Exuviance Performance Peel AP25

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Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 Review | Non-irritating professional level peel at home

Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 Review

After I wrote a non-raving review about this popular drugstore toner, some of you emailed me asking what products I use instead that I like more. I mentioned a similar toner briefly, but concentrated peel pads are what really satisfies my exfoliating needs these days. For many years I’ve been loyal to Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel before switching to Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 that I use weekly. 


Exuviance is a premium brand of highly effective anti-aging solutions that belongs to NeoStrata company, who pioneered the whole idea of Glycolic peels. Developed by acclaimed dermatologists, Exuviance skincare is clinically proven to reduce lines and wrinkles, increase firmness, smooth texture and even skin tone with a patented bionic blend of highly evolved AHAs and PHAs that deliver full-strength anti-aging benefits without irritation.

Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 Review | Non-irritating professional level peel at home


  • Refines pore size and improves texture.
  • Visibly diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Improves clarity and brightness.
  • Brightens and evens skin tone.
  • Provides an all-over healthy glow, suppleness and smoothness to skin.


Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 contains a 25% blend of Alpha Hydroxy Acidsand Polyhydroxy Acids, including Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid and Gluconolactone. Performance Peel AP25 not only works at skin’s surface to exfoliate dead, dull surface layers, it also enhances cell renewal to reveal fresher, healthier-looking skin.

Step 1 Activator: Water, Mandelic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Gluconolactone, Ammonium Hydroxide, Arginine, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Chlorphenesin, Methylparaben, Sodium Bisulfite.

Step 2 Neutralizer: Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Bicarbonate, Glycine, Benzalkonium Chloride.


I have combination/dehydrated skin type, and currently my main issues are post-acne hyperpigmentation and occasional dryness as a result of working from home with dry indoor air. Additionally, my skin is feeling the effect of winter weather in Michigan, because it’s consistently exposed to the elements, like snow, wind, and sometimes even freezing rain. Even though I am approaching my mid-30s, I don’t have any visible lines and wrinkles. Whenever I spot one forming, I blast it with stronger products until it’s gone. Aside from facials, I have never had a cosmetic procedure done on my face.

Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 Review | Non-irritating professional level peel at home


Until I started delving into retinoids, AHAs were my main method of exfoliation, so that’s how I was originally introduced to the brand. I won my first Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 box in a giveaway, then re-purchased it myself twice, and the last 2 boxes I received as PR samples. Needless to say, I find these convenient, individually-wrapped exfoliating pads pretty effective.

I currently use Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 once or twice a week in the evening to refine the skin’s texture. I start by cleansing the skin with a gentle foaming cleanser, then pat my face with a soft cotton towel until it’s completely dry. After that I gently swipe the pad from Step 1 packet across my nose, chin, forehead, and cheeks, avoiding the delicate area around the eyes. The pads are soaked in sufficient amount of liquid, so I never had an issue of them drying on me before I finish the application.

My skin is accustomed to high concentrations of AHAs, so Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 doesn’t even sting at this point. However, my face does get a little pink, kind of like the flush you get from being outside in cold weather, but all over rather than just the cheeks and nose.

Exuviance recommends leaving the exfoliating serum on the skin no longer than 10 minutes, and I always follow that direction. Although I doubt my face would fall off if I left it longer, I think my own body would normalize the pH around the 15 minute mark in its own anyway, like it does with my 21.5% L-Ascorbic serum. I eat and drink a lot of alkalizing foods – green herbs, veggies, lettuces – due to certain health issues, so acids do less damage to my skin in general.

When it’s time to remove the Step 1 solution, you have two options: wash your face with plain unsoftened tap water, which usually has pH 7.0. Many people choose to soften their water, so Exuviance included convenient Step 2 pads soaked in alkalizing solution that will neutralize the acid on contact. After I wipe my face with the Step 2 pad, I immediately apply a hydrating toner and layer on a serum with Hyaluronic Acid with an occlusive lotion on top to seal in the moisture.

I can’t stress enough the importance of wearing sunscreen every day, especially if you use any kind of exfoliation, whether it’s a physical scrub, an AHA peel, or a retinoid. Anything and everything that helps expose new skin must be followed by the daily dose of SPF. Studies show that photosensitivity persists for days, even weeks, after a single application, so it’s wise to always wear sunscreen during the day to maximize all of the amazing benefits of those anti-aging goodies.

Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 Review | Non-irritating professional level peel at home

To wrap up this review, I once again want to note that I find Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 highly effective for my skin needs. I think it does a stellar job at refining the skin texture, improving radiance, and evening out the complexion in general. I am on a constant quest to find solutions that will help deal with hyper pigmentation on a daily basis, and this is one of the winners so far, based on how often I restock it. While I do believe there are less expensive AHA exfoliants out there, it’s the gentleness of this formula that draws me back in. I experience little to no irritation when I use Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 pads, which means that my skin focuses on producing new skin cells rather than dealing with inflammation, even if it’s just temporary.

Have you tried Exuviance products before? What is your favorite way to exfoliate the skin? Let me know in the comments below!

Disclosure: This post features products received for editorial consideration and may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details about my product review policy, copyright, and information about affiliate links, please refer to Disclosures & Content Use page.

  • I’m looking to get rid of some old acne marks also. I’ll check this out for sure!

    • It worked well for mine! Be sure to patch test first, because this peel is quite strong.

  • This looks great! I’ve been using the Exuviance peel-off mask ever since you recommended it, I just need to remember to use it more regularly 🙂

    • Did you like it? I just bought another tube, too, I love it so much!

      • I kind of like it, but I have texture on my forehead that I think only a miracle would cure. I think it’d probably work better if I remembered to use it more often; but on the other hand I don’t want to use it *too* often because I think it did make my skin a little sensitive.

