Dermalogica BioSurface™ Peel

Dermalogica launches their very first Chemical Peel-For Professional use Only


What is a Chemical Peel?  A chemical peel is a deep stimulating skin treatment used to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin using a chemical solution that causes the dead skin to slough off and eventually peel off.  The regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. Thus the term chemical peel is derived. There are many different types of chemical peels available, from the safer Hydroxy Acids peels, to deeper peels using stronger acids all the way to the even deeper chemical peels that can only be administered by a medical professional. (If you are wanting to do the deeper peels it is very important to seek professional help from a Plastic Surgeon or Aesthetic GP)

I personally take great care of seeking only professional help when it comes to the more advanced skincare treatments such as laser, treatments and products for pigmentation, peels etc. So when I heard that Dermalogica had launched their very own Chemical Peel I was over the moon. Dermalogica has a reputation of always making their skincare powerful, but safe. (See my full Peel experience and the results at the end of this article)

Their new procedure offers the many benefits of traditional chemical peels, but with little to no post-peel redness or downtime. Reducing roughness and the appearance of fine lines, treating hyperpigmentation, razor bumps, rosacea, and acne. (Can also be used to treat acne on the back) It is also suited for teenagers. As I always say, shop for ingredients, not names or just simply luxury products. So here are the ingredients that make this Peel what it is:

Active ingredients include Salicylic Acid (acts like a “Pacman” eating away the dead skin cells) used in both the Prep Solution (Step 1) and Acid Active(+) (Step 3). As a keratolytic agent, Salicylic Acid causes weakening of cell connections allowing for sloughing of skin cells. Combined with a low pH, keratin bonds are loosened, creating a burst of exfoliation, which addresses signs of ageing and hyperpigmentation.

The Enzyme Active(-) (Step 2) delivers an 83% total Enzyme solution utilising Pumpkin Fruit enzymes with Papain, Protease and Aminopeptidase enzymes. In addition, Moth Bean Extract offers a gentle, botanical alternative to synthetic retinoids, while offering similar effects.

In addition to Salicylic Acid, the Acid Active(+) phase (Step 3) also delivers Lactic Acid (hydrating) , bran-derived Phytic Acid (Anti-oxidant), and Sugar Cane Extract. This step brightens areas of hyperpigmentation, helps removes impaction plugs in follicles especially in sebaceous glands (oil glands), and aids in cell turnover. The De.celerator (Step 4) halts the exfoliation process with a blend of Sodium Bicarbonate, Yeast Extract and soothing Cucumber Fruit, Japanese Green Tea, Oat Leaf and Saponaria Leaf Extracts. This final phase slows the activity of the acids and normalises the epidermis while calming and comforting skin and initiating the process of skin repair. 

I asked Annique Herbert (Dermalogica Brand Consultant) a few important questions about the Dermalogica BioSurface™ Peels. See her answers and advice below:

Q: Why should I go for Chemical Peels? Why can I not just exfoliate and Masque at home?

A: Chemical peels are done by qualified professional skin care therapists to remove dead skin cells and stimulate cell renewal in the deepest layers of the skin. This advanced exfoliation smoothes and exfoliates the skin beyond any product that can be used at home. The best results are achieved in a course of 6  BioSurface™ Peels performed 1-2 weeks apart.

Did you know that the average rate of cell turnover in teenagers is 12 days! This is the rate at which your skin heals itself and sheds off the old cells and create new ones. As we get older our cell turnover rate slows down to up to 90 days!!! Chemical Peels helps to increase the cell turnover rate.

Q: Who can have the Dermalogica BioSurface™ Peel done?

 A:  The Biosurface peel is great for any Dermalogica client wanting to treat hyperpigmentation, premature ageing, acne, sun damage or skin roughness. It is recommended that the client prepare their skin according to their therapists recommendation using their Dermalogica home care routine before commencing with the course of peels.

Q: What makes the Dermalogica BioSurface™ Peel different to other peels?

A: The Dermalogica Biosurface peel is safe on all skins, even darker skins! There is no scarring and no down time.  (Down time refers to time needed for the skin to heal after a chemical peel. Usually associated with skin redness.)

