Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) TCA Peel


220 reviews

87% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$


Trichloroacetic Acid, Glycolic Acid 5%, Lactic Acid 5%, Purified Water, Isopropyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Glyerine USP, Menthol Crystals, Sodium Chloride, Neolone, Benzyl Alcohol


Age: 44-55

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

This is really a next step up from my review about the Mandelic Peel from MUAC. Because my skin is aging/ethnic/acne/sensitive if is a real challenge to treat without making things worse. I say worse meaning having a reverse effect i.e. hyperpigmentation and additional pimples. Best to start slowly for these reasons.

Peel 1 was last week with TCA 12%. I washed my face, neutralized, saturated a cotton wool with product and carefully went over face. Made mistake by going over nose, which my skin reacted to with burning. I left the peel on for 2 minutes and rinsed. Light frosting. Mild burning. Flakes around nose 2 days later. Large flakes. Used regular regimen w/ss and had no issues.

Peel 2 was tonight. Did same regimen as above but left peel on for 12 minutes. Very mild stinging or I would not have been able to tolerate 12 minutes. This time I saw something interesting. Pores sort of opened up and I could see tiny white oil plugs being released. Whoa. And here I thought my pores were clean! These oil plugs were on my lower cheeks, nose and right under my lower lip.

Removed peel, used mild cleanser to make sure I got all of the chemical off. Applied Mandelic toner because I wanted to make sure to get those plugs wiped away without irritating my skin with the Clarisonic. Pores appeared more clear. Patch of hyperpigmentation (chin area) significantly lighter. Applied Serum (MUAC) waited and applied eye cream which is part of my regular nightly regimen.

Peel 3 starts next week. I'm excited!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I used 21% 2 times now. My second time I did 2 layers, that really did some difference. It's day 6, I still have some peeling. I can see the improvements but I thought it'll be better, however still good. I will do another peel (2 layers). I think that work even better.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

definately works, however the peeling causes breakouts if you are acne prone.. Would recommended spot treatments instead.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

I guess I should be upfront and let y'all know I am not using TCA peels on my face. I have rosacea and I would advise anyone with broken capillaries against trying peels. The reasoning behind this is that peels can irritate your skin to the point of breaking capillaries, because they run deeper than your average face chemical exfoliator. Think about it, chemical peels cause your skin to flush. Additionally, you can break a ton of capillaries due to sun damage. I know that's how I originally got a lot of mine back when I didn't know any better. TCA peels are intense and definitely up your photo-sensitivity. If you're not going to take my advice, fair enough. But for the love of god, PLEASE WEAR SUNSCREEN. It does not matter if the only sun exposure you get is from sitting by a window. You're still being exposed to the UVA rays. I am extending this advice to anyone with a face.

Moving forward. I actually bought this for my body. I'm on my 3rd peel now. I started with 20% & I'm working my way up to 50%. You do not *have* to buy from MUAC, ebay has plenty of reputable sellers. I originally bought from MUAC and went the ebay route because it was cheaper (same ingredients). My only advice in this case is ensure the seller has a lot of positive feedback & all of the bottles come with a safety seal intact. Edit: I got a few PMs asking who to buy from on ebay. I am not affiliated with this seller on any level, so please don't mention me to them. But I would reccomend hortus119 for several reasons. Fast shipping, decent prices, authentic items (the TCA is the exact % as advertised), and the safety seal is always intact. Again there are a lot of options on there, this is just the one I have had a great buying experience with. The only big advantage of buying directly from MUAC is they have more of a round clock customer service available if you run into difficulties with your peel.

The reason I am doing full body peels is because I have stretchmarks from my knees to my neck. That's what obesity did to my body before I lost the weight. LOL. Even though they have faded to silver, the texture is still pretty nasty. TCA peels have helped even out the texture, similar to how it would effect a scar. It was pretty scary the first time so I want to let y'all know what to expect. Your skin will turn beet red, and you are going to itch like hell. That is NORMAL and to be expected, so don't worry. It will subside. Definitely use gloves, and avoid any sensitive areas. I accidentally got this onto my entire chest the first time I applied. I thought my nipples were going to burn off, fall to the ground, and run away from me.

