Philosophy Resurface Peel Review

Ah, to resurface. Entire companies are dedicated to this concept: you can get your ceramic tiles, your antique furniture, and just about anything to be found in your bathroom or kitchen resurfaced. By making the old look new again, resurfacing is one of the closest things we have to time travel. Now think about it: if resurfacing can turn your great-grandma’s beat up coffee table into the center of a room, what can it do for your face? Quite a bit, as we found out with Philosophy Resurface, a microdelivery dual-phase peel.

Philosophy Resurface Peel Review

Below, I provide a full, detailed review of the Philosophy Resurfacing Peel to help you understand how it works, provide my own experience from using it, and more.

Philosophy Resurfacing Peel Review


The Microdelivery Peel Step I uses “vitamin C/peptide resurfacing crystals” to “rejuvenate and revitalize” the skin. The micro-crystals serve as effective agents for microdermabrasioPhilosophy Resurface step 1n (“resurfacing”), while vitamin C and peptides are absorbed by the skin for their antioxidant and skin-restructuring benefits.

Philosophy Resurfacing Peel Step 1

Do the ingredients indicate that the Microdelivery Peel will deliver the hype? Yes. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (vitamin C) is only one of many antioxidants and skin-conditioning agents found in the peel. Peptides–which studies have shown to improve collagen and elastin production in the skin–can be found in the form of Palmitoyl Oligopeptide.

Check out the full list of ingredients for yourself:

  • Peg-6 (polyethylene glycol-6): common surfactant in cosmetics. The number (six) differentiates PEG-6 from other PEGs by molecular weight.
  • Sodium Bicarbonate: baking soda, used for highly-effective dermabrasion. This is where the “crystals” come from.
  • Oleth-20: a surfactant used as a emulsifying, cleansing, and solubilizing agent.
  • Glyceryl Stearate SE (self-emulsifying): lipid used for emulsifying that contains sodium and potassium. May help soften and smooth the skin.
  • Silica: depending on the structure, used as an abrasive agent or a suspending agent.
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate: stable, water-soluble form of Vitamin C. Powerful antioxidant.
  • Tocopheryl Acetate: Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) serves as an antioxidant. Conditions and softens skin.
  • Retinyl Palmitate: Retinyl (pure vitamin A) and palmitic acid. Effective antioxidant.
  • Ethylhexyl Palmitate: an emmolient (moisturizing compound) that conditions skin. Also used as a fragrance agent.
  • Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil: a skin conditioning agent and fragrance ingredient.
  • Tribehenin: a skin conditioning agent. Also used as a nonaqueous viscosity-increasing agent (1).
  • Sorbitan Isostearate: surfactant (emulsifying).
  • Palmitoyl Oligopeptide: may be effective in restructuring skin cells; may increase collagen and elastin production.
  • Beta-Carotene: precursor to Vitamin A. Safe skin-conditioning agent and colorant.
  • Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben: preservatives.


Step II of the Microdelivery Peel is an “activating gel” that uses lactic and salicylic acids to help the skin absorb the vitamin C and peptides from Step I. The product also claims to provide “secondary exfoliation” and improve the texture of skin.

Philosophy Resurfacing Peel Step 2

The ingredients list is much more simple than the first list, but the ingredients are still powerful and exist as advertised:

  • Water: common solvent in cosmetics.
  • Lactic Acid: a humectant/skin-conditioning agent.
  • Hydroxyethylcellulose: derived from plants, this ingredient acts as a thickener, emulsifier, or natural preservative.
  • Linoleamidopropyl Pg-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate: emmolient used in hair and skin products.
  • Salicylic Acid: a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that may act as a skin conditioning agent, exfoliant, or anti-acne agent. Naturally occurring in the bark of Salix alba, a willow tree.
  • Polyquaternium-10: conditioning agent for hair or skin.
  • Propylene Glycol: moisturizing agent that increases the penetration of other ingredients.
  • Diazolidinyl Urea: antimicrobial preservative.
  • Methylparaben, Propylparaben: preservatives.

My Experience: Full Review of the Philosophy Resurface Dual-Phase Peel

First of all, Step 1 smells so. darn. good. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the citrus scent. The resurfacing effect was absolutely awesome; I probably exfoliated a little too vigorously with the micro-crystals, but my skin was never irritated beyond its usual reaction to exfoliation. You can really feel Step I making a difference, and I wanted to continue exfoliating for longer than the recommended 1-3 minutes.

I yielded to Step II, however, which consists of putting a clear, shiny activating gel. That was when the real fun began! With just a dime-sized amount, I was able to cover my entire face, coating the Step I micro-crystals.

Philosophy Resurfacing Microdelivery Peel Review

The warming sensation begins almost immediately, and though it isn’t a tingling or uncomfortable feeling, you definitely know it’s working. You can simply let the activator gel sit there and foam for sixty seconds, making Step II a cakewalk. I chose to continue exfoliating for 60 seconds instead. My sensitive skin didn’t even mind it!

After rinsing, my face was a bit red, but nothing that a normal exfoliation wouldn’t do to my skin. I could immediately tell the product lived up to its name: my skin was SO smooth, it felt like it had been polished and treated with an expensive facial!

The redness was gone within 8 hours (I recommend using this treatment at night). Most importantly, my skin looked better with every use. I’m only halfway through the bottles, but I’m already recommending it to friends. At just $69.00, Philosophy Resurface- the Microdelivery Dual-Phase Peel is cheaper than a single facial and lasts through months of bi-weekly treatments. I can’t help but recommend it!

In case you are AT ALL confused on how it works or how to use it, I found this incredible video that explains exactly how to apply both step 1 and step 2 of the resurfacing peel to get the best results possible:

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