I’m a big fan of skin peels. If you have read the blog on how I became a skin care junkie in my thirties, you will know that it was a simple fruit acid peel that first piqued my interest.
It had a visible effect on my face and spawned a passion for anti-ageing skin products. In this feature, I want to discuss what a skin peel is and what it does.
This post is not about face masks you peel off or medical-grade chemical peels carried out in a clinical setting. It throws the spotlight on solutions and gels you can use at home that contain active ingredients capable of removing dead skin cells to reveal fresher, glowing skin. Think of them as exfoliators that don’t require any scrubbing!
Are Skin Peels Dangerous?
The types of cosmetic skin peels you can buy for home-use are not dangerous, but you should always carefully follow instructions supplied with the product. If you have sensitive or broken skin, seek professional advice before using a peel. It may not be recommended.
Tip: Check the strength of active ingredients before you buy and start with low percentage ones, if you have any concerns. If you are a regular user looking to invest in a new brand, read product reviews before parting with any cash. Common complaints include peels not containing enough of the active ingredient to ‘resurface’ the skin.
A gentle peel will never make your face blister or cause the skin to flake away. It will dissolve impurities and give your skin a polished finish. Really good peels leave your skin glowing. Many women use them because they leave the face feeling toned, soft and more youthful.
What Are The Active Ingredients?
The active ingredient most people look for when shopping for a face peel is glycolic acid. This type of peel is recommended for maturing skin and those who feel they have aged because of over-exposure to the sun. Devotees will tell you that a decent brand will offer a high level of glycolic acid, usually 70 per cent. Other active ingredients can include fruit acids (I recommend!) and mandelic acid.
Lactic acid is the favoured active ingredient for those with sensitive or very dry skin. If you are looking for a balancing skin treatment, especially if you are prone to breakouts, look for a peel that contains salicylic acid – something you can now find in specialist soaps. (I have a feature about this on my blog.)
How Often Should You Use A Skin Peel?
Some experts recommend once a month. Others say once a fortnight. It is important to remember that over-the-counter peels do not penetrate the skin too deeply and will, therefore, only offer superficial benefits. Therefore, safe, regular use is important to get good results. I’d go with once every two weeks for the first month and then reduce treatments to one every four weeks.
Best Skin Peels – My Picks
Skin peels are available from major brands, including Elemis. Below you will find a selection of ‘Best Skin Peels’, chosen for ingredients, top product reviews, price and availability. Click on an image for further information about a product.
*All prices correct at the time of publishing,
Join me on Facebook. Every day I hunt down and post bargain finds in anti-ageing skincare. I also share my most recent articles.