I’m in My 50s, My Daughter Is in Her 20s, and We Both Equally Love the Results From This 2-Step Facial Treatment

Photo: Getty Images / Carlos Barquero
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Facial masks and peels are an essential and beloved part of my skincare regimen. Waiting patiently for the products to work their magic always brings a sense of zen, the yin to the yang of my rushed morning and exhausted nighttime skin routines. I’ve even talked my college-age daughter into joining me for once-a-week facial sessions. While we enjoy the self-care time, our skin-care needs are quite different—I’m all about anti-aging benefits, while she seeks to calm her oily, acne-prone skin—making it nearly impossible to share the same product. So when I found out about the Shani Darden Triple Acid Signature Peel ($125), a two-step peel-and-mask combo designed for all skin types and ages, I knew it had to be part of our weekly ritual.

Some backstory: This peel was created by celebrity esthetician Shani Darden to bring the “red-carpet glow” from professional-grade peels clients get in her Beverly Hills studio to an at-home product.

Experts In This Article
  • Shani Darden, celebrity esthetician and founder of Shani Darden Skin Care

“I’ve always wanted to make an at-home version for my clients to use when they can’t see me,” says Darden. “During the pandemic, when I couldn’t see clients at all, I really pushed to get it done. I had never seen one on the market that really gave you facial-like results at home, so I knew I needed to make it happen.”

Darden believes in simple-yet-effective skin-care solutions, and says it was important to create a universal product. “The Triple Acid Signature Peel is the ultimate skin reset that works for all ages to reveal smooth, glowing skin,” says Darden. “Everyone can benefit from it. It’s a really powerful formula that doesn’t require any downtime — just a quick 12-minute treatment time in two easy steps.”

How the Shani Darden Triple Acid Peel works

Step one is the exfoliating peel powered by a trio of acids: Glycolic acid to exfoliate, refine pores, and stimulate cell turnover to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, along with lactic acid and mandelic acid to dissolve dead skin cells for a brighter, smoother complexion. The peel also contains banana, cucumber, and mango extracts to nourish skin and soothe inflammation.

Step two is the Kaolin Clay Neutralizing Mask with kaolin and bentonite clay to remove dirt and oil, draw out impurities, and deep clean and refine pores. There are also wheat amino acids, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin, all designed to work together to restore and retain skin’s moisture, and increase firmness.

Using the mask post-peel is important because it stops the peel’s active acids, says Darden. “In addition to neutralizing the peel in step one, the mask helps to not only deep clean pores, but also calm the skin and add a little hydration back,” she says.

Darden says the two-step system can be used before an event or weekly, although frequency of use depends on skin type. In clinical studies conducted with women ages 30 to 55, 96% experienced an improvement in pore size, and 93% experienced improved texture and an “instant glow” after one use.

What happened when we tried it

The Triple Acid Peel comes with eight separately packaged peels, an application brush, and a tube of the neutralizing mask. The directions recommend brushing the peel on clean skin and letting it sit for one to two minutes, then applying the mask directly on top and waiting 10 minutes before washing it all off. Although it’s easy to apply the peel yourself, my daughter and I enjoyed boosting the spa-like feel of the experience by brushing the solution on each other’s faces. (Bonus: A single package contained enough product for both of us.)

Shortly after applying the mask, we both could feel what Darden calls a “spicy tingle” —a sign the mask is working to clean pores and dissolve dead skin cells. Afterwards, my daughter and I were both struck by how soft, bright, and glowing our skin looked and felt. My daughter was impressed by the reduction in redness and pore size she experienced, while I loved that my skin looked firmer, my fine lines were noticeably reduced—and that the instant results lasted for days without any redness or irritation.

While my daughter and I were definitely pleased with the results, in today’s world, self-care is just as important as skin care. It was great to share a rare quiet moment together, and I recommend grabbing a friend or family member—guys will love it, too— and carving out 15 minutes a week to pamper yourself with a treatment. Add a cup of tea and put on some soothing music, and you might just feel like you’re at the spa.

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