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Robb Recommends: The At-Home Facial Peel That Delivers Spa-Quality Results

Ourself, a new skincare brand, came out of the gate with DIY peels that reveal brighter, more even skin.

Ourself Brightening Peel Ourself

Welcome to Robb Recommends, a regular series in which our editors and contributors endorse something they’ve tried and loved—and think will change your life for the better. If you purchase a product or service through a link in this story, we may receive a small commission.

Two months into 2022 and we might already have the year’s best new skincare brand: Ourself.

Founders Lauren Otsuki are Scott Glenn are the scientists behind SkinMedica and Alastin Skincare, along with over 25 other brands, and now they have their own. Ourself is positioning itself as an alternative to in-office cosmetic procedures, thanks to Otsuki’s patented subtopical technology—which is to say, the products here can target specific layers of the skin. Ourself is launching with a line of skin-brightening and dark-spot-disappearing peels and creams, as well as lip volume enhancers, with a handful of products on the way.

I dove right into the peels. A few times a year, I get acne so bad that the marks left behind take can take three to six months to disappear. (I feel like I’m always applying concealer to one or two spots on my face.) My latest breakout was in September, and I could still see the blemishes in January—one of them the size of a lentil, just as big as it was when it surfaced. So, I decided to target my problem with both peels. Ourself’s peels don’t need to be used together, but if your skin is used to the process, you can layer them for a magnified result.

Ourself Dark Spot Peel

Ourself

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One night a couple of weeks ago, I did two rounds of the brand’s Brightening Peel first, targeting my entire face (and avoiding the more sensitive areas, like around the eyes). It’s got a mega-dose of skin-smoothing glycolic acid, to the tune of 34 percent. Then I did two rounds of the Dark Spot Peel (with its 13.6 percent trichloroacetic acid peel concentration), targeting my months-old blemishes. There was a very mild burning—normal with peels—that signified the peel was working. The following morning, I could literally peel off some dead, rough skin in a few patches around my face—four dime-sized patches, one of which lifted off directly over the lentil-sized blemish.

This is something new for me; typically, at-home peels dissolve dead cells and instead of lifting away stretches of rough skin (at least in my experience), but now I could actually see and feel the results coming away from my face. It’s not like the peel broke down and destroyed any healthy skin. It was simply waiting beneath the blemishes, and was probably prevented from surfacing due to a buildup of dead skin.

The results were twofold, each aligned to one of the two peels: My pasty winter skin was noticeably more even-toned, for starters. All those sunspots and former acne marks start to show themselves in November (through April or so), and that brightening peel certainly did me favors in countering the contrasts of those hyperpigmented spots. More importantly for this round of peels, though, was that the monster blemish got halved in size. I think the peel ensured that this thing will finally disappear in the coming two months—especially after I hit it with another round of the same peels in four weeks (the recommended interval between applications, which allows an entire cycle of skin cells to age out and replenish).

I love doing regular at-home peels as a means of weekly exfoliation, but the ones from Ourself are an incredible option for targeted treatments. Ourself really delivers on its promise to be a DIY substitute for professional cosmetic treatments. These are the kinds of results I would pay good money for at a clinic.

Buy Now (Brightening Peel): $110

Buy Now (Dark Spot Peel): $140

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