Estee Lauder

Perfectionist Pro Instant Resurfacing Peel 9.9% + BHA

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 75.00
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Brand Overview

Estee Lauder Perfectionist Pro Instant Resurfacing Peel marks the brand’s foray back to leave-on exfoliants after going years without releasing such a product (anyone remember Lauder’s Fruition AHA product?). We’re thrilled to report this product is worth strong consideration by all skin types. In fact, just one drawback held it back from our top rating--more on that in a moment.

Packaged in a sleek, double-walled opaque container topped with a pump dispenser, this peel contains an effective concentration of AHAs, primarily citric and glycolic acids. The pH of 3.9 allows these resurfacing ingredients to work their magic, while lower amounts of other acids (the AHA tartaric acid and BHA salicylic acid) provide an exfoliation and pore-refining nudge.

Specific to the salicylic acid and it’s placement on the ingredient list, we suspect the amount is likely less than 0.5%. Given the higher amount of AHAs, that’s not a bad thing; however, if you have enlarged pores, you’ll likely do better with a leave-on BHA exfoliant that contains at least 2% salicylic acid.

This peel has a silky, lightweight cream-gel texture that spreads easily and absorbs quickly. Skin is left feeling instantly smooth, and within a short time (possibly overnight!) you’ll see improvements in skin tone, texture, and the appearance of wrinkles. With ongoing once-or-twice weekly use these improvements will get even better (although you can use this more often).

Along with all the benefits of exfoliation, you’re also getting a nice mix of antioxidants and skin-replenishing ingredients, including the called-out hyaluronic acid, used here in its salt form, sodium hyaluronate.

And that downside we mentioned earlier? It’s fragrance. It’s inclusion in a product like this that contains a high level of bio-active ingredients increases the risk of a sensitized reaction.

Despite this disappointment, it’s somewhat reassuring that the amount of fragrance is low, and it dissipates quickly. Still, its inclusion runs counter to Lauder’s “formulated for gentleness” claim because research is clear that both natural and synthetic fragrance isn’t ideal for skin. See our list of best exfoliants for fragrance-free alternatives, some of which match (or surpass) this one’s acid content.

  • Contains an effective blend of AHAs.
  • Salicylic acid provides a pore-refining nudge.
  • Formulated within the pH range that permits exfoliation.
  • Silky-light lotion is suitable for all skin types.
  • Contains antioxidants and prove skin-replenishing ingredients.
  • Improves skin tone, texture, and softens the look of wrinkles.
  • Fragranced formula poses a risk of irritating skin.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

This at-home "micro-facial" peel reveals baby-soft, radiant skin—instantly. Inspired by professional chemical peels, this power treatment balances our highest ever concentration of AHAs* with Hyaluronic Acid and a patented ingredient to help curb irritation. So effective, just one use begins to accelerate skin's natural cell turnover and immediately unveils a smoother, glowing complexion. Dramatically refinishes skin texture, reduces pore visibility and reduces the look of dullness. Formulated for Gentleness. Works without excessive irritation and redness.

WaterAquaEau, Dimethicone, Citric Acid, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Tartaric Acid, Algae Extract, Decyl Oleate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Polyacrylamide, Salicylic Acid, Polysilicone-11, Resveratrol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) ExtractExtrait D'Orge, Caffeine, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Phospholipids, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Pantethine, Sucrose, Tocopheryl Acetate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, PEG-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Propylene Glycol Caprylate, Squalane, Oleth-10, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Caprylyl Glycol, Laureth-7, Stearic Acid, T-Butyl Alcohol, Hexylene Glycol, Fragrance (Parfum), Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol.

Estee Lauder At-A-Glance

The history of Estee Lauder goes back to 1946, when the woman who created the brand (and for whom it is named) began selling creams and lotions made by her chemist uncle. From its humble beginnings, Estee Lauder has grown to become a multibillion-dollar company whose products are sold all over the world and advertised in just about every fashion and women's lifestyle magazine available.

The biggest compliment we can pay to the venerable Estee Lauder line is that their moisturizers and serums can largely be described as state-of-the-art. Though fragrance is often intrusive, but when it comes to formulary excellence culminating in products that give skin what it needs to function optimally, they are tough to beat.

When it comes to makeup, by and large the brand also exceeds expectations. Though there are some under-performing products (you can read more about them in our individual reviews), Lauder has a number of excellent options, most notably its lip colors.

For more information about Estee Lauder, call (877) 311-3883 or visit www.esteelauder.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.

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