You hear the words ‘chemical peel’ and it might make you want to back away slowly but these at-home beauty treatments are the holy grail to glowing skin. After seeing what happened to Samantha in SATC, I’ve always maintained a safe distance when it came to offers of peel treatments, but since trying a few select DIY versions, I’m reconsidering going in face first. From pigmentation to acne scarring, dull skin to hydration, at-home chemical peels are considered total game-changers.
Otherwise known as alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acids, these peels include glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid and work by removing a top layer of skin to speed up a healthy cell turnover. I know, that sounds a little scary but there’s no cartoon-style face melting going on here, it’s just a more effective form of exfoliation to penetrate deeper layers of the skin and deliver vitamins and antioxidants exactly where they’re needed. Alot of products will use organic sources such as fruit enzymes and natural acids which, in my opinion, do the job just as well as chemical alternatives.
Think you need at-home chemical peels? You’re probably right – everyone can benefit from using them and they can be the difference between a dull complexion and a glowing one. I started using them in the hope that I might be able to incorporateI them into my wedding skincare regime but since using them twice a week for 3 months and I’m completely hooked, so here’s everything you need to know before you take the plunge.
WHAT TYPE DO I NEED?
There are three types of at-home chemical peels – AHA, BHA’s and TCA’s . The two former’s are the most common, over-the-counter products and are brilliant for targetting acne or oily skin issues because they break down the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. There’s no down-time, they’re easy to use and over time you’ll notice smoother, brighter skin. The three at-home chemical peels here are all AHA peels and I can’t recommend them enough. They make your skin tingle and perhaps sting slightly on contact and will perhaps make your skin go a little pink but it goes instantly and you will see a difference as soon as the next morning.
TCA acid peels are considered to be more medium depth and help to treat pigmentation, sun damage and wrinkles. They’re more hardcore and will cause your skin to swell, redden and visible peel. Yep, actually peel. The good news is that you will reveal brand new sparkly skin as a result.
HOW DO I USE IT?
Depending on the acid percentage, you can usually use at-home chemical peels every day. They can be quite drying so a couple of times a week is usually best followed by your best face oil at night. I use mine three times a week after cleansing followed by a serum and face oil before bed. