At-home face peels are a convenient, affordable and effective alternative to pricey spa treatments and facials. Just one professional treatment in a spa can cost you $200 or more, but if you want an option that can take your skin from drab to fab at a fraction of the price, at-home peels are the way to go!
Whether you’re looking for an instant glow, want to exfoliate dark spots, reduce fine lines and clogged pores or really need a complete complexion makeover, at-home face peels can do it all.
And with consistent use, face peels can also improve the appearance of the marks or acne scars that breakouts can leave behind….all in the comfort of your own home!
So, how do you find the right at-home peel one for you? It can be somewhat confusing to determine what products out there won’t make your skin flare up, especially if you have acne-prone, sensitive (read: finicky) skin like mine.
Before we dive into the best drugstore at-home peel product recommendations, here are a few things to keep in mind for best results:
Peels work by lifting the outermost layer of dead skin cells to reveal soft, good-as-new glowing skin below. Using a combination of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) to exfoliate, they help rejuvenate and improve your skin’s tone & texture while making it incredibly soft.
- If you are just starting out, dermatologists recommend doing an at-home peel once a week (and no more than 2-3 times a week) to protect your skin from irritation.
- In the order of your skin care routine, a peel should be applied right after cleansing and before any treatment serums.
- Whenever trying a new peel, it’s always a good idea to perform a patch test on the underside of your arm or behind your ears to make sure you won’t have an allergic or adverse reaction to the treatment.
- Make sure to follow the directions when using a peel. If the instructions say wait two minutes, five minutes won’t give you better results. In fact, leaving it on for a longer time can cause irritation. Even if the peel doesn’t tingle or sting (which it shouldn’t anyways!), it’s still working.
- Like most potent anti-aging treatments, peels should ideally be used in your nightly skincare routine. That’s because they increase the sensitivity of skin to the sun, so direct exposure to the sunlight right after the treatment may cause irritation. And of course, daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more is an absolute must!
Now that we have covered the essential tips, let’s take a look at the best drugstore at-home peels for every skin type, all for under $25! These easy exfoliating treatments can tackle almost any skin concern, from acne and blackheads to discoloration and dullness.
Not to mention, they require little to no downtime and are safe to use at-home without a professional. Read on to find your perfect peel…
This one is my favorite in the list! The lightweight fragrance-free gel comes packed with 10% glycolic acid (AHA) along with other great anti-aging ingredients like green tea extract and panthenol (vitamin B5).
Packaged in an opaque squeeze tube, the silky gel absorbs quickly without a greasy/tacky finish. Just make sure to follow up with a moisturizer if you have dry skin like me!
Not only does it reduce the signs of sun damage, fade discoloration and fine lines but also helps to combat acne while preventing future breakouts. An anti-aging and acne treatment all in one, under $15…it’s a beauty bargain indeed!
2. Pixi Peel & Polish ($24)
Need to take your skin from drab to fab instantly? This new dual-action enzyme peel gets the job done in a few minutes, like a professional salon peel treatment!
Just leave it on your face for 5 minutes to let the natural fruit enzymes do their magic while lactic acid gently exfoliates, and papaya & sugar cane polishes your skin for a healthy, radiant glow. For a more intense, polished effect, gently massage face and neck in a circular motion before rinsing.
For peeling on-the-go, Pixi Glow Peel Pads are a convenient and easy-to-use option that comes saturated with 20% glycolic acid and rose water for a gentle exfoliation that nourishes skin while giving it a brightening boost. These are also enriched with vitamin E and aloe vera to calm & soothe skin. I love these for travel times!
You know what’s even better than sleeping? Sleeping while exfoliating. This night-time clarifying treatment for dull and oily skin contains glycolic & salicylic acid which combine to resurface and purify the skin by gently lifting away dead skin cells with a deep pore cleansing action, leaving your face amazingly smooth and fresh by morning time.
It also contains niacinamide that acts as an anti-inflammatory on the skin helping to reduce the production of sebum which causes large pores to develop.
Nip + Fab also offers Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Night Pads (with 5% glycolic acid) that come pre-soaked for easy use! The one-step saturated pads are no mess and take literally seconds to use. Seriously, you have no excuse!
4. Derma e Overnight Peel ($18.99)
Infused with a skin-brightening blend of 5% glycolic acid and fruit acids, this is another great bargain peel that’s gentle on your skin and full of natural refreshing ingredients.
Slather it on clean skin before bedtime and leave on overnight (it takes the place of your night moisturizer) and wake up with a fresh, glowing face! It tackles the damage done by the sun, pollution, acne and reduces fine lines while you catch up on your beauty sleep…now who can say no to that?
5. Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion & Peel System ($18.59)
This two-step system treats your skin to fast-fix radiance by instantly resurfacing and softening skin in one go!
The Microdermabrasion Treatment exfoliates to remove dull and dry skin while the Peel Activator Treatment with Alpha Hydroxy Acids resurfaces skin’s texture to brighten, smooth, and diminish the appearance of fine lines in a quick 2-3 minutes. How’s that for an instant skin makeover?
Does your skincare regimen already include at-home peels? If not, would you be trying out one of the products above?
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