My SO looked pretty terrified when he noticed my body was peeling off like a snake's scales. But... it's been well worth it. I am satisfied with the results so far & will be posting before/after pictures when I'm done.

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue


I purchased and used the 15% TCA peel from MUAC. This was the first skin peel I had ever done, so I was very nervous, frightened even. For 48 hours prior to the peel I made sure not to use anything abrasive or chemically strong on my face. Then I followed the directions to the best of my ability that are provided with the little kit I purchased. I cleansed my face with the included green tea cleanser. I put on the gloves. I took a round cotton pad and applied TCA onto it, and went over my face with one layer. I avoided getting it near my eyes, nostrils, and mouth. I think next time I will go in closer with Q-tips in those areas and apply some, because I'd like my under eye area to improve as well as the space above my lips and below my nose.
I felt a tingle, but no pain whatsoever. On the pain scale, with 10 being the worst and 1 being hardly any, it was a big fat 0. I saw no frosting. I left it on for the full five minutes, then neutralized with the included neutralizing solution and washed my face once again with the green tea cleanser. Then I applied Neosporin all over my face. My acne scars, which is what I'm trying to get rid of, were bright red following the peel. It took 4 full days for ANY skin shedding to occur, which is not what I was expecting. It is now day 8 and my skin is still flaky. I experienced almost no flaking anywhere except my lower cheeks next to my jawline. I'm not going to lie, I'm disappointed. I've been doing my best to take pictures every day to monitor my skin's reaction and to see if there are any reductions in my scarring, but I really haven't noticed reductions. I did have a few active pimples that I went over with the acid when I did my peel, and those all flattened out right after the peel and no longer exist, so that's nice.
I will wait a couple of weeks and do the peel again. This time I plan on going over my face and leaving it for five minutes, and then going over it again with a second layer and leaving it for about two minutes or so. I will be prepping my skin for the next peel by using a skin cleanser with PHA acid, which is similar to glycolic acid but is better for sensitive skin. I've started using this cleanser yesterday.
I was expecting better results from this and I am not happy. I expected frosting, my skin peeling off in sheets, and seeing new beautiful skin underneath. What I got was zero frosting, me sitting in the bathroom wondering if it was even working or if I somehow got a lemon, flaky skin as if it was just dry skin, and no discernible improvement to my problem areas. I'm aware this works according to skin type, and I never expected my skin to be tough because it's always been so sensitive before, so I'm open to trying again.


