Get summer-ready in seconds with a body peel that's bound to change your life—or, at least, your skin
There's always that time of year, right before Memorial Day, when my heart sinks and I realize that it's almost summer again. It's that one particular moment—the "oh sh*t moment," I call it—when I basically freak out that summer's almost here, and no matter how much I've worked out, my skin—most specifically, on my legs—isn't in tip-top shorts shape. Maybe that's because I haven't really shaved, and probably because I haven't exfoliated at all, and definitely because my legs have been hidden in black yoga pants all winter long. What the hell is a girl to do?
I turned to Kerry Benjamin, an LA-based esthetician and owner of Stacked Skincare, with my dull, dry spring leg dilemma. The solution? Her brand-new TCA Body Peel ($185; stackedskincare.com). Yes, it's pricey. But this peel purportedly does close to everything: It fights hyperpigmentation, acne, keratosis pilarsis (that's that annoying arm chicken skin) and eczema while delivering brighter, clearer skin after just one application. But could that all be so easy? I had used great scrubs in the past to exfoliate off winter's mistakes, but I hadn't found one that was gentle enough to tackle spots that had been razor-burned or ones created from too many summers in the sun. (Looking to show your face some TLC? Try one of these 10 Facial Peels to Banish Dead Winter Skin.)
"Peels are so much better for your skin than scrubs. They're not abrasive, and they perform so many other functions besides just exfoliation," Benjamin says."Exfoliation, peels can hydrate, kill acne-causing bacteria, lift hyperpigmentation, and speed up cell turnover, all revealing brighter, healthier more glowing skin." Benjamin also swears that one easy application—just brush, dry and go—will leave you with results in just a few weeks.
I recognized ingredients like zit-busting salicylic acid and spot-lightening willowbark, but also noticed there was lactic acid (stuff found in both muscles and milk), which Benjamin says "treats pigmentation, dry or dehydrated skin, sensitive skin, and even eczema and rosacea due to its natural moisturizing effect on this skin. It's less irritating than other alpha hydroxy acids too." (Here's How to Buy Skin Care That Works, Every Time.)
After a shower, I squeeze about two drops per leg on the provided black plastic dish and used the large fan brush for easy application. It dried in seconds and I got dressed and went about my day. I didn't notice an immediate change, but after a few weeks (and a second application about two weeks later), my legs were ready to take on the light of day—and the short shorts required to brave the 90-degree heat of Texas in mid-May. My skin glowed, dark spots were gone; I even noticed that my cellulite was diminished.
OK, that last one isn't a permanent effect, but Benjamin said it was indeed possible that the look of my cellulite diminshed because "you see superficial skin smoothing from the peel." (Meanwhile, find out What Really Helps Get Rid of Cellulite.) And while $185 isn't cheap, it's well worth the confidence required for three-inch yoga shorts—or that bikini you're totally going to rock this summer.