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.