So I waited approximately a month before doing the peel again. Unfortunately, I did it very close to Easter without realizing it so I went to a few Easter get togethers without makeup and a peeling face. I did it on the evening of March 29 so it has now been officially 11 days. Last time I did it it was almost as if I didn't even do a peel at all. There was no discernible sensations on my face to let me know the peel was working while I had it on and there were no differences in my skin afterword. The peeling "process" was light flaking on my cheeks for about 3 days.
This time I prepped by using Neostrata's PHP face wash (which is similar to glycolic face wash) off and on for the month. I couldn't use only that because it did nothing for preventing blemishes so I had to use my regular Trader Joe's Tea Tree Oil cleanser a lot of the time. 48 hours before I planned to do the peel I stopped using products on my face and left it alone. I used Q tips to apply the 15% peel all over my face, including under my eyes about 4 cm away from my eyes (I have really noticeable bags that I wanted to reduce, it's a family trait and I've had them since I was a kid). The fumes stung my eyes enough to make them a little watery, but it wasn't bad. I love the Q tip method instead of the cotton pad I used before. I thought it would be inefficient but it wasn't at all. The peel tingled very slightly, more than last time because I could actually feel something, but nothing amounting to pain. I waited the full five minutes and then put on a second layer all over my face except for under my eyes. The skin is thin there so I didn't want to injure it. It stung a little in some places on my face and remained tingly in others. The places that stung seemed to be my upper cheeks and under my eyes. I left the second layer for five minutes as well. So in total I had TCA on for 10 minutes. I still didn't see any frosting. I neutralized with the solution in the kit placed on a wash cloth. Then I washed my face again with the cleanser included in the kit. Then I put Neosporin all over my face. I applied Neosporin again on day 5 but these occasions were the only time I put anything additional on my face; I was careful not to over-moisturize in case that may have happened last time.
3 days later I noticed some peeling starting to occur. Over that time up until now, day 11, it started out as flaking and then progressed to peeling. It didn't come off in sheets as I saw it has with others on YouTube; it came off as if I had put liquid glue on my face and it was peeling/flaking off bit by bit. Now after the full 10 day period has already elapsed I can tell you that I am MUCH happier with this product and fully recommend it. I am upping its rating from 2 to 5 because it works wonderfully once you figure out what your skin needs. This was the first peel of any kind I had ever done so I had no idea my skin would react so differently from what I read about or viewed online.
My pores are noticeably smaller. Icepick scars have filled in about half of their former depth. They're still there, but definitely more shallow which I love. Redness from others decreased. My skin looks better

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

So I did two of these. I did the 12.5 and the 30%

The 12.5 didn't do anything really for my skin and felt cool and tingly but not really painful at all. But remember this is prepping your skin up for more layers or high percentages so you don't just dive in and damage your skin.

I did the 30 % as more of a spot treatment, and BOY this one HURT A LOTT. But the thing to remember with this is, the pain is strong when you apply it and maybe for the first minute, but after it's really fine, it goes away. But fanning your face REALLY helps with it.

So the results from the 30% have blown me away. With only one use of this little ice picks are GONE, and the bigger ones have improved quite a bit. Also some discolouration I developed from using benzyol peroxide on open skin (stupid me) left me with BAD redness, this totally cleared it up and I feel like I haven't seen my skin this clear and flawless in years, a nice, clean layer has come through.

THRILLED with these peels and will keep doing them. But remember results don't happen right away and after the peel your skin needs to produce collagen to heal it, THATS when you start seeing results. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS! DO the patch test, stop using glycolic acids and lactic acid after the peel is done until skin heals, and LET IT PEEL naturally else you will end up making scars much worse.

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Let me start off by saying that two years ago I was the idiot who went to the beach with no sunscreen. Fell asleep on a 104 degree day, fried on the beach, and to top it all off had decided that week to go off birth control. Ever since that one day I have been fighting a battle to get my skin back to its glory days. For almost an entire year, my senior year of college to be exact, I was pizza face. Disgusting puss filled blisters, some cystic hormonal acne, skin so dry that it could have been sandpaper, etc. My skin was so bad that I sent in before and after pictures to MUAC, I am testimonial September 13th of 2014, and got a email back INSTANTLY to use my pics.

Mandalic acid 25% and Lactic Acid 40% helped take away the breakouts, with only two weeks help of subscriptions, and just left me with the ugly icepick scars and consuming redness to deal with. That's where 8% TCA peel comes in.

I've been using the stuff only for a little while at this point, I was truthfully afraid of the TCA and my BF threw out my instructions, but I decided to just be EXTREMELY careful and went ahead with it anyways. The first time I gave it a shot I put one layer on for five minutes on my trouble areas, my cheeks, and a thin layer on my forehead. I neutralized and used Neosporin asap. I was left with glowly, radiant skin.

