The best skin peels are the easiest way to reduce wrinkles, brighten your complexion, and even out your skin tone—and you can do it all at home. If you’re looking for a quick, effective way to achieve your beauty goals without spending money on expensive spa or salon appointments, consider a home skin peel. Your skin will look brighter and feel smoother than ever with minimal effort. Whether you want an at-home peel for acne scars or dark spots, or are just looking for something that’ll leave you with soft, radiant skin all over your face, there’s one out there for you!
Here’s how to find the best one:
Decide what kind of results you’re after before shopping around; otherwise it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of your options. For example: Are acne scars or dark spots bothering you? Do fine lines and wrinkles need some smoothing out? Or maybe just looking for something that’ll leave you with soft radiant skin all over your face?
Once you’ve figured out what kind of results will make you happy (and why), start researching products! Look up customer reviews online and read through them carefully before buying anything—even if they’re glowing reviews (which they should be). If there aren’t
Right here on cosmeticsurgerytips, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on best professional chemical peels, chemical peel at-home before and after, best facial peels for aging skin, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.
Best Home Skin Peel Reviews
If you’re curious about trying a face peel, it isn’t as scary as it sounds. These skin-smoothing products are often a liquid or cream (in mask, serum, or face pad form) that contain exfoliating ingredients—and the results can be pretty impressive.
“By removing the top layers of the skin, peels can treat conditions like acne, hyperpigmentation, melasma, wrinkles, and improve skin’s texture and luminosity,” says Channa Ovits, M.D., a dermatologist at Westmed Medical Group in Westchester, NY.
Peels are typically made with a mix of acids, including alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs, like glycolic, lactic, or malic acids), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs, like salicylic and citric acids), and even fruit acids (like apple or pumpkin). “These ingredients work by dissolving the bonds between the skin cells,” Dr. Ovits explains. They may also contain ingredients that stimulate cell renewal, like vitamin C or retinol, adds Cyndi Yag-Howard, M.D., president and CEO of Yag-Howard Dermatology Center in Naples, FL.
You can get a professional peel at a dermatologist’s office, which will penetrate deeper into the skin, says Dr. Yag-Howard. That makes them more effective, but also comes with potential side effects like redness or downtime due to actual skin peeling.
But since these treatments can get expensive, an at-home peel is a solid alternative (and gentler in nature). “There are so many great benefits to these at-home peels. It may take trial and error between milder products and ones that are more aggressive to find the right one for you,” says Dr. Yag-Howard.
How to choose and use the best at-home face peel
Mind your reaction: If your skin is sensitive or you have a condition like rosacea, you can still use a peel, but consider speaking with your dermatologist about what might be right for your complexion, skin concerns, and goals.
Look for products that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin, which will use soothing ingredients and gentler acids, says Dr. Ovits. You may want to look for fruit enzymes as the active ingredient and hydrators to buffer dryness, like hyaluronic acid. You can expect some tingling—that’s okay. But if the peel starts to burn, take it off, says Dr. Ovits. That’s not a normal reaction or a sign that it’s “working.”
Apply at night: Follow the instructions on the product, as this will tell you how often to use the specific peel for optimal benefits and a reduced risk of side effects like dryness.
Peels that are suited for daily use are generally milder than those designed for weekly use, says Dr. Yag-Howard. What’s more, you’ll have to decide how this step fits into your schedule. It might be easier if you save a peel for self-care Sunday versus rushing through it. Because peels can make your skin more sun-sensitive, apply them at night and use SPF the next day (as you should be doing already).
Scan the label: A great at-home peel will include some combination of the acids mentioned above, but look for supporting ingredients in the formula, too. For example, you might choose vitamin C or green tea for protective antioxidants that brighten, ceramides to help retain moisture, or peptides to help build collagen for bouncier skin.
Not sure where to start? Here are the best at-home face peels that will make a real difference in your complexion.
1. BEST OVERALL
Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
This peel comes with individually wrapped pads, with two in each set. One is saturated with AHAs like glycolic, malic, and lactic acids, plus salicylic acid to defend against dullness, blotchiness, and acne. The second wipe contains retinol and resveratrol (an antioxidant) to encourage collagen production and guard against aging free radical damage. The results? Smaller pores, a smoother complexion, and a boost in radiance.
2. BEST VALUE
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
For such a budget-friendly buy, this serum-style peel really packs a punch with a blend of glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids to smooth and brighten the skin. “When used once or twice weekly, this peel gives a nice, even glow at a very reasonable price point,” says Dr. Ovits. It wins universal rave reviews for making skin look like it’s under a real-life Instagram filter.
