Skincare aficionados know that glycolic acid is one of the most common and safest ingredients (when used in lower concentration) in treating oily and/or acne-prone skin as well as fine lines and uneven skin tone. Part of the AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) family, it’s naturally sourced from sugar cane. It acts by sloughing away dead skin cells, purging impurities, and keeping oil at bay. I am not new to glycolic peels (I’ve done both in-clinic and at-home in the past) so my experience with Ellen Lange Retexturizing Peel will differ compared to a first-timer. I had to preface my post with this disclaimer because as with other products, it’s different strokes for different folks!

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what is glycolic acid, Ellen Lange Retexturizing Peel review

From a plastic surgeon’s office to the spa, and finally to your home. Ellen Lange’s claim to fame is her first-to-market at-home peel. As a medical esthetician, she worked with cosmetic chemists to “perfect” the peel using real people at her own med spa who regularly provide feedback and product improvements. Over the years, Ellen used the experience to develop high performance skincare. The Retexturing Peel is sold as a kit ($79). It contains Glycolic Peel Solution (1.68 fl oz/ 50.5 ml), Peel Prep Scrub (2 oz/ 60g), and Peel Accelerator Pads (60 pads), which all equates to 8 at-home treatments (2 months worth if you’re doing it once a week). The word “peel” sounds a bit scary to beginners; would you shed like a snake or peel like crazy? With glycolic acid, it’s almost nil, at least based from my experience, past and present combined. Minus the little sting for few minutes, it’s tolerable and safe for the most part. The Ellen Lange system works this way:

what is glycolic acid, Ellen Lange Retexturizing Peel review

Step 1: Cleanse face and gently massage the Peel Prep Scrub to slightly wet skin for about a minute. It gently exfoliates dead skin cells with just the right amount of grit.

what is glycolic acid, Ellen Lange Retexturizing Peel review

Step 2: Gently wipe cotton pads on entire face to hasten exfoliation. It contains glycolic acid, witch hazel, caffeine, menthol, among others, which explains the cool and minty sensation as you apply it.

what is glycolic acid, Ellen Lange Retexturizing Peel review

Step 3. Pump about a teaspoon of Glycolic Peel Solution into the dispenser cup (it’s part of the kit together with the brush). Dip the brush and apply it over forehead, T-zone, cheeks and chin. It foams upon contact with the skin. It does sting a bit so I sit in front of the fan to help reduce the sensation. After 3 minutes, massage the solution into face with damp fingers. Allow the solution to foam again and leave for another 5 minutes. Rinse afterwards.

Immediately after the process, my face looks red but not inflamed. It took about ten minutes for the redness to go away. My skin feels soft, like I had pricey facial done in a spa. I have been using this kit for 3 weeks now, no unsightly peeling whatsoever but as with other products that contain AHA, it’s imperative to wear sunscreen because this may increase your sensitivity to the sun. But other than that, I am glad to add Ellen Lange to my skincare routine.

Have you tried a similar product?

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15 thoughts on “How-to: At-Home Glycolic Peel Using Ellen Lange Retexturizing Peel

  • This peel from Ellen Lange sounds fabulous. I'd love it. I have a number of glycolic acid products from Exuviance but nothing quite as comprehensive as this one. I'd love to try it

  • This is such a great peel! I need to dig mine out and use it– it has been a while!

  • This looks really interesting! I do enjoy glycolic acid, so I think I would try it out! <3

  • My dermatologist recommended that I do a glycolic peel at her office but now I'm wondering if I should just buy this kit again since I had success with it years ago.

  • I have been meaning to try this but haven't had time yet! Glad to hear it is good!

  • I love glycolic acid for my blackheads. It always seems to work like magic!

  • This peel is so good. I love how silky-smooth my skin is after I use it.

  • I am on the lookout for a good peel to care of leftover marks from my skin infection. I don't fancy getting one done at the derm's when I can easily do it at home for a lesser cost. This sounds nice – do you know what the percentage of glycolic acid is?

  • I really like this peel too. I love that they include extra pads for in between use.

  • I think Glycolic Peels are so great… but I have a hard time with them, they really do a numbe ron my skin. I used to see my derm for one that she referred that would work well for my Eczema… but still – I must use sparingly.

  • I use to be scared of peels but now I'm semi addicted! This one sounds really nice

  • This sounds amazing! I like that it's a process, sounds like it would do a great job on some on my more stubborn acne scars!

  • What is the concentration of glycolic acid in this peel? I'm considering glycolic and/or multi acid peels (one is the weekly Dennis Gross) to up my peel game at home. There's also the new Pixi glycolic peel pads, but I haven't tried them yet. My recollection is they are very strong, but it's just the pads no complete system like what's in this review.

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