For two days I wondered if it had been enough as I am a Retin-A user, though I hadn't used it in two weeks, and I hadn't peeled at all. The tops of my cheek bones were, however, extremely tight and dry. Day three I finally peeled and slowly started going back to my usual nighttime routine: Living Libations Best Skin Ever Seabuckthorn Oil, Shower, AHA 8% toner on a cotton pad, Advanced Night Repair, and Living Libations as a sealer/moisturizer.

I recently just went up to two layers, as I am under the impression I have micro tears in my skin from Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion home kit:( I don't want to aggravate them or do anything worse to my skin. The two layers made my skin hot and I can't tell if it frosted, due to the fact that anywhere that isn't bright red is pasty ass white. But I love this stuff and will update my pictures within a month of using this stuff once a week to show exactly what it is doing for me. :)

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I purchased the 15% TCA peel from MUAC, since I was worried about jumping to the 18% or 21% and burning my face. This was my first TCA peel ever.

I had purchased the 55% lactic acid peel a few weeks prior and it did nothing for me. So I used it to prep my skin a week prior to using the TCA. One week later, I started with applying one layer only as the instructions tell you do to so. After 5 minutes, I felt nothing. Not even a tingly sensation. So I went ahead and applied another layer. It stung a bit, but nothing intolerable. The lactic acid peel stung and was 10x more annoying than this! The next day, my skin looked like how it did before I did the TCA peel. Nothing new, and it didnt feel dry or anything.

I wont list a step by step diary of the following days, since there are many many reviews with those. Basically, nothing for the first day. The second day my chin area started to peel. The third and forth day, the rest of my face started peeling. Im now on my sixth day and my skin isn't as horrible. I am still peeling, but I dont feel the need to hide inside my house any more. I am purging, I have a little bit of red bumps that dont have a head yet, as well as two that have heads. My skin looks kind of the same as before right now, but once again its too early for me to judge. I will let you know how it goes!

UPDATE 02/02/2015: I did my second 15% peel a week ago, this time doing 3 layers. I read it self neutralizes on its own after 7 minutes, and have confirmed it with my dermatologist. HOWEVER, just to be safe, I will always neutralize peels. It's better to be safe than sorry!

Overall, I'm disappointed. My acne scarring is the exact same as how it was prior to the two treatments I've done. I'm not giving up yet though! I'm going to order a higher percentage and try that. I'll be back with an update after that.

6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

A year ago, I completed my first TCA 18% peel at home. A year later, I am repeating the process since I had a really positive experience the last time. I left the first layer on for 5 minutes, then added a second layer for an additional 5 minutes. All areas frosted. After that, I neutralized it with the baking soda/water mix, patted my skin dry, and applied jojoba oil liberally.

I didn't get a chance to document my experience the first time around, but I can say that after my skin peeled, my face looked AMAZING - the best it had in 15+ years. I had issues with rolling and ice-pick scarring on my cheeks and some darker spots on my face from sun damage.

The peel did wonders at removing sun spots on my upper cheek areas - they literally peeled off. The only other time that I have had a similar experience in seeing such clarity in my face was after I had undergone Co2 laser resurfacing.

By the way, if I had to rate the pain of each procedure on a scale, I would say that personally, the Co2 laser resurfacing was a 6-7 (your face feels like it is burning after the procedure even with the AC in the car blowing, and I took a prescribed pain killer on day 1), while the TCA 18% peel was a 3-4 (the second layer woke me up, but with some paper fanning, it was definitely bearable).

With the TCA peel, I noticed immediately after application that the ice-pick and rolling scars were improved, and my pores disappeared. It seemed as if any indents had magically filled up, probably due to the tightening of the skin. My face was somewhat red, like I had a sunburn.

The next morning after the application of the TCA peel, I went to work with generous sunscreen (Biore's Watery Essence) and light makeup (Sephora's Perfection Mist Foundation was easy to spray on). I didn't look too strange. It was certainly tight, and I refrained from making too many facial expressions. My skin still appeared very plump without any scarring.