Peter Thomas Roth
Keratinase enzymes help break down the bonds between skin cells, while fruit enzymes from pomegranate and pineapple deftly remove them. But the treatment doesn’t stop there: After your fresh face is revealed, glycerin and hyaluronic acid (both humectants that attract water) trap in moisture to plump and hydrate. “I SWEAR by this stuff, and you’ll honestly feel like you have a whole new face afterwards!” one reviewer raved. “The tiniest, pea-sized drop targets every morsel of dead skin on your face in the most gentle, non-abrasive manner.”
4. T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial 25% AHA + 2% BHA Mask
This cult-favorite mask has garnered devout followers who “can’t live without it” because this peel delivers. There is a 25% blend of AHAs, making it one of the more potent at-home peels around. Reviewers are into this for delivering near-flawless skin that rivals a dermatologist peel. Just note it can be harsher on sensitive faces, so test the product first before using it for the first time (and start with just a few minutes, not the full 20).
5. Retinol Correxion Max Wrinkle Resurfacing System
Retinol is the highlight in the first step of this peel, an ingredient that promotes skin cell turnover to combat fine lines and wrinkles. The second step is a resurfacing serum that helps fight dull, uneven skin. Reviewers are overwhelmingly blown away by how effective the system is (which can be used daily), especially for mature skin that can be drier and more sensitive to retinoids.
6. The Microdelivery Vitamin C Resurfacing Peel
For when you want to bring the spa home to you, this peel asks you to take two steps for even more radiant results. The first is using the vitamin C/peptide resurfacing crystals for a mask-like treatment. Then, finish up with the lactic and salicylic acid activating gel, which creates a warm foam. The result? Instantly softened skin.
7. Facial Radiance AHA Intensive Peel
First Aid Beauty
This gentle peel utilizes lactic and salicylic acids to exfoliate, clear pores, and brighten skin. Kaolin clay sops up excess oil, while jojoba and green tea hydrate and soothe. Great for sensitive skin, this peel doesn’t cause any stinging or redness, and leaves the face feeling calm and smooth.
8. AlphaRet Exfoliating Peel Pads
“These pads with glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid are my favorite chemical exfoliants for brighter, more even skin tone,” Shari Marchbein, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Downtown Dermatology in New York City. “These are great for improving hyperpigmentation of the skin, minimizing the appearance of pores, and giving the skin a gentle exfoliation for glowing hydrated skin. I use once weekly at night and be sure to moisturize over top, and then use SPF in the morning.
9. Liquid ExfoliKate Triple Acid Resurfacing Treatment
Enriched with 10% AHAs and fruit enzymes, this leave-on peel acts more like a facial treatment, gently exfoliating, busting through build-up, and improving skin texture. “It does a great job of clearing out blocked pores with regular use and does not dry out skin,” one happy reviewer wrote. “I love that it is alcohol-free, so it won’t dry out or irritate my skin. It dries quickly and does not leave a sticky residue, so you can easily layer serum and moisturizer on top.
10. Green Apple Peel Full Strength
AHAs and BHAs join forces with vitamins A, C, and E to fortify skin, promote collagen formation, and boost moisture, while aloe nourishes and soothes. Reviewers love that it can be used frequently, does not irritate the skin, and gives overnight results.
11. Apple Cider Vinegar Acid Peel
The INKEY List
The 10% glycolic acid is the main player that sloughs off tired cells in this peel. It’s supported by fruit acid (another exfoliator) and apple cider vinegar to target and prevent blemishes. Folks with sensitive skin really stand by this peel and say it doesn’t cause stinging.
12. Clinical Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
Along with lactic and glycolic acids, you’ll also find the pineapple-derived enzyme bromelain in step 1 of this two-step peel that’s designed to be used up to three times per week. Whereas step 1 exfoliates, step two calms things down with antioxidants, including tiger grass and green tea. Bonus: It’s suited for a range of skin types from dry to oily (and in between).
13. Yam and Pumpkin Enzyme Peel
Pumpkin, pineapple, and papaya work with glycolic and lactic acids to slough off cells while nourishing the fresh, healthy skin underneath. The benefit of a pumpkin and yam enzyme peel is that it not only boosts radiance, but it also provides antioxidant beta-carotene (from the squash’s orange hue!) that fortifies your complexion’s defenses. Hyaluronic acid prevents moisture loss to keep skin plump and hydrated.
14. Get Even Cold-Pressed Peel Pads
The set of 60 pads delivers two months of daily treatments to maintain a brighter complexion. Pomegranate enzyme lifts off dead cells, while fatty acids rehydrate. The best part about this peel is that you can swipe over skin without needing to rinse after, so you could keep these by your bedside table for an in-bed treatment to exfoliate and moisturize before you hit the hay.
Best Professional Chemical Peels
How would you like to get your skin back to ‘amazing’? You may want to look into a facial peels knows as chemical peels. Solutions are applied to the skin to remove damaged skin cells and bring out the beautiful skin you have waiting underneath.
