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The Natural, Skin-Brightening Treatment Steph Plans to Use All Summer

It gently exfoliates and smells like cherry pie.
Naturopathica Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel, $58, available here. Photo: Courtesy of Naturopathica

Naturopathica Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel, $58, available here. Photo: Courtesy of Naturopathica

I first encountered Naturopathica's Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel a few weeks ago when I was getting a CBD facial at Heyday (which, side note, was heavenly). My esthetician recommended it after noticing some mild post-breakout hyperpigmentation and dullness, and warned it might sting a bit, thanks to the mix of lactic, salicylic, mandelic and malic acids in the formula. But my complexion can stand up pretty well to exfoliation, so to me it just felt cooling and nice, owing to the literal jam-like texture.

The similarities to jam don't end with this product's viscosity, though; with a base of sweet cherry seed oil, it also contains pomegranate extract and sweet cherry purée, meaning there are little flecks of fruit in the formula. It smells like cherry pie — actual, fresh-from-the-farmer's-market cherry pie, not some cloying, artificial approximation of it. After my facial, my skin was definitely brighter and my lingering ghosts of breakouts past were less prominent. But I had to see if I could replicate the effects at home (the brand suggests using the peel a few times a week for continued results).

With the help of a beauty publicist, I got my hands on a jar and have since used it a few more times. The slightly drippy formula calls for a masking brush (unless you want goo all over the place), but otherwise the application is super simple: The brand recommends leaving it on for three to five minutes before rinsing. Like most messy masks, I prefer applying it a few minutes before I get in the shower; for some reason the rinse-off process is a little less annoying that way.

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I'm a longtime fan of acid and enzyme exfoliators, which fall into the "chemical" camp, because they're less harsh and more effective than physical scrubs. (I'll say it again: Please keep your walnut shells away from my face, Kylie!) I already use an acid-based liquid exfoliator (this one or this one) several times a week, but in the summer when my complexion needs a little extra brightening boost, I'll be reaching for this more targeted treatment on the regular.

Naturopathica Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel, $58, available here.

Scroll through the gallery below to see more of Steph's picks.

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