30% AHA + BHA Peeling Solution Intense Skin Exfoliator
Revolution Skincare’s 30% AHA + BHA Peeling Solution Skin Intense Skin Exfoliator is a product that gets quite a bit right but makes enough mistakes to give us (and you!) pause.
Housed in a frosted glass bottle with a dropper dispenser, this fluid has an intense-looking deep red color that dissipates once it’s smoothed into skin. It absorbs quickly, but has a slightly tacky texture once it’s dried. In this case, that’s not as much of an issue because it’s intended to be used as a rinse-off treatment instead of a leave-on product.
Speaking of that, Revolution Skincare recommends leaving this on skin for 10 minutes before rinsing with water, and we back that recommendation. Based on the 30% concentration of hydroxy acids, you should not let this sit on skin for an extended period of time due to the risk of sensitivity.
As far as those acids, this is predominantly driven by the AHAs lactic and glycolic acids, with a much smaller (likely less than 1%) amount of BHA salicylic acid. This product’s pH of 3.64 is in the 3 to 4 range where they all can act most effectively as exfoliants.
Alongside the acids are passion flower, pineapple, grape, carrot, and pepper tree extracts, all of which have antioxidant properties to boost this product’s benefits.
The problem is that those great ingredients are accompanied by some which are problematic. Lemon extract is high on the list, and citrus extracts of any kind have the potential to cause skin irritation. Contrary to Revolution Skincare’s claims, fruit extracts cannot clear pores (it’s the BHA in this formula that does that).
Another issue is that this contains a small amount of drying alcohol. It’s not as concerning as it would be if it were higher in the ingredient list, but still, considering the number of potent actives this contains and the lack of a variety of skin-soothing ingredients such as green tea, licorice, or allantoin, it’s best if it were left out.
The end result for this product is that it winds up being a mixed bag. It’s not terrible, but it’s also not impressive enough to rank among the best AHA or BHA exfoliants.
*Note: because this product is not in opaque packaging and has ingredients that can lose their effectiveness due to natural light exposure, you should store this out of direct light.
- Includes proven exfoliants lactic acid, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid.
- Formulated at a pH that’s optimal for its AHA and BHA to act as exfoliants.
- Includes several non-fragrant antioxidant plant extracts.
- Contains lemon extract, which puts skin at risk for irritation.
- Includes a small amount of drying denatured alcohol.
- Packaging must be stored out of direct light.
Derived from lemons, grapes, carrots and pineapple, the Revolution Skincare Skin Exfoliant Peel has fruity ingredients work on the top layer of the skin to help clear pores and improve the skin's overall tone and texture for a brighter, smoother appearance.
United Kingdom-based Revolution Skincare is the skin care branch of Revolution Beauty (who also has a color cosmetic subbrand, Makeup Revolution). Launched in 2018, the brand’s founder, Adam Minto, says the line’s ethos is the same as its parent brand; providing inexpensive, fast-to-market options designed for a wide range of people.
This skin care collection isn’t exactly a “revolutionary” concept, per se – the brand has a lot in common with other up-and-comers such as The Ordinary and Good Molecules. All of these products have a focus on stripped-down formulas featuring key ingredients (such as hyaluronic acid, for example) that can be mixed, layered, and alternated in to a complete skin care routine based on personal preference and occasional needs.
Revolution’s skin care products are something of a mixed bag. There are some true winners in the bunch (among them a couple of interesting retinol alternatives), but there are also quite a few missteps. Some of the products contain the skin-drying type of alcohol and irritating citrus extracts. Then there’s the concern that most of the products are housed in frosted bottles that need to be stored away from daylight, since the packaging puts their delicate ingredients at risk of light exposure that can cause those ingredients to lose their effectiveness. Side note: We reached out to the brand several times to inquire about whether their glass bottles have a UV light coating, but we have not received a response so far.
Overall, we appreciate the approach of potent skin care at bargain prices – we just wish the execution were a bit better! You can find our more about Revolution Skincare at https://www.revolutionbeauty.com/en/Skincare/c-58.aspx.
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.