Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) TCA Peel


216 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: 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.

on 2/3/2015 2:24:00 PM

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.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 1/27/2015 11:53:00 AM

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. :)

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 12/30/2014 11:31:00 PM

Age: 19-24

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

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I think its a bit early for me to judge the product fairly, hence I gave it three lippies. I will do an update.
My skin is tough, and I know this. So 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 (which is not recommended for first time users). 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. So I decided I would do another peel again. *** DO NOT DO what I did. Learn from my mistake! You might/can burn your face and have permanent damage! *** This time, it stung a bit more than the previous day when I did the first layer. At about 3 minutes in, I applied a second layer (I was desperate to get some frosting since I didnt previously). OMG! It was like someone set my face on fire. I thought I can suck it up, and was jumping around the bathroom. I had no fan, so I was just using my hands which are not very helpful. My eyes got very red (even though I did not put any under my eyes), and I couldn't take it after one minute. I got some very very light frosting on my forehead, yay! I actually wanted my cheeks and chin to frost since thats where I have alot of acne scars, but I was not about to wait any longer. I quickly neutralized.

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 and not neutralizing. 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 neutralize next time and any time I use 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.

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 12/23/2014 4:18:00 PM

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.

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

on 11/20/2014 11:46:00 PM

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.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 11/2/2014 5:03:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I bought the 18% TCA peel from MUAC. I chose not to do the 5% or whatever was recommended to try first, I was in a "go big or go home" kind of mood and still am!
I did a swatch test of this on the side of my face kind of close to the ear so whatever happened wouldn't be seen by the public as long as my hair was down. I swatched it really good once, waited to recommended 5 mins per the instructions and the went over it again with more TCA and waited another 5 mins before neutralizing with baking soda and cool water. The spot has been red, then pink, slightly dry was going to turn brown and start peeling any day I think but tonight I did my entire face so that put a halt to the progress on the swatch. No burning, no stinging or anything like I was expecting from all the reviews I watched on YouTube and all the reviews I read online. But let me tell you, when you do your ENTIRE face, you get that burning feeling!!
I waited 2 days after my swatch test before doing my entire face, which tonight was the night I did my entire face. Let me tell all of you--IT FELT LIKE SATAN SNEEZED IN MY FACE!! The burning, omg, so painful! But I was brave, waited the 5 mins and went over the entire area again, so 2 coats of this 18% solution and waiting at 5 min intervals between each layer, then neutralizing. When this was on my face and started frosting (your skin will turn white, as if you have frosting on your face. I wasn't able to figure out what frosting meant until MUAC told me), it looked like I applied Calamine lotion all over my face, it was pink and white. After I neutralized my face was beet red and felt so dry. It felt so good to splash cool water on my face. I also did my back because I suffer from horrible bacne and bad hyperpigmentation scars from the acne but I didn't get the burning feeling like I did on my face, but it felt really itchy. It was hard for me to not scratch my back while I waited for the solution to do its thing, I also did 2 coats of this on my back as well.
I will come back in a week and update my progress. I feel like I can't rate this appropriately at this point but for now it's getting 3 lippies.
*UPDATE* 3 days after my peel: My lower facial area is peeling like crazy! It's very uncomfortable. It started to peel when I was eating dinner, I think the motion of opening my mouth is what made it crack and start to peel lol. I've tried everything to keep my skin moist and nothing is helping. Olive oil, coconut oil, Eucerin cream (the thick stuff in the jar) and nothing working to keep it moisturized! My skin is drinking up all the oils and lotion I put on it. Normally I'm pretty oily but not now. No peeling on my back at all, hopefully it works on my backne.
*UPDATE*, it's been about 9 days now and my face is completely done peeling, I've seen a little bit of results from the peel but not much but then again this is the first peel I've done with TCA & I know I have quite a few more to help with my acne pock marks. A small hyperpigmentation mark I had at the end of my eyebrow area turn really dark but once that area of skin peeled off, not more hyperpigmentation was there, it's completely gone! That's amazing to me! Unfortunately I also broke out after this peel, we're talking BIG, DEEP ONES! 2 on both sides of my nose and 2 on my chin and one on the back of my neck too. The 2 by my nose have finally gone away but the 2 on my chin have not and are still there, lurking to reveal their ugly heads at the worst possible moment, I'm sure of it.
As far as my back goes, no peeling at all, I even did a double layer of the 18% TCA solution. I'm a little bummed and angry about that but there's nothing I can do about that. The back of neck peeled really well but now I have a huge, deep pimple right smack in the middle of the back of my neck. My skin is oily as ever unfortunately so the dryness I experienced from this peel was short lived but the dryness was just too dry and uncomfortable for me. The thing about my breakouts I probably should have mentioned, they could be my fault because of the choice of moisturizer I used. I use Eucerin in the big tub, the really thick kind. It's probably not made for use on the face but this peel made my skin so uncomfortably dry that I needed something to relieve that feeling. I don't recommend using that thick Eucerin stuff for relief after this peel, try CeraVe in the tub, that stuff has never broke me out & it states it's non-comegenic.
I did some research on another peel called Jessner Peel and I'm going to be buying that from Amazon and the 30% TCA peel from MUAC and do either TCA or Jessner when my kids are on break for Thanksgiving so I won't have to go anywhere and can stay home away from society while I peel lol. I found the Jessner peel on Amazon for $30 and it comes with a face wash, the peel solution and moisturizer so I'm going to try to order from Amazon opposed to MUAC, I'm not saying anything negative about MUAC, they're great but it's nice to branch out. I'm keeping my rating the same for now, will update as needed. I'm really not happy about the fact that my back has not peeled at all though, that's a huge disappointment to me, considering the amount of bacne I have and severe scarring I have on my back.

