It’s been years since I first saw a certain scene in a Sex and the City episode where Samantha Jones agreed to a chemical peel as a side dish to Botox, but any mention of the treatment, and I immediately get a mental image of Jones’s post-dermatologist appointment lobster face.
Although a good chemical peel has a number of benefits like minimizing hyperpigmentation, sun and dark spots, and acne-inducing clogged pores, all of which my hormonal breakout-plagued complexion could use, my fear of the treatment aggravating my sensitive skin has always trumped visiting a dermatologist’s office.
This is where Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial comes in. Packing 25% AHA and 2% BHA acids, this little guy’s non-toxic formula is no joke, and is supposed to serve as a weekly at-home alternative to an in-office treatment. Along with the combination of glycolic, lactic, and citric acids, a blend of natural ingredients like chickpea flower, matcha, and pumpkin ferment extract work to brighten, refine pores, and minimize fine lines and wrinkles with instant results for all skin types.
As someone who’s left with dark spots to remind them of the bad times during a fall full of particularly soul-crushing breakouts, I’ve tested a number of products to minimize the appearance of the polka dots on my chin, but nothing has been so effective for me that I would brag about it to my friends in a group text. So needless to say, I was hopeful that the pairing of potent acids with the antioxidants would deliver results without making my sensitive skin freak out.
Luckily, my complexion loved Babyfacial. Although there was some mild stinging for a few moments after I had the peel on, there was no redness after leaving it on for the full recommended 20 minutes and following up with the brand’s mini vial of its soothing Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil that comes with the peel. Although I instantly noticed a bit of a glow and extra softness, my love affair with the peel really didn’t begin until the next morning. Some of my post-breakout dark spots that I’ve been trying to get rid of for months were visibly lighter after one use, and they’ve only gotten lighter as I’ve continued to regularly use the mask.
I’ve chalked up the improvement to Babyfacial’s acids having the ideal pH level for exfoliating dead surface skin cells while avoiding redness and irritation. While my fear of peels has subsided a little bit, I can’t compare my experience to the real deal—but I don’t feel like there’s a need now.
Treat your skin to an at-home facial for $80 at sephora.com. Unlike Jones's case, no post-appointment veil required.