This is your best bet before paying a lot for a professional spa facial peel.
Same result for a lot less. Wear sunscreen the whole week following treatment.
Happy with this product.
Wow - I don't think I've ever used a product that made such a rapid difference to my skin. I have sensitive skin but it actually responds really well to acids generally. Still, nothing I've ever used has been like THIS. I have combination skin with large pores around my nose, occasional acne and hyperpigmentation. Plus lately my skin had just been looking dry and kind of meh. I started using this on the recommendation of a Sephora sales rep and, I kid you not, one week later I'm no longer bothering with foundation. I really really hope this keeps working as well as it has been. If it does, I will repurchase forever, cost be damned.
I have been using this two step process for about two months now. I feel like my face is smoother and my pores are smaller. I was hoping the brown spot on one of my cheeks would have faded a bit more by now but definitely feel like my face is better with this product!
I concur with most of the positive reviews. I only wish I didn't have to wait 2 m in between steps but I've worked it in to my routine (even when in a hurry, which is most of the time).
I was reticent to use this product because (1) I had/have dry skin that was flaking in some areas and (2) I use Tretinoin ,05% at night (Retin-A). Wasn't sure if it was all a little too much of a good thing. But it is just fine.
My skin can take the extra strength but I found that the regular formula is sufficient, particularly if you are using other serums/creams/etc. like Retinoids in the PM. I heard that some people alternate nightly but I use these in the AM and my Retinoid in the PM. It's been great! I suppose what put me over the fence (I was hedging a long time before trying), was the a Retinoid helps the turnover but you still need something to exfoliate the skin to lighten, brighten, etc. The retinoid isn't an exfoliant, in other words. So the two paired together have really done wonders for my skin.
I will be repurchasing and using as a staple in my routine. I have no issues with the packaging, no issues with drying out. The individually packaged pads are naturally better for travel, as you can't really "depot" the other pads. But these are all minor issues and don't deter away from what is otherwise a very good product.
OK this review is for the boxes of individually wrapped Face Peel towelettes, which I bought because some of the reviewers mentioned the less expensive towelettes in one jar tended to dry out. I bought these because I've got really bad hyper pigmentation from birth control pills. I started with using Clarisonic and that wasn't enough exfoliation to clear it up so I thought I'd give this a try. I found this product gentle enough to use every day and it definitely faded my marks but it is hella expensive. I tried Peter Thomas Roth's Unwrinkle pads after finishing my box of Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel pads and I found the product similar effective for a fraction of the price. Granted, I started with this product but the results are not different enough for it to be worth my continuing to buy it. When I finish my jar of PTR's Unwrinkle pads, I'm going to give Paula's Choice products a try - they're even less expensive!
So far I love these. I have the extra strength pad that are in the single use packets. I get 4 days out of each set. When I open the packet I carefully cut the top off. Take out the folded pad and cut it into 4 pieces. Use one and rewrap the other 3 in the foil packet it came in. I then put it in a small sealed plastic baggy.
I also found them on eBay. Much cheaper...30 pad sets for $55.00. When used my way, that makes them 120 days worth for $55.00. 45 cents a day....
I got this as a gift--I would never have paid $85 for it.
HOWEVER, I've only been using it for 3 nights and I have to say, this is pretty amazing stuff.
I tried cutting the pads in half per other MUA reviewers' suggestion, but it was just too difficult because the half-pad balled up and was difficult to deal with. So I've been using the full pads, once per day (at night after I shower), and following with Peter Thomas Roth's Oilless Oil (100% squalane) to moisturize (since you can't use anything with alcohol in it after that).
A lot of experts would probably hate this formula, because it has denatured alcohol as one of the first ingredients in the Step 1 pads. I was scared, too, but didn't want to waste such an expensive gift. In spite of the alcohol, these--in combo with the PTR oilless oil--have not dried out my skin. This is rare, since most acne treatments, BHAs, and AHAs dry my skin out and irritate it very badly. (Alpha Hydrox products burn and sting and turn my face red, for example.) But, when I was in my 20s, I used Oxy Pads which also have alcohol, and back then I felt my skin responded very well to those (before my skin was sensitized from overmedicating it trying to kill random adult acne cysts). So I know alcohol is deoxidizing and causes free radical damage, but in the short term, some products with tons of alcohol (like this one) actually work really well.
I notice after putting this on that my skin is immediately more "glowy," and the next morning (again with the oilless oil on top) it feels so smooth.
What's extra wonderful is that I THINK it's already (in 2-3 uses) starting to smooth out the annoying, stubborn white and blackhead bumps around my chin and mouth ("parentheses" area) that have been cropping up over the last year or so. NOTHING else has been able to touch these--not Paula's Choice products (I tried them ALL), not Alpha Hydrox, not Neutrogena retinol products, nothing. So this in itself may make these worth the splurge.
