Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Best Skin Peel 2018

The best skin peel for you depends on your personal skin care needs, so it’s important to evaluate what kind of results you’re looking to achieve.

If you’re here, you probably know the benefits of a skin peel. But if you don’t, here’s the TL;DR: Skin peels help remove dead skin cells and improve overall skin tone and texture. They also stimulate collagen production and cell renewal. You can get a chemical peel at your dermatologist’s office, or get a home kit—which is significantly less expensive, but less effective because it uses lower concentrations of ingredients—and do the procedure yourself.

There are three different types of peels: superficial (aka lunchtime) peels, medium-depth peels, and deep peels. Superficial peels have the lowest concentration of active ingredients, and are meant only to remove dead skin cells from the surface layer of skin. For this reason, they require no recovery time. Medium-depth peels penetrate more deeply than superficial chemical peels, which means more noticeable results—but also some downtime. Deep peels penetrate deeper still; they involve sedation and recovery time in hospitalization.

Right here on cosmeticsurgerytips, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on best chemical peel for acne, strongest at-home chemical peel, best drugstore chemical peel, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Best Skin Peel 2018

Supermodels say that the recipe for flawless healthy skin is peace of mind and 7 litres of water per day. But we both know that’s a lie. You can’t just wish those unclogged pores away; you have to fight them. That’s where chemical peels come in.

As opposed to physical peels and exfoliators, chemical peels are products containing active ingredients that gently remove dead skin cells, revealing newer, brighter, and firmer skin underneath.

Chemical peeling is great therapy for skin with acne and it doubles as a preventive measure for acne-prone skin. This is because the ‘’peeling’’ action wipes away dead skin cells and dirt that tends to clog pores and cause inflammation.

Before you dive ahead into improving your general skin health by using chemical peels, here are a few things you need to know;

What are Chemical Peels?
According to beauty experts, a chemical peel is an acid solution used in cosmetics to cause a controlled degree of injury to the skin surface during the process removing dead skin cells, oil and dirt, leaving your skin feeling new and tight.

In reality, a chemical peel does not involve any peeling motion. What it does instead is that it exfoliates your skin with acids such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid. After application, they can be washed off with cool water.

The action is experienced on a cellular level, so there is no real physical injury to your skin.

What are they used for?
People go for chemical peels for a lot of reasons. Here are a few;

  • To treat acne scars
  • To reduce the size of your pores
  • To reduce wrinkling and fine lines around the eyes and mouth
  • To treat hyperpigmentation
  • For sunburns and melasma
  • To lighten dark spots
    To fast-healscars
  • To fight blackheads
  • To improve overall skin texture

Types of Chemical Peels
There are generally three kinds of chemical peels based on intensity;

  • Light peel,
  • Medium peel
  • and deep peels.

The choice of a peeling method depends on your skin needs. For basic skin maintenance, a light peel will do. For smoother and better skin texture, a medium peel will do. When it comes to scars and acne, a deep peel is advised.

Light peels may be achieved at home, but for the more intense medium and deep peels, it is wiser to book an appointment with your dermatologist to prevent harming your skin.

At-Home Peels vs Professional peels
While you could buy a peel pad from the store and do the work yourself, it usually is more relaxing to get a peel done at a spa, or with a doctor. Not only are they better at it, they usually incorporate some forms of massage or aftercare tips.

Preparing for a Chemical Peel
Before your chemical peel, it is important to not make any drastic changes to your skincare routine, as this may throw off your skin’s balance. However, reduce the frequency of exfoliation, especially if you use a physical exfoliator.

Since you’ll be applying acids to your skin, stay away from any bleaching products, including hair dyes and bleaches. Also, avoid waxing and depilating products.
Ensure that you share your routine with your cosmetologist or dermatologist.

What to expect during a peel?
While chemical peels are not associated with physical pulling on your skin, the acids cause a burning or stinging sensation on the skin. Often, you may need to be sedated before the procedure begins. At other times, the pain may be eased by a cold compress or proper air conditioning.

As a result, you may not be able to drive yourself home. Make arrangements after consulting your doctor.

Pros vs Cons
As expected, after a peel, your skin will feel soft and supple. On the downside, you will experience redness that lasts a period ranging from a few days to a whole month. During this period, it is crucial to keep the skin moisturised and protect it from the sun with a hydrating sunscreen. Your new skin will need a few weeks of pampering before your results start to show.

Other more serious side effects include;

  • facial swelling
  • dark or light patches on the skin
  • infections from injury, especially for people with Herpes simplex

However, these side effects are rare and can be avoided by patch testing with a patch of skin before a peel.

Finally, when it comes to healing your skin, remember that these things take time. Be patient with it, spend time nurturing it, and watch it blossom into the skin you’ve always dreamt of.

Best Chemical Peel For Acne

Here’s the beautiful thing about peels: They can essentially address any and every complexion concern. Stressing over spots? A peel can help even your skin tone. Worried about wrinkles? Some peels have anti-aging benefits. Waging a battle against blemishes? Clear up pimples with a peel. (You get the picture.)

