April 10, 2012

Philosophy The Microdelivery Triple Acid Brightening Peel Review

I’ve had incredible success with much of the Philosophy Miracle Worker Collection and absolutely loved the Brightening and Dark Spot Corrector Treatment so of course the new Philosophy The Microdelivery Triple Acid Brightening Peel was something I absolutely had to try out for myself.

These are pre-saturated pads with brightening and anti-aging benefits. I’ve used them for the better part of four months or so now so I think I’m finally ready to review them.

Take a look!

For 12 pads, you’re looking at $68 which is quite a good deal of cash to drop. But I readily admit if they worked well I’d probably feel little guilt indulging in them.


I feel like they are a little too expensive for what they did do and couldn’t help wishing for the things they didn’t.

Philosophy dubs these a gentle, easy to use chemical peel designed for weekly use that can be done from the comfort of your home with no down time, redness, or general chaos that comes along with a chemical skin peel aka you won’t look like Samantha after this peel.

The triple-acid formula contains mandelic, phytic, and azelaic acids.

Mandelic is an alpha-hydroxy acid that treats irregular pigmentation, acne, and aging skin by resurfacing the area it is applied to. Phytic is a natural acid of sorts that aids in brightening skin. And finally azelaic acid is good for lightening discolorations.

With all three of these acids addressing much of my skincare concerns I thought this peel was most definitely something I needed to check out for myself.

I wanted something to brighten up dull skin, I wanted something to resurface my skin and whisk away older, dead cells and dry skin, and finally I wanted something that would brighten and whiten. Most of these issues are already taken care of by my Philosophy Miracle Worker Pads however I was interested in taking the results to the next level.

They pretty much promise to reduce the appearance of fine lines while brightening skin and reducing the appears of dark spots.


Each pad is a large, generously size circle made of a thick cotton fiber. They come individually wrapped which is a big perk as you aren’t touching other pads as you remove one nor are you exposing the other pads to the air. Individually wrapping them is a super smart idea as they remain stable and fresh.

To use them you swipe swipe them across your clean, dry face and wait for three to five minutes and proceed to rinse. I typically use them in the evening after I’ve washed my face and before applying any other night time treatments. I had absolutely no issues with them in regards to stinging, burning, or even redness after use however keep in my mind my skin is not sensitive so your experience may differ from my own.

Philosophy recommends using these once a week but I admit I used them twice a week. Once on a Monday and once again at the end of the week on Sunday. They feel so gentle I felt like using them daily but that would be complete overkill.

Now the sad news….

I used an entire box of press samples (12 pads) and proceeded to purchase another box (another 12 pads). I’m not done with my second box as of yet….

Sadly, I don’t really see any major changes in my skin.

After a quick glance at the ingredient list I will say most of the acids in the formula are listed last on the ingredient list meaning there isn’t a ton of those acids in the formula after all. They also contain a good deal of alcohol which thankfully didn’t dry my skin out.

I did wish for smoother skin, brighter, skin, and even had hopes it the peel would resurface my skin so drier areas would be more smoother…

None of this happened technically.

I’d love to tell you they were the best peel I’ve ever purchased. Heck, as I mentioned above I’d have called them a great deal at near $70 if they actually worked.


I’m terribly disappointed to say that my skin hasn’t changed after more than 12 uses.

Sadly, Philosophy The Microdelivery Triple Acid Brightening Peel didn’t turn out as amazing as I had hoped. I will say that the Miracle Worker Pads are way more successful at brightening, resurfacing, and keeping my skin looking fresh but sadly the Microdelivery Triple Acid Brightening Peel Pads weren’t as successful.

P.S. I’d love to throw it out there and ask Philosophy to consider placing the Miracle Worker Pads in the same packaging. Individually packaging them would really extend the expiration and just kept the product fresh and stable overall! This is a real perk to this peel.

Tried ’em?

Do share your thoughts.

Disclaimer: A box of the pads were provided as a press sample for review and I purchased another box at Sephora to follow up the treatment.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Cj

    Wow that sucks 🙁 You’d think for the big price tag and the fact that there’s only 12 pads that they’d be super concentrated and have a high percentage of acids. I’m glad I went for the first aid beauty pads instead of these.

    • the Muse

      no good…*blows my eyes and wipes my tears* the first aid ones are pretty nice but I was hoping for stronger with these. no good though!

  • Barbara

    In regards to azelaic acid, I think a concentration of 15-20% is found to be most effective in reducing redness and rosacea. Anything else, it has no beneficial effects and I’ve only seen that concentration in prescription form (Finacea). Anyway, the high alcohol content makes me want to stay away. I don’t need skin damage to go along with the peel.

  • Sarah

    darn, i was just looking at these wondering if they’d work well – but since you didn’t have a great result with them, i can’t think they’d be any different for me. nice to have these reviews because it means i can make my budget go further by being a more thoughtful consumer!

  • catazure

    I’ve been using these for about 6-7 weeks and wiping the excess on my hands. My hands show more improvement than my face!

    • the Muse

      LOL well that’s promising ;-D I’ve been using them a few months and nada, not even smoother skin or a little brightening 🙁 nothing…so sad!

  • Jane

    I’ve been using a combination of products for lightening hyper pigmentation and exfoliation. I use Cell Block C by Beauticontrol. The capsules have 10% vitamin C. Next I use Walgreens 8% Alphahydroxy. It’s only 8 dollars and it’s amazing! Smoother, brighter skin with smaller, refined pores. No stinging or burning. Check it out! 🙂

  • Alana

    The directions say only to rinse it off after 3-5min if you have sensitive skin. Otherwise, leave it on overnight. Maybe this is why it didn’t work as well as you’d hoped? I just bought this product and will be doing my first application tonight. Wish me luck!

    • the Muse

      good luck alana! I actually tried leaving on with my second box overnight..but still the same results 🙁

  • Nellie

    I just bought the package and used the first pad. The instructions say that you should only rinse it off in 3-5 min if you have a sensitive skin, otherwise you should live the solution over night and not follow with any moisturisers. You might want to try that, I imagine the results will be stronger…

  • Migdalia

    You know I was really excited about the philosophy Triple acid brighten peel it’s my first time trying out philosophies products. My problems are I’m going through menopause unfortunately my pores are very open and I have some sunspots I did the peel exactly as they said to my surprise the next morning it looked like it had worked my pores were closed It had lightended my skin and the texture was pretty good but now I am on my fourth day and my pores are visibly open again and I am wondering should I use it twice in a week I really want this product to work right now I’m not so sure but I must say that it is good for lightening of the skin and the texture of face. Does anyone know of a product that really really helps with the pores is there anything out there that I don’t know I’ve accumulated so many products from Sephora & hsn

  • kim

    Did you read the instructions? Its does not say to rinse off but to follow with moisturizer you should only rinse is irritating. You said you did not have irritation. I love and have used for years.