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I tried the 8% TCA peel. I chose the 8% because I didn't want a peel with a lot of downtime, and given my skin's history, I'd rather start low, go slow and take longer to get good results. I followed the instructions provided to the letter and the peel worked beautifully. I started with a one-layer peel for 5 minutes. My skin looked much brighter and smoother after just one use! I did have a lot of skin peeling, more so than the average 8% TCA user. I'm not surprised because my skin can get very sensitive--the lactic acid peels that are supposed to be the gentlest ended up causing very bad flaking and even some blistering in areas.

I repeated the TCA peel two weeks later, and actually frosted a little the second time around so I couldn't do more than one layer. Still loads of peeling but overall the 8% TCA is far gentler to my skin than many of MUAC's other acid peels! It has improved the hyperpigmentation on my nose and cheeks, and I think it's starting to work on the melasma on my lip.

I'm going to try a third TCA peel next week (or maybe the week after) and then give my skin a break for a few months. And given how much TCA makes my skin flake, I'm going to have to time the TCA peel so the heaviest flaking days (which for me are days 3-5 post-peel) will be on the days I'm off of work.

MUAC makes it very easy to do the peel. They provide detailed instructions and have excellent and fast customer service. I will stress that you need to follow the instructions EXACTLY as written--as tempting at is, resist the urge to make tweaks or follow random advice that you follow online. There is a lot of potential for TCA to do major damage, even at the weaker strengths, so don't do something that you may regret later! And you really need to do a patch test for this.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 8/21/2014 1:17:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Right now I would give this a 3.5 but rounded up in hopes that my end results will be positive. I will update either way. Over the last year I have begun to experiment with various MUAC peels / products. On my face I have had positive experiences with mandelic, lactic, and glycolic but while problems have been reduced I feel more can be done. None of the aforemnetioned peels actually made me peel or had any lingering redness. As for the TCA 30% thank god for once I controlled my impulsivity and did not do this on my face. Instead I am trying it on my body where I had some acne scars and sunspots. This one did burn and I must have left it on too long for my skin about 4 minutes because my skin is red like a bad sunburn. I also didn't neutralize it in the end - just rinsed with water not sure how important this is but thinking perhaps it was! The peeling started the next day and my skin is so tender underneath. It looks horrible - if I had done this exact (flawed) procedure to my face and showed up for work I think they would send me to the hospital thinking I had a disease. I am curious to see, since this is the first peel that actually has made me peel, if I will have new and better skin revealed. Pain is beauty right? Or it could end up being worse than before. Time will tell.

on 8/15/2014 7:03:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Hazel

ive finished a whole bottle and im ready for this review. first off, everyone is right in saying this stuff will DESTROY your face if you dont use it properly. now saying that, there is nothing to be afraid of because this can work awesomly if you use it right and its not hard. i just dipped a clean qtip into the bottle and rubbed all over my face. sometimes id spot treat too. i left the acid on a clean face until i noticed it was starting to turn white or "frost" and then, i took a wash cloth and dipped it into my baking soda water and wiped my face. thats all there is too it. i didnt even cleanse afterwards. my skin was red after but completely even! no dents or scars visible. a few hours after, the redness subsided and the evenness remained. i adored the way my skin looked at this stage. it was my dream skin.
anyways, the next couple of days, my skin starting feeling taut and mask like almost and when you feel this, you know youre about to start peeling. for me, the peeling was never horrific.
all in all, this peel made me look radiant and the only reason i wont be repurchasing is after the peeling, my skin looked kind of the same.. the dents and large pores.
but maybe if you have raised scars and pigmentation, give it a try

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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