Are you ready for an at-home chemical peel?

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel sounds like something you shouldn’t necessarily try at home. But more and more people are using this method of deep exfoliation – which uses a concentration of acids and chemicals to slough away dead skin without the rough particles found in physical exfoliants - to deal with a variety of skin issues.

Dermalogica Daily Resurfacing PadsDermalogica Daily Resurfacer
Exfoliating pads are incredibly convenient AND effective. These peeling pads from Dermalogica are formulated with a blend of enzymes and salicylic acid to smooth skin and boost luminosity.

Why do people use chemical peels at home?

Some of the skin situations that a chemical peel can be used to tackle include:

  • Dull and lacklustre skin
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Discoloration, dark spots and age spots
  • Treatment of acne and unclogging pores
  • Improving the appearance of scarring
  • Dealing with sun damage

Categories & Types of chemical peel

There are three main categories of chemical peel:

  1. Superficial
  2. Medium
  3. Deep.

Superficial chemical peels are the most mild and common for an at-home peel, usually using something like glycolic acid.

Medium chemical peels gives a similar effect to a second-degree burn to the skin.

Deep chemical peels are a dermatologist-only treatment that creates second-degree burns (a phenol peel is an example of this) and aren’t suitable for all skin types – they also need significant recovery time.

Within each of these categories, there are different types, strengths and concentrations of chemical peel. Let's talk about some of the more common types of chemical peel that you can do at home: 

Enzyme peels

The lightest type of chemical peel, usually derived from fruit. It doesn’t increase cell turnover like a true acid peel but is more suitable for sensitive skin and won’t make your skin more sensitive to UV.


The peel optimizes skin physiological processes and the penetration of active substances from skincare products deep into the skin.

Mandelic acid

Used to improve wrinkles, fine lines and skin texture as well as acne and hyper-pigmentation. It doesn’t cause irritation or redness.

Lactic acid

A great peel to improve glow, smooth out skin and help with minor wrinkles. It’s more hydrating than other types of acid and works well for hyper-pigmentation and discolouration too.

Omorovicza Acid FixOmorovicza Acid Fix
This exfoliating peel from Omorovicza refines skin texture and nourishes skin with a blend of Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, and Salicylic Acid.

Salicylic acid

This type of chemical peel is great at dealing with acne and dissolving skin congestion without making skin more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays. It’s also good for dark spots, hyper-pigmentation, sun damage and fungal acne.

A powerful chemical exfoliator formulated with Salicylic Acid and Retinol, Murad Clarifying Daily Peel smooths skin, clearing away dead skin cells and fortifying your skin against the premature signs of ageing. 

Glycolic acid

This refreshes skin tone, improves texture, increases skin brightness and collagen production. It also treats hyperpigmentation and acne. The concentration can vary on this one, so be careful!

Murad Replenishing Acid PeelMurad Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel
This potent formula from Murad uses a multi-acid blend to target wrinkles and boost skin's radiance. 

There are some peels that you can only get from professionals. Here's a roundup of the peels best used in the hands of professionals for glowing, gorgeous skin.

Jessner’s peel

A mix of salicylic acid, lactic acid and resorcinol. It’s great for hyper-pigmentation, acne and oily skin but can make dry or sensitive skin even more so.

TCA peel (trichloroacetic acid)

Works well for sun damage, hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, acne scars and stretch marks.


Gommage Éclat Gentle Peeling Cream
Made with natural clay combined a hydrating protecting fruit and plant extracts to help activate cellular renewal, leaving skin soft, clean and fresh. 

Is an at-home chemical peel safe?

Incorporating a properly-formulated chemical peel that's designed for use at home (and doesn't cause any visible peeling) is perfectly safe to use at home. You can incorporate them into your skin routine see visible improvements in your skin texture and tone, and specific problems.

If you’re not already hitting the SPF, you definitely need to add this in, as well as avoiding certain ingredients/treatments like retinols, facials and serious anti-ageing products post-peel.

What do you think about at-home chemical peels? Have you ever tried one as part of your skincare routine?

Need some help putting together the best skincare routine for your skin type? Try our skin quiz!

Beauty Affairs Skin Quiz Image

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