What is the best chemical peel for hyperpigmentation?
What is the best chemical peel for sagging skin?
Which peel is the strongest chemical peel?
Is an at home chemical peel safe?
You’ve got quite a few answers and options, depending on what your needs are and how sensitive your skin is. For the best effects, it’s important that you research the different types of chemical peels before you make your appointment. Or better yet, consult with an experienced esthetician like Beauty Made Simply. Skin care should not be taken lightly, so made sure you know as much as you can, especially when looking at a chemical solution. To help jumpstart your research, check out this quick guide on the different types of chemical peels and how they help.
1. Glycolic Peel
Out of all the peels available, the glycolic peel penetrates your skin the deepest, so it’s the best one for exfoliation. This is due to glycolic acid’s small molecular structure, which allows it to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin. It’s also good for bringing a healthy glow back to aging skin. Glycolic acid is used to dissolve and allow dead skin cells to slough off. The result is a smoother skin surface with clear pores. A.k.a., beautiful skin. Glycolic peels come in different intensities and can affect your skin differently depending on how strong it is.
2. Lactic Peel
If your skin is sensitive, some of the peels on this list may irritate it. You may want to look into a light chemical peel, such as a lactic peel. As the name suggests, lactic peels come from milk. It’s not only gentle on easily irritated skin but also moisturizes dry skin.
3. Beta Peel
Acne can be embarrassing and annoying to deal with. If you have a bunch of problem breakouts, a beta peel will be able to help you. It contains salicylic acid which is great for exfoliation and oil control. Salicylic acid also takes care of the bacteria that cause acne breakouts to give you the relief that you’ve been searching for.
4. Vitalize Peel
If you’ve never had a chemical peel before, the vitalize peel is a good place to start because there is little peeling involved with it. It uses citric acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, and retinol to lighten your skin’s pigmentation and improve its overall quality.
5. Pigment Balancing Peel
Like the vitalize peel, the pigment balancing peel also works with a series of acids to lighten the pigmentation of the skin. It can also get rid of brown spots, but this will take a little more time. You can’t expect them to go away with your first session. You’ll need to go a few times for this to take effect. On top of semi-regular peels, you’ll also need to use sunscreen when you go out or your results will be limited.
6. Retinol Peel
Retinol is a form of vitamin A, which is used in skincare products as it encourages the growth of skin cells once it is applied. Due to its small molecular size, retinol is able to penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin. As this is where your live skin cells are, the retinol that reaches this level encourages your skin cells to grow and renew. A retinol peel can also help unclog your pores and reduce acne outbreaks by allowing the cleansed skin to heal. A retinol peel is ideal if you want to rejuvenate, hydrate and refresh your complexion. If you have more specific skin concerns including acne or aging signs such as fine lines and wrinkles, then a retinol peel could be the perfect solution for you to reduce symptoms.
7. Mandelic Peel
Mandelic acid is a go-to anti-aging ingredient in the world of skin care. It works to accelerate cell turnover by dissolving the tiny bonds that hold skin cells together, helping to remove dead skin on the surface of the skin that can lead to dull complexions as well as fine lines. It also strengthens collagen, one of the building blocks of the skin’s support network that gives it a youthful firmness.This increased rate of sloughing thins the outermost layer of the skin called the stratum corneum. A thinner stratum corneum reflects light better and makes skin look smoother and more youthful. Mandelic acid and other alpha hydroxy acids generally soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin texture.
8. Jessners Peel
Like all other chemical peels, the Jessner peel is done by brushing an acidic liquid onto the skin to remove the top layers and encourage new, younger looking skin to grow. The Jessner peel was first formulated over a hundred years ago, and it’s still in use today thanks to its ability to:
- reduce dark patches and age spots
- even out skin tone
- reduce the appearance of scars
- smooth fine lines and wrinkles
- treat melasma (skin discoloration), hyper-pigmentation, and acne scars
While many chemical peels can cause lasting discoloration on darker skin, a recent small study found that a modified Jessner’s solution safely and effectively reduces melasma and pigment imperfections in darker skin. It has also been shown to be an effective treatment of acne scars even when used as a superficial peel according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology.
9. Vitamin C Peel
Vitamin C is one of the best-known defenses against free radicals (such as pollution, sun rays, and cigarette smoke) that can cause your skin to lose elasticity and sag. As a result, your skin loses its ability to shed dead skin cells, causing a dull and uneven appearance. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant to neutralize these free radicals, by preventing them from oxidizing on your skin.This peel can also help anyone suffering from acne, as it deeply cleanses pores and provides an anti-bacterial action to prevent them from reappearing. The acid found in Vitamin C also works as a bleaching agent that can help restore imbalanced skin tone and help fade blemishes.
