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This Sold-Out Paula's Choice Exfoliant Is Back — With a Wait List of More Than 11,000

The limited-edition 25% AHA and 2% BHA Exfoliant Peel is permanently joining the line, and the enthusiasm is undeniable.
Paula's Choice LimitedEdition Exfoliant Peel Is Back Permanently With Huge Wait List

Paula's Choice is famous for its fast-acting exfoliating products, and its 25% AHA and 2% BHA Exfoliant Peel — which launched for a limited time this past summer — was unarguably one of its biggest hits yet. It sold out in a month flat. Now, due to popular demand, the exfoliant is set to re-launch in 2021, and get this: It's already amassed an 11,400-person wait list.

So what's all the hype about? Well, for starters, it's the brand's strongest exfoliant to date — and yet users have experienced zero irritation after using it.

"Our customers were asking for a high-concentration peel they could add to their routines, and when we launched [the 25% AHA and 2% BHA Exfoliant Peel] they saw the transformative results they were looking for without the irritation," Erika Kussmann, Paula's Choice chief marketing officer, tells Allure. "They shared the results they were seeing, amplifying their stories on social media. All of that came together to tell us this was a compelling product that made a real difference on our customer’s skin and that we should bring this limited-edition item back as a permanent product in our line."

Formula-wise, the lilac-colored peel contains a blend of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), including glycolic, lactic, mandelic, malic, and tartaric acids — all of which work in tandem together to minimize the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. Additionally, it's also made with salicylic acid, which is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that unclogs congested pores, as well as soothing agents like chamomile, licorice, allantoin, and butterfly pea flower extract to reduce redness or any signs of irritation.

In addition to reducing fine lines and sun damage, it also helps smooth out rough and bumpy texture on the skin. This makes it an excellent option for folks with a wide variety of skin concerns — including those with sensitive and acne-prone skin since it contains so many calming ingredients and maintains a pH level between 3.5 and 3.9.

"By combining alpha hydroxy acids and salicylic acid together, you can affect both the surface and deeper levels of the skin," cosmetic chemist Stacey Steinmetz tells Allure. "Some sensitivity can occur with salicylic acids, so it’s important the formula maintains a safe pH level," she adds, saying the botanical ingredients soothe and balance skin.

"We took our time getting the formula just right," Desiree Stordahl, Paula's Choice senior research and education manager tells Allure. "There's a delicate balance to creating a concentrated mix of acids that exert their magic without tipping the scale toward irritation,"

Now, for the news you've all been waiting for: It's officially due to make its second drop on January 1, 2021. You can now shop the 25% AHA and 2% BHA Exfoliant Peel for $39 on paulaschoice.com.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


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