Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) TCA Peel

Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC)  TCA Peel


223 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

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Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This review is for a different brand of TCA peel. I'm currently on day 6 and becoming really impatient. I've been a hermit for the last few days and only just popped out to my best friends house. Luckily for me, she lives close by and I made sure to leave the house when it was dark out. Bit of history, my face is pretty clear. I have good skin except the texture was getting to me. I was away for 3 months so I have sun damaged skin. It just feels rough when I touch it and no matter how much exfoliation I did, the next day, I was left with the same dry scaly feeling. Really odd as if you look at my face, you'd never tell. Anyway, after some research, I came across the TCA peel. Day 1 - 20% TCA peel. Applied on dry face with a cotton pad all over. One side of my face frosted straight away then a few seconds later, the rest followed. Then came the burning. At this point, I panicked. The thought of making my skin worse made me run to the bathroom and wash it off after 1-2 minutes. I also washed it off with baking soda to neutralise. After 5 minutes, my face looked like I'd been sunburnt. Nothing too bad. Day 2 - Still red and tight. Slight burning here and there if I touched my face. Day 3 - redness turned to a browny tan colour. A lot tighter too. Day 4 - Prettt much the same. Browner and tighter and slowly started peeling a little. . Day 5 - peeling continued. I looked hideous. Cheeks mainly peeling and chin area. I touch the skin underneath and it is much smoother. I hope it stays that way otherwise this would've been a waste of time! Anyway, peeling continued so I trimmed some out of the way. Day 6 - More peeling... most of it is starting to clear up. I still have forehead and sides of my face which is working itself up. I used Aloe Vera gel everyday and a special cream for extra dry skin given to my mum by her Dr. I washed my face twice a day and moisturised up to 2-3 times a day. The results so far are good. I'm really happy. I just hope it stays that way as the skin is still renewing itself so it's hard to tell at this point. I'll be back with an update.

on 6/9/2016 11:47:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown


I did my first TCA (review below) 18% in June and it is now 6 months later and I decided to do another one to see what kind of results I get.

I did the peel last night (Thurs) and I left it on for 5 minutes and decided to do a second layer before neutralizing. The directions don't say how long to leave on the 2nd layer so I assumed 5 minutes, but it started to frost almost immediately after I started to put on the 2nd layer so I just opted to neutralize instead. Better to be conservative. 2nd layer only stayed on a few seconds.

Day 1 (Fri): Woke up this morning shiny and a bit tight/red. Skin is only slightly sensitive. Wore the antibiotic and a tiny but of makeup.

Day 2 (Sat): Forehead feels a bit dry but other than that, nothing going on.

Day 3 (Sun): Only slight dryness on upper lip and chin.

Day 4 (Mon): One small line on cheek turned brown, forehead feels dry still but no peeling. Slight peeling on upper lip and chin. No where else

Day 5 (Tues): Brown spot on cheek still there (could peel it off if I exfoliated). Same with forehead, but as day goes on, forehead is showing more and more readiness to peel. Less severe reaction/results this time. I don't think the acid gets old, does it? It is under a year old.

Day 6 (Weds):

I will update this review as I see results (or not). It's so funny how many people say the same thing but then never update it.

I did the peel on Tuesday evening...I only ordered the sample size (18%) so it didn't come with the face wash...instead I just used Ole Henrickson Red Tea wash (figured it was gentle and probably pretty similar to the MUAC one).

Anyway, I didn't "prep" my skin weeks prior, but I always use a serum with Glycolic Acids in it every other night so I figured my skin was at least a little more used to it than most. I washed my face and let it dry completely and then just followed the instructions.

I used a q-tip and was pretty modest about applying it. Started with my forehead and avoiding my eye area altogether (I used the Vaseline around my eyes, lips and nostrils like it says to). Took me about a minute to do my whole face and then I just timed it for 5 minutes. It only burned a tiny bit in the beginning and my face was a little red, but nothing crazy. After 5 minutes I dipped a clean, 100% cotton super soft tank top into the neutralizing (baking soda and water) solution and got it all off. Then I used the Ole Henrickson cleanser again to make sure the acid was removed and once my skin was dry, I used Neosporin....the Neosporin gave me a couple pimples the next day on my cheek, but they were tiny and went away already.

So the next day, I used the Neosporin as moisturizer and was still able to wear a little makeup with it, but my face was super shiny. Only experienced a little dryness/peeling on my upper lip. Toward the end of the day, my skin started feeling super tight and a little warm.

Now I'm on Thursday (two days post peel) and this morning I moisturized with half Neosporin and half my Murad moisturizer...again a little peeling on my upper lip (although more just very dry which it always is) and a little on the edges of my face (chin, temples). Face feels warm but not tight or anything.

Everyone says the peeling happens after day 4 so I will see how things look over the weekend and report back.

It's Friday now...started seeing a lot more dryness and peeling on my chin and lower cheeks on Thursday night right after a hot shower so I just slathered myself with the Neosporin eventhough I feel like Neosporin is super comedogenic.

This morning (day 4) when I woke up after I washed my face, there's now peeling above my eyebrows, still along the perimeter of my face and most of the peeling is still on my chin and upper lip (interesting cus that's where a lot of my darkest pigmentation was). Definitely harder to wear makeup now (the instructions only say don't wear makeup while peeling, it doesn't say not to wear it at all during the recovery but who knows what they mean). I'm hoping the worst of the peeling will happen over the weekend when I don't have to be anywhere. I have a feeling it will start to get harder to mask as the day goes on. Starting to notice hour by hour it gets a little I see peeling on my temples and upper cheeks are getting a little brown and you can see some dry spots.

Took hot shower today (Saturday) and now notice a lot more peeling (in very small pieces) on cheeks. Chin and upper lip have stopped peeling and already my skin looks much lighter and more even there. More forehead it looking super crepe-y and has started to peel as well. This was the first day it was super difficult to disguise the peeling but I still went out to lunch and had a little makeup on (mostly just under my eyes where I didn't do the peel anyway). I already see results so I'm anxious to see what it looks like in a few days!

On Sunday (day 6, counting day of peel) the peeling was limited to my forehead but was difficult to mask, minimal but still obvious.

Monday no signs of peeling and things look great. I'll get to use normal products today and perhaps even a mandelic mask later this week.

Will for sure do another TCA in a couple months!

6 of 7 people found this helpful.

on 1/23/2016 12:37:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

About my skin: a lot of acne scarring (ice pick scars, boxcar scars, large pores and red hyperigmentation). For the most part, my acne has reduced. I’ve done plenty of at home peels in the past (including: lactic, salicylic, glycolic, jessner’s peel) and all of them have either irritated my skin or gave me minimal results, which may also be due to my active acne at the time. I recently did a professional PCA peel (which combines low strength TCA, kojic, lactic and salicylic acid) and I barely peeled from it but it improved my skins overall tone and clarity.

Peel: 15% TCA. So I had everything ready for the peel. I had the baking soda/water mix ready, mini fan, and the q -tip. I swiped it cross both sides of my face. I didn’t do my forehead (bc I don’t have any issues there) nor my chin (bc its been pretty sensitive lately). Bracing for the pain…and…nothing! It was like a pain of 2 on scale of 10. It wasn’t bad at all and no frosting. So, after 5 minutes. I swiped a second layer and it stung a bit more. I had it on for an additional one minute. Then I neutralized, washed my face with my cetaphil cleanser and put on CeraVe moisturizing lotion. I didn’t put on Neosporin bc I’ve put on neosporin on my face in the past where I burned from waxing and it just aggravated my skin. So considering the amount of preparation, research, and pre-canceling social plans… I was pretty disappointed in not feeling any burn or have frost occur.

Day 1 (Friday and Saturday): Skin is tight and red, turning darker. Nothing else.

Day 3: The skin where I did the small patch test 2 days prior to the full peel is starting to peel. So I’m thinking it will be another 2 days before my face peels, assuming same timing logic.

