It’s tough to keep up with all the latest innovations and treatments in skincare, and even tougher to sign up for them – especially when they sound jarring and scary. So, the first time we heard the term ‘chemical peel’, we weren’t too enthused – especially since both words imply some form of burns, blisters and pain.
Fortunately, our initial assumptions about peels were incorrect. Unfortunately, there’s probably still a lot of people who are squeamish about them, and a lot more who don’t want to spend a pretty penny on a procedure they’re already unsure about anyway.
Of course, there are very good reasons for why peels are the new rage, and those reasons might help convince you otherwise. They work like the Benjamin Button of beauty products, exfoliating layers of time and damage on your face, so it’s free of blemishes, wrinkles, dead cells, dirt and dullness. Employing powerful exfoliating and emollient acids like Alpha & Beta Hydroxy Acids, Lactic, Glycolic or Salicylic Acid, they deliver impactful results when used on the right skin types.
But if you’re still not convinced enough to go get one, there’s plenty of products you can use to achieve similar results at home. Just make sure to consult a dermat first and get ready to get that baby-soft skin you’ve always wanted.
Here are our top-rated, at-home peels for every skin type:
The Body Shop’s bestselling concentrate has now translated its goodness to peel form with the Drops of Youth Liquid Peel. The patented gel-to-peel formula is powered with three plant stem cells, including Edelweiss, that denudes the face of impurities, pollutants and dead skin cells. Just use two pumps at a time and massage it in for about 20 seconds until any residues appear. Rinse with water, and repeat twice or thrice a week for radiant, youthful skin.
Best for: Oily skin
This one is especially good for women above 25 years, whose skin has been damaged by stress or hormones. It includes natural collagen, botanical extracts, Vitamins C & E and Aluminium Oxide granules that work like a mild scrub that can penetrate 20 cell layers in order to unify your skin tone, shrink pores and remove blemishes, blackheads and premature wrinkles. It also gives your skin an intrinsic boost of hydration when used over time.
Best for: Dry skin
With three generations of medical research, it’s no wonder Dr Sheth has hit the spot for brown skin. The Basic Brightening Extra Gentle Daily Peel is packed with AHAs like Glycolic & Lactic Acid plus Glycerine, Calendula, Wheat and Oat Sugars, each of which offer a mega boost of hydration to your skin while exfoliating and repairing it. In addition, it also works to inhibit melanin synthesis and offer it the soothing that is often missing from other peels.
Best for: All skin types
We know, Makeup Revolution is usually where you’d get your eyeshadow palettes not your skincare, but they surprised us recently with this excellent Mild Skin Exfoliator. Moisturizing Lactic and Hyaluronic Acid flood your skin with hydration, leaving it plump, soothed and soft. Of course, moisturization isn’t all – like any product with AHAs, it levels texture and skin tone, firming your skin without frying it. Although this one’s free of parabens and other irritants, use it with a base until you’re used to it.
Best for: Dry skin
If you struggle with breakouts, this ultra-concentrated serum is exactly what you need. Plum’s Green Tea Skin Clarifying Concentrate is a natural, non-comedogenic formula infused with five plant-based AHAs plus Salicylic Acid from Willow Bark, a superhero ingredient for acne. Sugarcane, Orange and Lemon exfoliate, Liquorice dissipates scars and spots and the star ingredient Green Tea limits sebum protection – sorting your acne from root to residue. That’s what we call plum results.
Best for: Oily skin
Non-abrasive but deeply penetrating, Dermalogica’s Gentle Cream Exfoliant is a two-in-one wonder that’ll give you squeaky-clean skin. Doubling as masque and chemical exfoliant, it’s packed with AHAs and BHAs, including Lactic and Hydroxy Acid, that stimulate skin renewal and smoothening. Additionally, natural fruit enzymes with to shed dead skin while Aloe Vera soothes and hydrates. Make sure to use on cleansed skin for 10-15 minutes, avoiding eyes, lips and nostrils.
Best for: Oily & combination skin
A combination of skin superfood and AHAs, Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate doesn’t disappoint, much like most of their miraculous formulations. The overnight concentrate works on your skin as you sleep, injecting it with exfoliating Phytic Acid and brightening Quinoa Husk extract. Although a potent blend, it’s a safe gateway product for chemical peel novices and sensitive skin types who want to refine, refresh and revive their skin.
Best for: Normal skin
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