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Obsessed: Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel

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Two words that have always scared me: facial peels. Sorry, but I still have PTSD from seeing Samantha’s raw meat face in that episode of Sex and the City…and you know, all those Buffalo Bill scenes from Silence of the Lambs. So when I bought a trial kit of Juice Beauty’s cleansing and moisturizing products and opened the box to find a “Green Apple Peel” inside, my first reaction was to throw it away before it could attack me. But sanity prevailed, and I thought about it a bit more. Green apple peel—that’s actually cute, clever even (only a writer could be so easily swayed by a product name that’s also a pun). So, I thought, how bad could it be? It’s not like it came with vats of acid and a nuclear waste warning sign. I decided to give this little guy a chance.

Thank goodness I did, because it’s easily become one of my favorite beauty discoveries of 2014 so far. Here’s why: First of all, to my surprise, it’s super gentle and didn’t irritate my very sensitive skin. (Unlike Samantha’s peel this product is a simple leave-on, rinse-off mask—there’s no actual “peeling” involved.) In fact, the peel is formulated to work on almost any skin type, but if you have rosacea or skin allergies, you might want to skip this one and try the “Sensitive” version from Juice’s Daily Essentials Collection instead. You only have to leave it on your face for ten minutes, making it a great timesaver. After you put it on, it leaves a slight tingling feeling so you know it’s doing its job right away—but not overdoing it.

After ten minutes is up, you rinse, and your skin instantly feels tighter and looks brighter. I’ve been using it for two months now (recommended use is once per week) and my complexion hasn’t looked this refreshed since I was living stress-free at mom’s house and sleeping ten hours every night. With regular use, the product is supposed to reduce fine lines and dark spots, and fight free radicals, too. It’s magic comes from plant-derived alpha and beta hydroxy acids, plus raw sugar cane, all of which work to even out skin tone and texture. This is spa-grade stuff, but there’s pretty much nothing in the product you wouldn’t have for breakfast. All from a little creamy lotion that smells like the farmer’s market. Who knew? So I have Juice Beauty to thank for conquering my fear of exfoliating peels, and giving me a new go-to treatment in my skin care arsenal. Now if I could only find a product that could help me get over my fear of Brazilian waxes.