Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) 50% Glycolic Peel


49 reviews

91% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.5

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.5

Price: $$


Glycolic Acid, Deionized Water, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Witch Hazel, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Chloride, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

In the past I have used the 40% Glycolic peel and had great results. For reasons I can't remember, I never repurchased, but used the Mandelic and the Radiance Peel and didn't really have noticeable results. I decided to take a chance to try the 50% strength and I'm glad I did. My otherwise dull skin has a glow after I use this, and it was pretty cheap for a sample size kit. I leave on my skin for about 1-2 minutes and do the peel once a week and I can tell a difference. I didn't notice any peeling or downtime, which was a plus.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 11/29/2014 12:51:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Excellent chemical exfoliator. I love the bright, even glow this gives me. The 50% strength is pretty powerful, I only need to leave this peel on my skin for a minute or two. And this works great for me, I get the beautiful results I want without any peeling or irritation. For reference my skin is combo-oily, clog-prone, not particularly sensitive, and I have tried several different at-home peels from MUAC.
If you're not familiar with these products I will try to tell you a little bit about them. First, know that if you're using drugstore or department store products that contain AHA's or BHA's those products aren't anywhere near as strong as what this company is selling. They offer many different peels of varying types and strengths. The peel you want to choose is going to depend on your skin type and what kind of results you're looking to achieve. Also, the prices are extremely reasonable. I think it's because you're not paying for a bunch of extra superfluous ingredients. Or fancy packaging. These at-home peels are very basic and straightforward ingredient-wise. You're pretty much dealing with straight up chemicals, so having said all that...
It's important to be VERY CAREFUL when using these products, even the ones that are considered to be "starter" peels. Do your research and follow the instructions exactly, especially concerning the length of time you leave the peel on your skin. There's a lot more information about all of this on their website and they also have a very helpful customer service staff to help you over the phone.
These products are so effective that it's easy to get carried away and use them too often or leave them on for too long, trying to get "better" results. Read the skincare board, it's happened to a lot of people. And speaking from personal experience, it is not a good idea to get careless or overzealous with these products. About a year ago I got caught in a nasty cycle of over-exfoliated skin that was dried out and producing too much oil. The oil would then get trapped under all the dead dried-out skin and I ended up breaking out really, really badly. Long story short, don't overdo it. You'll end up looking worse, not better.
Regarding this 50% Glycolic Peel, start with cleansed skin (stop using your Retin-A and other powerhouse actives at least 24 hours beforehand), apply the pH Prep Solution (included in the kit), let it dry, and then apply the peel solution. Leave it on for the appropriate amount of time (only a minute or two for me) and then wash off thoroughly with a gentle foaming cleanser (I like Clinique's Rinse-Off Foaming or Algenist Rejuvenating Cleanser). And if you used a washcloth to wash that acid off of your face, go ahead and throw that washcloth in the laundry hamper. You don't want to use it for anything else. And now, you need to be really really nice to your skin for a day or two. Use your most soothing moisturizer. One that doesn't have any active ingredients in it like retinol or salicylic acid, anything along those lines. My post-peel faves are Creme de la Mer (sorry to all the CDLM haters, this is awesome for use after peels), First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask, and also CeraVe Cream. Then go to sleep and enjoy the results when you wake up.
With this particular peel I experience no downtime, just bright glow-y, even-toned skin. I love this peel and this is one that I would buy again!

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

on 9/3/2014 10:13:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I love MUAC!!! My favorite products are the 8% BHA serum and the Radiance peel, they keep my skin clear, smooth, even toned, less oily, and free from blackheads. I've also used the 25% Mandelic Acid peel, which is helpful at preventing breakouts during PMS. I've only used this peel about 4 times now so I haven't seen the full benefits yet, but I'm hoping it will help with scars from PIH or sun damage or with fine lines. I've been using it on sun damage marks on my shoulders, too.
Always be sure to do a patch test before using these peels all over your face! I haven't had a problem, but I wouldn't want to treat these peels too casually. Start with a minute and work your way up slowly. This peel stings me a bit but I'm more affected by the itchiness. I'm usually a bit more oily and a little flaky the next day, but I just use my Clarisonic and moisturize well to take care of that.
Will update as I do more of this peel. So far, so good...

