Want to tighten and brighten your skin naturally? Improve texture? Reduce acne? You’ve probably already heard about facial peels. But don’t confuse harsh medical peels with gentle (yet, oh-so-effective) home and spa facial peels. Forget the weeks of downtime. Or that your skin actually falls off. Natural facial peels are easy-peasy.
You don’t have to “peel to peel” explains Kerry Benjamin, owner of Stacked Skincare. The purpose of a facial peel is to remove dead skin. The more mature our skin is the less it turns over. Yet, exfoliation isn’t enough. Nor is it your best option to rejuvenate skin. Benjamin warns that harsh exfoliators can damage your skin over time, while facial peels are non-abrasive forms of exfoliation. And regular use of gentle peels may reveal fresher, brighter skin, prevent breakouts, hydrates skin, and may help to reduce the appearance of dark spots and fine lines.
To get you started on how facial peels can reveal a bright, dewy, and radiant complexion first, we went to the experts.
Who should get facial peels? And how often?
“Anyone can do a facial peel and I recommend a peel every one to three months depending on the skin type and the skin concern,” says Ildi Pekar, celebrity facialist and owner of Ildi Pekar Skin Care.
Jayde Covenant, Spa Director, Alchemie Organic Spa Retreat & Apothecary, says that practically “any adult” can benefit from a peel, “whether you’re looking to correct a specific skin concern, defy your age or simply refresh your complexion.”
And Benjamin says peels are one of the best ways to refresh your skin. “Medium depth peels will help remove the dead skin with no downtime. And if formulated correctly are safe for all skin types and conditions.”
Any dangers of peels? Can you over do it?
Start with light, organic peels, says Pekar. “Then slowly introduce the skin to a stronger peel strength. See a professional for strong peels so you don’t damage the skin. Because if you overdo it, you can cause dryness, irritation, blotchiness, redness, and uneven skin tone. Also, if you get a peel in summer the sun exposure increases skin sensitivity. I recommend vitamin C or lactic acid peels in the summer. And of course, sunscreen.”
“What most consumers don’t understand is that the pH is far more important than the percentage of active ingredients,” says Benjamin. “The lower the pH, the deeper the peel. The real danger in peels is going too deep, especially for those with darker skin tones. If you have darker skin and you do a really deep peel, you run the risk of either hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation.”
Side effects of traditional (or deep) peels “can range from minor discomfort and inflammation to post-peel pigmentation and increased skin sensitivity,” says Covenant. “Also after a peel, reduce sun exposure and always wear proper sunscreen.”
What results are realistic for gentle to medium peels?
“The ultimate goal of any peel is the removal of the skin’s outer layer of primarily dead cells and the stimulation of collagen and elastin to tighten and firm the healthy layer beneath,” says Covenant.
Pekar says a more youthful look, “instant glowing and radiant skin,” and improved even skin tone and a tighter skin, can be expected.
“Peels can help lift hyperpigmentation, eradicate acne, eliminate dryness, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles,” says Benjamin. “With regular use at home in between professional treatments, you’ll maintain glowing healthy clear skin.”
At-Home Facial Peels
Gentle enough for sensitive complexions, this multi-acid face peel reveals softer, radiant skin often just after one application. Combining the power of antioxidants and retinol, the hydrating formula removes dead skin cells, softens wrinkles and boost collagen production.
Supercharge this facial peel with Stacked Skincare’s Dermaplaning tool.
Recommended for all skin types (except dehydrated skin) this formula uses gentle yet effective botanical antioxidants to lift away impurities and dead skin cells. Sugar enzymes nourish and hydrate your skin while promoting a faster skin renewal.
Supercharge this facial peel with Golden Door’s Daily Renewal Treatment.
Famed for her holistic skincare line featuring custom blended formulas, purifying clay and West Native Spearmint are the star ingredients that oxygenate the skin while removing dead skin cells.
Supercharge this facial peel with Tammy Fender’s Intensive Repair Balm.
A fan favorite at The Detox Market, this masque has four Synergies that detox, peel, brighten, and firm your skin with results after the first use. The clay and activated charcoal refine your pores, while enzymes and fruit acids remove dead skin cells to reveal a tight and bright glow. Vitamin C helps fade hyperpigmentation and boosts collagen production.
Supercharge this facial peel by adding fresh lemon juice for a fruit acid effect, apple cider vinegar to treat acne, or organic raw milk to fade brown spots.
6. Evolue Royal Jelly Peel
Acid-free, the enzymes in raw royal jelly get to work gently remove dead skin cells without damaging tender new skin underneath. All the while amino acids nourish your skin for a radiant and glowing complexion.
Supercharge this peel with Evolue Resurfacing Grains mixed with Evolue firming toner.
Pineapple and papaya extract remove toxins and dead skin cells, eliminate blackheads, brighten skin and improve texture in just two minutes.
Supercharge this peel with Pevonia’s Power Repair Age-Defying Marine Collagen Cream.
8. Murad Rapid Resurfacing Peel
Soaked with 10% glycolic acid and Vitamin C these towelettes retexturize, balance skin tone, and brighten even sensitive skin.
Supercharge this peel with Dr. Murad Essential-C Daily Renewal Complex.