Glycolic acid is one of the best substances for skin exfoliation, but you don’t need to go to a dermatologist or spa to get a great glycolic peel. We’ve rounded up the best at-home glycolic peels from brands like Clinique, Cane + Austin, and Bliss, so you can get the best results from your skincare routine no matter what your budget is.
Glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that is derived from sugar cane. Some of the benefits of using glycolic acid include reducing and preventing wrinkles and fine lines, smoothing rough or dry patches, and removing dead skin cells. It can also help fade hyperpigmentation and acne scars.
Glycolic peels are a popular way to achieve the benefits of glycolic acid. But with all the options on the market, how do you know which one to buy? That’s where Cosmeticsurgerytips come in!
List and Benefits of Best At Home Glycolic Peel 2019
This exfoliator touts a whopping 25% alpha hydroxy and 5% beta hydroxy combo, so you know it means business. It’s powerful, yes, but it also boasts a skin-calming antioxidant blend to balance things out. Plus, it comes with the brand’s virgin marula oil, meant to be applied immediately after for even more soothing and hydrating benefits.
Type: Normal, Oily, Combination, Dry | Active Ingredients: 25% Alpha Hydroxy Acids, 2% BHA/Salicylic Acid | Size: 1.69 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yeshttps://f032d337491e776825ac0c3e76363fb9.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Best Natural: Tata Harper Resurfacing BHA Glow Mask
- Adds radiance and brightness
- 100% natural
- Tackles blocked pores and rough skin
All-natural, this peel mask also happens to be the winner in our 2019 Eco Beauty Awards. The key ingredients are beta hydroxy acid from white willow bark and pomegranate enzymes, though there are also plenty of other plant-based ingredients meant to help refine pores and soften skin, too (and 83% of the ingredients are from organic farming).
The classic way to use it is to leave it on (apply a thick layer) for 20 minutes up to three times a week, though you can also layer it with the brand’s regenerating cleanser for five minutes for a speedier solution.
Type: All | Active Ingredients: BHA from White Willow Bark and Pomegranate Enzymes | Size: 1 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yeshttps://f032d337491e776825ac0c3e76363fb9.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Best for Acne: Savor Beauty Yuzu Lemonade Peel
- Works in 30 seconds
- Breaks down pore-clogging oil
- Fades blemishes
Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that works to exfoliate the skin. Its molecule is slightly larger than glycolic acid, meaning it works a bit slower and doesn’t penetrate the skin’s outermost layer as easily.3
Salicylic acid is one of the best blemish-busting ingredients out there, thanks to its ability to break down pore-clogging oil.4 It’s the star of the show here, where it’s also coupled with lactic acid, plus brightening ingredients such as vitamin c and lycopene. The nice thing about that? If you have any dark marks left over from old blemishes, this will help fade those. The citrusy scent (think lemon Italian ice) is a nice touch, and, perhaps best of all, it works in only 30 seconds.
Type: Oily to Normal | Active Ingredients: 2% Salicylic Acid, PHA, Yuzu Oil, Kakadu Plum | Size: .07 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best for Wrinkles: Lancer Skincare Caviar Lime Acid Peel
- Brightens dull skin
- Smooths skin
- Adds a glow
At work here is a 10% concentration of glycolic acid which earns top anti-aging marks not only for its exfoliating capabilities but for also stimulating collagen production,5 the protein responsible for firm, youthful skin. Caviar lime (an Australian fruit) acts another good source of other AHAs, and there’s also retinol in the formula for even more wrinkle-fighting benefits.
Type: Normal | Active Ingredients: 10% Glycolic Acid, 10% Phytic Acid, Retinol | Size: 1.7 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No
Best for Oily Skin: First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance AHA Intensive Peel
- Gentle enough for sensitive skin
- Contains natural exfoliants
What We Don’t Like
- The smell
A combo of exfoliating lactic acid and oil-busting salicylic acid do the exfoliating work here, as do enzymes from mushrooms. But what we like is the addition of kaolin, a top ingredient for helping to pull out impurities (ahem, excess oil) from the skin.6 Use it one to three times weekly, leaving it on for anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes, based on what works for your skin.
Type: All | Active Ingredients: Lactic Acid, Willow Bark Extract, Shea Nut Shell Powder | Size: 3.5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yeshttps://f032d337491e776825ac0c3e76363fb9.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Best Body: StackedSkincare TCA Multi-Acid Body Peel
- Eradicates acne-causing bacteria
- Doesn’t have to be washed off
What We Don’t Like
Breaking news: Peels aren’t just meant for your face. Address the skin below your chin with this pick, which has five different acids and is self-neutralizing (AKA doesn’t have to be rinsed off). Effective but super gentle—you can even use it if you have eczema—it’s perfect for smoothing out all and any unwanted bumps, spots, even body acne. Just apply a thin layer wherever it’s needed once to twice per week for flawless skin from head to toe.
Type: Normal | Active Ingredients: Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Trichloroacetic Acid, Glycerin, Propanediol, Salicylic Acid, Phytic Acid | Size: .5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best Tanning: M-61 PowerGlow Peel Gradual Tan
- Full of natural ingredients
- Tans while peeling
- 60-second application
What We Don’t Like
- The smell
- Tan could use a better color
What could make these speedy (60 second) peel pads even better? The addition of self-tanner, or course. Glycolic and salicylic acids work to exfoliate your skin, dissolving dead cells and making for a more even tan as the gradual tanner goes to work, giving you a subtle, sun-kissed glow. Use it three times a week, building up to the color you want; we loved how easy these were to use, and the results they delivered.
Type: All | Active Ingredients: Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid | Size: Kit | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best Overnight: goop Beauty Glycolic Acid Overnight Peel
- Full of radiating, moisturizing fruit extracts
- Smooth application
- Intense overnight exfoliation
What We Don’t Like
- Not for sensitive skin
Who doesn’t want to wake up to more gorgeous skin? One night per week, swipe on this pad (bonus: minimal effort added to your bedtime routine) and let the potent level of glycolic acid plus fruit extracts get to work, retexturizing and brightening your skin. Just wash your face as usual when you wake up. Beauty sleep for the win.
Type: Normal, Oily, Combination, Dry | Active Ingredients: 15% Glycolic Acid, Fruit Extracts | Size: Kit | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes