An Intuitive Analysis of The Best At-Home Chemical Peels

The 3-stepers, the overnighters, the to-go pads.

By: Noah Lehava

So you have dry, flaky skin (yes, even in the summer), dark spots of discolored skin (maybe too much time outside in...the summer?), or are starting to see the faint formation of fault lines across your forehead? Join the club.

Lasers are incredible, but $$$ and, like dermatologist-mandated chemical peels, require downtime. If we’re being completely honest—and we’re sure you’ll agree—sometimes, a treatment you can do in the comfort of your own bathroom is just, well, more economical. And since we’re here to talk chemical peels (you did read the title, didn’t you?), we’re listing out our non-scary and refreshing top contenders. So sloughing away dull skin we will.

 

The multi-step peel

Ole Henriksen Power Peel

 
We’ve talked about this guy before: here. And it’s worth a second mention, because who doesn’t L.O.V.E a dual functioning skincare product? For warning: this peel is powerful, so sensitive-skinned friends, proceed with caution. It starts with an apricot and oat kernel polish, which you massage gently (gently, is the key word here) into your skin to loosen all the dulling dead skin cells. Once you’ve rinsed, apply the glycolic and lactic acid-infused “step 2” liquid evenly across your face and down your neck. Do not rinse (we missed this note the first time—oops). It doesn’t need too much time to linger, just two minutes, and it's normal to feel a tingle (rhyming not intended), so have the mask pod at the ready. Leave the final step on for 15 minutes and rinse off for baby-soft skin.

 

The Gel and Piller

Peter Thomas Roth Peeling Gel

 
There is no greater satisfaction, in our opinion, than to physically see your dull skin roll up into tiny balls and wash away. Pineapple, pomegranate and keratinase enzymes, and cellulose are fused together in a delicious smelling gel that pills as it’s massaged, trapping all the dirt and oil from clogged pores and sucking up dead skin to reveal your perfect complexion lying beneath.
Start by using once a week and work your way up to three.

 

To-Go Peel Pads

 
We weigh our frequency of use with how transportable and convenient a skincare product can be. Individually wrapped and pre-soaked pads are the ultimate. M-61 Power Glow Peel and Dr. Dennis Gross are a few of our favorites, namely because they require no downtime and actually work.

 

The Overnighter

Kiehl’s Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate

 
…for the wuss. And for one with patience. It’s a liquid you apply before your sleep for gradual results. No tingling here.

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