Shani Darden has magic fingers. Spend an hour or so in the esthetician’s Los Angeles studio and you’ll leave with glowing skin — stars including Shay Mitchell, Kelly Rowland, and Laura Harrier can all attest. If you can’t snag an appointment at the Shani Darden studio (sighs on the east coast), you can get the same results of the glow-inducing facials in her skin-care collection.
The Hydration Peptide Cream is my favorite from the collection, but after hearing my fellow Allure editors rave about the Shani Darden Triple Acid Signature Peel (it even won a Best of Beauty Award), I had a feeling it would replace the cream as my new Shani Darden go-to.
I’ve only had one chemical peel in my entire life and it was enough to scare me into never doing one again. Don’t get me wrong, the results were great and my skin was beaming but the three to five days of peeling were ugly, to say the least. Since that experience a few years ago, I’ve been sticking to potent acid-based products that still give me effective exfoliation without excessive peeling, which is why I was eager to put Shani Darden’s signature peel to the test.
Behind the formula
After looking at the ingredients list, cosmetic chemist Amanda Lam was impressed that this peel has “no excessive use of ‘sprinkle’ ingredients for marketing purposes.” By sprinkle she means ingredients that aren’t serving any real purpose. The “triple acid” in the name refers to latic, mandelic, and glycolic acids which are the main stars of the peel — though they aren’t the only acids in the formula. “The use of multiple acids helps target different skin concerns,” says Lam. “Alpha hydroxy acids work more on the skin’s surface to exfoliate dead skin cells while beta hydroxy acids penetrate a little deeper into the skin to exfoliate.”
Board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD is a fan of the two-step system that the peel follows and says the ingredients can be beneficial to anyone who wants to even out their skin tone, minimize fine lines, and reduce sun spots. Dr. Gohara does warn against using the peel if you have any inflammation on your skin or have sensitive skin as the combination of acids can be too harsh.
How to apply the Shani Darden Triple Acid Signature Peel
At first glance, the Shani Darden Peel seems more involved than your normal exfoliating toner or face mask. This peel is a bit more similar to what you might get at a dermatologist or esthetician’s office. The two-step peel kit comes with a triple acid exfoliation solution that comes in a small grey pod, a Kaolin Clay Neutralizing Mask, and an application brush.
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