Still, if the idea of a peel conjures images of the Sex and the City episode where Samantha can’t be seen in public post-peel because her face is practically falling off, we don’t blame you. Peels have a reputation of being aggressive, and while sure, you can go pretty intense with an in-office peel, the beauty of at-home options is that they’re usually gentler (though still effective). The latest formulas blend all kinds of exfoliating ingredients and acids for the peeling part of the program, and couple those with other good-for-your-skin ingredients to leave your complexion more flawless than ever.

Check out our picks of the best chemical peels, with options for all skin types and issues.

Best Overall: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel

What We Like

  • Gentle enough for daily use
  • Two-step effectiveness
  • Contains anti-aging ingredients

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey

An oldie but a goodie, this holds somewhat of a cult-like status among beauty editors. And it’s easy to see why. It’s both gentle enough that you can use it daily (in fact, that’s its intended use), but contains a long list of proven, effective ingredients.

An at-home take on the uber-popular peels the celeb derm performs in his NYC office, this peel is a two-stepper. The first pad is full of five exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids; the second pad neutralizes the acids and also delivers anti-aging ingredients. Ideal for uneven tone, texture, wrinkles, or pores, this is pretty much peel perfection.

Type: Normal | Active Ingredients: Glycolic Acid, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Witch Hazel | Size: .07 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Budget: Versed The Shortcut Overnight Facial Peel

Versed The Shortcut Overnight Facial Peel

What We Like

  • Fights dullness
  • pH balanced
  • Dissolves dead skin cells

What We Don’t Like

  • Might not work on sensitive skin

Despite its affordable price tag, this peel packs the same powerful and proven active ingredients as many other pricier peels. Namely a combination of lactic and glycolic acid to help dissolve dead skin cells, and vitamin A, too.

Since the formula is also balanced with skin conditioning allantoin and vitamin E and is pH balanced, you don’t have to worry about irritation. Meant to be left on overnight and rinsed in the morning, it soaks into your skin fast, so you don’t have to worry about residue on your pillowcase, either.

Type: Mature | Active Ingredients: Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Vitamin A | Size: .5 or 1 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Soothing: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

What We Like

  • Gives a smooth, elastic feel
  • Gently exfoliating
  • Adds radiance

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey
  • Pump functionality could be better


Marula oil is a naturally-occurring oil derived from the marula tree. It’s lightweight and non-comedogenic—the specific profile of fatty acids in marula oil is very similar to the oils naturally found in the skin.

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: Yes

Best Natural: Tata Harper Resurfacing BHA Glow Mask

Tata harper mask

What We Like

  • Adds radiance and brightness
  • 100% natural
  • Tackles blocked pores and rough skin

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey

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: Yes

Best for Acne: Savor Beauty Yuzu Lemonade Peel

Savor Beauty Yuzu Lemonade Peel

What We Like

  • Works in 30 seconds
  • Breaks down pore-clogging oil
  • Fades blemishes

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey


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

Lancer Caviar Lime Acid Peel

What We Like

  • Brightens dull skin
  • Smooths skin
  • Adds a glow

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey

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, 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

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance AHA Intensive Peel

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • 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. 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: Yes

Best Body: StackedSkincare TCA Multi-Acid Body Peel

StackedSkincare TCA Multi-Acid Body Peel

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Eradicates acne-causing bacteria
  • Doesn’t have to be washed off
  • Fragrance-free

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey

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

M-61 PowerGlow Peel Gradual Tan

What We Like

  • Full of natural ingredients
  • Tans while peeling
  • 60-second application
  • Fragrance-free

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey
  • 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

goop Goopglow 15% Glycolic Acid + Fruit Extracts Overnight Peel

What We Like

  • Full of radiating, moisturizing fruit extracts
  • Smooth application
  • Intense overnight exfoliation

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey
  • 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

What to Look For in At-Home Chemical Peels

Type of Peel

Glycolic, salicylic, and TCA are three basic at-home chemical peels. Glycolic peels are mild and ideal for treating acne, hyperpigmentation, and sun damage. Salicylic peels are ideal for people with oily, acne-prone skin. Finally, TCA peels penetrate the deepest and are effective at treating scarring or pigmentation issues.

Side Effects

You should consider side effects when you’re shopping for an at-home chemical peel. Some universal side effects of chemical peels include persistent redness, hyperpigmentation, skin discoloration, and scarring. This is important to prioritize if you have sensitive skin since different at-home chemical peels have different formulas, and therefore, different potential side effects.


At-home chemical peels can be designed to be worn overnight and rinsed the following morning or to be left on your face for as little as 30 seconds. Read the instructions of every at-home chemical peel you’re looking at if the thought of having a peel on your face for hours on end is unappealing (or vice versa).


What are the benefits of at-home chemical peels?

At-home chemical peels can be used to reduce signs of aging, treat acne, improve texture, even skin tone, and boost the complexion. It functions by removing the top layers of facial skin.

Are at-home chemical peels safe for all skin types?

They can typically be applied to all skin types. However, you should proceed with caution if you’ve been on oral acne medication within six months, have personal or family history of keloids, are pregnant, or are prone to cold sores.

How often should you use an at-home chemical peel?

This depends on the type and intensity of peel that you decide to use. Refer to the product’s packaging or the retailer’s website to determine how often you can use a peel to avoid damaging your skin.

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