The Biosurface peel has a 4 step and a bi-phasic portion. The Biosurface peel is left on for 5 min per layer and up to 5 layers can be applied. Your skin care therapist can build up your treatment with each peel to ensure optimal results. Only the best ingredients are used to promote skin health!

This makes their Peels customisable!

Q: Who is not suitable to have the BioSurface™ Peels?

 A:  It is recommended that the following conditions not receive the peel.

-Any skin that has been recently resurfaced ( laser , waxing , chemical peel)

-Any sunburnt skin.

-Any person on prescribed forms of Vit A. (Accutane, Roacutane, Retin A )

-Pregnant and breastfeeding woman.

Your therapist will perform a Dermalogica Face Mapping skin analysis to confirm that the skin’s barrier function is healthy.


I went for a series of 6 treatments over an 8 week period to try the peels for myself. Below is my experience and results:

I arrived for my appointment and was asked to complete a form with some general questions like ‘Have I had any Botox or resurfacing treatments done’..etc Your skincare consultant will also perform a face mapping analysis to determine whether you are eligible for the Peel. You can also visit you skincare therapist in advance to have your free face-mapping done and make sure that you can have the peel done before booking an appointment for the peel.

It is extremely important to prep the skin with the right products before the professional BioSurface™ Peel is performed. If the peel is done on unhealthy skin (under nourished and de-hydrated skin) it can cause damage. As I am and have been on a complete Dermalogica skincare regime I passed the face mapping test 🙂 and was able to continue with the peel.

First step was to cleanse my Face, Neck and Chest area with Dermalogica’s Pre-Cleanse and a suitable face wash. Then my therapist did a face mapping analysis, which she did each and every time, to assess the results and to see where my skin is at. Next the first Step of the Peel, the Acid Active, was applied all-over. Step 2 is the The Enzyme Active. This is left on the skin for 5 mins. Step 3 is the Acid Active. This is the step that is buildable and noticable. Noticable as this contains the most active ingredient which can make the skin tingle, and sometimes quite an irritating tingle. I was asked to always let my therapist know at which level between 1-10 the tingling was. One layer was applied and left on for 5mins. Depending on the tingling sensation from the first layer we could decided whether to do a 2nd layer, and 3rd, and 4th and so on. My absolute favourite part was Step 4, The De-celerator, to halt the exfoliating process. It feels like a fluffy foam on the skin and made my skin feels so soothed and comfortable! It has a soft hint of fresh oatmeal and made my skin feel like it was clapping hands! After about 5min everything is gently cleansed off of the skin and all the appropriate moisturizers, sunscreens and eye-creams are applied.

My 1st Peel: As this was my first peel we only applied 2 layers of The Acid Active. The tingling was around 0.5-1.5, so we could’ve applied more layers, but we didn’t want to shock my skin as it was not used to the peels. I honestly did not expect to see any results after my first peel! By the next day my skin felt more hydrated and plumper, I noticed that the congestion I had on my chin was a bit better AND to my absolute surprise I noticed that the fine lines around my eyes were slightly less. I couldn’t wait for the next week to see what the second peel would achieve.

2nd Peel: For my 2nd peel we took it to 3 Layers. This time the tingling was a bit more than before 2-3, but totally bearable. I wasn’t feeling very well this day, and I think this is why the tingling was significantly (double) more than the previous time. This time round my skin felt a bit tighter and drier at first, and I just kept on applying my moisturizer and staying out of the sun. On the 3rd/4th day I noticed that my skin texture had massively improved, my pores were tighter, the little fine lines around my eyes had improved further and my skin was beautifully glowing.

3rd Peel: This time round we decided to deepen the peel by using a different face wash before we started the peel. The face wash was their Medibac Clearing Skin Wash which contains 0.5% Salicylic Acid, this adds additional exfoliation before we apply the peel. We took the peel to 3 layers, this time I felt it more..probably a 4, but the tingling felt very annoying. I just wanted to scratch my face but I couldn’t. In my mind I just told myself that it’s not that bad and the results are worth it 🙂 When we were done with this peel I could definitely feel that this peel was deeper. My skin felt a bit tender, like it needed a bit of extra TLC after this peel. I applied lots of moisturizer and sunscreen. On the 2nd day my skin broke out into a rash on my chin, tiny little bumps everywhere. The breakout wasn’t sore or uncomfortable at all, and it didn’t cause any damage. I was told before my peel that it can cause break outs as it is stimulating the skin deeper down to regenerated. 2 Days on and my skin felt better. I must admit that I hadn’t been using the After Peel Care Kit, which I started using after my 4th peel.

