If you’ve been struggling with age spots, you know that they can be extremely stubborn and hard to get rid of. You might think that your only option is to cover them up with makeup, but the truth is, there are actually a lot of ways that you can treat those pesky dark spots. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to fade those spots is by using a skin peel.
You don’t have to spend a fortune at the beauty salon to get the results you want. There are plenty of home peels that make it easy to get rid of those spots in the comfort of your own home. We’re going to go over some of our favorite skin peels for age spots so you can see why they’re such an effective treatment option.
Right here on cosmeticsurgerytips, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on chemical peel for dark spots at home, chemical peel for dark spots before and after, what is the best peel for aging skin, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.
Best Skin Peel For Age Spots
Skin hyperpigmentation refers to several conditions in which areas of the skin become darker than the surrounding areas. Although topical lighteners form the foundation of skin hyperpigmentation treatment, chemical facial peels can bring improved cosmetic outcomes as a complementary and maintenance therapy.
What Are Chemical Facial Peels And How Do They Lighten Dark Spots?
A chemical peel is a technique that utilizes a chemical solution to ‘peel off’ the topmost layer of skin, removing discolorations and promoting new skin growth. Peels can be used to improve the appearance of acne scars, melasma, sun-damaged skin, wrinkles, and several other conditions. They can also be used to lighten dark spots.
Chemical peels for lightening dark spots use chemical agents that enable the removal of the skin pigment melanin. The type of peel, its concentration, the number of coats, and the duration of application are the main factors that influence the effectiveness of treatment. These same factors affect the likelihood of developing adverse effects, such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Individuals who have dark skin are at a higher risk of developing PIH and should consult with their dermatologist to determine if a chemical peel is right for them.
The most effective treatments sequence peels with a topical prescription creams. Priming the skin with a topical cream for at least four weeks prior to peeling is an essential part of treatment. The priming ensures uniform penetration of the peel and also reduces the risk of PIH.
What Are The Types Of Chemical Peels?
There are three types of chemical peels. All peels should be combined with topical dark spot treatments to improve efficacy. These topical treatments, also known as bleaching creams contain a combination of ingredients that are applied to the skin to either remove dark patches, such as melasma, or reduce the amount of skin pigment.
Superficial peels penetrate only the outermost layer of the skin to remove pigment. Superficial peels provide improvement with the least risk of complications. This is because stronger and deeper peeling agents cause more inflammation, which has the potential to worsen pigmentation.
Superficial peels generally take a week or more to heal.
Medium depth peels
Medium depth peels remove the outer and middle layers of the skin to improve the appearance of age spots, skin discoloration, and more. Medium depth peels can be repeated between three and nine months to maintain a clear complexion.
Medium depth peels generally take one to two weeks to heal.
Deep peels remove damaged skin cells in the lower dermal layer of the skin to improve the appearance of sun damage, age spots, and more. These peels require both pretreatment and several weeks’ recovery time. However, the effects of deep peels may last as long as ten years.
Deep peels generally take two to three weeks to heal.
What Are The Ingredients In Chemical Peels For Lightening Dark Spots?
The superficial peels most frequently used to lighten dark spots are alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic and lactic acid), beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid) and trichloroacetic acid (TCA).
Glycolic acid (GA) is the most common alpha-hydroxy acid peel and is also known as a fruit peel. It is simple, inexpensive, and has no downtime. GA peels have anti-inflammatory, keratolytic, and antioxidant effects. For melasma, it is used in concentrations of 30-70%. Sessions are conducted 2-3 weeks apart for a total series of 4-6 treatments.
Lactic acid (LA), which is derived from milk, works by decreasing skin cell cohesion. This type of peel is beneficial for lightening dark spots when used at 92% strength with double coats that are applied for 10 minutes every 3 weeks.
