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May 26, 2014

The Drugstore Peel That Works While You Sleep

GarnierPeelsWhoever said change doesn’t happen overnight has yet to try Garnier Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Overnight Peel ($15). In addition to a mouthful of a name, this lightweight gel boasts two radiance-boosting heavyweights you don’t often see in the drugstore aisle: glycolic acid and vitamin C. While you sleep they exfoliate flaky, dull, rough skin and, over time, lighten hyperpigmentation caused by acne scars, hormones and sun damage. A proprietary acid buffer and glycerin are the yin to the glycolic acid’s yang, making this citrus-scented masque gentle enough to use nightly. After a couple uses, I woke up to smoother skin; after seven nights I noticed a brighter, more radiant glow; and after a month, I’ve seen a marked improvement to my sun spots—all for a price comparable to what I’d spend at happy hour.

Because the directions on the packaging are annoyingly vague, here’s how I recommend using it: After cleansing, apply a thin layer to dry skin, avoiding the under-eye area. (A pump or two for your whole face is all you need, making one bottle good for at least a couple months.) Wait for the gel to dry (about it minute or so) and then proceed with your regular nightly moisturizing routine. Once morning rolls around, wash your face (Suki’s Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser is my current go-to) and proceed with your a.m. routine, making sure to slather on the SPF since acids make skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays. While I can’t promise any of us will ever wake up as flawless as Beyoncé, this crazy-affordable treatment can give us all a little headstart!

beyonce quote

  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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