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Exfoliate Effectively: The 5 Best At-Home Chemical Peels

* Chemical peels are safer than ever and can now be used at home
* Most peels exfoliate, treat acne and increase skin cell renewal
* Lactic, glycolic and salicylic acids are the most common acids in chemical peels

Tell your friends you’re going for a chemical peel, and they’ll likely turn to you aghast. The name of this skin care treatment itself inspires images of the skin melting away from your face like something straight out of a horror movie. Alas, if that were the case, the industry would have said goodbye to chemical peels years ago.

In fact, chemical peels are super beneficial and with continuous improvements, the negative side effects of these skin treatments are becoming fewer. Gone are the days of burnt skin and hiding away for a week post peel. In the modern age, even the harshest chemical peels only result in a day or two of down time.

So what exactly are the benefits of a chemical peel? Chemical peels are used for deep, chemical exfoliation. These treatments can go deeper than a traditional abrasive exfoliant to leave you with unclogged pores and a glowing appearance. At the same time, chemical peels boost cell renewal, giving you a fresh, dewy look. As an added benefit, chemical peels are often gentler on your skin than a traditional exfoliating treatment.

Because the dangers of chemical peels have been minimized, some treatments are now available for at-home use. But, before you rush off to Amazon to buy your first chemical peel, it’s important to understand the acids at work in traditional peels.

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The three most commonly used acids in chemical peels are lactic, glycolic and salicylic acids.

Lactic acid is an AHA and is therefore useful for increasing cell turnover. It’s usually lightweight and gentle, so this is a great acid to start with for your first peel. After regular use, you may notice smoother skin, a decrease in the appearance of wrinkles and the correction of hyper-pigmentation.

Also an AHA, glycolic acid is slightly more intense than lactic acid. It can treat acne and hyperpigmentation, but glycolic acid is better known for increasing collagen production and therefore refining the texture and brightness of your skin. This is a great acid for a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and acne scars.

Finally, salicylic acid is a BHA and is ideal for treating acne. As a larger molecule BHA, it loves oil and continuously works to unclog pores while removing dead skin cells. Salicylic acid also works to treat sun damage and hyper-pigmentation.

If we’ve convinced you to try an at-home chemical peel, keep reading for the 5 best peels available on Amazon. Just remember to consider the main acid before choosing the best chemical peel for you.

1. Skin Beauty Solutions Glycolic Acid Skin Peel

is made from 70% glycolic acid. Remember that this type of acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), therefore this peel is great for treating discoloration, moisturizing the skin and rejuvenating the surface of your face through cell regeneration. Remember that this product essentially breaks down the skin to repair it, so you may experience some redness after use. And, it’s essential to wear sunscreen after your peel.

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2. Yeouth Salicylic Acid 20% Gel Peel


is ideal for people who suffer from frequent acne breakouts. This BHA acid works to treat oily skin, blackheads and clogged pores in a gentle and effective manner. In addition, the salicylic acid is mixed with tea tree oil to reduce inflammation and green tea extract for UV sun protection post peel. Altogether, this is a powerhouse combination. With each bottle of the Yeouth Gel Peel, you’ll get 15-20 full-face peels.

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3. Neogen Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine

A unique type of chemical peel formulated by Korean beauty experts, the

uses a pad to provide gentle exfoliation and improved skin texture. On the gauze side of each pad, you’ll find the exfoliant. Rub it along your skin to remove dead skin cells and skin impurities. Then, flip the pad over to the embossed side to clean your skin and wipe away any remaining debris. This form of application makes applying an at-home chemical hassle free.

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4. Perfect Image Lactic 50% Gel Peel

If you’ve used an at-home chemical peel previously, it might be time to move up a level.

is made from 50% lactic acid and is ideal for treating age spots, sun spots, hyper-pigmentations and wrinkles. Perfect Image has also added green tea extract and cucumber to aid in the healing process post peel. Together, this formula will provide the tough exfoliation you’re looking for when used correctly.

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5. Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pad

Unlike full strength at-home chemical peels, the Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads can be used daily. They contain a 20% proprietary complex of alpha, beta and gamma acids, including glycolic, salicylic and lactic acids. Together, these work to reveal clear and radiant glowing skin with fewer fine lines and visible pores. Simply apply the pads to clean skin in the morning or evening, leave the solution on for 1 to 3 minutes then rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

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