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At-Home Skin Peels: What You Need to Know

Posted by Nikki Wisher on Oct 24th 2023

At-Home Skin Peels: What You Need to Know

If you have any familiarity with professional skin treatments, you’ve probably heard of a chemical peel. Chemical peels are among the most established treatments for rejuvenating skin. But you might have also noticed that there are now at-home skin care products labeled as peels. Do these actually do the same thing professional chemical peels do? How do they work and should you add them to your skin care routine? Settle in because I have all the answers you need to know.

What Are At-Home Skin Peels?

At-home skin peels are exfoliating products. They help your body shed dead skin cells and damaged surface skin cells so you can replace them with the fresher, healthier skin cells beneath. Both professional chemical peels and at-home skin peels do this, but to very different degrees. You could think of at-home skin peels as gentler, milder versions of professional chemical peels.

Keep in mind that there are two basic types of exfoliating products: physical exfoliants like scrubs, which use a rough texture to buff away dead and damaged skin cells, and chemical exfoliants, which exfoliate by using natural or artificial skin-friendly acids. An at-home skin peel is generally a chemical exfoliant.

So, Do At-Home Peels Actually Make Your Skin Peel?

Based on the name of a peel, you’ll naturally wonder if your skin will literally peel from using the product. In the case of an at-home skin peel, your skin cells technically will peel away, but not in sheets the way you would peel after a bad sunburn. They shed at a cellular level so you won’t be able to see the peeling. In the case of a professional chemical peel, it depends on the peel – most do cause visible peeling but not all of them do.

What Skin Issues Can At-Home Peels Address?

There are countless at-home peels on the market, and each one has its own formula designed to address specific issues and needs. Most of them, though, are designed to reduce signs of aging and skin damage. At-home skin peels can be effective for fine lines and wrinkles, a dull complexion, and brown spots like age spots.

How Often Can You Use an At-Home Skin Peel?

As beautiful as the results of at-home peels can be, any exfoliant needs to be used with caution because you can overdo it, leading to inflammation and dry skin. So how often should you use these products for the best benefits? It depends on the product. Some peels are safe to use several times per week while others need to be used more sparingly. Follow the directions on the label closely.

If the label gives you a range (such as “use 1-3 times per week”), start on the low end and see how it works with your skin. If your skin tolerates it well, you can slowly work your way up. But never use a product more often than the label instructs. Those directions are there for a reason, and too much of a good thing can backfire.

Should You Choose an At-Home Skin Peel or an In-Office Skin Peel?

At-home skin peels and professional chemical peels are quite different, each with their own use cases and purposes. An in-office chemical peel will give you more significant results with either one treatment or a series of a few treatments. It will have some recovery time, though, while your skin is healing and peeling, and it can be very expensive. At-home skin peels provide more gradual results after repeated use but they have no recovery time and don’t require you to go to a medical office or spa.

Are At-Home Skin Peels Suitable for Everyone?

As great as at-home skin peels can be, they aren’t necessarily right for everyone. They can be too harsh for sensitive skin in some cases, or too drying for dry skin. Every peel is different, so make sure you read the label and find out what peels are suitable for your skin type.

What Skin Peels Should You Try?

Want to venture into the world of at-home skin peels but not sure where to start? I’ve got you! The right peels for you will depend on your skin and what results you’re looking for, but here are a few favorites to consider.

PCA Skin Micro Peel At-Home Kit

If you want an at-home skin peel that’s as close to a professional chemical peel as you can get, you’ll love the PCA Skin Micro Peel At-Home Kit. This kit has a multi-step process you’ll follow to give yourself the spa treatment at home with the goal of brighter, younger-looking skin. PCA Skin actually makes some of the most trusted in-office peel products so you know you can trust their at-home kit too.

Peter Thomas Roth Firm & Glow Icons Kit

Want a younger complexion overall with a special focus on the area under your eyes? You can’t beat the Peter Thomas Roth Firm & Glow Icons Kit. This kit includes the brand’s beloved peeling gel that firms aging skin as well as firming and hydrating under-eye patches so you can get a rejuvenated look everywhere you want it.

Replenix Glycolic Acid 10% Resurfacing Peel Pads

One of the most popular acids that are used for skin care, both in professional skin treatments and in at-home products, is glycolic acid. It has a stellar ability to kick dead and damaged skin cells to the curb while being low-risk for irritation and inflammation. Replenix puts glycolic acid’s expertise to work in the Replenix Glycolic Acid 10% Resurfacing Peel Pads. These pads offer a convenient way to smooth and exfoliate your skin, and there’s a more concentrated 20% version available too for some extra power.

Out with the Old, In with the New

At-home skin peels are an excellent way to refresh your complexion and potentially take a few years off of it in the process. Start shopping around and find that perfect fit that will give you the gorgeous glow you want.