Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) 40% Lactic Acid Peel

Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC)  40% Lactic Acid Peel
image 1


115 reviews

78% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.5

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.5

Price: $$


Ingredients: Lactic Serum Ingredients: Purified Water, Lactic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hydroxide, Licorice Extract, Neolone (Preservative). pH Prep Solution Ingredients: Water, Witch Hazel, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, FD&C Blue #1 5/21/09

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium Brown, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Kinky, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

A long time ago, a dermatologist created a skin care line specializing in the problems of "ethnic"(like if you're from Norway it's not an ethnicity?Wa?) i.e., darker and mixed race skin, namely hyper pigmentation. I would have never come across it if it wasn't for one day at a TJMaxx in 2008, when I found a serum of her, the Skin Absolute Radiance Intensive Exfoliating Serum. My instincts came in and said this was a ringer for my then, unbeknownst to me, hormonal acne marks and blotches from summer vacation. That day and the months that followed changed my life. My skin became the most beautiful it had ever been. I took my yearbook pictures, graduation pics at the time I used said product. Everyone wouldn't stop gushing about how incredibly stunning my coloring was and the vitality my skin had. My mom, who is the most staunch woman out there, once said my skin was so pristine as if i were five again. My yearbook photographer was so moved he referred me a job as an artist model in the art college in my city. I didn't know what the original formulation of said product had, but if I remember correctly it had some percentage of hydroquinone and glycolic acid. The product was in a clouded clear glass bottle with a medium brown cap and orange and red lettering. All I knew was that on inquiring online, the product was discontinued and later reformulated. My heart break was not small. Worse, a friend of my mom's had melasma, and it was affecting her confidence. She asked my mom what I used and I wrote down what it was. But my conscience didn't consider that enough, so I gave her the last bottle I had knowing I wouldn't find more.

Fast forward a few years and as I was educating myself, I came across MUAC. This was the peel named the standard for hyper pigmentation and darker folks by both the company,MUA, and plenty of statements by the skin care community online. And to a point, they were right. But to get to those results, you have to be patient and devote a good 2-3 months. That it just depending on the peel alone. When I used this, my freckles and my then unknown pigmentation from hormonal acne, would diminish, but would purge whiteheads soon after use. Yet my skin was as close to perfection as it was then with Dr.Susan's serum, and as it is now by incorporating this peel with MUAC's 30% Glycolic Peel and the Mandelic/Salicylic Peel. I use them in rotation, a different peel every week. My skin is pulsating with life and health, and this peel contributes by bringing balance and clarity to my skin coloring. Also a nice translucent glow that looks like you had a good romp or workout. My face is now the same color as my body, a problem with us darker folks that have used some lightening products in the past. It is extremely gentle and easy to use, but slow and steady when it comes to delivering its work. Please bear in mind that I don't use this to prevent acne, nor do I think you should use it with that goal in mind. I use this to even my skin only. Somethings aren't meant to multitask and with time I've come to feel that this is okay. You don't have to have a pharmacy of products, but a handful of products that work is just fine. A rare 4.5/5 from me.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 10/27/2015 5:20:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Oily, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have decided to try this peel to correct hyper pigmentation both on my cheekbone.I have used 40% Lactic Acid twice for a week now, left it on for 7 minutes. There was some tingling feeling while it was on - but no peeling at all. I don't notice any change on my face. Since I had no peeling, I wonder if this has worked? Anyone with the same experience?

To Read all 115 Reviews, Login or Join

Login with Google

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Red, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I was so excited to find this on Amazon, because I'd previously been using a glycolic acid from a beauty supply store that stopped carrying the line. And this stuff works almost as well without needing a license to buy. I think everyone else has left great details for how to use this, and I recommend following the directions carefully too. Also make sure to follow with baking soda, because it neutralizes the acid. I didn't the first time, and kept wondering why my skin burned the next day..Oops...And I leave it on for as long as I think I can get away with, but I've also been using it for awhile, and I really want to lighten and smooth out old acne scars.

