This $8 Exfoliating Peel Just Went Viral on TikTok (Again) for Leaving Users' Skin "Flawless"
Any beauty product has the ability to go viral nowadays thanks to TikTok; the app has easily become the epicenter of skincare reviews and makeup hacks. And with such a massive user base, it's hardly a surprise that certain products may find fame more than once, such as The Ordinary AHA BHA Peeling Solution. The $8 find resurfaced in a recent video with over 1.3 million likes made by creator @xoxoemira, who raved about how the chemical exfoliant "changed their skin" and left it "flawless" with continued use.
Equipped with potent alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids — mainly glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid — the transformative peel penetrates the skin's surface to brighten dullness, fight blemishes, lighten acne scars, and minimize pore congestion. The addition of hyaluronic acid ensures the skin stays comfortable during the exfoliation process, while vitamin B5 and black carrot reduce inflammation. With weekly application, users may also see a notable reduction in fine lines and uneven skin texture.
This intense of a formula is not for the faint of heart; those who are brand new to at-home chemical peels or have sensitive skin should proceed with caution. As Dr. Sheilagh Maguiness, board-certified dermatologist and cofounder of Stryke Club, shared with InStyle, "The product is meant to deeply exfoliate and unclog pores, but it is strong and if you decide to use it, you should know what you're doing or you could impair your skin barrier and develop an irritated and inflamed face."
How can you reap the peel's benefits without ensuing irritation? Dr. Maguiness advises limiting applications to once per week and avoiding use in combination with other active ingredients that day, particularly topical retinoids. "When you apply the solution to your face, limit it to three to four drops and gently spread [it] into a thin layer." You may feel some tingling, but if extreme burning or discomfort arises, it should be rinsed off immediately, she cautioned.
For those able to tolerate the light sting, the solution can be left on for 5 to 7 minutes before gently rinsing with water, using a hydrating cleanser, and following with a nourishing moisturizer. "It is very important that you seal and soothe the skin barrier with a moisturizer following this treatment — something that is fragrance-free/hypoallergenic would be appropriate." Don't forget to apply SPF, too, as unprotected skin can develop hyperpigmentation which "negates the purpose of the solution in the first place," Dr. Maguiness shared.
Don't let the potential side effects cause hesitation; when used correctly, the pros of implementing the peel into your regimen far outweigh the cons. According to Dr. Maguiness, this strong of an exfoliant has the power to regularly prevent black heads, whiteheads, minimize the appearance of pores, and potentially fade hyperpigmentation.
Plenty of shoppers can attest to this: One Ulta reviewer claimed the peel provided "immediate results" on the blackheads on their nose, while another called it a "miracle worker" for shrinking their pores and brightening their skin. "[It's] Better than any peeling treatment I've ever tried," wrote a third. "My skin is so soft and glowing the day after… I don't even feel like I need to wear foundation."