Skin Laboratory - Salicylic Acid 20% gel peel


9 reviews

88% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.3

Price: $$

Package Quality: 4.3

Price: $$


Salicylic Acid (20%), Propylene Glycol, Denatured alcohol, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth 7.

on 2/17/2014 8:07:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Green

I bought my last bottle over a year ago- I first used this to spot treat minor breakouts then later all over larger parts of my face when my acne got worse ( hormonal) - and you have to be careful with this. My skin loves BHA's and you have to work this over time. I have found it has brought some of my deep red cystic acne to a head and cleared out pores. When I stop using this, I can tell, my skin gets congested with underground cysts and the sort. I recommend this for someone looking to try a mild peel to bring out underground cysts and mild pimples.
5 stars, will rebuy.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 12/1/2013 11:13:00 AM

Age: Unknown

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Other

Eyes: Blue

Found this to be a excellent if not superior replacement for Skinceuticals 20% SM peel. Plus it's only $18.95/per oz. compared to Skinceuticals retail price of $95/oz (sold for professional use only in 2 oz bottle but obtainable off ebay). This one is in an alcohol delivery which is not the case with the Skinceuticals but IMO that makes it a more effective delivery for the BHA. I, personally, have only spot treated sebaceous hyperplasias using a Qtip once/weekly. I have no plans to use it full-face. My results are definitely more visible than my results from trying out the Skinceuticals....the SH's are flatter and smaller. And so far, there's been no frosting or burning just perhaps a bit of peeling on day 4 after the fact. I plan to increase my frequency of use during the Holidays to see what happens. My thanks to another MUA'er, grayspoole, for posting about using this peel as a spot treatment. I will update at a later date.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 5/7/2013 2:48:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I have never had a chemical peel in my life before now. I had high expectation, but I don't see results.
I ordered sallicylic acid, because I had a couple of red spots from pimples on my side cheeks and chin and for some reason they didn't fade for around a year. Sometimes I have pimples here and there, but they go away, not these. Plus, I have enlarged pores on my cheeks and blackheads here and there.
After 6 sessions with 5, 6 days break in between, the red spots have not been removed and haven't faded. All blackheads are still here. I do see that my skin started to peel and flake a little, but that's it.
I started from 1 min and it pinched horribly, but didnt get red. After six times I can keep it on the face for 4,5 min.
I will start using it and may be move on to applying two coats at a time and will see if it helps.
As far as I understand that level of PH does matter too. As I understand domestic peels are superficial, may be I need medium or deep peels, which are done at SPA's and quite pricey.
I will update on how it works when applied two layers. But for now I can't see any difference in appearance of my skin.
I will repurchase it but will move from 20% to 30% to see if it makes any difference.

Now, I can tolerate it for a longer time. After 2,3 min I don't feel any stingers and I actually apply second coat. I know it's not recommended but a couple of times I didn't even wash it off. My skin does flake noticeably, it softer, but unfortunately my red sports on the side of the cheeks are not gone at all!!!!!! This is very surprising, because I not only have done 10 or nine sessions for the whole face with 5 days break in between but also applied everyday on the sports only!!!

I also applied it two, three times on freshly appeared pimple and it was gone in a matter of days! But this red sports are really stubborn and I believe I have to try smth stronger.

As sun is getting more aggressive, because of the warm season I stopped the peeling for a while. So far I had 11, 12 sessions. I don't see any results. The red and dark spots have not gone, neither blackheads. No results at all!


I am not using this peel for around two weeks and I must admit that my red spots on the side of the cheeks did fade may be 50% but still there. I am still considering to order 30% with lower PH level, but from another company.

on 3/1/2013 1:29:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

This stuff did not get rid of my acne or improve my scars. In fact, it exacerbated both! What a total rip off. For professional results, I think that you just need to go to the professionals.

on 8/22/2012 2:42:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I am really impressed with this stuff. I`ve used it for a couple months every 5-6 days or so, and my skin tone has improved dramatically. It makes your skin look refined and toned. A small patch of melasma on the side of my cheek has faded about 50 percent as well. At first, I noticed I would peel a couple days after a 10 min application, but after using it for 8 weeks, I no longer peel. I think my skin has reached a plateau, and there is no more dead skin to slough off. If your`e thinking about getting a chemical peel at a salon or dermatologists office, I`d definitely recommend trying this first. I can only imagine what they charge for a peel ( that gives you the same results as this does) Follow the directions, and do a patch test on your forearm first, and then use it one a week. Most people seem to only handle about 5 min, but i`ve been using retin a for 10 years, so my skin is used to harsh chemicals so to speak, so I leave it on a bit longer. They say to dab it on your skin with a cotton pad or fan brush but I simply apply it with my finger so not to waste any of the product. It will sting, burn and itch for the first 2 min, but that subsides after about the 4th application. I`m actually surprised there aren`t more reviews for this product. I guess people haven`t discovered it yet. I`d wager the salons don`t want people to!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 8/8/2012 12:57:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

For at77339,

Just wanted to comment on why husband's skin reacts better to Salicylic Acid 20% gel peel. I studied men's skin when I worked at Macys Men's fragrances dept. Women cannot compare our skin to men's. Men have thicker skin on their face. So, the skin is tougher and can tolerate more. Also, men exfoliate daily or almost daily by shaving. That is why you see men with dull, dead skin cells on their forehead. Men do not go through a biological change of life. When menopause happens to us, lots of factors can affect our skin, temperment, weight and generally almost everything.

