5 Things to Know Before Trying an At-Home Peel

They say it’s what’s beneath the surface that counts, and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to your skin. For a complexion that always looks fresh and glowing, it’s essential to remove dull, dead skin cells to unveil your best and most luminous skin. One of the most effective ways of exfoliating dead skin layers? Peels. Here are five facts you need to know about peels before incorporating them in your skin care routine.



1. Peels are a form of chemical exfoliants.


Using facial peels is just another form of exfoliating, and exfoliating is simply removing excess dead skin cells from your skin. There are two different kinds of exfoliation: manual and chemical. Manual exfoliation involves a product with granules, such as facial scrubs, that you work into the skin to slough off dead skin cells. Peels are considered chemical exfoliants in that they use acids or enzymes to exfoliate your skin.


2. The right type of peel for you depends on your skin type.


Most peels are formulated with hydroxy acids, of which there are two primary forms: alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA). AHA is a naturally occurring acid. It’s also mild and can be used in combination with other treatments in smaller doses. Typically, AHAs consist of citric, glycolic, lactic, malic and tartaric acid, but there are other fruit acids that can be used as well. AHAs are a better choice for dry skin because they exfoliate on the surface of skin, but also help improve your skin’s moisture content.


BHAs are slightly stronger because of their ability to sink deeper into the pore to exfoliate and clean the pore wall. One example of BHA is salicylic acid. BHAs are ideal for oily, acne-prone skin.

The Beginner's Guide to At-Home Chemical Peels

3. Peels also vary in strength.


Peels can be classified into three different levels. One important thing to keep in mind is the deeper the peel, the longer the downtime.


Superficial – This is the gentlest type of peel available and has no downtime. Superficial peels only remove the top layer of the epidermis. This results in instantly brighter and smoother skin.


Medium – Medium-depth peels generally have a longer recovery time and can have more side effects. They’re usually derived from TCA (trichloroacetic acid) and penetrate deep into the skin to treat sun damage, pigmentation and wrinkles.


Deep – These peels are painful and can take months to fully recover from. Deep peels are the strongest type of chemical peel available. They are used for sun damage, scarring and deep lines and wrinkles. Typically, they use carbolic acid or high-strength TCA to penetrate the deeper, or dermal, layers of the skin.


4. You can still use a peel even if you have sensitive skin.


If it’s your first time using peels or if you have easily irritated skin, it may be best to consider natural peels. Natural chemical peels are made of—you guessed it—natural ingredients like fruit enzymes. They are less invasive to the skin and generally do not involve downtime. Check out Eminence’s range of all-natural peels below.


5. Peels do more than just exfoliate dead skin cells.


Just like most exfoliants, peels get rid of the dead skin cells that sit on the surface. But on top of that, treating yourself to a regular peel also encourages a healthy cellular turnover, leaving your skin looking radiant, brighter and more youthful.