Day 4-5- peeling most places. Its not in sheets but not in flakes either, kind of in between. It didn't itch or break me out. I only used CeraVe lotion and a tinest bit of aquaphor.

Day 6: little to no peeling. It was done. The "new" skin was a bit pink and also make my hyperpgimentation more pronounced than it was before! But the next day, it started looking better and better the day after that.

So, its been exactly one week since day 1. I would say my post acne marks have decreased 30%, which is good considering one weeks difference. This same difference would have taken several months if I did some type of topical/serum method. My skins texture looks about the same, which is okay since that will take several more peels or something more drastic to repair.

For me, the benefits of this outweigh the cons of having peeling skin and being a social hermit for a few days. I'm already thinking of planning my next peel and considering going up to the 18%. I'll post an update for that peel :)

11 of 11 people found this helpful.

on 12/10/2015 5:06:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

This review is for my first time using the 18% TCA peel from MUAC. Previously I had 12.5% peels at my doctor's office, which were ridiculously priced but gave me good results. I'm using this peel to treat PIH on my cheeks and around my mouth, as well as attempt to smooth out some uneven texture.

Prior to TCA, I did weekly 55% lactic acid peels for a month. I also use AHA and BHA every day, along with retinol at night, but I stopped all actives 48 hours ahead of time per MUAC's instructions.

For my first peel (of 3, which I plan on doing 3 weeks apart), I used the Q-tip method, which was delightfully efficient. I covered my whole face with two dips and swipes, using a new Q-tip each time because sanitary purposes (aka no double dipping).

The first minute my skin was pretty hot and tingly, so I used the cool setting on my blowdryer until it subsided. Some PIH on my cheeks and along my jaw was bright pink at the end of the 5 minutes. I decided on a second layer given my experience with TCA peels, which lightly frosted on the upper half of my forehead, lower portion of both cheeks and around my mouth within 2 extra minutes. It definitely stung more with the second layer, and it didn't relent as quickly as the first layer. When I say lightly frosted, it was barely white but to be safe rather than sorry, I neutralized those areas with the solution from MUAC. I waited the full additional 5 minutes for the non-frosted areas before washing my entire face with their green tea cleanser. Then, I waited about 30 minutes before gently applying Nivea Creme (blue tub) to my whole face (my skin likes it and I've been using it for years).

Post-peel what surprised me most was how many blackouts immediately surfaced. Like, spilling out of my pores grossness. Around my lips especially - who knew those suckers were even lurking? My most prominent and recent PIH expanded in size and was definitely darker. My face wasn't really red or even pink afterwards, something else that I observed compared to others' reviews and experiences. In fact, 30 minutes after Nivea-ing it up, I took my dog for a walk (it was nighttime).

If you're doing your internet research and are confused about what to do, what to use, when and best advice is know your skin, what makes it happy as well as what aggravates it. Before and after a TCA peel of any strength is not the time to experiment with new ingredients and/or products. For example, I was debating to neosporin or not post-peel. I opted against it because I've never applied it to my face and given others' complaints about cystic breakouts.

While the 18% wasn't alarmingly interactive with my skin, the stinging/burning was more than I anticipated. Next time I'll let things really frost before neutralizing. I can't compare this to the 15%, but it was noticeably stronger than the 12.5%. I'm happy I skipped the 15% and went straight to 18% (but again, I only did so due to my 12.5% peel experience in-office).


TL;DR: Because I've only started my peel series, I'll update this review and its ratings as I go. But for now, I give 5 lippies across the board due to convenience, ease of use and price point. Plus MUAC is notorious for its fast shipping and helpful customer service, which was great as usual.

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

on 10/26/2015 8:59:00 PM

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!

9 of 9 people found this helpful.

on 8/21/2015 8:11:00 AM

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.

on 5/8/2015 8:27:00 AM

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.

on 4/23/2015 12:40:00 PM

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.

25 of 26 people found this 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

15 of 17 people found this helpful.

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.

13 of 14 people found this helpful.

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