So, just a few comments to help you understand why the Salicylic Acid 20% gel peel works differently. Not just between the sexes but basically everybody. It can work great for some people but not others. So, it is a very personal unique experience.

I just ordered this product and am anxiously waiting to start the routine. I have been on the Obagi Nu-derm system for ten years and am really pleased with it but now that I am older, I want an extra boost.

on 5/22/2012 11:53:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

My husband and I use this every 3-4 days for almost a month now and it works. It's not fair that my husband skin responds to this peel much faster than mine. But he doesnt have acne, acne scars or dark spots to begin with but his skin is much more even and the pores are barely notice. Again it's not fair. My skin feels less pumpy, the acnes are gone slowly, the dark spots are lighter and the pores are still there but getting smaller. I think if I keep using this for another month I won't have to use concealer any more. I'm planning to use the glycolac to even out my skin tone and get ridded of the dark spots faste after I'm done with this bottle. Btw we got the big bottle so it will take a while :) I also use this as spot treatment. As soon as I see/feel something come up I just put this for 5-8 min and it will dry up the next day. I love this peel and feel less stress about TOM :)

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 2/14/2012 4:04:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I LOVE this product. I tend to have a lot of closed comedones on my cheeks that end up looking bumpy and gross. My skin's texture is awful without exfoliating.

This stuff is inexpensive ($20!? For a peel you can do at home!?) and works. Highly recommend!!!

Also, they ship it out fast. I ordered it and received it two days later and I live in Alaska :)

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 11/30/2011 4:18:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

03/31/12 Update: Dur, I finally figured it out...2.5 minutes from application to rinsing is what works for me. It just took me forever to figure that out (obviously). I'll leave the rest of the review up though for others. I set a timer on my phone and start it with the first brush stroke (starting in the T zone). By the time I am done applying, the timer usually goes off and I use 2 cotton balls and cold water to remove it and rinse. Then I apply a little Vicco. I have been doing this 1x a week for 3 weeks now and have had no breakouts :D

Revision on 3/8/12: I just can't handle this product very well. I have come to realize that lighter peels are better for me (1 minute versus 5) but I always get a breakout after using this and those are the red marks I am using this product to fade. I feel like I am adding to my problems. So I don't know how much more of this I will use. I am kind of disappointed because my skin does react nice and smoothly the day after I apply the peel, but 3-5 days later I have a breakout. Frustrating.


I am trying to fade acne discoloring and hyperpigmentation and reduce blackheads and pore size appearance. My skin is pretty good 29/30 days per month, but I get an occasional pimple that leaves a red mark and I have to be vigilant about blackhead control on my nose and cheeks (SA and BP treatments every night and Sulfur during the day). I usually pay for it if I skip one day.

I bought a fan brush to apply the liquid (not really a gel), dipping it in the opening of the 30mL jar.

The times mentioned INCLUDE application time, so if I say 5 minutes, I mean 5 minutes from application to rinsing. I used 2 large cotton balls to remove the peel with cold water and then rinsed with cold water for a minute or two with my hands.

Peel 1: 11/28 I first tried the peel on my arm to gauge sensitivity and used the first peel on my face for 4 minutes. The four minutes were getting a bit intense towards the end (face feels really hot, and I was getting a bit nervous), but I realized you have to work fast to apply this and be ready to rinse it . I used cotton balls in cold water to rinse it off, avoiding the eyes, and immediately applied a light layer Oil of Olay and Vicco upon rinsing and drying.

I had 2 underground pimples on my chin before I tried this peel, and I have no idea where they came from. Before last week, my skin had been perfect for 2 months.

Your skin can be dry for a few days after; I applied Vicco everywhere but my Tzone. I had a little peeling around my nose, but that might have been from other SA, BP products in combination with the peel.

Note: my skin may have been primed to use this for the 4 minutes from wearing Target's balancing lotion with .5% SA (generic of Clean & Clear) every day, so maybe start at 2 or 3 if you don't regularly use SA products on your face. The directions say you can work up to 8 minutes based on tolerance. I would definitely start out low and make sure you use a timer (I used my microwave timer).

Peel 2: 12/2 I left it on for 7 minutes, which was too much. I applied on Friday and had peeling for several days (Tues) that was annoying. The area where the underground pimples were became red and dry and I put triple antibiotic gel on it. I just wanted those stubborn pimples gone. My forehead also broke out in a dozen tiny whiteheads; I think due to uneven exfoliation. I wasn't pleased. By Thursday everything was calm once again.

Peel 3: 12/9 I left it on for only 5 minutes this time, and that was the ideal amount of time. The exfoliation was even and I was happy with the results. My face is still recovering from the chin pimples (augh this is going on 3 weeks) with red marks and a small bump.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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