The Best At-Home Chemical Peels, According to Skin Experts

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The Best At-Home Chemical Peels, According to Skin Experts featured image

It seems like everyone is talking about chemical peels these days, but rather than the super intense, in-office versions (if you’ve seen good before-and-afters you know what I’m talking about), the focus is on at-home formulas. “At-home chemical peels are growing in popularity because brands have seen that there is a strong desire for people to be able to get professional-like results at home,” says celebrity aesthetician Joshua Ross, founder of SkinLab in Manhattan Beach, CA. “There have also been a lot of skin-care influencers and social media accounts who are showing these at-home peels, and people feel more comfortable to try them at home if someone they trust and follow is also using them.”

So what is a chemical peel? Rachel Roff, aesthetician and founder/CEO of Urban Skin Rx, says it’s a chemical exfoliator that works to fade the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and improve brightness. “At-home peels use weaker concentrations of ingredients than in-office peels, and it will take longer to see results, but they can be really effective when used correctly.” These are the top at-home chemical peels recommended by skin-care experts.

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Obagi Clinical Blue Brilliance Triple Acid Peel ($149)

“For a multi-acid, strong over-the-counter peel, I like this one,” says Dr. Adrienne O’Connell, medical director and president of Laguna Beach Aesthetics. “It contains salicylic, glycolic and lactic acids, and it’s great for retexturing and smoothing the skin. It’s the closest you’ll get to a professional-grade peel in the comfort of your own home. With that being said, it needs to be used sparingly and I can’t stress enough to follow the directions.”

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iS Clinical Active Peel System ($88)

“I love recommending these peel pads for people to use at home,” says Ross. “They are generally safer for all skin types and can be used sometimes weekly or monthly [there are 15 in a set and you can use them every other day] depending on your skin type. Do not trust Amazon brands that are not well-established or have high concentrations of acid over 5 to 10 percent, depending on the acid and pH.”

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skinbetter science Alpha Ret Exfoliating Peel Pads ($115)

“These pads really give an immediate effect and glow to the skin,” says Joie Tavernise, medical aesthetician and founder of JTAV Clinical Skincare. “Please keep in mind, however, that everyone’s skin is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s always a good idea to consult with a skin-care professional before trying any new at-home peels, especially if you have sensitive or problematic skin.”

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Glo Skin Beauty GlyPro AHA Resurfacing Peel ($70)

“I love Glo Skin Beauty’s Level 2 GlyPro AHA Resurfacing Peel as a slightly stronger at-home peel treatment,” says New York dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD. “It uses glycolic acid, retinol and antioxidant-rich superfruits to refresh and reset skin by exfoliating, brightening, fortifying and refining the complexion.”

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Urban Skin Rx Medspa Edition: Complexion Correction Peel Pads ($48)

“Salicylic acid, retinol and 15-percent glycolic acid all work together to fade the appearance of dark marks and hyperpigmentation, and improve the appearance of dull skin, fine lines and wrinkles,” says Roff. “It’s a powerful formula that yields results.”

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Alpyn Beauty Wild Huckleberry 8 Acid Polishing Peel ($56)

“I like this one because it is both a physical exfoliant and a chemical exfoliant,” says Dr. O’Connell. “It features salicylic acid, so it’s great for acne. It really cleans out the pores and leaves skin glowing. I recommend using it one to two times a week, as you do not want to over-dry or irritate your skin.”

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Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel ($92)

“I have loved these peel pads for years,” says Roff. “The trend for doing at-home treatments started during Covid and hasn’t really slowed down. While an at-home peel won’t give you the same results as a professional treatment, it still yields great results. They do not completely resurface the skin, but they are powerful exfoliators and will leave your skin glowing after use.”

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JTAV Clinical Skincare Glycolic 15% Treatment Pads ($42)

“My favorite at-home chemical peel is from my personal line,” Tavernise says. “They gently exfoliate, moisturize and assist in the removal of oil and residue on the skin while prepping the skin, and can be used daily if necessary.”

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