My skin tone also looks more even. I only need tinted moisturizer (I use oil-free Laura Mercier) and some blotting powder (Urban Decay Deslick powder) with concealer for blemishes and small spots (Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in CIA), whereas before I needed a full foundation.
Probably my favorite thing about these is that, while they may not really be "acne-fighting," I feel like the BHA and AHA combo is working well (so far) to dry up/heal the 4 or 5 giant blemishes on my face while fading old acne marks. I also have not had a new zit in the morning for the 2-3 days I've been using these; before, I was getting a new one every. single. day. So hopefully this is what's helping (plus the oilless oil, I'm sure, since overdrying can cause even more breakouts).
I know this sounds crazy since it's only been a couple of days, and maybe I'm biased since I want so badly to find a good product after wasting literally thousands of dollars over the past few years to try to get my skin under control, but it's really amazing so far.
When I run out, I'm not sure if I'll have $85/month to keep repurchasing, but maybe I'll look into something similar like PTR Unwrinkle Pads (about 1/4 the price when comparing amounts directly).
The last thing I will add is that these pads have simplifed my routine. With Paula's Choice, I was told I needed at least 5 different products in my morning and night routine (with some different ones at night, placing the total closer to 10). That's a lot of time, and when you think about it, even 10 $10 products is actually more expensive than just using this and a moisturizer/oil. I like that I can cleanse, swipe these, and throw on the oil at night and I'm done! In the morning I just use cleansing wipes (currently Boots Expert wipes for Sensitive Skin) and put on my tinted moisturizer. Incredibly simple routine, especially compared to the one suggested by many other product lines.
*If this starts to cause irritation, sensitization, or breakouts, I will update! But none so far.
UPDATE 2/25/14: I took a break from these for a while because, to be honest, I didn't want to fall in love with something I could not afford to repurchase. One night, I felt like these were making my face oilier, but I think it was from other products. I was also reticent to buy in fully, since Paula Begoun loves to say jar packaging makes ingredients unstable. But, I started them up again a few days ago (same jar...over 3 months later) and they are right back to making me look glowy and smooth. In the meantime, I've tried lots of other peels, products, AHAs, BHAs, etc., and this is the best one. PTR Unwrinkle pads are a close second and may be what I'll have to buy when these run out. Seeing as these still deliver results after being opened over 3 months, I'm not sure I trust Paula's insistence that jar packaging is always bad. I believe the chemistry of it, but there's something in these that is DEFINITELY still working. (These work way better than the over $700 worth of Paula's Choice products I tried in the meantime, by the way).
4/13/14 update...it does work for about a day. Then makes my face oilier the next day. Boo. Threw the rest out. Too expensive to have to guess and experiment with.
This review is for the 30-day version that comes in individual packs (easy for travel). The packaging for that one is nice in case you want to grab a couple to go for a trip.
Price: VERY EXPENSIVE. Whether or not its worth it depends on your skin and I suppose you won't know until you try. I read the reviews and while I saw a sprinkling of 3-star MEH reviews, it seems you either LOVED it or it destroyed you. I also understood that for peels there's a certain amount of purging and a 1-2 time sample isn't really enough to evaluate effects. So i bought the 30-day size, hoping I fell into the group of people it worked wonders for.
Well I was wrong. It was awful for my skin. And I stayed the course hoping any purging would eventually subside. The first week was great--skin seemed clearer, pores were tighter, face had a nice glow. I was excited about finding a great product. But then starting around week 2, problems began. I have oily skin, but I'm not really acne prone...1 or 2 might pop on occasion--I make sure to always cleanse my skin well. I almost never wear makeup and use a clarisonic brush in the evenings. Well starting the 2nd week, while I was using this, new pimples were cropping up daily. All around my jawline, chin, nose. White-watery kind, and cystic kind. I was getting them in places I NEVER had pimples before--under my eye (WTH???), in my eyebrows (I've only had this once ever when I was a teen...and then 2 big painful cystic ones in the span of a week), even one or 2 in my hairline (again, WTH?? this has never happened before). I tried to keep up the routine but as the 30-day pack was coming to an end, it seemed more and more clear, this wasn't going to resolve itself. My skin paid the price of my 'experiment'. I am now using gentler all-natural Yonka products to calm my skin back down. Its not like you stop using the pads and your skin will stop breaking out right away. Even after I stopped, while the breakouts seemed to slow down...it still happening. Looks like it'll take some time to get it back to normal. My face hasn't looked this bad in like 15 years.
Amazing, wonderful product. Makes my skin feel so good! Clean and fresh and smooth. Can't live without this.