In nature, an animal or insect sheds layers of skin or its cocoon and transforms. The loss of its outermost shell transmogrifies the creature into a fresher, suppler, brighter version of itself. Humans also shed skin on a daily basis, but sometimes we need – or want – to speed up the process. That’s where facial peels come into play. A facial peel, whether chemical or natural, sloughs off older, more damaged skin and reveals a new brighter layer of epidermis. Going to a dermatologist or aesthetician for a facial peel can be pricey though, especially since there are so many wonderful do-it-yourself facial peel options a person can try at home. Here are the five best DIY facial peels to consider:
Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturing Peel ($25 for 30 pads)
This peel is perfect for beginners, since you just swipe the pads which are pre-soaked in a solution of powerful 20% glycolic acid and pineapple and papaya fruit enzymes and go. You don’t need to worry about a separate neutralizer or washing off after a certain amount of time. With a few weeks’ use, sunspots, discoloration and very fine lines gradually fade away. This was the first at-home peel I used on a consistent basis (every other day) so my skin is soft and dewy despite living in Phoenix, AZ.
Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel ($70)
My first post-college job was working at Allure Magazine. The pay wasn’t great, but the perks of the magazine’s beauty closet were! This is where I first used the tried-and-true Philosophy Microdelivery Peel. The two-part peel system took a bit of time to master and one definitely needs to read and adhere to the directions, because you don’t want to mess with salicylic acid! The vitamin C/ peptid acid scrub is the first step but you do NOT want to scrub with it – just massage gently as it can be pretty abrasive and avoid the gentle eye area. Though I didn’t have fine lines or dark spots in my mid-20s, the combo scrub and peel made my blackheads all but disappear overnight!
Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Peel Pads ($45 for 60 pads)
Alcohol and fragrance free, this peel pads are loved by people of all skin types who want to see a reduction in crows feet and discoloration. Ingredients include Vitamins A, C, D, E and F, green and chamomile extract, and a 20% complex of alpha, beta, gamma exfoliators & amino acids, which includes glycolic, salicylic, lactic, and linolenic acids. Swipe on and wait between 30 seconds and 3 minutes and then rinse with cool water to neutralize. With age, I have also started noticing spottiness on my chest, and these pads work wonderfully on that part of my body.
Olay Regenerist Daily Thermal MiniPeel Treatment ($23.99, but price may vary)
Another mild drugstore brand that shows results on par with in-spa facialist treatments that run three times the cost! A glycolic acid and mini-crystal complex has an interesting warming reaction that opens pores and allows the acid to go deeper to turn over skin. I found my best results with this product have been to apply and massage into my skin while in a steamy shower.
Ultimate DIY peel made from ingredients found in your own refrigerator
Take a small container of plain organic yogurt, add ¼ cup of cane sugar and mix to create a slightly grainy paste. Spread a generous layer onto your face and massage gently. After 10-15 minutes, rinse with cool water to neutralize the sugar’s natural glycolic acid and yogurt’s natural lactic acid. I’d advise people trying this inexpensive, convenient facial peel to lie down as it helps avoids the peel dripping into your eyes.