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?
Dr Michelle Rodrigues explains the benefits of chemical peels, the different kinds of peels and when you should (and shouldn't!) do a peel at home in the YouTube video below...
Now here are are some of our favourite (and safe) at-home chemical peel options...
Mild Chemical Peels to Try at Home
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.
Boosted with a blend of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids and Beta-Hydroxy Acids, this hard-working skin treatment exfoliates like no regular facial scrub can. Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel reveals a brighter and more youthful complexion with improved texture and tone. Also containing Tranexamic Acid, this product is a particularly effective at home chemical peel for hyperpigmentation. A nourishing cocktail of lipids ensures that skin remains nourished and hydrated.
Working as both a chemical peel and a manual face scrub, Priori LCA fx160 2xfoliant Peel + Scrub can be used on both the face and body. This multipurpose exfoliator works to smooth rough and dry skin, hydrate, and boost antioxidant protection against free radical damage. Microspheres manually exfoliate the skin’s surface while Alpha-Hydroxy Acids go deeper to provide a full skin renewal. This multi-action treatment helps reduce pigmentation and lines as it erases dullness.
Struggling with generally dull skin? Pixi Peel & Polish is the perfect mild chemical peel to enhance natural luminosity without causing irritation or requiring downtime. Infused with Lactic Acid to increase skin cell turnover and enzymes to break down dead skin cells, this high-performance treatment also scrubs gently to smooth and soften rough skin. Suitable for all ages and skin types, Peel & Polish is a great introduction to the world of chemical peels.
Aspect Exfol L is gentle enough even for sensitive skin types but still delivers fast-acting and dramatic improvements to problematic skin. Whether you want to enhance radiance, decongest clogged pores, or clear up pigmentation and acne, this powerful night exfoliator works a charm. Using only naturally derived Alpha-Hydroxy Acids, Aspect Exfol L doesn't cause the same irritation, redness, and discomfort that chemical peels are often associated with, making it perfect for those with reactive skin.
Medium Chemical Peels to Try at Home
If you’re looking for an at-home chemical peel for wrinkles, acne, or hyperpigmentation, you may want something a little stronger to tackle your skincare concerns.
We don’t recommend jumping in straight away with these treatments, though.
It’s best to first let your skin adjust to chemical peels with milder formulas.
The perfect alternative to expensive and abrasive in-clinic treatments, EmerginC Triple-Threat Peel will help eradicate your skincare concerns, no matter how severe. Tackle pigmentation, age spots, fine lines, acne scarring, and breakouts with this powerful exfoliating chemical peel that leaves skin looking and feeling renewed and healthy. To deliver such dramatic results, this skin treatment blends supercharged Fruit Acids, Salicylic Acid, Retinol, Vitamin C, and antioxidant Green Tea and Fig Extracts.
Reveal healthier and more youthful skin with this at home facial peel designed to accelerate skin cell turnover and remove damaged and dead skin cells. Perfectionist Pro Instant Resurfacing Peel is boosted with a powerful blend of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids. These carefully chosen AHAs refine skin texture and enhance skin’s luminosity for a baby-soft, radiant complexion. To lock in hydration and curb irritation, the treatment also contains Hyaluronic Acid, which nourishes the skin at every level.
Best Chemical Peel for Acne Scars at Home
Acne can cause discomfort and irritation, but it’s not just active blemishes that can cause concern. Spots can leave lasting marks, causing pigmentation and discolouration of the skin.
If you’re looking for the best at home chemical peel for acne and scarring, Alpha-H has two gorgeous options that will transform your skin.
Liquid Gold was one of the first cult chemical peels. This worldwide bestseller is known and loved for its fast-working and dramatic benefits to the skin. Liquid Gold resurfaces skin overnight, letting you wake up to a refreshed complexion. Signs of wrinkles, scarring, pigmentation, acne, and sun damage are dramatically reduced. Infused with hard-working Glycolic Acid, Liquid Gold is the perfect solution for acne scarring and leaves your skin looking fresher and brighter.
For a high-strength chemical peel, we recommend Alpha-H Beauty Sleep Power Peel. Combining Retinol, Collagen, and Glycolic Acid, this potent night cream will minimise acne scarring as well as decongest clogged pores and reduce pigmentation and wrinkles. It’s an overnight treatment that promises to transform your skin as you sleep. Perfect for all skin types, especially acne-prone and ageing skin, Beauty Sleep Power Peel delivers notable improvements after just one use.
Best Body Chemical Peel at Home
Chemical peels don’t just benefit your face; they can be used all over your body. PCA Skin Body Therapy is an advanced body lotion that hydrates your complexion as a lightweight and velvet-soft moisturiser. But Body Therapy will also accelerate skin cell renewal to reveal a brighter, smoother, and healthier skin tone and texture. Containing high concentrations of Lactic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, and Shea Butter, this nourishing treatment expertly balances regeneration with hydration for summer-smooth skin all year long.
Find out how to give yourself an at-home facial and how to make your facial customised to you in the YouTube video below...
Now, let's get into some of your burning questions about at home chemical peels...
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.
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.
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.
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So, let's recap the 9 Best Safe At Home Chemical Peels