Peels are essentially amplified exfoliation, and key to an anti-aging regime, but they’re not to be taken lightly. To be clear, chemical peels ignite a chemical reaction to exfoliate your skin, but they’re not all made of “chemicals”—the term refers to the process. Chemical peels can be derived from natural ingredients (like brown sugar and fruit enzymes) and use natural acids to eat away at dead skin cells. Even natural chemical peels range from sensitive to more serious.
Beauty Bite: Peels resurface your skin with acids to reveal a brighter, more youthful looking complexion. The most common acids are derived from fruit and dairy and fall under the Alpha Hydroxy Acid category. These can be glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid and citric acid, among others.
Tip: Hydrate like crazy after a peel, and use a higher-level SPF—your skin will be extra sensitive to the sun (even if it’s not sunny).
Here are FLARE’s picks for at-home peels from super-sensitive to a little more daring:
1. Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive 2 oz, $42, murale.ca
A great product for those with acne or blemishes, this peel can be used twice a week and features organic fruit acids from green apples, lemons and grapes. Apply it like a mask for 10 minutes and remove then follow with a moisturizer.
2. Origins Brighter By Nature™ High-Potency Brightening Peel with Fruit Acids, $48.50, sephora.com
Origins’ peel promises results comparable to a 30 per cent glycolic acid peel performed at a spa. These skincare pads can be swiped in circular motions across skin twice a week and feature ingredients like Holy Basil to relieve redness and vitamin C to help minimize uneven skin tone.
3. Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, $55, sephora.com
This peel is a favourite of flare.com’s managing editor Rebecca. Its ingredients include pink clay for detoxifying skin without over drying, beet extract to impart moisture, white willow extract to exfoliate and aloe vera to soothe. Also applied like a mask, it can be used just once a week.