Seattle dermatologist Heather D. Rogers has very sensitive skin. This effective yet gentle mask keeps everything in check.


As a dermatologist, I've always been a big fan of glycolic acid. For one thing, it's been very well-studied, and it's effective for a lot of different things—particularly exfoliation, lightening brown spots, and improving skin texture. Because its molecule size is small, it's well-tolerated among most people. That speaks to me as I have very, very sensitive skin and I have to be careful when trying various products. Otherwise, I could wind up destroying my face for a couple of days.

I had tried Caudalie products before and knew about the brand's French origins, but the Glycolic Peel Mask was new to me. I was curious before applying it, since my skin can easily react to harsh products. You're supposed to leave the peel on cleansed skin for 10 minutes, and honestly, it's rare that I can leave a product on for as long as advised. This one, though, felt good. It's a smooth white paste—no grit, no beads—and it caused no irritation. Immediately upon washing it off, my skin was brighter, smoother, and tighter.

Did it sting, as many glycolic products can? No. For the record, I think the "no pain, no gain" concept is not true when it comes to over-the-counter treatments. If I'm doing a CO2 laser in the office, it's going to hurt and there's going to be downtime. That's what it takes to get results. It's different with over-the-counter products. If they're well-formulated, they shouldn't hurt in order to be effective.

This mask truly is beautifully formulated, because the ingredients work synergistically. Papaya enzyme does a good job of breaking down the dead skin, and the glycolic acid breaks down the natural moisturizing factor that holds on to that dead skin. I'm also a fan of grape seed oil and squalane. Those are very expensive, hydrating ingredients that temper the glycolic acid and keep skin from becoming too dry.

I'd recommend this peel for anyone, really. It's safe for pregnant women, and it's going to help people with acne, hyperpigmentation, or dryness. That's why I like it; it's a safe product for multiple different skin types. If you wanted to buy someone a present, this would be a safe choice.
Since my first experience with Caudalie Glycolic Peel Mask, it's earned a spot in my winter skin care rotation. In advance of a photo shoot, I noticed a good amount of flaking and dryness. (Blame winter weather and enthusiastic use of tretinoin, a prescription retinoid.) Then I reached for this mask, and 10 minutes later, my skin looked perfect. When you've got this in your medicine cabinet, you don't need retouching or filters.


Name: Heather D. Rogers, MD

Job Description: Board-certified dermatologist and founder of Doctor Rogers Restore skin care

Where to Find Her: Seattle, Washington


Beauty Essential: Caudalie Glycolic Peel Mask

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