If the words ‘chemical peel’ fill you with fear, we don’t blame you. Putting acidic chemicals directly onto your skin seems a little warped and terrifying. But trust us when we say that there are so many benefits to chemical peels— and they’re perfectly safe to use at home! Rather than going for an expensive salon treatment to rejuvenate your skin, opt for an at home chemical peel to enjoy a newly smooth and radiant complexion. Whether you want to tackle lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, or acne, chemical peels target specific skin concerns in a way your everyday skincare routine can’t. That’s why peels are must-haves in your beauty routine.
Discover more about healing pigmentation in How Can I Make Hyperpigmentation Marks Fade Faster?
Are At Home Chemical Peels Safe?
At home chemical peels aren’t quite the same as abrasive in-clinic treatments. Facial peels designed for home use are perfectly safe to use on your own. These products typically contain Alpha-Hydroxy Acids, such as Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid, as well as Vitamin A and Salicylic Acid to offer a complete skincare transformation. All these ingredients are perfectly safe unless you have sensitive skin. The acids may be a little too harsh and cause an unwanted reaction. It’s also best to avoid at home chemical peels if you’re pregnant.
If you’re still not sure if an at-home peel is right for you, listen to our related podcast. We go into detail about the benefits of a chemical peel in Episode 12: Chemical Peels Aren't As Scary As They Sound.
How Often Should You Do a Chemical Peel at Home?
The best at home chemical peels can include some pretty strong ingredients. It may take time for your skin to build a tolerance to them. We recommend starting off by using your skin treatments once a week. Then, you can build up usage over time as your skin becomes accustomed to the ingredients.
In between sessions, we recommend using an exfoliator to keep dead skin cells and impurities under control. Browse through Should I Exfoliate Before, During, or After Cleansing? to learn more about exfoliating.
How to Do a Chemical Face Peel at Home
Once you’ve found the best at home facial chemical peel for you and your skincare concern, we always recommend doing a patch test. Patch tests are particularly important with chemical peels, as some of the ingredients can be harsh on the skin. You want to check for reactivity before going full force!
Once you’ve got the go-ahead from your patch test, it’s time to get peeling! Always look at the individual product’s instructions as to how long to leave the product on for. You definitely don’t want to go over the recommended amount of time when it comes to chemical peels. Apply the peel directly to your skin and watch your timer like a hawk. If you’re using a chemical peel for the first time, you may want to leave it on for half the recommended time until your skin builds a tolerance.
Find out more about using chemical peels in How To Peel Your Face Off (In A Good Way, I Promise).
How Long Does It Take to Heal From a Chemical Peel?
Most at home chemical peels have little to no downtime. Therefore, you can enjoy the benefits of a rejuvenated complexion from the get-go. However, with other stronger chemical peels, your skin may take up to 7 days to completely heal. Always check the individual product to see how strong it is and how much downtime it requires.
Can I Wax After a Chemical Peel?
When you’re using a mild at home chemical peel, we recommend waiting until the next day to wax. Your skin may feel a little vulnerable after treating it with a peel. You may even notice that waxing hurts more than usual. With medium-strength peels, we recommend waiting a week between the treatment and waxing.
Try a Mild Chemical Peel at Home
No longer terrified? Great! You won’t look back once you’ve introduced a chemical peel into your skincare routine. But we still recommend starting with a mild formula to allow your skin to adjust to the stronger chemicals. Don’t worry: you’ll still notice amazing results.