Peter Thomas Roth

20% Complex Glycolic Solutions Jumbo Peel Swab

8.00 swabs for $ 48.00
Expert Rating

Expert Reviews

Community Reviews



Brand Overview

Note: this product has been discontinued.

Peter Thomas Roth's 20% Complex Glycolic Solutions Jumbo Peel Swabs are single-use peels packaged individually. Each pouch contains a large (OK, "jumbo") swab that's saturated with an AHA exfoliating solution formulated within the pH range AHAs need to exfoliate. Although there's much to love about this convenient way to do a peel at home, the product's name is a bit misleading.

By referring to a "20% Complex", the brand isn't telling you upfront how much of the AHA (in this case, glycolic acid) you're getting. This is frustrating because AHAs have an ideal concentration range if they are to exfoliate skin. Based on glycolic acid's placement on the ingredient list, we suspect you're getting at least a 10% concentration, but we also know a lot of people will think this peel contains a high concentration of 20% glycolic acid because of its name. We posed this question to the brand, and they confirmed that the swab solution does not contain 20% glycolic acid.

Otherwise, this fragrance-free, leave-on AHA exfoliant is highly recommended as a way to refine, brighten, and help firm all skin types. The supporting ingredients like niacinamide, adenosine, allantoin, collagen and elastin (good water-binding agents, though they're unable to help the collagen or elastin in your skin) are beneficial, and each swab contains enough solution to apply a thin layer of this gel-like peel to your face and neck.

The product doesn't feel heavy or sticky, and can be a nice extra exfoliation nudge you do once or twice per week. Just keep in mind that using this more than once per week will quickly add up to a costly way to get smoother, younger-looking skin!

  • Easy-to-use pre-saturated swab for weekly peels.
  • Contains proven exfoliant glycolic acid.
  • Formula pH is within range needed for efficacy.
  • The supporting ingredients are beneficial for all skin types.
  • Doesn't feel greasy, slick, or sticky.
  • Misleading name might make you think you're getting 20% glycolic acid when you're not.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

These super-saturated, individually-packaged jumbo cotton swabs are formulated with a 20% Glycolic Acid Complex (AHA) for easy, convenient and hassle-free chemical exfoliation at home. This weekly intensive treatment helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pores and uneven skin tone while helping to brighten, clarify and smooth out the look of skin.

Water, Glycolic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Propanediol, Sea Water, Niacinamide, 1, 2 Hexanediol, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Adenosine, Allantoin, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA.

Peter Thomas Roth At-A-Glance

Peter Thomas Roth is a large but straightforward line with mostly uncomplicated formulations that, for the most part, are quite good and state-of-the-art. Unlike many product lines, most of the acne, AHA, BHA, sunscreen, and moisturizing products contain what they should to be effective and helpful for skin.

Even more impressive are the well-formulated cleansers, sunscreens, AHA products, and skin brighteners. The moisturizers have improved somewhat, and most are now packaged so that the light- and air-sensitive ingredients remain stable. In fact, Roth's packaging deserves special mention because it is exceptionally utilitarian.

After all that glowing praise, what you should be aware of are the instances of products containing potential irritants (noted in their respective reviews) as well as the products in jar packaging that contain ingredients which are sensitive to air and light.

For more information about Peter Thomas Roth, call (800) PTR-SKIN or visit www.peterthomasroth.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our terms of use here.