Peace Out: We tried the US skincare brand that’s TikTok-famous for its pore strips

Helen Wilson-Beevers
·9-min read
<p>The brand’s mission is to deliver effective and fast-acting formulas</p> (iStock/The Independent)

The brand’s mission is to deliver effective and fast-acting formulas

(iStock/The Independent)

Cult US skincare line Peace Out is Sephora’s top acne brand, which is unsurprising considering it’s been popping (sorry) up all over our TikTok feeds.

Last June, skincare influencer Hyram’s video featuring Peace Out pore strips went viral. While the brand has been open about using the platform as a marketing tool, the results in the videos, where users peel away the products to show the sebum that’s been extracted, speak for themselves.

Still, we wanted to see if the brand lived up to the hype upon its launch in the UK. The full collection is now available exclusively at Boots, but we got a sneak peek in order to test the products.

Skin health is a subject close to founder Enrico Frezza’s heart: he struggled with acne as a teenager and wanted to find a quick fix. The lightbulb moment came when he discovered hydrocolloid dressings, which are usually used for healing wounds.

Within the growing Peace Out collection, you can shop the first-ever patent-pending hydrocolloid acne dot, alongside patented hydrocolloid pore strips and micro-needling patches.

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The range also includes a blemish balm, serum, retinol eye stick, under-eye patches and brightening face pads.

Billed as targeted treatments for skin concerns ranging from acne to wrinkles, the question is, are they a trending fad or a breakthrough buy? After a month of testing, here’s our verdict.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Peace Out acne dots

This is Peace Out’s original product: there are two sheets of 10 acne dots in resealable sachets within a signature branded box. Both the external packaging and sachets have instructions making the application process clear and easy. Peeling off and placing onto our skin with the tacky side down, we found the dots stayed put without pulling. The brand’s hydrocolloid polymer technology is designed to extract impurities and create a protective barrier. Plus, they stop you from picking spots. Vitamin A and salicylic acid are present to help clear blemishes, while aloe vera leaf extract is there to soothe and reduce redness.

Designed for at least six hours of wear, our tester left the anti-acne dots in place overnight. Focusing on a pimple and another blemish, we were amazed to see the smaller one was barely noticeable that next morning and the angry red spot much less so. From a mindset point of view, it also feels positively proactive having that healing barrier.

Buy now £17.00,

Peace Out pores – available 22 April

There are four sachets within the box, with both a blackhead and pore strip in each. Very stretchy, you can easily get them in position, moulding them to your face. Sticking on effectively, they don’t feel too tight or itchy, which makes the advised 4-6 hours wear time manageable. Our tester put one across her nose and the other on her chin.

Once again, that hydrocolloid polymer technology is intended to draw out excess dirt and sebum, while vitamin A is said to work on smoothing the skin’s texture. Organic compound DMAE is there to extract oil and shrink the appearance of pores.

We saw the results when removing our strips and looking at the speckled residue that we pulled out of our pores was grossly fascinating. Plus, skin did indeed seem clearer. Undoubtedly effective, it is a treat purchase, however, at £17 for only four uses.

Buy now £17.00,

Peace Out wrinkles

Coming in a cute pink and black stripy box complete with two sachets, each has three anti-wrinkle dissolving micro-needling patches inside. Microneedling usually involves a beauty tool known as a derma roller, that rolls over the skin and has minuscule needles in it. Designed to prick the skin and generate collagen production, we were intrigued as to how this would work in patch form.

Applying the slim patches to skin feels prickly, and even more so when you press in place for five to 10 minutes as instructed. This is satisfying rather than uncomfortable, though, and soon goes away as the microneedle component of the patch dissolves. Other ingredients include brightening vitamin C, peptides to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and salicylic acid for removing any pore congestion.

Our tester used the patches diagonally across crow’s feet and between the eyebrows. Not overly sticky, they lightly hold in place and didn’t move overnight. Our only niggle would be that we’d prefer the patches were slightly wider, to cover a larger area. However, there was a big difference to be seen in the lines across our tester’s face, with visible plumping to wrinkled areas. And in particular, our tester’s frown lines looked a lot less deep. We’d rate the patches as a microneedling derma roller alternative, or if you want to try this beauty method without having to clean a tool afterwards.