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 5/4/2014 4:27:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I'm fair skinned and have roseacea. My intent with this was to reduce wrinkles and dullness. I've used this peel weekly for about 3 months, unless I'm doing a TCA peel. I do not peel heavily from it, just light flaking similar to what I get using too much Retin A. I've noticed my skin is more "glowy" and lines do appear to be less noticeable. Time will tell.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 3/16/2014 11:19:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Very Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I'm a pessimist so believe me when I say, this product WORKS. It doesn't cause me to "peel" or get too dry. It's more of an exfoliant for me. My skin feels softer and looks shinier/less dull. I don't have the burning or tingling but I do itch until I wash it off. Great stuff!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 1/18/2013 6:25:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Hazel

I have used Retin-A for years, so this apparently was good training for my skin. When I applied this 50% glycolic acid peel, I expected it to burn and sting, but I felt NOTHING. At first I didn't think it was really doing *anything*, but as I washed it off, I noticed that two zits that'd been lurking under the skin for a week, had become volcanic eruptions. WOW. The next morning, it was as if they had never existed.
This is my new PMS-skin routine! My skin just looks glow-y, not red or peeling. This peel did a nice job of helping budge what has felt like a thick layer of skin that I just couldn't get off. I use a Clarisonic and a microdermabrasion paste, but this glycolic peel did in one minute what nothing else has been able to do. I'm amazed, and a believer! (When you have older skin like me, the last thing you need is a layer of DRY to make you look rough and old!)
I just ordered some TCA from MUAC and will try that in a few weeks.

17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

on 1/26/2012 6:58:00 AM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

The packaging wasn't anything special, it was a clear bag, but it's the product quality that matters. I'm a newbie to peels, so purchasing 50% was a risk for me. Fortunately, I didn't have any adverse reactions... However, I have done 6 peels (1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes for the last 2) with virtually no results at all. Maybe my skin is just tough, it only tingled and went slightly dry. I'm hoping that when I finally use up the whole thing I'll have noticed something, but it hasn't helped my fine lines, pigmentation or scars. I'm an 18 year old male. I'll buy from MUAC again though, when I can afford TCA kit.

on 12/26/2011 10:25:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I purchased this for fading of acne scars and sun/age spots. I have combo/dry, sensitive, fair skin. My skin is also very prone to hyperpigmentation.
I have used this for ten weeks straight, once a week, starting with one minute and increasing in one minute increments weekly. I have used MUAC's lactic acid peels (40% and 55%). I didn't see any dramatic fading with them. I got up to five minutes with the 55%.
However, the 50% glycolic peels have given me visual differences in fading sun spots that have driven me to try the 60%. A few spots near my right eye are almost completely gone while the bigger spot near my left eye is following suit. I can't really tell much difference with my acne scars, though. Perhaps the lactic peels are better for targeting red pigment while glycolic peels target brown/tan pigment.
My skin is very reactive so I experienced some flaking, dry areas, scabbing, and redness. The dry areas were rough to the touch but healed before the next peel. The scabs haven't left any scars. I was probably overzealous in my application (time). The results were definitely worth it. I have had the best luck in the winter and avoiding sun. I use at least SPF 50 and I've also been covering spots with concealer.
I should also mention I've used this in conjunction with MUAC's mandelic and BHA.
UPDATE: I rotate them (mandelic, 60% glycolic, 65% lactic) every three days now and have had better luck spot treating and capping at five minutes. My skin reacts most to the lactic peels. Hope this helps.

24 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

on 10/1/2011 6:27:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This peel definitely lives up to the hype. I have done 4 peels, 10-14 days apart, and I have not had a single breakout. My skin is soft and smooth, and the redness has significantly faded. Even my very dark brown spots have somewhat faded, which is not something I expected. Unlike others, I did not experience any burning, only slight tingling at the most. I have done TCA peels and 30% glycolics in the past, though, so my skin may be a it tougher.

This peel is excellent not only to even out skintone and reduce breakouts, but to prep for a TCA peel. I just did a spot peel on a stubborn age spot using the 12.5% tca formula by MUAC and my skin actually frosted on the second layer.

I plan to use this 50% glycolic formula on a monthly basis. It's been a great experience!

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

on 9/5/2011 11:20:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I love, love, love this peel and can't say enough about it! Yes, it stings the holy heck out of your face, but the results are fabulous and well worth the minor discomfort. I use this weekly (though I should probably up it twice weekly) and have yet to find another product that works as well. As someone who has acne prone skin, this has been a God send. It really does fade brown spots (finally! a product that actually gets rid of those annoying little things!) and makes skin smoother. My only regret is not finding this peel sooner.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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