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 – Improving the texture and overall appearance of your skin is possible with peels. No longer just available in professional settings (and strengths), peels can be used at home to minimize signs of aging and improve your skin's natural radiance. While some peels target specific concerns, others offer well-rounded treatment for a variety of skin issues. Finding the right combination of ingredients can lead to an effective peel and improved skin.
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History of Peels

Skin care peels designed for home use are inspired by chemical peels, the professional treatments offered by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and spas. Chemical peels work by improving the skin's texture. They do this by removing damaged skin layers using such chemicals as phenol, trichloroacetic acid, and alpha hydroxy acids, including lactic, glycolic, and citric acids. However, some of these chemicals (such as phenol and TCA) go much deeper and are much more invasive than typical “lunchtime” or at-home peels, and are typically done at a medical facility oftentimes under anesthesia. Additionally, depending on the strength (or ingredient percentage) they may also involve quite a bit of downtime.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that benefits of chemical peels are many and include the minimization of blemishes and acne scars, age and liver spots, and sun-damaged skin. Chemical peels can also address other common aging concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles, irregular skin pigmentation (in certain cases), and rough and scaly patches of skin. These treatments target the face as do the at-home products, which strive to offer similar benefits. Those with darker skin tones may find they are not always good candidates for some types of chemical peels. Anyone considering a chemical peel should consult with a skin care professional, ideally a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

At-Home Products

Peels come in a variety of forms, but they all serve the same purpose. They work to improve the overall appearance of your complexion, much like professional chemical peels. You can find some peels in gel form. These peels often work to help even skin tone and pigmentation. They are applied to clean skin for as little as one minute before being rinsed away. Other gel peels target further signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Similarly, you can find cream peels that offer such benefits. These products can be easily blended into your skin and then rinsed off to deliver serious results.

Another convenient type of peel comes in pad, swipe, or packet form. These products can easily be swiped over the face for instant peel treatment. Power packed with nourishing and effective peel ingredients, these products do not require the rinsing that gels and creams do. Ideal for on-the-go use, peel pads, swipes, and packets make a quick skin treatment possible virtually anywhere.

Regardless of the style of peel you choose, you will find a similar blend of ingredients across products. Primarily, alpha hydroxy acids are common ingredients in these products. You might find one specific type of acid in a peel while other products use multiple acids. In addition to the acids, botanical extracts are other popular ingredients in these peels - you can find green tea and chamomile extracts, which offer antioxidant benefits, as well as cucumber extract, known for its anti-inflammatory properties. These ingredients can help appease potential irritation and protect the skin following a peel.


Investigate the ingredients included in peel products to determine which one is best for your skin's unique needs. Also, consider the form that you prefer, whether that's a gel or cream or pad, wipe, or packet. Then, enjoy the nourishing benefits of a peel from the comfort of your home. But as always, it’s best to consult with a skin practitioner to be sure that even these milder “at-home” peels are right for you.

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