When Marta asked me if I’d road-test an at-home facial peel, Hydropeptide Polish & Plump Peel ($68), the first image that popped into my mind was that scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark when the Nazi’s face melts off in the presence of the original manu-stone of the 10 Commandments (it was either that, or the presence of Harrison Ford in his Fedora). Could that waxy demise be my fate? I wasn’t sure, but I said yes, as any good Beauty Adventurer would.

The first thing I learned is that when it comes to facial peels, you need to know about peptides, since these little babies  (in this case, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide also called Matrixyl), stimulate the synthesis of collagen and hylauronic acid, which help relax wrinkles and plump skin. They’re also an important ingredient in almost any facial peel out there.

Step 1 of the system was to exfoliate with Hydropeptide Polishing Crystals. The scent was pleasant and the crystals, once applied, felt warm and soothing. After a minute or two of massaging them into my face, I “activated” them with Step 2, in which the peptides go to work to plump and prettify. Then I rinsed it all off and dried my face as carefully as possible. I am happy to report that not only did my face not melt off, but it also felt immediately softer, both on my cheeks and on my forehead, which can often be oily and dry at the same time.

It didn’t seem to me that the effects of the Polish & Plump Peel lasted all that long, but right after the three times I tried it, it sure felt great and made a visible difference. I’d recommend it, especially before a big evening out.

Ingredients in Anti-Wrinkle Polishing Crystals/Peel #1:

Peg-6, L-Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Jojoba Esters, Oleth-20, Glyceryl Stearate Se, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Polysorbate-20, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Palmitoyl Tripeptide, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Tribehenin, Ceramide 2, Peg 10 Rapeseed Sterol, Silica, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Sorbitan Isostearate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Beta Carotene, Pearlessence.

Ingredients in Anti-Wrinkle Plumping Activator:

Water, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Linoleamidopropyl Pg-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Polyquaternium 10, Butylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.