I’m SO cranky with my pigmentation! Over the years I’ve hit it with everything – laser, lightening creams, Intense Pulsed Light treatments (IPL), only to have the little buggers sneak back onto my skin post-summer. I don’t know how the freckles get there because I’m fastidious with the sun, but somehow, every Autumn, I notice a pesky smattering of pigment paw prints across my nose and up over my cheekbones. IPL is effective but it’s also painful and super expensive, so I was already searching for another option when Dermalogica’s latest innovation pinged into my inbox.

The company has just launched its first ever chemical peel, the Bio Surface Peel. The professional salon-only treatment boasts many skin-brightening and tone-evening benefits but can be used in conjunction with their Powerbright TRx to tackle pigmentation. I love a two-prong approach –  professional-grade treatments backed up by home care is always the best way to go. So I promptly book in for a series of four treatments (between three and six is recommended) and order the skincare system – stat.

At my first appointment I fill out a questionnaire, which, among other things, tells my lovely therapist, Charlotte, that I’ve been on antibiotics for an illness (which of course, can affect your skin). She bundles me into the treatment room in a soothing swoop of reassurances.

“The great thing about this peel is you don’t have to walk out looking like Samantha from Sex and the City,” she explains gently. “There are so many progressive ingredients in the peel now so you won’t feel like your skin is burning or stinging.”

After applying a blend of essential oils on the soles of my feet to help relax me, Charlotte analyses my skin using a device they call the BT Analyze which measures the amount of moisture in the skin. Surprise, surprise, I’m dehydrated! But Charlotte says she will infuse some plumping hyaluronic acid into my treatment today. After a double cleanse to prep and a quick face-mapping session to see where the problem areas lie, she then paints on each of the peel solutions in layers, giving each time to work, explaining that since I’ve been on medication we won’t do the full four layers of peel today, as I may be too sensitive.

With each layer, I’m to grade my sensation between 1 and 10 – this gives the therapist an idea of how the skin is responding. Charlotte takes notes and adjust the treatment each time I go and will increase the intensity accordingly as you build up to it. The first two layers are fine and the third feels vaguely itchy, but nothing unbearable. The active ingredients include salicylic acid to weaken the keratin bonds (the cell connections), lactic and phytic acids to aid in cell turnover alongside papain and pumpkin enzymes as well as gentle botanical brighteners. The ingredients are in such high concentration that therapists are required to do a full two days training before being allowed to perform the peels.

The final layer, the decelerator halts the exfoliation process with a soothing cocktail of cucumber, green Tea, and oat leaf extract to calm and comforting the skin. Over the next few days, I use the Bio Surface Peel After Care Kit (complimentary with your first treatment) and, while apparently some people get a little flaky skin, I don’t notice any, just the feeling that my skin is a bit more rough than usual and a slight darkening of the pigmentation.

By day four, my skin is smoother than my toddler son’s velvet-soft tummy. Makeup slips on like a dream and I notice an all over brightening and evening.

On day five, I switch to the Powerbright TRX skincare system. The C-12 Pure Bright Serum packs a potent punch of peptides and botanical extracts that help inhibit the production of melanin in my skin that leads to pigmentation. Pure Night is my night time dream cream that contains known pigment puncher Vitamin C along with superstar Oligopeptide-34 to keep the melanin to a minimum.

I return weekly for my peels for the next three weeks and by the end of it all, I’ve definitely noticed a reduction in my pigmentation. It’s not as dramatic (or painful) as IPL but it certainly got the bulk of it. And the plus side is my skin is in better shape all-round. It’s hydrated, plump and glowy and if I chose to wear makeup (which I’m feeling less inclined to do now) it sits beautifully on the skin.

Bio Surface Peels cost between $120 – $180 approximately. Find your nearest Dermalogica Salon here.


Story by Sigourney. Sponsored by Dermalogica.

Do you have a problem with pigmentation?
Would you try this treatment?

Comment (4)

  1. July 11, 2016

    Yes I m 65 year I would like to try don’t know any about I was reading in Asian age papers

  2. July 14, 2016

    Yes, I have tried the Bio Peel. My experience is very similar to the authors. First application, I did not feel any tingling during the application of the layers; nor did I have any peeling. Skin felt slightly dryer at first until I began exfoliating with Multivitamin Thermafoliant. Skin was brighter. Application of makeup was a dream. My second treatment was two weeks later. During this application, I felt the tingling during the third and fourth layers. The estheticians hand-held fan made it comfortable and once the last layer of neutralizer was applied, all tingling sensations stopped. Afterwards, different areas of my face "flaked" over a period of three weeks. At first, pigmentation spots appeared slightly increased. Four weeks later, pigmentation seemed more diminished. Just had my third Bio-Peel yesterday, I did have a bit of tingling sensation during the first enzyme layer. During the actual third and fourth peel layers, there was NO sensation of tingling. I am anxious to see results of this third peel. I love the Multivitamin Thermafoliant. As instructed I use on the fourth day after the peel, daily for five days. After that, I use it 2x a week. Application of makeup is amazing, my skin is brighter, hyperpigmentation diminished but not gone. NOTE: I use Dermalogica Intensive Moisture DAILY. Due to sensitive skin, I can only use a "zinc oxide" base sunscreen DAILY. Other sunscreens have been irritating in past, so I opt to use either ELTA MD or Epicuren zinc based sunscreen for the face. When applied properly, neither leave white residue. Beginning 5 days post peels, I applied another brands Vitamin C product. Beginning 7 days after this third peel treatment, I will incorporate Dermalogica Retinol Repair every other night. I used the Retinol Repair for several months prior to the peels and was very pleased with this product. The esthetician advised to stop using it 7 days prior to the start of my peel process. Depending on the results of this third peel treatment, I may opt for one more peel – providing the esthetician agrees and opts for four layering. We haven’t yes discussed maintenance on Bio Peel intervals. I love the Dermalogica Vitamin C peels and my regular regimen was to have these professional treatments every 4-6 weeks.

  3. April 13, 2017

    I hace had IPL and Fraxel for my melasma. IPL helped my skin resurfacing but was not really for deep melasma. I just scheduled an appointment for Bio Surface Peel… I’ve had perks before and regularly use Vitamin C serum with prescription strength hydroquinone . I don’t know if Bio Surface will give me similar results to Fraxel. Crossing my fingers!

  4. February 28, 2018

    Thanks for submitting wonderful article on pigmantations. Please keep posting more info. You can also visit http://orchidcosmolaser.com/ for more info.