Salicylic acid (SA) has been used to treat various skin disorders for more than 2,000 years. The ability of salicylic acid to exfoliate the stratum corneum (the top layer of skin) makes it a good agent for peeling. Peels in 20-30% strength help eliminate superficial skin pigment. It causes the outermost layer of skin to shed and leaves a smooth post-peel texture. SA has an intrinsic ability to reduce inflammation, making it an especially useful agent for lightening dark spots, as it reduces the chance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Trichloracetic acid (TCA) is a relative of vinegar and works on the principle of causticity (burning). The higher the concentration, the deeper the penetration, and the more skin cells that will be damaged and removed. At the lower strength of 15%, it can be used as a superficial peel. Sessions are conducted monthly, usually about four in total.
Post-Treatment Skincare Tips
Post-treatment maintenance with topical formulations and sunscreen is necessary to prevent skin discoloration from recurring.
In addition to using maintenance creams and sunscreen, ClearifiRx recommends the following post-treatment skincare tips:
- Don’t pick at the skin, as this delays healing and can cause scarring.
- Use moisturizer to help the skin stay hydrated.
- Protect the skin from the sun using a broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide with SPF 30 or greater. Sunscreen should be used concurrently with or prior to the start of your treatment.
Chemical Peel For Dark Spots At Home
The road to glowing skin is paved with potent skincare products. From wrinkle-busting retinols to sun spot-banishing vitamin C serums, strategic use of high-performance skincare can keep your complexion clear, dewy, and more youthful-looking year-round. But there’s another secret to beautiful skin that shouldn’t be overlooked: proper exfoliation—not only because it ensures soft, radiant skin, but because it helps all of the other products you apply work better. And one of the most effective methods that you can incorporate into your regimen is an at-home chemical peel.
Less intense than in-office peels, at-home peels help break down the “glue” that keeps complexion-dulling dead skin cells hanging on. “Peels are intended to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells, giving the face a smoother, more radiant appearance. They work to exfoliate top layers of cells and help clear up clogged pores, breakouts, dull skin, and dry skin,” explains dermatologist Dr. Howard Sobel. “They are also great for minimizing pores and diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.”
To get the most out of an at-home peel without leaving your skin irritated from over-exfoliation, dermatologists recommend incorporating one into your regimen no more than twice a week. If you’re using a retinol product, take a break from it on the nights that you use a peel, and be sure to follow up with a rich moisturizer and, of course, sunscreen. While peels are a good option for most skin types, those with very sensitive skin could experience irritation and should consult a dermatologist before incorporating peels into their routine to determine the best timing and ingredients to use to get the glowing results you crave.
“Home chemical peels have to be necessarily gentle, so they can be used safely and regularly,” says dermatologist Dr. Linda Chung Honet. “I like recommending them as a boosting treatment between professional treatments in the office.”
Home peels come in a variety of formulations, from disposable pads to masks to overnight serums. It is important to bear in mind that both “chemical” and “peel” are slight misnomers—many of the key acids you’ll find in these products are derived from fruit, and you should not actually see any peeling in your skin. If you do, you’ve overdone it. Best practice is to look for options with AHAs such as glycolic, lactic, and citric acids as well as brightening ingredients such as vitamin C and ferulic acid. Below we’ve rounded up some of the home treatments dermatologists recommend to give your skin the clean sweep.
TLC Sukari Babyfacial Mask
With a blend of 25% AHAs (glycolic, tartaric, lactic, and citric acids) as well as 2% BHA (salicylic acid) to work both at the skin’s surface and down inside the pores, this putty-colored peel leaves skin looking and feeling smoother in 20 minutes, without overpowering sensitive complexions.
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
The high-octane ingredients found in peels mean that many versions also come with steep price tags. Not this bottle, which offers 30% AHAs and 2% BHA for maximum exfoliation on a shoestring budget.
30% Glycolic Acid Peel Concentrate
Sobel Skin Rx
If you’re ready to take on skincare like a pro, look no further than this 30% glycolic acid peel that will clear away dullness-inducing dead skin cells, help unblock pores, and boost your natural radiance in just two minutes.
Clinical Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
When you’re ready to get serious about smoothing and brightening, this potent two-step peel offers dark spot eliminating power as well as redness-fighting soothers. Step one features lactic and glycolic acid and the pineapple-derived enzyme bromelian and can be customized depending on the amount that you apply. After just two minutes of exfoliation, apply step two which deactivates the peeling action with soothing oatmeal and green tea.
Best for Anti-Aging
Rapid Reveal Peel
These individually portioned tubes of high-potency lactic acid and caviar lime help resurface skin and give your natural collagen production a little nudge to make skin look firmer.
Best for Acne Scars
Rejuvenating Mini Peel Gel
With a 10.8 glycolic acid value, this straightforward gel peel (it has just 7 ingredients) is perfect for those who aren’t kidding around with their exfoliation routine. With regular use, it can also help smooth the appearance of uneven texture.
Best Natural Peel
Famed for its farm-sourced ingredients, this best-selling mask uses BHA from willow bark and exfoliating pomegranate enzymes to wake up tired-looking skin.
Best for Fine Lines
Caviar Lime Acid Peel
Australian caviar lime lends its peeling power to AHA glycolic acid, as well as brightening phytic acid and wrinkle fighting retinol for a do-it-all weekly peel.
Best for Travel
Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
Travel can be tough on skin, but these convenient packets of pre-soaked peel wipes with glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids make sure that you can maintain your glow on-the-go.
Glyco Extreme Peel
Washington, D.C.-based dermatologist Dr. Noëlle Sherber recommends this luxe, ultra-effective peel for a home glow. “It has a nice blend of 5 AHAs (glycolic, lactic, malic, tartaric, and citric acids) plus a BHA,” she says. “It also contains an enzyme that is more active at higher temperatures, so a pro tip is to use this on warm skin in the bath or shower for a more intense treatment. It also includes glycerin which is an excellent small molecule hydrator to prevent skin getting dehydrated and flaky.”
AlphaRet Exfoliating Peel Pads
Dermatologists love SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Exfoliating Peel Pads due to their unique formulation. “They are a great combination of retinoid with alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids,” says Dr. Honet. “They are effective yet gentle enough to use at home 2-3 times a week and are well-suited for nearly every skincare regimen.”
Best for Acne
Max Complexion Correction Pads
Peter Thomas Roth
Though formulated to tackle acne—chiefly with 2% salicylic acid—these powerful pads are also super effective at whisking away the dryness that can cause fine lines, minimizing pores, and regulating oil production.
Best for Brighter Skin
1 oz. Gold Profection22 Mask
This super-potent rinse-off treatment mask incorporates a blend of 22% AHAs, plus adaptogenic reishi mushroom and comforting CBD, to polish skin and boost glow in only 10-15 minutes.
Micro Peel Peptide Pads
These anti-aging peel pads from Dr. Loretta incorporate plant peptides in the formulation, so that skin is receiving a hit of hydration and nourishment while also being treated with low pH medical grade 10% glycolic acid.
Best Overnight Option
KateCeuticals Resurfacing Overnight Peel
Wake up with a visibly brighter complexion after using an overnight treatment, such as this multi-tasker from Kate Somerville, which tackles dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and pores with glycolic acid, ceramide-encapsulated retinol, and niacinamide.
Best for Pores
Skin Perfecting 25% AHA + 2% BHA Exfoliant Peel
In just 10 minutes, a combination of 25% AHAs and 2% BHA do just the trick to visibly brighten skin, refine texture, smooth any fine line and wrinkles, and unclog pores. Also, shoutout to the butterfly pea flower, which calms redness and soothes skin.
TCA Lactic & Glycolic Face Peel
This multi-tasking, at-home peel has a lightweight, liquid texture that’s packed with five acids—including lactic and glycolic—that gently minimize dullness and dark spots, prevent acne, promote radiance, and soften fine lines. Even better? No rinsing required.