10. Alpha Jewel Peel
This is a summer safe peel with minimal downtime. Perfect for those “on the go” that do not want a lot of downtime. Alpha Jewel Peel Professional System is intended to remove the outermost layers of dead skin with the added bonus of precious gems. This unique element leaves trace amounts of essential minerals that create large levels of antioxidants to help neutralize stressed skin.
Your Guide to the Different Types of Chemical Peels
If you’ve tried everything under the sun to improve the quality of your skin, but nothing seems to work, it may be time to make an appointment for a chemical peel. They use a variety of ingredients to get rid of acne, make your skin feel soft, repair damaged skin and lighten your pigmentation. So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call for a consultation or to schedule a skin peel. Do you want the beautiful skin that you deserve?
Chemical Peel At-Home Before And After
Like Seamless and Amazon Prime, beauty brands are making it so you never have to leave your house again. See: at-home peels, which promise spa facial-like results, no appointment required.
“At-home peels come in a variety of forms that range from the agents used to the application methods,” says Ava Shamban, a Beverly Hills celebrity cosmetic dermatologist and founder of Skin Five. “Their benefits range from a useful gentle exfoliation, to treating acne, to improving texture tone and pigmentary abnormalities.”
Because there are countless peels on the markets with different hero ingredients—like glycolic acid, lactic acid, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and citric acid, to name a few—we turned to Shamban and Dhaval Bhanusali, a New York City-based dermatologist and laser surgeon, to break down exactly what you need to know before trying a peel yourself.
DO: Read the ingredients
“If reading the label is important for every day skin care, it is extremely important when choosing a peel,” Shamban says, “If you choose incorrectly you may not turn into a reptile, but your skin could certainly peel like a snake shedding its skin.”
The most important part is picking the right acids for your skin type and goal. “If you want to improve the tone and pigment of skin, try AHAs like glycolic and lactic acid,” explains Bhanusali. “BHAs like salicylic are good for acne-prone skin and help with oil control. And if you want a light exfoliation, try a peel with fruit acids in it.”
Shamban is also a fan of AHAs, which she says “can be extremely useful for treating conditions from acne to pigmentation abnormalities.” Enzyme peels (made with fruit ingredients like papaya or pineapple) offer a more gentle alternative.
DON’T: Get too caught up in percentages
You might see an acid-based product claiming a percentage of acid in the formula. “A peel with 20% glycolic is something completely different than one with 20% salicylic acid,” Bhanusali says. “My advice is to start with the lowest strength peel and work your way up.” Shamban claims the percentage of glycolic acid should be higher for more mature and sun damaged skin. Aging skin can be treated with up to 20 percent. However, she adds, “With repeated peels, results will be seen almost regardless of the concentration.
DO: Test first
Bhanusali warns: “Be careful with glycolic acid. It can cause chemical burns if it’s too strong.” And those with darker skin tones should be extra wary of chemical peels. “These skin types are more likely to get hyperpigmentation and even chemical burns,” he says. “Start with a lower strength peel and work your way up.”
Shamban’s hack: “If your skin is sensitive, be sure to test the peel behind the ear or right in front of the ear before applying.”
DON’T: Go overboard with skin prep
“Using a peel doesn’t require prep, really, just gently cleanse your skin,” Bhanusali suggests, adding that it’s great to use a product with glycerin, chamomile, or other calming ingredients Make sure your skin is makeup-free and clean of grease—no need for heavy exfoliation or toning, because “the combination may overwhelm the skin.” If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even use a facial steamer beforehand to let ingredients penetrate even deeper.
DON’T: Do anything that might irritate skin further
Stay away from scrubs, lasers, products with acid, and any waxing treatments for the first 24 to 72 hours. This is also not the time to enjoy a day in the sun. If sun exposure is a must, make sure you apply sunscreen.
DO: Say goodbye to retinoids, vitamin C, and other products with acid
Both Shamban and Bhanusali suggest editing your skincare routine pre-peel so you cause your skin to become super sensitive, which may lead to redness or even a bad reaction. That includes dodging retinol-based products, as well as vitamin C, AHAs, and BHAs, for two to three days before the peel.
DON’T: Use physical exfoliators immediately after a peel
Take a break from the Clarisonic. “You are doing a chemical exfoliation, so be careful with any device that will do a physical exfoliation as you will be rubbing off the top layers of your skin,” Shamban says. Another thing you should skip? Makeup for at least 24 hours after the peel, because it might lead to further irritation.
DON’T: Peel too frequently
“Once a week, or once every two weeks is all you need,” Bhanusali says. Additional peels or overpeeling can disrupt your microbiome and leave your skin raw.
DO: Use gentle skincare products after a peel
Seek products that add moisture and nourishment back into the treated skin. Shamban suggests following with a “general non-comedogenic moisturizer” while Bhanusali stands by a “lightly moisturizing often with something gentle.”