Let me tell you this stuff WORKS. I personally have severely RED skin after using it for a about 2 days and then lots of shedding. So I recommend doing this treatment on your days off if you can, because you will not want to wear make-up for a while. Also it burns like hell, but it's worth it. I've found that the only cleanser/moisturizer I can use afterwards is good old Jergens cold cream, the old fashioned pink creamy stuff. It's perfect for balancing my skin back out and it helps with the healing process, while relieving my skin of the painful burn.

And it is painful, but after 5 to 7 days my skin is a lot younger looking, softer, smoother, and my acne scars are disappearing. And my skin gets better with each treatment, which I've done once a month for a year. Also with this type of skin treatment I recommend, as other have said too, to never use a harsh scrub on your skin again. Harsh scrubs irritate acne and spread germs anyway, ( for people with severe acne problems) I think. I used scrubs for years and I swear they contributed to scarring and did zero to help me. Also this stuff does have apple cider vinegar in it I think, because it truly smells like it's in there somewhere.

It's not the very best acid I've used, but it's a good one. I would re-buy it. It's not as intense as the others I've tried, but it is very good. I can see how some of the reviewers are using it twice a month or more often than other acids, especially if they only leave it on for a few minutes. I'm glad I started using acids to help fade scars overall, they truly do work. I don't have severe breakouts anymore at my age really, occasionally I might get a pimple if I use the wrong foundation, so my review is really only for scars and wrinkles. I think this stuff would work on acne too though. I wish I'd found it years ago!

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Black

I've used the 40% lactic acid peel since mid-November 2014. I use the peel on my neck once a week and on my face once a month. The reason my neck gets more usage is because it is darker from excess sun exposure and lactic acid is better for hyper pigmentation. On my neck, I've noticed slight fading of the tan and when I use it on my face, my acne scars are slightly lighter. This peel makes my skin very soft as well and brings pimples to head. I find this peel is too weak for me and perhaps I should have used the 55% la peel or the fade peel. I will be ordering a stronger peel next time. Oh, 1/2 ounce (15 ml) peel seems to last forever, I think I'll get two more months of use. The 40% la peel is great for beginners.

edit: Sunscreen is no option when using chemical peels, you must wear it when you go outside. AHAs make the skin more sensitive to the the sun.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

For reference, I have dehydrated-normal skin. I wanted to use this chemical peel to fade the red-purple acne scars had gathered over the years. I have had success with lactic acid in the past, and this product was no exception.

I have used lower strength daily-use lactic acid products in the past (e.g. St. Ives scrub-free exfoliating pads) which do a good job at evening my skin texture and keeping away small pimples, but with those I only see a small amount of fading in acne scars over a long period of time. With a single chemical peel, I see overnight results in fading my acne scars that would take the St. Ives pads about a month or two. (I'll note that I don't know if these results are the norm.)

I do a chemical peel every couple of weeks to supplement my daily-use AHA toner. I've gone through about half of my trial size/1 oz bottle, which is quite generous considering how little I use each time. It's easy to use, and I apply a thin layer to clean, dry skin that I swipe with the pH prep toner that was incuded. I do experience slight stinging and redness when it's on, but after 3-5 minutes I rinse it off with soap and water. I apply a thin layer of a Vaseline to slightly damp skin (I would normally use a regular moisturizer with humectants underneath but as my skin is slightly red still at this point I don't want to irritate i) and I'm done in under 10 minutes.

Overall, I've been really pleased with how this product has helped fade my acne scars and improve my skin. If you've had success with lactic acid in the past and want to speed up the fading of any acne scars, this is worth a shot.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

After spending a lot of money at local aesthetic clinics, I canít tell you how excited I was when my overseas shipment of 40% Lactic Acid Peel from Makeup Artistís Choice (MUAC) arrived.