4th Peel: Today I was late for my appointment, on one of the hottest days in Cape Town. Needless to say I was really flustered when I arrived. This time around we only got to 2 layers as the tingling was quite high. As I was lying there I thought to myself, even if your goal is to work up to the maximum of 5 layers, and you never actually get there, that is still perfect, because each time you have a peel done it gives the optimal peel for what your skin needs and can handle at that specific time.

5th Peel: This time I made sure to arrive a bit early, I had a nice cold veggie juice before the treatment, and I arrived calm and refreshed. I had a cold sore that was on the mend, and I was told that the peel could possibly make it come back again as it stimulates the skin to regenerate. Luckily this didn’t happen, I actually found it helped the scab heal quicker than usual. For this peel we did 3 layers, after the 3rd layer was left for the required 5 minutes, my therapist used the BT-Micro machine, which basically pushes the products deeper into the skin for a deeper more intense result. The tingling throughout was at about 3-4, a bit annoying at times, bit totally bearable. This time I had no break out afterwards, just beautiful, smooth, glowing skin.

BT-Micro Machine

BT-Micro Machine

6th Peel: My last peel of my series of treatments. Again we did 3 layers and ended it off with the BT-Micro Machine. The tingling was quite annoying again, at 4-5, but I was on my ‘special time of the month’ which can also make your skin be a bit more sensitive to the tingling.

Dermalogica's fan to help soothe the tingling

Dermalogica’s fan to help soothe the tingling

My Results:

The fine lines around my eyes are 80% better, my pores are tighter, my skin feels healthier, plumper, and hydrated, my pigmentation is a bit lighter (pigmentation needs a lengthy process of peels and the right products. The Peels can also cause the pigmentation to become darker at first as it pushes it up and out), the congestion on my chin is much better and I noticed that my skin was healing quicker. Usually if I have a scab it takes 2-3 weeks to completely disappear, where now after 1 week the scab was gone. I will definitely be maintaining my results with a monthly BioSurface™ Peel.

MY ONLY CONCERN was that my eye area felt neglected. My face, neck and chest were receiving so much love, but my eye area not. My therapist did apply a lovely eye serum, but I wanted more. So I went and had the Microzone Eye Rescue treatment done. Read more about it here 😉

AFTER PEEL: Dermalogica has a great After Care Kit that has everything you need to care for and protect your skin after you peel. (The Kit is not for sale, but it is included if you book a course of Peels. All the products in the kit can be purchased individually) Be careful what make-up you apply after the peel. If you are not sure bring in your foundation and ask your therapist to to see whether you can wear it straight after you peel. Stay out of direct sun and avoid strenuous exercise on the day of your peel. Don’t sit in a sauna or steam room. Wear an SPF of at least 30 and re-apply it every 2 hours (This rule applies to everyday!). If you do experience some peeling DON’T pick at it. Use the products in the After Care Kit as prescribed. I found that after 2 days I could move back over to my normal skincare routine.


The RRP is R690 per peel. Purchasing a course of treatments is more cost effective and ensures the best results.

At Dermalogica’s V&A Concept store you can Buy a course of 3 Peels with 50 % off of the 3rd Peel, and receive a free After Care Kit, OR Buy a course of 6 Peels (recommended for optimum results), get the 6th Peel free and receive a free After Care Kit.



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2 Responses to Dermalogica BioSurface™ Peel

  1. Ronald July 22, 2015 at 1:49 am #

    Hi Marli. I’ve had the peel and have been thinking about continuing treatments. Did you post before and after pictures of your peeling process? Would make my decision a whole lot easier!

    • Marlinette Newman August 24, 2015 at 11:12 am #

      Hey Ronald
      I did post some after pics on my Instagram.
      It basically just made my skin look glowing, hydrated, plumped, moisturized.
      I have been going for a monthly peel for just over a year now and I never want to stop.
      My skin heals faster, looks better, fine lines are less…With regards to the pigmentation I am now starting to see it getting better.
      Pigmentation is a long process to recovery unless you do a medical grade peel with a doctor.

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