Chemical peels being exclusive to skin clinics are a thing of the past. Though we should leave the heavy-duty ones to the pros, you can DIY an exfoliating facial at home and still experience transformative results. The secret? Opt for products formulated with potent chemical exfoliators like alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic acid, lactic acid), beta-hydroxy acid (salicylic acid), and fruit enzymes that do more than just give you a good scrub. To learn more, keep scrolling to see our quick guide for an at-home peel and the best products to shop!
5 Tips for Doing a Chemical Peel at Home
1. Exfoliate at night.
The last thing you want to get after a peel is a burn, and exfoliating when you won't be exposed to the sun is one of the best ways to keep that from happening. You'll want to do this as well if you wear makeup during the day!
2. Prep your skin well.
Most chemical peels are designed to be used right after cleansing to allow the exfoliant to have direct access to clean skin skin and do its magic. That said, make sure to read the instructions of the product you're using in case there are other steps required.
3. Limit usage according to your skin's tolerance.
Everyone's tolerance to an exfoliant varies, but as a rule of thumb, potent formulations should only be used a few times a week. This will help you avoid irritation or overexfoliation, a.k.a. when your skin becomes inflamed and sensitive after using a product. Of course, you can always adjust this according to your preference and a product's instructions!
4. Be mindful of your sun protection.
SPF is a necessary step on its own, but it becomes even more of a must if you're exfoliating regularly. Wear at least an SPF 30 with broad spectrum protection daily especially if you're stepping out.
Best Chemical Peels You Can Use at Home
1. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA
ICYDK, lactic acid is a milder yet equally effective AHA alternative to glycolic acid. This formulation from The Ordinary has 10% at the perfect pH level of 3.8, which will effectively exfoliate the top layer of your skin to address dark marks and uneven texture.
TRY: THE ORDINARY Lactic Acid 10% + HA, P550 on Zalora and Sephora.ph, P695 on Lazada
2. Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask
What's great about this mask is that you can use it both as a quick scrub and a full-on exfoliating treatment for your skin. It contains rosehip seeds and quartz that polish your skin as you rub, while the exfoliating enzymes from papaya and BHA from aspen bark give your complexion the detox it needs.
TRY: KORA ORGANICS Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask, P2,875 on Zalora, P2,880 on Sephora
3. Pixi Peel & Polish
This two-minute treatment uses 6% lactic acid and papaya enzyme to slough off dead skin for a smoother, softer feel. It also has a gentle, non-abrasive scrub that physically exfoliates and further nails that spa-like feel.
TRY: PIXI Peel & Polish, P1,800 on Sephora.ph, P1,390 on BeautyMNL
4. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel
With a combination of seven acids (AHA and BHA) and vitamin A derivatives, this two-step peel promises to deliver clinical results by refining the texture and tone of the skin. You only to swipe on the formula-soaked pad onto your face, waiting a few minutes in between step one and two.
TRY: DR. DENNIS GROSS Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel, P1,100 (5 applications) on Sephora.ph
5. FillMed Glycopeel Mask
This mask contains 15% glycolic acid and 2% phytic acid that will target fine lines, blemish marks, and dull skin. Use it twice a week in 10-minute sessions for a smoother, more even-toned complexion.
TRY: FILLMED Glycopeel Mask, P3,300 on shop.belomed.com
6. Murad Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial
If you're missing the effects of a microdermabrasion facial from your derm, this at-home facial from Murad has you covered. It has everything you need for a full skin reset, formulated with gold-stabilized vitamin C, exfoliating enzymes, AHAs, BHA, and a physical scrub.
TRY: MURAD Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial, P4,350 on Rustan's and Beauty Bar
7. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial
Having a total of 25% AHA and 2% BHA under its belt, this product from Drunk Elephant is not for the faint of heart. But if you're up for the challenge, the lineup of glycolic, tartaric, lactic, citric, and salicylic acids will have you well on your way to baby-soft skin.
TRY: DRUNK ELEPHANT T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, $80 (approx. P3,889), on drunkelephant.com
8. Peter Thomas Roth Pro Strength AHA BHA Exfoliating Super Peel
This wash-off treatment has a whopping 35% phytic acid, a lesser known AHA that works best in tandem with glycolic acid (this formula has 14%) to improve skin tone and texture. The additional 0.4% salicylic acid will work on unclogging your pores, which is always a plus.
TRY: PETER THOMAS ROTH Pro Strength AHA BHA Exfoliating Super Peel, P5,200 on Lazada
9. Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment
This best-selling exfoliator from Kate Somerville isn't dubbed "the Hollywood two-minute facial" for no reason. It has multiple fruit-derived enzymes and lactic acid to naturally slough off dead skin in a flash, letting you experience that post-facial glow even at home.
TRY: KATE SOMERVILLE Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, $98 (approx. P5,760) on Kate Somerville
10. Kiehl's Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate
This post-serum treatment from Kiehl's is perfect for those hectic nights. Its formula provides a micro-peel effect with quinoa husk extract, fruit enzymes, and phytic acid that accelerates skin turnover for fresher-looking skin. The best part? It's gentle enough to be used nightly, and doesn't need to be washed off!
TRY: KIEHL'S Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate, P3,375 on Kiehl's
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