Coffee Break: Peeling Solution

So I’m late to the game on this one, but The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution is awesome, especially for $7.20. I would put it as comparable to Drunk Elephant’s Babyfacial (still love it) or Sunday Riley’s Good Genes (still love it), but I use them all differently (and relatively sparingly; none of them are in my daily routine).

The Ordinary’s peeling solution is a 10-minute mask (10 minutes MAXIMUM) — it’s super super powerful, and I’ve even seen articles on how to “fix” your skin if you’ve left it on too long. If I have a few easy tasks to do before a shower I’ll slap this solution on dry skin, set the timer on my watch, and go fold some laundry or change the sheets. The solution comes out slightly red and sticky. Then I hop in the shower before the timer goes off, rinse it off my face with warm water, and go about the rest of my shower routine.

Babyfacial and Good Genes, comparatively, are MUCH more expensive — $80–$115, although you can often find both in value sets of other products from the brands). Babyfacial has a 20-minute max, so it needs a bit more time to do its work. It’s relatively gentle, though — I once accidentally left it on for 90 minutes (whoops) and didn’t suffer any negative consequences aside from a bit of stinging. (Ooh, and Sephora has a “mini” 0.5 oz. version on sale right now for $28.)

Good Genes (with lactic acid) can be used as a mask if you’ve got sensitive skin, but it’s more often used as an overnight treatment (I don’t put it on the same night as I use my retinol, though), or if it’s a wintry/work-from-home kind of day I might put it on.

All three will make your skin more sensitive to the sun, though, so — as always — protect your skin. (I’ll put some of our favorite products for sun protection below.)

The Ordinary’s peeling solution is $7.20 at Sephora and elsewhere; it’s vegan and silicone free. Read the instructions well before use; you may also want to patch test.

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Psst: Here are some of our favorite sun protection products that we’ve discussed over the years… and check out our latest discussion on our favorite sunscreens of 2021!

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