A Budget-Friendly Glycolic Peel to Combat Dull Skin

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no 7 glycolic peel kit 2

The change of season is a pretty critical time in terms of beauty and fashion. It’s also the end of NYFW’s sneak preview of spring trends and the time where we settle into the season of statement coats, over-the-knee boots, and vampy lip colors. I’m excited about breaking out my fall staple items as well as trying out a few trends (’70s boho chic is pushing through and I, for one, am here for it). But as our wardrobes and makeup choices change for fall, so does the weather and what we use in our skincare routine. While most of us spent summer trying to stay as matte as the hot sun would allow, fall is when our skin’s self-repairing process tends to slow down a bit. This means that cell turnover slows and can lead to an accumulation of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. In layman’s terms? Dull skin.

boots no 7 glycolic peel kit

Living in NYC my whole life, I’ve always adjusted my skincare routine tailoring it not only to what my current skincare needs are, but also with the weather. What I use on my skin in the summer changes with the fall. I have oily skin so in the summer I’m always looking for lightweight products and mattifying moisturizers to keep my skin balanced. For a good portion of the fall when it’s still very warm out, my skincare needs are pretty much the same—but when I start reaching for lattes and wrap coats, my skin needs change. My products tend to get a little heavier in consistency—slightly more moisturizing to account for the fall chill. Read more in my previous skincare posts here.

As I mentioned earlier, fall can also lead to dullness and a lack of radiance in the skin. Attempts at nailing a flawless makeup application with dull skin will likely prove futile. Enter one of my favorite glow-getters to help bring back your radiance: glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that helps to improve skin’s tone and texture. It’s also known as a chemical exfoliant and helps to rid the skin’s surface of those radiance-killing dead skin cells and unleash the gorgeous “new” skin underneath.

You can get pretty potent glycolic peels at your dermatologist or esthetician’s office, but you can also find gentle versions over the counter. I found one that won’t break the bank on a recent Walgreens run: Boots No 7 Advanced Renewal Gentle Glycolic Peel.

The No 7 Advanced Renewal Gentle Glycolic Peel gently erases the skin’s surface revealing an instantly younger, brighter-looking complexion. It’s formulated for use on all skin types, but if you have very sensitive or very dry skin, you might want to use it less frequently or decrease the application time. While some may see results after just one application, this treatment is meant to be used twice a week (on non-consecutive days) over a four week period. It’s best used at night followed by your night-time moisturizer. DO NOT get the treatment on more delicate areas of your face like your nostrils, lips, and eyes.

Before use:

Cleanse your face like normal. You obviously don’t want any traces of makeup on your skin. (See my two-step cleansing process for removing makeup here)

Also note this isn’t for use for those with broken, inflamed, or injured skin, seborrheic dermatitis, chronic eczema, psoriasis, severe acne, rosacea, pregnancy mask, or sunburn. Don’t use if you’re pregnant or had a UV tanning session in the last seven days.

Step one:

boots no 7 glycolic peel step 1

Add four drops of the Gentle Glycolic Peel solution to the enclosed mixing dish. Dab the enclosed brush in and gently apply the solution to your face beginning with your forehead and moving to your cheeks, nose, and chin. Remember to avoid your nostrils, lips, and eyes like I mentioned above. Leave the solution on your skin for no longer than five minutes before moving onto the second step.

boots no 7 gentle glycolic peel

boots no 7 glycolic peel 2

It’s normal for your skin to feel warm and tingly when using the peel, but your skin should feel calm and comfortable after step two. If your skin becomes sore, red, or irritated, stop use immediately.

Step two:

boots no 7 glycolic pad soft neutralizing pads step 2

After having the peel on for no longer than five minutes, stroke the Soft Neutralizing Pads over your face in the same order you applied the peel. Make sure you don’t miss any spots you treated. Then close your eyes and rinse with cool water and pat dry.

After use:

Follow with your night time moisturizer (if you use this during the day, make sure you follow with an SPF moisturizer). Over the next seven days your skin will be more photo sensitive (no, not to selfies, but to the sun…lol) so while you should already be wearing a daytime moisturizer with SPF, it’s VERY imperative to do so after using the peel and avoid sun exposure.

Remember, you might see some results after this one application, but the peel is meant to be used twice a week (on non-consecutive days) for four weeks.


boots no 7 glycolic peel

Would you try a glycolic peel? Talk to me about it in the comments!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post, all opinions are my own.

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas, Allure.com, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style and beauty expert on The Real, CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.
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5 Responses to A Budget-Friendly Glycolic Peel to Combat Dull Skin

  1. Londie says:

    Wow! Excited to try this!

  2. Jess says:

    Is there such a thing as too much glycolic acid?

    I use the Badescu wash and also the nip+fab night time pads. Usually not on the same night but definitely one each night.

    • Danielle says:

      Yes there is—but you might be okay since those have a lower percentage of glycolic in them. Make sure you wear sunscreen during the day and if you feel any abnormal irritation, stop usage.

  3. mangomadness says:

    I haven’t tried a glycolic acid peel. I really like Makeup Artist’s Choice 25% Mandelic Acid Peel and 15% Salicylic Acid / 25% Mandelic Acid Peel. Mandelic acid is more gentle than glycolic acid (due to it’s large molecular size) and is good for oily skin (it’s slightly lipophilic).

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