Best At Home Chemical Peels

Best At Home Chemical Peels

Taking care of your skin does not only mean keeping it clean and hydrated with a good facial cream, but also getting rid of the dead skin cells, gliding fine lines and wrinkles.

For this purpose, a lot of people use the best at home chemical peels.

We’ve looked at 47 home chemical peels and covered over 108 hours of research and testing to find the ones that are the most beneficial to your skin, the Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion Peel stood out as the best at home chemical peel to buy for most people.

Top Pick

1. Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion Peel

Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion Peel is an affordable product that actually works well. This chemical peel product has a peel activator serum and gives an amazing microdermabrasion treatment. These two together are efficient enough to help any skin diminish lines or wrinkles. At the same time, it works perfectly on the cellular regeneration. After the use, the skin will look healthy and radiant and much softer than it was before.

The Olay Regenerist formulation is gentle on your skin and can be used up to two times a week. Infused with Instant Fix Formula that brightens up the skin tone, Olay also works on the anti-aging process. It has Derma-Crystals which gives it a lightly coarse texture which gives a great buffing effect, without irritating or damaging your skin. Olay’s Derma-Cristals are bicarbonate sodium and are better for you than the ones you find in most chemical peels. The only con here is that the product does not have a super strong formulation; if you are looking for something stronger, then you can skip the Olay.

Why you should trust us

This whole at-home chemical peel treatment is really not a big deal. There are two ways you can do this – with a physical scrub and with chemical exfoliants. Most of us know what the physical scrub means – you probably have already done it at home. Any facial product that contains small particles that buff away the dead skin cells, can be classified in the physical scrub category. In fact, perhaps you even have already prepared it at home – a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of sugar – voila, that is your physical scrub. These are cheap home recipes and anyone can do them, in case they don’t feel like wasting money at the drug store. When comes to chemical exfoliation, many people think of red skin, blisters, horrible pain, and forever damaged skin.

Dermatologists explain that chemical exfoliants remove the top layers of the skin and weaken the lipids at the same time (this happens with removing of dead and dull skin which leads to a new layer of glowy and healthy skin cells).  I have been working as a buyer for beauty company and writing reviews on skincare, like the best face washes for oily skin, the best face moisturizers, and the best facial toners and many more besides for the last 15 years.

I have researched and tested over the counter chemical peels for weeks for this review alone. I have consulted with skincare experts, like Eleni Papakonstantinou and keep up with new skincare news and developments, before or as they happen. We keep up to date with reviews from other companies like Totla Beauty and ConsumerReports who also review skincare products.

Then we do our own testing on ourselves and our product testing members, who tested the chemical peels at home for us and provided their valuable feedback. If your interested in being a product tester, you can join here product testing 

Who should get this

My goal is to share several best at home chemical peels that can do real miracles for your skin. Chemical exfoliants are not only meant to clear your skin from dead cells; at-home chemical peels will make any skin glow naturally and will help it get rid of all the layers of dead skin. This is especially important for people whose skin is in the process of aging and has already lost (or loses) its hydration, natural glow, and tone.

And although some people may be reluctant when comes to at-home chemical peels, thinking that it may burn their facial skin, the truth is – there are very, but very low chances for that. The market offers quite affordable and good over the counter chemical peels that will do magnificent changes for your skin. You don’t even have to be of a certain age (after 40 let’s say) to use these products. There are excellent at-home chemical peels for acne scars especially suitable for people who just got out of puberty or are in their mid or late twenties.

How we selected

We started making a long list of all the best chemical peels you can do at home that were out there. Like all other skincare products, a chemical peel will be personal to us. To select the right one, it is essential that you have a deep knowledge of your skin. We researched all of the best home chemical peels for sale online and instore and their ingredients. We have read through thousands of consumer and expert reviews, along with manufacturers labels and reviewed dermatolopgical studies, to be able to bring you the most helpful, insightful advice.

Types of Chemical Peels

There are all sorts of chemical peels for any type of skin. There are AHAs and BHAs (alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). AHAs are mostly used for skin rejuvenation due to their exfoliation properties. AHAs are a combination of glycolic acid and lactic acid which sometimes contain “fruit acids”. AHAs often have blends such as glycolic, lactic, and malic acid. BHAs chemical peels are mostly enriched with salicylic acid. This is a white crystalline powder that dissolves in oil which is superb for oily or skin prone to acne.

Chemical peels can also be left on the face for some time, while others should be rinsed off fast. The difference here lies in the amount of acid and the pH of the peel. If the pH is lower, then the product is good for exfoliating. Peels low on pH are more irritating, that is why they ought to be rinsed right away. Chemical peels that are meant to remain on the skin for a while have higher pH. Make sure that you find something in between because you don’t want to disbalance your skin pH.

Lactic Acid – Pick peels with this acid if you have never done a skin peeling. Lactic acid targets the top layer of the skin and is suitable for all skin types.

Glycolic Acid – Chemical peels that have this acid are recommendable for people who have oily skin. It has similarities to lactic acid, but works mostly on the top skin layer and is much stronger than the lactic acid.

Salicylic Acid – This acid is quite popular among adolescents who have issues with clogged pores (black heads, acne etc.) but it is not forbidden for older people too. It is oil soluble meaning it can easily go deep into the pores and bring all impurities to surface.

Non-Acid Enzyme Peel – This type of peelings belong to the category of natural enzymes. Natural, hence suitable for all skin types and not nearly as aggressive as the rest of the acids on this list.

Trichloroacetic Acid – This one is for deep peeling and is excellent for acne and scars. If you are going to pick a chemical peeling with trichloroacetic acid don’t go straight for the ones with high concentration. Instead, try one with low concentration to test how your skin will react.

