Chemical peels use acidic compounds to break up the top layer of skin, causing it to "peel" or fall off over many days, and are one approach to exfoliate and resurface the skin. Chemical peels provide a more even exfoliation without causing undue skin harm, which might be otherwise caused by physical exfoliation, including brushes, scrubs, and microdermabrasion, among others. 

Chemical peels are essentially a harsher form of over-the-counter chemical exfoliation creams, and as such, they should be used with extreme caution at home. Hence, depending on the type of acid and the percentage used, chemical peels can be modified. 

Most importantly, chemical peels can work like magic, and what is even more luring is that mild peels can be done in the safety and comfort of your home! So, now is a fantastic time to try out some peels. 

What can at-home chemical peels be used for?

Literally skin-related concerns! 

Chemical peels have numerous advantages, some of which include:

  • A thorough chemical exfoliation
  • Hyperpigmentation and other skin discolorations are treated
  • Regeneration of the face
  • Pores unclogging
  • Getting acne under control
  • Lowering the depth of wrinkles or scars caused by acne
  • Increasing the absorption of other skin care products by lightening the skin tone

What are the different types of chemical peels? 

Superficial or Mild Peels

Surface peels are helpful for moderate skin issues, like slight pigmentation or rough texture because they penetrate minimally and exfoliate gently. Peels containing low concentrations of mandelic, lactic, or low-strength salicylic acid are examples of this type. 

Medium Peels 

These penetrate deeper into the skin, targeting damaged skin cells. They are best suited for moderate skin issues, including superficial scarring or fine lines and wrinkles. They can also be used to treat problematic discoloration, such as melasma or age spots. Peels with a high concentration of glycolic acid, Jessner peels, and TCA peels are examples.

Deep Peels 

Deep peels penetrate the skin’s middle layer very thoroughly. Damaged skin cells, moderate to severe scarring, deep wrinkles, and skin discoloration are all targets for these treatments. Chemical peels with a high concentration of TCA and phenol fall into this category. Do not do this peel on your own!

Superficial or mild peels with low concentrations of acids can be done at home, while medium and deep peels require extreme caution and are performed in clinics by skincare professionals.

Do chemical peels have any side effects? 

The strength, intensity, and type of peel you employ will all have an impact on the negative effects that you may encounter as well as the success of the chemical peel.

There will be few to no negative effects with lightweight peels. There will be some redness after the peel, which should subside in about an hour or two. Within two to three days, skin peeling may occur. Light superficial peels, on the other hand, are much less likely to cause this.

Skin peeling and redness will almost certainly occur with the higher potency solutions. This can last anywhere between seven and ten days.

What do these peels include? 

Acids of different types! 

Mandelic acid 

Mandelic improves the texture of the skin, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. It treats acne and reduces hyperpigmentation without causing irritation or redness. When combined with salicylic acid, it is more effective on the skin than glycolic acid.

Lactic acid

Because it is lightweight and mild, lactic acid is another effective first peel. It smoothes the skin, gives it a glow, reduces tiny wrinkles, and treats hyperpigmentation and other skin discolorations better than glycolic acid. It is also hydrating.

Salicylic acid 

This is without a doubt one of the most effective peels for acne treatment. It's oil-soluble, so it'll go into your pores and dissolve any congestion or debris. It can also be used to treat sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and melasma, among others. 

Glycolic acid 

Glycolic may be classified as a "medium peel" acid and is thus considered more intense than the ones we have mentioned before. Glycolic acid boosts collagen formation, refines texture, brightens and refreshes skin tone, decreases wrinkles, and is especially good for acne scars.

Related: Neostrata® Resurface Smooth Surface Glycolic Chemical Peel

Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA)

TCA is the most powerful peel mentioned here but is considered a medium one. Sun damage, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, stretch marks, and atrophic acne scars can all benefit from this peel. 

How do you use an at-home chemical peel? 

If you're going to start with a peel, do a patch test first! Then follow these steps: 

  1. Cleanse and dry your face.
  2. Apply the peeling solution to your skin and keep it on for 2-3 minutes.
  3. When the timer goes off, rinse with cold water, towel dry, and moisturize with a light, thick moisturizer.
  4. If your skin is peeling and/or inflamed, use light skincare for the next day or two and skip your retinoid or other active topical products. 
  5. Don't forget to apply sunscreen before leaving the house. These acids increase your sensitivity to UV rays.

In addition to this, all Neostrata at-home peels come with detailed instructions on the precautions to take and how to use each product for the best results.

In conclusion, although chemical peels can bring in the desirable outcomes you have been longing for, they still need to be used in utmost caution. Make sure you follow directions carefully, use only peels with low concentrations of acids at home, and do patch tests before you start. Be safe and patient and enjoy the fruits of chemical peels to restore the shine and healthiness your face has been longing for!