Heavy duty peels: Ole Henriksen Lemon, Kate Somerville ExfoliKate gentle and intensive

As the season gets colder, you may also notice a difference in your skin. Perhaps it is getting drier, or there are more stubborn clogged pores and flaky skins. We talked about what peels are before, and I did a little review of DDG Alpha Beta and Origins Modern Friction peel pads here. But what if you don’t want a pad or have sturdy skin where gentle peels just don’t work? Well, these heavy duty peels pack a punch, it might sting a bit and you will see a difference the next day (whether the difference is bad or good depending on if the peel is too intensive for you or not). For intense products like these, it’s important to follow instructions and as always when it comes to peels, make sure to protect your skin from the sun in the following weeks!


Ole Henriksen Lemon Strip peel


Description: A one-step express peel powered by lactic, glycolic and fruit acids that go to work in three ways to exfoliate and resurface skin, while algae extract soothes and calms. This spa grade treatment increases cell turnover, brightens skin tone and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a smoother, younger looking complexion.

First impression: It really just look like a harmless clear gel. I was expecting it to be a gentle peel, since it look so friendly and similar to my other Ole Henriksen favorite, the black/blueberry enzyme mask, but noooooo! The instruction says to apply a teaspoon using a brush. I usually use my hand for masks and peels but decided to be fancy and used a flat/paddle shaped foundation brush for my sample. Immediately upon applying, I felt sharp stinging a few times as if someone is quickly and lightly poking my skin with a needle. Luckily the stinging sensation went away by the time I finished applying the whole face and I managed the 10 minutes fine.

Effect: You really do need the brush to get an even layer and to prevent over applying it. I was worried because of the sting when initially applied, but, my skin didn’t feel tender when I rinsed it off. Just to be safe I used a calming moisturizer and skipped any brightening serums afterwards. When I woke up the next day, my skin is very very soft and smooooth. The pores are clean and the skin looks very nice. It helped dry up some of my blemish. It’s not so intense it burns nor so gentle it is ineffective, and you can see/feel a difference the next day, so I would be buying it again.

Exfolikate Intensive


Description: This signature formula works both physically and enzymatically to deliver safe, dramatic results in one application. It effectively combats acne and blackheads, reduces discoloration, and polishes skin for a smooth complexion.

First impression: I like hoarding skincare samples whenever I make beauty purchases and it feels like every store is giving away Exfolikate Intensive samples at one point or another. It is actually the first peel I tried and scared me off Kate Somerville for a bit. It looks like a green gel mask thing with an…interesting scent. I want to say it’s similar to when you cut open a radish, slightly sharp, but the scent is not too strong. There is a mild stinging sensation when applied, but it didn’t go as well as OH Lemon Strip for me….

Effect: My skin feels a bit rough and raw after I rinsed it off, and it got a bit flaky over the next couple of days despite generous amount of moisturizers. Unfortunately, this peel seems to be too intense for me. I have normal skin, I would not recommend this for sensitive skin but if you have thick/tough skin where most peels don’t do anything, try this. If you do want to try it but is tentative about the intensiveness of it, then apply on slightly wet skin instead of damp skin, the water will help thin out and spread out the peel so it is gentler.

Exfolikate Gentle


Description: It decongests, detoxifies, and refines skin to reveal a polished, flawless complexion. This formula’s naturally effective complex of ingredients delivers a bevy of benefits. Scrubbing exfoliants lift dead skin cells from surface while papaya, pumpkin, and pineapple enzymes reduce pore size, stimulate circulation, and improve oxygen flow.

First impression: Unlike the ExfoliKate intensive, I didn’t feel any stinging sensation upon application. I like the fact it have a slight and very gentle physical exfoliation/scrub in addition to chemical, altho it have a similar scent to ExfoliKate Intensive. While I didn’t feel anything with it on, unlike OH Lemon Strip or Exfolikate intensive, when I rinsed it off my face was pink! It is as if I applied pink lipsticks over it and tried to rub them off instead of using makeup remover.

Effect: The super pink skin is scary looking, but I assume it’s due to the “stimulate circulation” because my skin did not feel irritated, raw or any stinging at all when it is on or after I took it off. And when I wake up the next morning, the redness is gone, my skin color is back to normal but my pores/blemish look cleaner and smaller. Despite the moment of panic/redness, this is actually the gentlest of the 3 peels and I would use it again.

These peels are definitely fast acting and gives you almost immediate result. To make sure it is appropriate for your skin, try it at night, wear a high sunscreen during the day, and don’t use it the night before a big event. If you like it or wants to tone down the intensity just a bit, use a fan brush or less dense brush for the Ole Henriksen Lemon strip, and applythe ExfoliKate on wet skin instead of damp skin to help spread it out more. Below is just a comparison of the texture for the two exfolikate.



4 thoughts on “Heavy duty peels: Ole Henriksen Lemon, Kate Somerville ExfoliKate gentle and intensive

  1. Ohh Very nice reviews over the products! I totally agree with the OH Lemon Strip, IT’S INTENSE!! Sharp Stinging is exactly right! But it gives great results for me! I am curious to try the ExfoliKate Gentle. I like the regular but it do have a problem with flaking after, and have to do a hydrating mask after. I’m definitely going to try to get my hands on a sample!

    1. Try it. =)
      ExfoliKate Intensive was so scary that I was startled by how gentle the Gentle one is. They were not lying, lol, the intensive one was intense and the gentle one was gentle. I usually do a facial oil after a peel, then hydrating mask the next day. My face feel soooo smooth!

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