In case you have decided to try and have a chemical peel at home, we have a list of already checked the pro sand cons of these peels. After we had finished hours of debate, we got the number of products we liked down to the 5 to be tested this year.

How we tested

As usual for our skincare reviews, we chose a cross section of people from members of the site, in terms of their lifestyle, skin type, sex and age. We then sent out the chemical peels so they could test them at home, and also got them ready for us to test on ourselves. TFirst we had to note down the basic product information, like, the pack size, texture and the ingredients they contained. Then before we used the peels, we had to test a small patch of skin to see if there was any negative reactions  to them (6 of our participants dropped out).

You wonder what sort of results we saw? By using glycolic and lactic acid based peels you may not end up having drastic differences on your face. On the other hand, if you pick a chemical peeling with TCA, you will see how your skin is a bit redder and is flaking after the treatment. The biggest mistake you can make after using a chemical peel is touching or picking at your skin (especially if it starts peeling off). This should be the first thing you learn when using at-home chemical peelings – do not touch your skin for a while afterwards. Let it be. Pulling your skin will lead to hyperpigmentation and scarring once your skin has healed.  If you feel that your skin is irritated after the treatment you can always apply moisturizer. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water in order to keep your skin hydrated (but this is a rule you should follow even if you don’t do chemical peels at all). After you have done a chemical peel treatment at home, forget about direct sun exposure. The sun is not your friend until your skin is fully healed. So, armed with our chemical peels in hand, we got set to using them and monitored our skin reactions. Once all of the testing was finished we all submitted our scoresheets so we could find out which was the best at home chemical peel. I know I had my favorite by the end!

Other top picks

2. iQ Natural Organic Pumpkin Enzyme Facial Peel Mask

Тhis is a product that has 12% glycolic acid and natural pumpkin that has strong antioxidant benefits. The Organic Pumpkin Enzyme Facial Peel Mask is an excellent product for people who enjoy spa experiences without actually having to leave their homes. It is very easy to use – just apply a small amount on your face and wait for five minutes. Then rinse off well with a mix of baking soda. As with most chemical peels your will feel tingling/ mild stinging on your face which is quite normal. If you are super sensitive to these types of mask, or if you feel that your face is burning, then don’t wait for five minutes before rinsing it off. Do it immediately. If you have a sensitive skin, it is recommended to use a patch test before applying it on your entire face. This product contains only 12% glycolic acid, but it may cause irritation if you have super sensitive skins. Just like most products in this list, the Organic Pumpkin Enzyme Facial Peel Mask has an affordable price of less than $20.

3. Skin Obsession 20% TCA Chemical Peel

This product found its place on this list because it relies on Trichloroacetic acid. It means that it was created to fight the hyperpigmentation spots and wrinkles. Sounds amazing already? It is! Besides it contains Trichloroacetic acid, Skin Obsession also stimulates collagen to target scars and fine lines, as well.

This chemical peel is perhaps the strongest one in the line of Skin Obsession. Although it can be used at home, make sure you start with a lower concentration first; Skin Obsession has a version of this peel that contains 15% Chemical Peel. No matter how well and efficient this chemical peel is, it is not the best choice for people with darker skin tones. In fact, they should not use it because they risk having pigmentation issues due to the product’s strength. In case you decide to use it (and you have lighter skin) you should know that this product stings. Please, don’t just apply it on your skin before you have thoroughly read the instructions. Peeling usually starts at day 3 or 4. Until you get to day 3 or 4, make sure you keep your hands off your acne or your skin in general, because you can cause damage or even discoloration once your skin starts to heal.

4. Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel

What we have here is a two for one. You will get a Peptide resurfacing crystal alongh with salicylic acid activating gel. It may sound complicated at first, but it is much simpler than you think. This is a multi step over the counter chemical peel that will reduce large pores and will minimize any fine lines and wrinkles.  The Philosophy Peel smells a lot like orange juice and has a consistency of a microdermabrasion scrub. First, you will need to apply a small amount lightly onto your skin, taking care not to rub it in. If you can take the rubbing it’s ok, if not, then don’t do it because you may irritate your skin. Let the vitamin C/Peptide Crystal formulation stay on your skin for 2 minutes. Then add a small amount of the Lactic/Salicylic Acid activator to your face. Then just mix these two ingredients into your skin until they turn into foam. The foam should stay on your skin for about a minute more in order to give your skin the needed result.


Many people will buy over the counter skin exfoliants or chemical peels. However, for stronger chemical peels it is recommendable to consult with your dermatologist (in order to avoid any possible skin damage). Make sure that you have read and understood the instructions. People who are new to this whole chemical peel process should always go for products with lower concentrations of acids (especially TCA).

Make sure you pick the right chemical peel for your skin and after you used it, let your skin be, don’t touch it and don’t expose it directly to sun rays. Drink plenty of water and consume healthy food as well. This article’s purpose is to help people get more info on chemical peel products, its benefits and what they can expect. If you have any second thoughts or you are afraid to do at-home chemical peel, then discuss this topic with your dermatologists or your general practicioner.#

Additional sources

  1. Pharmaexchange.Chemical Peels | The Ageing Skin
  2. Anand Medical. Medical Grade Chemical Peels<
  3. NCBI. Evidence and Considerations in the Application of Chemical Peels
  4. Science Daily. Two Different Acid Peels Are Both Effective, Study Finds
  5. PubMed. Study of trichloroacetic acid versus glycolic acid chemical peels
  6. Peter Roberts. Chemical peeling can effectively treat common facial skin concerns
  7.  NCBI. Glycolic acid peel therapy