PureCeuticals Cherry Glycolic Peel 1.7 oz

Our Rating: 4 stars

I had never tried anything from PureCeuticals, but I knew that this mid-range and all-plant-sourced line has earned enthusiastic reviews among the Truth In Aging regulars. Plus, I’m a fan of the occasional glycolic treatment, so I was filled with great antipication when I accepted the offer to review PureCeuticals Cherry Glycolic Peel ($42).

Nisha gave PureCeuticals Multi-Enzyme Pumpkin Peel ($42) a rave. That product is 2% glycolic and has lots of plant enzymes as well. This one, on the other hand, ramps up the glycolic with 15%. PureCeuticals’ website also highlights this peel’s lactic acid (15%), salicylic acid (15%), and cherry pulp and grape skin extract. Cherry pulp, PureCeuticals says, lightens skin and is also anti-inflammatory and a skin soother. Grape skin contains powerful antioxidants – I do remember having good results with Nutra-lift Grape Seed Foaming Face Polish ($22), though it’s a messy one.

So this peel is the Pumpkin’s more aggressive cousin. I’ve used the thick red glop (you’ll look like something from a cheesy horror movie) about once a week for several weeks. The first thing to note is that it really did produce a pronounced tingle and a warm flush immediately with each use – and I only left in on for five to seven minutes (directions say not more than seven).

It left my skin all-over pink for a good half hour, and slightly flushed for a while thereafter. I used plenty of my richest moisturizing creams right after. In fact, the experience reminded me a great deal of the doctor’s office glycolic peels I used to get in my 40s. But as for the results, they are really very impressive. My face and neck looked brighter, smoother, and felt better-textured. All from a peel priced at a reasonable $42 for 1.7 ounces.

A couple of caveats though: I really didn’t love the chunks of pulp in the gel; they stuck to my skin during rinse-off and just made the thing messy. Maybe the fruit really makes a big difference, but I could do without them. More importantly, be clear that this is a very strong formulation. Apparently I can tolerate it, but I would not recommend this peel for very sensitive skins (PureCeuticals says the same). It worked well for me, but others in my age group (over 50) would want to exercise caution; you might find it irritating or drying. (I will note that the company’s website says the pH level 3.5 – 4.0, which, if I understood earlier TIA articles about pH and glycolic, is far above that of professional peels and should therefore be less damaging.)

Over the past couple of years, since TIA introduced it, I have used La Vie Celeste’s Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask ($60 in the shop), which is a really gentle mask with 5% glycolic. I think that just about anyone, including folks my age, would tolerate it well and see good results. I’ve also used the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel for sensitive skin ($39); it too is very reasonably priced and mild but effective. As I was writing this post, I reread Marta’s very recent post, Five Best with glycolic acid. I haven’t tried the others, so I can’t offer a comparison, though the Lather product sounds great too.

Overall, I was very happy with the Cherry Glycolic Peel and would continue to use it. (I might try Marta’s body-firming suggestion from her January 9 post, and try it on my arms, too.) I would certainly recommend it for dealing with sun damage and nascent wrinkles, especially for the 30s and 40s set.

Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), Glycerine, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Populus Tremuloides (Aspen) Bark Extract, Hydroxymethylglycinate, Salicylic Acid, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Yeast Extract (Phyto-Hyaluronate), Yeast Extract (Phyto-Collagen), Algae Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Irish Moss) Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Vitis Vinefera (Grape Skin) Seed Extract, Vitis Vinefera (Grape Skin) Seed Powder, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Extract, Prunus Avium (Cherry) Fruit Pulp, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Prunus Domestica (Plum) Fruit Pulp, Aloe Barbadensis Gel, Organic Rosa Rubiginosa (Rosa Mosqueta) Seed Oil, Papain, Bromelain, Mineral Mica. pH 3.5 - 4.0