Although I've been hearing about the Kinerase line for a few years, I've only recently tried one of its products. Available only in dermatologists' offices, Pro+Therapy Advanced Radiance Facial Peel ($85) is an at-home treatment meant to exfoliate dead skin and reveal more radiant skin. (I know that sounds like marketing speak, but after using the peel, I can't think of a better word than "radiant" to describe the results.)

The kit includes 15 lollipop-shaped applicators with sponges, each one pre-moistened with a blend of pharmaceutical-grade lactic acid, citric acid, and soothing ingredients such as algae extracts. You're supposed to use one a day for five days in a row, which was my original intention. It didn't work out that way, though. To find out why,

The first day I swabbed the sponge on my face, I didn't feel any of the tingling you'd expect from a lactic acid exfoliator. After using it, my face did have a slight layer of stickiness on it, but that was it. But the second day was different. When I applied the peel, I could feel a slight stinging, and when I later put on my night cream (which has glycolic acid in it), I felt a little more.

After the third day, my skin was noticeably smoother and brighter. It was soft and glowy, with all of the blah dullness completely gone. I could have gone on to do the third and fourth days, but honestly, I was happy enough with the results—so why not save the remaining applications for another time? $85 is steep for a product, but considering the fact that I'll be able to get five treatments out of it, it winds up being about $17 per peel. That's downright cheap compared to an in-office peel, and it's still a small fraction of the cost of the average facial.

If shopping with a dermatologist isn't your thing, there's also Instant Radiance Facial Peel ($75). The difference is that the Pro+Therapy version contains the plant hormones Kinetin and Zeatin that work together, while this has only Kinetin. It's a little less potent, but you don't need to buy it at a doctor's office.

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