brad ultra peel

Our Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by Ki on March 30, 2016


Three years ago I was asked to review the first version of this product. Looking back at my review reminded me of the positive and somewhat negative issues that arose for me using BRAD Ultra Peel Exfoliating Gel ($175 in the shop) the first time around. Yes, it did seem to lighten and tighten, but I experienced peeling around my nose, and an actual “burned” feeling after using the product every day for a week. I backed off, found certainly helped with age spots. But I wasn’t so impressed I would have sprung for it, and I like a routine daily, rather than having to count days and worry about damaging my already 64-year-old skin using too much product. 

Now Brad has reformulated this Ultra Peel, and I can report that the negatives have vanished, and, for the most part, the positives have remained and possibly increased. This is a product that contains exfoliating AHAs: alpha hydroxy, malic, kojic and lactic acids. This means it can make your skin more sun-sensitive, so don’t forget sunscreen. It also has skin brighteners such as licorice and bearberry extract. It also contains “bio-ferments,” this is described on their website: “the process of fermentation concentrates the nutrient value and increases the bio-availability of ingredients so that they can be absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin. Bio-fermentation does not require any preservatives; prevents oxidation so maintaining maximum potency and effectiveness of ingredients; and increases anti-microbial activity in the products.” I know, it’s somewhat mysterious.

I have been using the product daily. It’s an orange-ish serum, drippy, that is dispensed from the “magic properties” black glass bottle via a glass dropper. Very medicinal looking, but the smell is clean and the product disappears into the skin, leaving no orange glow. It’s also very easy to apply. Rather than attempting to aim the dropper on my face, hurrying to rub it in before it slid off and risk losing even a drop of the serum (it’s not cheap), I found that dropping half a dropper-full on the back of my hand and then dipping my fingers into the little pool to apply all over my face and neck was the easiest way to go. Although there was a warning regarding possible stinging, it was only the first day I noticed the tiniest tingle. After that it was smooth sailing, easy-peasy every morning. I finished by adding moisturizer on top and eye cream (YBF Control), I was out the door.

This product gives the skin a glow. I noted in my earlier review, at my age I have a fair amount of age spots and sun damage. The first thing I noticed after about a week was a lightening of the more prominent dark spots. Another week and I noticed that the pores on my nose seemed to have opened a bit, which was disturbing, but within a few days, seemed to have tightened back up. It was almost as if, with this rather subtle peeling taking place (and I do mean subtle, I never saw so much as a flake, or felt any burn besides the first use tingle), the dead and blocking top layers were falling away and new skin was being revealed. At a month in, my skin looks finer and smoother, there is continued fading of dark spots, and I am pleased that it’s such a benign experience overall.

The only negative thing is this now that the fading and evening out of my facial and neck skin in going on, I notice the spots where I have broken capillaries much more! Arrgh! Two steps forward, one step back!  So now I am wondering what to do about THOSE. Wish the Ultra Peel could work its magic on those, but I think they are too deep, and I’d have to go for the freaky laser treatments I’ve heard hurt so much. Ick.
Would I buy it? Three years ago I said no, too expensive. Now I am more convinced that it may be worth it to have such a gentle ongoing peel process happening. Since the bottle is very generous, I am continuing to use it and if I can find a way to deal with those red veiny things, well, I just might be a convert. Sometimes you don’t see the possibilities and problems until they are quite literally side-by-side right on your face!