The thought of getting a chemical peel never really, well, appealed to me. I had always wondered if it would do more harm than good for my 20-something skin. But when I heard that the signature glycolic peel from N.Y.C. dermatologist Neal Schultz, M.D. involved absolutely no downtime, I was curious to learn more. I walked into his practice on a Tuesday evening (with plans to hide from my doorman and order Seamless later on that night, lest anyone see the sure-to-be blotchy aftermath). But when I sat down, Dr. Schultz explained, "glycolic exfoliation corrects tone, texture, dull skin, large pores—it’s the key to achieving that elusive ‘glow’ we all strive for.” And redness afterward? "Totally nonexistent," he assured me.
After I settled into the chair, I removed my makeup before a cotton ball soaked in glycolic acid was swirled across my face. The treatment took two minutes and—lo and behold—didn't sting a bit. Before I knew it, I was being told to rinse it off. The ease of it all is one of the reasons this same in-office service is now being offered at a freestanding “bar” inside New York City’s Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store.
As for the results? When I looked in the mirror, the super-visible, perpetually-congested pores in my t-zone were no longer visible. I was totally bowled over: My skin looked better than it had in years.
Though I'd say the peel alone is more than worth the trip, if you're not based in the Big Apple, try BeautyRx by Dr. Neal Schultz The Progressive Peel ($70; beautyrx.com). It's a six-week, gradual introduction to glycolic exfoliation compromised of easy-to-use pads, a cream, and serum. Like the peel I tried, the products offer visible results without irritation—proof that you can have your cake and eat it, too.