There was a very slight tinkling sensation upon the first touch of serum on the skin. But it was fine. No pain, no discomfort. I had it on for 7 minutes. My face was just slightly flushed. After about 4 days, there was slight flaking near my nose and lips.

Check out before-after photos and 25% discount code at:

Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Came accross MUAC's Lactic Acid while looking for Vit. K oil believe it or not. Decided to try Lactic Acid based on reviews. BEST THING GOING. For ever, I have what seems like permanent melasma, or dark shading. My dermantologoist has prescribed a retin A based topical which mildly helped but not really and he did not offer much hope. After 4 weeks of 1x a week using MUAC Lactic Acid my skin was soft but not much else. I re read the directions and saw Lactic Acid can be used 2x a week and that is what made the difference I have to make sure my face is hydrated well before the 2nd usage of the week but the result is fantastic. I have NEVER had a clear face and I am not 20. Who knew make up would not be a patch n cover the bad stuff task, but a 10 minute joy. My best advise is let your skin tell you when it's time for 2nd application. Watch the dryness and do light at first. I tried using my own astringent which made the treatment sting. The PH astringent is important.

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have been battling moderate acne for the past 4 years. In the past six months I started getting nasty cystic breakouts that left behind some minor scarring and some not so minor post inflammatory hyper pigmentation (those red marks that healed pimples leave behind). I was finally able to clear up my skin but it still looked I had a face full of acne due to those pesky suckers. Throughout my 4 year struggle with acne I've been through the ringer looking for products that would speed up the usually 6 month long process of ridding my face of all the red marks. Enter MUAC. This 40% lactic acid peel is a lifesaver. I actually use this peel every other day for about 5-7 minutes and my red marks have lightened about 30%. I know it doesn't sound like much but I want to cry I am so thrilled...usually that kind of progress would take months. This is the first beauty product I would ever label "miracle". I also used this in conjunction with Paula's Choice AHA. Please use A LOT of caution when using chemical is not recommended to use them as often as I can and if not used with the upmost caution they can cause nasty permanent damage to your skin. That being said, don't wait another second to go buy this product if you're trying to get rid of PIH! I can almost guarantee it will improve the quality of your skin in more ways than one.

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

on 8/6/2013 4:59:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Wow, wow, wow. This is everything everyone says it is. I bought this one specifically to fade acne scars.

glycolic - sun spots/wrinkles
mandelic - just to even skin
TCA - for the impatient

Let me just echo everyone and say that MUAC is a great company. They truly care, and they aren't trying to rip people off. You can get samples. There are coupons and sales. The full-size is $30. I can't even get one facial for less than $70! Ridiculously fast shipping also.

I never had scars (though I always was acne-prone) until I tried Devita's SPF three years ago. It broke me out horribly. I thought I would have to live with the scars for the rest of my life. I was so glad to stumble on the world of AHAs. I removed my cleanser with Lavender Oil, which slows down cell turnover, and jumped in. That cleanser helped lessen breakouts (the lavender oil), but it made my skin dull. I don't use essential oils on my face anymore, aside from tea tree on the occasional spot.

Here's how to use it:
First, DISCARD ALL EXFOLIATORS, esp if your skin is sensitive or not used to peels. This includes retin-a, vitamin c, benzoyl peroxide, bha (salicylic acid), the Clarisonic, scrubs, clay masks, creams with aha or bha, and many, many more products. Don't tarnish your experience with this by combining it with other exfoliants because your skin will turn pink or will get irritated/react, and you will blame it on this and miss out.

Second, the first time, try it for ONLY one minute. If you have a terrible reaction, the consequences will not be severe if you only try it for one minute (better yet, patch test). Also, by trying it for a minute, you can immediately locate certain areas that are more sensitive than others and either avoid them or apply the solution on those spots last. The main reason for putting it on for a minute is to see how your skin reacts to gauge how you will proceed.

