We put Renée Rouleau’s Triple Berry Smoothing Peel to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Does it stand the test of time? Keep reading to find out if our editor is still using this peel three years after trying the product for the first time.
As Byrdie HQ’s resident skincare obsessive, I’ve tried my fair share of products—and I have a lot of opinions. I generally consider myself a product loyalist (meaning I don’t rotate in new formulas often) and when I love something, I love it hard. Such is the case with Renée Rouleau’s Triple Berry Smoothing Peel, a jelly peel I’ve been using for years and covet even more with every application. If you’ve read my writing before, chances are you’ve heard me sing its praises once or twice (or a million times). If not, I’m about to change your life—and your skin. Below, find my honest review of the product and every single thing you need to know about its ingredients, formula, application, and results.
Renée Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel
STAR RATING: 5/5
BEST FOR: Dull, sallow-looking skin prone to discoloration, acne scars, and clogged pores—or if you’re looking for extra glow before a big event or night out.
USES: Exfoliate, smooth surface texture, brighten, and lift discoloration
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Mandelic, lactic, salicylic, tartaric, and malic acids
BYRDIE CLEAN: Yes
ABOUT THE BRAND: Renée Rouleau is a sought-after skincare expert and celebrity esthetician with 30 years of hands-on experience. Her products are formulated for nine different skin types, allowing you to personalize your regimen and better understand your skin.
About My Skin: Fair, combination skin with some sun damage
While we all want our skin to look glowy, even, clear, and plump, the means by which we get there is entirely different. My skin, while mostly unproblematic, has a few characteristics that can pose a challenge. It's combination (meaning I don't break out often but have consistent congestion along my nose and chin), as well as fair and damaged from years of sun-worshipping.
Daily, I use a cleansing balm to melt away makeup while boosting hydration and a light gel cleanser to keep excess oil at bay. I apply an exfoliating toner to balance and smooth, layer on a whole host of serums depending on the day (vitamin C for protection and antioxidants, hyaluronic acid for hydration, and sometimes retinol), and top it all off with a moisturizer and CBD facial oil for inflammation.
That said, every week, like clockwork, I apply Renée Rouleau’s Triple Berry Smoothing Peel to nix underlying breakouts, blackheads, and help lift discoloration. On those days, I’ll skip the exfoliating toner (and certainly the retinol) to make sure I’m not over-exfoliating or disrupting my skin barrier—a delicate dance, for sure. I like to follow it up with a calming serum or mask if I have the time to allow for an even more plumped-up, glowy finish.
Ingredients: Packed with acids and rich in antioxidants
Generally, chemical peels are meant to help your skin do what it does naturally—just more quickly and effectively. By removing the top layer of damaged skin to promote the growth of new, healthy skin, a great peel helps increase collagen production and improves the efficacy of your current skincare routine.
Renée Rouleau’s Triple Smoothing Berry Peel’s does all of the above, but beyond that, it’s specially formulated to address skin concerns including hyperpigmentation and acne. It’s brimming with four different acids, as well as bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple, and blueberry (to reduce inflammation). It also incorporates pomegranate extracts, raspberry seed oil, and strawberry for antioxidant protection.
This peel also passes the Byrdie Clean Beauty Pledge, which means that it’s formulated without sulfates, parabens, formaldehydes, phthalates, mineral oil (and other petroleum distillates), coal tar, hydroquinone, and other potentially irritating or dangerous ingredients. It’s also vegan and certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny, meaning that it’s never been tested on animals.
The Feel + Scent: Just like raspberry jam
Yes, it’s true—this product feels, looks, and even smells like raspberry jam. I very literally had to stop myself from licking it from my fingers. To apply this product, I used my fingers to scoop a small amount, then spread it evenly across my face, neck, and chest.
The brand recommends you leave this peel on your skin for five to 10 minutes, but I usually let it sit for the full 10. Although it does feel like you just smeared jam all over your face—and it looks like it, too—it’s still pretty lightweight. It’s also easy to wash it off; you can use your hands, but I prefer a muslin cloth.
The Before + After
The Results: Brighter, clearer skin than ever
This peel is one of my (as well as the other Byrdie editors') all-time holy grail items. Renée Rouleau’s Smoothing Triple Berry Peel is one of those magical products that produces fresh, clear, bright, and entirely unclogged skin after every application.
When I applied it, it felt slightly “spicy” on my skin—it doesn’t sting, per se, but it feels like it’s doing something. Once removed, my skin looks like glass: shiny, even, soft, smooth, and about 15 other adjectives for exactly what you want your face to look like. It also allows for a really amazing canvas below makeup (if you’re going out that night) or, if you do it before bed, you’ll wake up with better-looking skin than ever before. I know I’m gushing, but this product deserves a proper rave.
Lastly, the fact that this is a professional-strength, at-home peel shouldn't scare you. In fact, it's great for sensitive skin—although if you know your skin is very reactive, I’d leave it on for five minutes instead of my usual 10.
The Value: Pricey but worth it
I’ll give it to you straight: This product is not cheap. But, in my opinion, it’s worth the price tag in spades. It’s one of the only formulas I’ve used for years and seen visible results every single time. That, and it lasts for months. If you think about it in terms of price per use, and you use it once a week for three months, the cost comes out to about $7 for each application. If I was asked to pay less than 10 bucks for glowing, blemish-free, even skin for days after use, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
Similar Products: You have options
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial: This facial from Drunk Elephant aims to provide the same results as the Renée Rouleau peel, offering a 25-percent AHA blend of glycolic, tartaric, lactic, and citric acids. It’s absolutely a cult-favorite (and slightly cheaper than Rouleau’s peel), but, in my experience, it stings a lot and the results are less dramatic.
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask: I love this mask from Tata Harper, which retails for $65, but again, it doesn’t genuinely change my skin the way the Triple Berry Smoothing Peel does. I like to use it on my forehead between Botox appointments because it has a really amazing smoothing and tightening effect, but it doesn’t do as much for my skintone.
Interested in reading more reviews? Check out our picks for the best chemical peels.
Our Verdict: Yes, buy it
Renée Rouleau’s Triple Berry Smoothing Peel may be pricier than your usual splurge, but the results speak for themselves. I don’t fall hard for products often, but this one is undeniable—it unclogs, nixes breakouts, brightens, tightens, and evens the skin. Plus, it smells like jam. What’s not to love? Case in point: Three years after I first tried this product, I still use it once every week or so—usually when I want my skin to look particularly good.