  • marciaf

    This sounds terrific though stronger than I’m used to. Exuviance is such a great brand. I’ve loved everything I’ve tried from them.

    • Exuviance markets this one as a professional level peel, so the concentration is pretty high. I would definitely recommend a patch test first.

  • I’m a HUGE fan of DDG’s Alpha-Beta Pads. This sounds like a nice alternative.

    • I actually switched to these from DDG. I used to buy them in 60-pad packs and had them on recurring refill subscription to save some money. I like this peel better, to be honest, and I don’t need to use it daily like the pads.

  • I love this peel! It’s gentle but no joke and delivers real results.

    • it really does, doesn’t it? I don’t have lines to deal with yet, but I’m sure it works to smooth them as well as it attacks hyperpigmentation 😉

  • Allison @neversaydiebeauty

    I have some more of these peels left, but I don’t remember where I put them. They’re fabulous and I use them along with Exuviance Microdermabrasion Mask.

    • I find that my skin gets too sensitive if I use this peel on top of the microdermabrasion scrub, but I love using it alone!

  • I haven’t tried Exuviance before, but this looks like a great product. I swear AHAs are the only reason my skin has an even tone. Do you think this would suite someone with more senstive skin or would it be too much?

    • It’s a strong peel effect-wise, but because it has more Mandelic Acid than Glycolic Acid, it actually doesn’t burn/sensitize the skin nearly as much as a pure AHA peel would. I’d say, get it from a place that allows returns on used products and give it a try. I loved it from the first use!

  • Glycolic peels are my absolute favorite anti aging product! I love that these come individually wrapped! Hygienic and convenient for traveling! http://www.beauty4free2u.con

    • The convenience of pre-packaged pads is what I love about these too! It’s so easy to grab one-two doses to bring on a trip. Plus, it ensures that the pads don’t dry out after you open the lid so many times, like they do in jar containers.

  • Kristi Vasquez

    I’ve never tried a peel. I’m a little nervous about the word peel. I even have one from a box and it’s never been used since I’m a scaredy cat. Do you know of one that is a first time gentle experience?

    • I think for your first peel you should visit a professional, who will adjust the concentration based on what your skin can tolerate. If you want some chemical exfoliation, but didn’t build up the tolerance yet, look for gentle products with AHA content under 5%, like Pixi Glow Tonic. It’s a good place to start! 🙂

  • Phyrra Nyx

    Exuviance makes some great skincare products!

    • I think so, too! I’ve been very happy with most of their products so far.

  • I’ve really been getting into peels lately. It’s a great way to renew the skin! I have yet to actually do a professional one though!

    • I’ve done professional salon peels a few times, but I feel like I can achieve similar result with these at-home systems for less. It’s a good alternative, in my experience, especially for younger skin like ours.

  • Stepford Witch

    I’d love to try this but the idea of a chemical peel scares me. My dermatologist did it to me once and my face felt so raw & it stung. The next day, I had to go back to her office and they iced it down with some machine and gave me a soothing cream. Ever since, I’ve just been using my clarisonic or a mild scrub.

    • There are different types of chemical peels out there, you just have to find the best one for your skin type. Definitely ask your derm for alternative suggestions!

  • I’ve heard so many great things about these pad, I need to get me some!

    • If your skin is used to stronger AHAs then you definitely need to try this one.

  • This sounds sooooooo good. I’ll have to see if this is available in Australia.

    • You should see if Exuviance has presence in Australia and ask them to send you a sample packet of each. This company is always very generous with free samples for potential customers.

  • Jen Sky Walker

    I’ve not tried any Exuviance products! I’m a big fan of the BHA solution from Paula’s Choice as my exfoliator of choice.

    • That is a fabulous product! I tried it and thought it was wonderful too.

  • I tried Exuviance a long while back and did like the things I’d tried. This product sounds pretty great!

    • Isn’t it great how consistent they are at making effective products?

  • FabZilla_Kath

    I’ve been meaning to try this brand! I should cave in!

    • It’s probably not as effective as salon peels, but for an at-home system it’s remarkably potent.

  • Seriously, you write the best, detail- and science-focused skincare reviews out there! Thanks so much for this – I’ve had my eye on this system for a while.

    • I am happy that you find my reviews informative 🙂 Sometimes I wonder if all of this is even necessary, but I like to be as detailed as possible.

  • This is one of my favorite home peeling systems. I have been using it for years now.

    • Likewise, I’ve been using it for years and it works so well!

  • This sounds amazing – Must try

    • A must try for sure, especially if your skin can tolerate higher concentrations of acids.

  • Naked Without Polish

    I’ve not tried this before. I have a scrub from Lush that I use.

    • Unfortunately, LUSH scrubs always give me irritation, but I love their other products!

  • Stacie Wacie

    I want to try this! Lately I’ve been using a gritty scrub because I like how it feels, but I tried a gommage gel for the first time, and I was really impressed with it.

    • Exfoliating the skin always makes it feel so smooth afterward! We all love a good scrub 🙂

  • Natasha

    I just started using this and I absolutely love it!!

    • So happy to hear that you too are having a positive experience with it!

  • Ehmkay Nails

    Oooh such an interesting product! Great post!

  • LittleNuclearReactor

    Ooh I haven’t tried this brand previously but your review makes it seem so promising, I’ll have to check it out! 🙂

    • This brand is the one that made the original Glycolic peel, and now all of the other companies are copying them 🙂 Always nice to use something from the originators of the treatment.

  • Melissa

    I am so weary of peels ever since I used one that didn’t work well for me.

    • Uh, I know how that feels! I have my fair share of horror stories of peels gone wrong. Luckily, they are not all created equal.

  • FairyTales Nails

    This looks like a lovely product, glad it worked well for you 🙂 x

    • My skin is thanking me for it every day!