Don't apply it to any open wounds, cuts, acne that just popped, etc. It is okay to apply it over acne that is not open, though.

I put it on for a minute, and my skin was fine. No pink. So from this experience, I knew I could safely bump it up to 3 minutes, no problem. Also from this, I knew I needed to skip the area that connects the lowest part of my nose to my face (really sensitive there, and I'm not the only one from these reviews). I completely skipped that area with all peels thereafter.

The next week (don't do it twice a week, please; slow and steady) I did it for three minutes. From that three-minute segment, I realized my nose/forehead is more sensitive than everywhere else and would only be able to handle three minutes max. So from there I adjusted to the current routine I have now, which goes as follows:

1. Remove makeup, clean face with a soap-free cleanser. I use Fresh's Soy and jojoba oil to remove my eye makeup.

2. Use toner provided (when it runs out, buy witch hazel from Whole Foods; I use the Thayers rose witch hazel since it's moisturizing).

3. I start the timer on my phone and then apply product to cheeks first, mainly the areas I bought the mask for.

4. At about the 2:00 mark, I apply it to the rest of my cheeks and up to my temples.

5. At the 3:00 mark, I apply it to the rest of my face, starting with the least sensitive to most sensitive, so in this order: chin, forehead, upper lip, nose. Then I use my brush to rub in the excess on my cheeks again. (I use the Ecotools biggest eye brush from their eye collection brush set: whole set for only $10).

NOTE: Rubbing it in or applying an extra layer makes it more potent. Don't do that to sensitive parts of face.

6. At the 7:00 mark, I wash my face with warm water. After my face is rinsed, I grab my baking soda in a cup (which is already at the counter) and put some of the warm water in it, just to make it wet. I then cover this over my entire face. It stings a little, but it completely neutralizes the acid - something water does not do alone. Rinse.

7. It says to clean face again, but there really is no point since your face is as clean as it ever will be. But if you want, you can use the gentle cleanser they provide. I just skip it and apply the toner on again per the instructions.

8. After I'm done with the toner, I put on my favorite night cream, Merlot's from Walgreen (only $15). I smother my face in this. I may also layer an oil underneath that I know works well with my skin. Some use argan, which is great at preventing acne for me.

9. Sleep. Drink water. Use spf and moisturizer for the next week: SPF every day going out and night cream every night. In seven days, you can give it a go again.

These are the things I gather together when I'm going to do a peel:
1. phone (for timer function)
2. hair clip or scrunchie (to get hair completely off face)
3. cleanser (Fresh's soy for me)
4. peel and toner (+ cotton pads for toner)
5. baking soda in a cup
6. ecotools big eye brush
7. Merlot night cream

I use Neutrogena's breakout free SPF 30 in the day.

My scars were 50% less visible in just a mo. They will be completely gone by six mos or sooner, of that I'm completely confident. Once they are gone, I will just stick to the mandelic once every two weeks with the gly-luronic whenever I feel like it to keep things looking smooth/even. I don't plan on using lactic acid for all my life. For the impatient, there's the TCA, but I like to go slow and steady. If I wanted to get a TCA peel, I'd just go to a spa. I can't afford downtime or burns or the anxiety of using something that strong, so I stuck with the gentle lactic acid. It gets the job done -- and quickly. I don't plan on upping the % because this is working just fine on what I bought it for - removing acne scars. I'd sooner increase the time than up the percentage.

Skin the day after - looks tan, kind of dull. Skin two days later, decent. Skin three days later, glowing!

77 out of 77 people found this review helpful.

on 7/3/2013 4:49:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

I used the mandelic before buying this and i prefer the mandelic. this one is more viscous than the mandelic and i did not peel/flake from it but it seemed to not do much at all. maybe because the mandelic had already exfoliated a lot? it also has a strange scent.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Popular Masks

Aspirin Mask
Aspirin Mask
2243 Reviews
Mint Julep Masque
Mint Julep Masque
4275 Reviews
Back to Top