No matter what you call it—a comeback, re-launch, resurrection—Ellen Lange, the woman who created one of the first at-home peels in the late '90s, is bringing back her disruptive Ellen Lange Retexturizing Peel Kit. And after a few tweaks with the bells and whistles of the at-home bundle, it's so much more than its predecessor.
If you're not familiar with Lange, or her revolutionary at-home treatment, which was once a QVC hit and Sephora bestseller, here's a quick backstory: In 1996, Lange, an aesthetician with a mission to give women (and men) glow-y skin via a spa-like experience in the comfort of their own homes, created a three-step peel system, containing multiple exfoliants—glycolic acid, enzymes, and lactic acid—to remove skin's surface cells, retexturize and brighten skin, and help produce that coveted just-left-the-spa glow. And after major success (the Retexturizing Peel Kit made an appearance in the Allure September 2004 issue as a power peel) and a slew of offers from big-name beauty giants, a health scare caused Lange to step away from her business. Today, she's healed and ready to start anew.
"My peel is unique," Lange tells Allure. "I was the first to do the cup and a brush at home, getting those professional tools into people’s hands. People have tried packaging similar things, but there’s nothing that creates that immediate effect."
The kit itself contains three products, which are to be used in succession: the Peel Prep Scrub, an enzyme-spiked exfoliant made with papaya fruit extract and jojoba beads; the Peel Accelerator Pads, which are soaked with five percent glycolic acid, witch hazel, and caffeine; and the Glycolic Peel Solution, which contains 10 percent glycolic acid and lactic acid.
The newly re-launched Ellen Lange Retexturizing Peel Kit has a few minor changes that Lange says only long-time fans will notice. Jojoba beads, which are both exfoliating and moisturizing, replace controversial and now largely banned microbeads in the enzyme scrub, there's now an easy-access pump on the Glycolic Peel Solution bottle, and the entire system comes in a top-open box to make it easier to store the products in between treatments.
"The scrub is the same. The pads are the same. The peel is the same," says Lange. "One of our hashtags is #peelcult because it's got this cult following." (And she's not kidding—one peep at the review section on her website, ellenlange.com will make you into a believer.)
Lange, who "decided to start small again" is set on selling her kit—which includes eight full peel treatments, 60 glycolic peel pads, a small cup to dispense the foaming Glycolic Peel Solution, and a fan brush to apply it with—directly to consumers through her website for $85. And after a soft launch of the site, only taking pre-orders, the Ellen Lange Retexturizing Peel is already selling out, with promises of re-stock early in the new year. "What kept me going was hearing from people and their true responses and feedback," she says. "So I got the courage to go at it again. It’s hard to do it again. It’s one thing if you’re very naïve and another to really know the business and have to go back and do it again—but I'm very excited."