Buy now £25.00,

Peace Out puffy eyes – available 22 April

Our first thought when applying these undereye patches was how incredibly cooling they are. Sitting in place neatly with zero sliding, there’s enough product to sink into the skin, but no annoying excess sloppiness. Ingredient power players are eye-awakening caffeine, plumping hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to reduce the appearance of dark circles and wrinkles.

Our tester has had dry, sore eyes recently, and found these to be gently refreshing. Leaving the patches in place for 15 minutes, we rubbed the lightweight leftover serum into the skin, which dried quickly. Overall, our tired under eyes looked brighter and smoother, and the dark circles became less noticeable too. We did one eye with and one without for comparison. Afterwards, our concealer didn’t settle in those annoying under-eye creases as much, thanks to the extra hydration.

Buy now £23.00,

Peace Out retinol eye stick

A concentrated serum balm in the handy stick shape, this pink tube has a chic rose-gold interior. Extra aesthetic points go to the application instructions being printed in black on the product itself. Key components include encapsulated retinol, which is an ingredient with the benefits of retinol but that the brand says is absorbed into the skin over time, making it far less likely to irritate your delicate eye area. Proof of this is that our tester’s sensitive skin didn’t experience any classic retinol stinging after application. A power peptide complex and squalene are also in there for softening and moisturising, while antioxidant astaxanthin is included to smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

A great entry-level retinol product, this isn’t quite as effective as the real deal. But we saw tighter, less-lined skin where our crow’s feet are, and also in the frown space between our brows.

Buy now £25.00,

Peace Out dullness

In keeping with the quick fix, one-step ethos of Peace Out, the brand’s brightening face pads have a jam-packed triple-layer gauze pad and potent seven-acid complex. The brightening part comes from these exfoliating AHAs, BHAs and PHAs, while plankton extract and evodia fruit extract hydrate, plump and help boost luminosity.

There are eight sachets within the box, designed for use once or twice a week at night. The pad is a small mitt with a mesh finish. There was some tingling during use, as we could feel those acids getting to work. After sweeping over clean, dry skin, our tester waited for the product to dry. A little redness appeared as expected due to the formula – which works wonders, we might add, because our skin had a new-found sheeny glow and radiance. Because of the inclusion of acids that can make your skin more sensitive, it’s important to also use SPF with this product.

Buy now £22.00,

Peace Out acne serum

This 30ml serum bottle has a pushdown release nozzle applicator. An all-over acne treatment, it contains the maximum potency of salicylic acid, at 2 per cent. Niacinamide and vitamin C work to reduce blemishes and brighten skin tone post-breakout, while triluronic acid is hydrating and moisturising. The serum provides a light veil that sinks into the skin, and it is not at all overbearing or greasy. A little bit goes a long way, and it is absorbed very quickly, feeling remarkably refreshing.

Because of the ingredients, only once daily use is recommended to begin with, and we did find that any more for our skin was too strong. But this would vary depending on how oily or sensitive your skin is.

Standard serums often make our tester’s skin break out, so this product impressed us a lot. Our skin tone appeared more even, with hyperpigmentation areas in particular brightened up and rebalanced. During bad breakouts, we would use the serum before putting acne dots on.

Buy now £31.00,

Peace Out blemish balm

This is a daily exfoliating cleansing balm formulated specifically for oily and blemish-prone skin. The 105ml tub has an accompanying Peace Out logo-embossed spatula enabling cleaner application. Rather than a buttery consistency, it is thick and paste-like, but its exfoliating effect is subtle and not at all harsh. The anti-acne ingredients include salicylic acid, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and an amino acid complex.

Once your face is covered, the layer is like a mask. You can apply it to wet or dry skin and, after rinsing off, our tester’s face felt deeply cleansed and soft to the touch. Build-up is thoroughly removed without any stinging or tingling.

Buy now £20.00,

The verdict: Peace Out

As promised, Peace Out products successfully achieve rapid results while bringing something unique and fresh to an oversaturated market. Between their wow-factor packaging and consistent effectiveness, the mid-range price point mostly delivers great value for money. Our standout buys are the instantly awakening puffy eyes, deep cleansing blemish balm and glow-getter dullness pads.

For more beauty favourites, we asked five Bafta red-carpet make-up artists to share the one product they swear by