acids have exfoliating properties and are generally used for anti-aging to resurface skin and smooth lines. Beta hydroxy acid, specifically salicylic acid, is used for problem skin and to help resurface dead surface skin cells and to help clear out pores.

How do they work and what do they do when applied to skin?

Glycolic acid works to break chemical bonds between dead surface skin cells creating a fresh new surface, more free of dullness, fine lines and wrinkles. Salicylic acid works similarly in helping shed dead surface cells however it targets cells in the hair follicle where acne blemishes begin. Salicylic acid clears out pore clogging debris to help prevent congestion while also resurfacing the top layer so we use it in many anti-aging products as well.

What type of skin are they suited for?

Glycolic acid and salicylic acid are suitable for all skin types, with the exception of at higher concentrations. At certain concentrations, both acids are for professional use only. At that point, an aesthetician or medical professional can advise if they are suitable for your skin type.

What type of skin is the 40% Triple Acid Peel suited for?

I specifically added soothing and anti-irritation ingredients to allow 40% Triple Acid Peel to be suitable for all skin types. As with any product though, try with caution and patch test.

Are there any ingredients people should stay away from when it comes to anti-aging?

It depends on your skin, each person’s skin can have its own sensitivity to ingredients, including, but not limited to retinol, AHAs and BHAs, but every person should patch test, especially if they have a history of sensitivity. If you have a medical condition, are pregnant or nursing, you should consult a medical professional prior to using any product.

Tell me about the ingredients in your Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads.

Formulated with glycolic acid and lactic acid (alpha hydroxy acids) as well as salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid), these acids works synergistically to provide anti-aging benefits such as visibly minimizing pores, fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. The Peel Pads also contain amino acids which are more reparative and protective where AHAs and BHAs exfoliate more aggressively. They’ve also been formulated to fight free radicals with green tea extract and vitamins C, D and E while chamomile comforts and soothes skin. All of these ingredients are delivered via soft pillow pads, one side is smooth while the other side is a textured cushion which provides additional manual exfoliation as you sweep it over the skin.

Why are they so effective?

Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads are for daily use for cumulative benefits rather than an aggressive single use anti-aging peel. The fact that you’re using it at a lower concentration on a daily basis will increase benefits. The 20% complex is highly effective while still being non-irritating.

How can someone effectively use and get the most out of the 40% Triple Acid Peel or Un-Wrinkle Peel?

They can be used together! Use Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads daily for cumulative maintenance and complement results with 40% Triple Acid Peel, use once a week for a noticeable boost. The active ingredients levels in the latter are higher, so remember — just once a week. Both peels are neutralized by rinsing off with water.

Is there anything else you think people should know about anti-aging products and at-home peels?

When it comes to anti-aging products you should use a multi-prong approach. Using different active ingredients can be beneficial because you’re addressing signs of aging from multiple angles. For example, you’ll get the most efficacy if you combine a cleanser containing natural extracts, a peel containing AHAs and BHAs, a serum containing peptides and top it off with a moisturizer containing retinol. Especially if you’re plateauing with your results—mix it up!

Thanks Peter!

For more of our favorite skin care products head to our Beauty section

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