There’s no better way to perk up dull skin than with a chemical peel. A beauty staple since the days of Cleopatra (who was said to bathe in spoiled milk, the basis of lactic acid), the formulations and peeling agents used today may have been adapted to meet modern-day beauty standards but the basic principle of exfoliation for an immaculate complexion remains a steady constant.
Just as important as how you care for your skin post-peel is how you prep it beforehand. Make sure you talk to your doctor about which products you should go on a break from (for at least a few days before your treatment)—and avoid facial waxing for at least one week, too.
For Anti-Aging Peels
Antioxidants and a low-dose retinol may be recommended for at least two weeks prior to treatment.
For Anti-Pigmentation Peels
Lightening agents like hydroquinone and kojic acid plus a retinoid are usually suggested. “This will help to get rid of the top layer of skin and allow the peel to work more predictably,” says says Boca Raton, FL, aesthetician Cheryl Staurowsky.
For Anti-Acne Peels
A low-dose retinol and topical product with salicylic acid will help to first clear the pores.
Want to try an at-home peel? Learn more here.