I tried this under-$10 chemical peel to get rid of my pitted acne scars

When it comes to skin care companies, Makeup Artist’s Choice is a low-key cult favorite. It’s under the radar, with a dated website and products you wouldn’t display on your top shelf. But like most cult favorites, despite the lack of curb appeal, there’s a reason people are obsessed with this skin care brand.

I found myself turning to MUAC to find a solution for my pitted acne scars and more-than-occasional breakouts. My skin lacked that coveted “glow,” and all the peel pads, masks, and serums in Sephora weren’t helping. Prescription retinol can only go so far when it comes to rebuilding collagen, and I needed something strong.

You only need to scroll through its user submitted before and afters and you’ll start filling your cart (and with MUAC you can, actually, fill up your cart without checking your bank account to make sure you can afford it). The difference in user’s skin after just a few months is enough to convince you. You’ll be encouraged by glowing reviews like, “I’ve struggled with acne and acne scars for 10+ years and it wasn’t until I stumbled on your site and started trying products I was finally able to get my acne under control” and “Makeup Artist’s Choice has saved my skin and self esteem.”


MUAC’s chemical peels offer the most dramatic skin improvement of their product selection. They exfoliate away dead skin cells, clear pores, and improve skin tone at a cost comparable to drugstore products. 

The price difference between MUAC’s offering and what you can find in a spa is staggering. You can purchase a Jessner’s Peel Kit with multiple peels for $39.75, or head to a clinic where it averages $125 for just one. You can also buy bottles of other chemical peels, like Glycolic and Salicylic, for less than $15, compared to the average price of $100 for one by a professional.

A note if you go the DIY route: While I skip over patch test recommendations from other brands, I follow MUAC’s safety instructions exactly as described. Don’t let the cheap prices fool you — these peels are powerful. You risk burning your skin if you choose not to follow instructions. Most times this means stopping retinoids, acids, exfoliation, and vitamin C for a few days before after, but your peel will come with its own detailed information. And whatever peel you use, apply lots and lots of sunscreen. And yes, make sure you do patch testing.


MUAC’s extensive product line is both a curse and a blessing, but its customer service will answer all your prayers. If you’re not sure what product is best for you, call or email them for a free personalized skin consultation. When I sent them an email about my skin concerns (like the aforementioned pitted acne scars, and my reluctance to try anything that required a long downtime) along with a picture, they replied within 24 hours to recommend the Mandelic/Salicylic Acid Peel, and then the TCX Peel if I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted after 12 weeks.

Following their advice, I’ve used the Mandelic/Salicylic Acid Peel for a few months (I’m not prepared to deal with the peeling the TCX Peel might cause). The Mandelic/Salicylic Peels addresses hyperpigmentation, clogged pores,acne, and acne scars while exfoliating and preparing sun damaged skin. After use, my skin feels dry with with minor peeling for a few days, but moisturizing quells most of the adverse reactions. And the benefits are so, so good. Since I started using the peel, I only get a few breakouts a month rather than a few a week. Hyperpigmentation from acne I do have disappears quickly. The pitted scars on my cheeks have started to shallow. I’m happier with my skin than I ever have been, and I’ve even stopped wearing foundation to cover the (now gone) scars on my cheeks.



Two months later


Pro tip:

The real gold of MUAC lies in its sample sizes. These small bottles are marked down and let you test out different products and peels without waste. I bought the ½ ounce size of the Mandelic/Salicylic Acid Peel for just $9.50, and have well over half the bottle after using it weekly for a few months. And for extra discounts check out MUAC’s daily deal, where I saved 20% off my entire order.

With these peels, patience is important. The weeks of waiting will be so worth it once you see results. And remember, safety first. And SUNSCREEN, always.

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