By the end of day 3 to day 4, I stayed at home since the treated areas of my skin had definitely turned a dark brown. Now, my skin felt VERY tight. I would recommend that you NOT watch any comedies at this point because your face will feel like it's going to crack if you laugh. Also, I would recommend that you not eat foods that require big bites so that you don't disrupt your skin too much. I kept my face moisturized with jojoba, and by day 5, it had started peeling. It peeled in large sheets, especially when I was showering. By day 7, the peeling was done.

A couple of days after day 7, I had a meeting to attend. The woman who sat at her desk asked me what I use for my skin. She said from the moment I walked in, she noticed how beautiful and radiant my skin was. I was elated to hear this and enthusiastically shared the information. I was only wearing a light moisturizer, sunscreen, and light powder at the time.

I noticed an unbelievable reduction in the number of deep, hormonal outbreaks on my chin area. Prior to the TCA peel, I would have 1-3 hormonal bumps on my chin every month. After the TCA peel, I had zero for months. My skin was fresh, clear, and smooth.

My results were definitely worth the 3-4 days of downtime. The results lasted a good 3-4 months before I slowly started seeing the effects taper off. Some sun spots, chin breakouts, and acne scarring have appeared again, and so I am now in the process of my second TCA 18% peel.

I would highly recommend this peel to others.

14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Green

I purchased the MUAC TCA Peel in 30%. I've been getting monthly microdermabrasions for about 9 months and I use Vit A and C in my beauty routine. I performed a 70% glycolic peel on my skin a couple of weeks prior (and peeled a little from that).

First Peel:

Sunday: I diluted the TCA 30% solution with an equal amount of water to make it half the strength. I applied the solution with a fan brush all over my face and left it on for about 2 minutes then neutralised the peel with the neutralising solution that came with the peel. My face looked a little flushed but not red.

Monday and Tuesday: No peeling.

Wednesday: Peeling! I went out for lunch and when I got home I noticed I'd started peeling around my lips and chin.

Thursday and Friday: More peeling. I peeled in flakes, not sheets.

Saturday: A little peeling still but I could remove the loose flakes gently with a tweezer and went out Saturday night with no visible flakes.

Sunday: No more peeling. My skin was a lot smoother/softer and my pigmentation had faded. The peel improved my skin considerably more than 9 months of monthly ($180) microdermabrasions. I won't be getting those anymore (or at least not as frequently)!

I have always been pretty embarrassed about my skin. I have some PIH from the occasional breakout. I don't get pimples often but when I do they're awful and often leave me with PIH that takes ages to fade. Despite being overly cautious about the sun (to the point I need to take Vit D supplements because I'm Vit D deficient) I also have a lot of light freckling on my cheeks which makes my skin look tired and aged.

While my skin can still be improved, I am now much happier with its condition. Post-peel, my boyfriend of more than 2 years (who I live with) has finally seen me without makeup! Now I can wash my makeup off before bed and sleep with a clean face! :)

Second Peel:

About a week after my first peel, I decided to apply a stronger solution to my chin and upper lip. I have uneven skin tone around my chin from past pimples as well as pigmentation on my top lip. I applied the solution undiluted (30%). It frosted after about a couple of minutes and I washed it off with the neutraliser. My skin was quite red.

The next day, the areas which frosted the fastest had turned a brown colour. I wore makeup while outside the house (I found that my MAC pressed powder hid the flaking a lot more than my MAC liquid foundation). However, I kept my skin coated in moisturiser whenever I was at home.

On Day 3 the brown areas finally started to get a leathery feel and began peeling. As the old skin peeled off, I was left with new, light pink skin.

I'm now on Day 5 and I'm pretty much done peeling (just a few little flakes here and there). I'm still a little pink but my skin should continue to improve over the next week. The pigmentation and freckles on my top lip are still there but my chin looks better.

I will continue to do these peels when I can (i.e. when I don't have much on) and hope and expect that I will continue to see my skin improve with each peel.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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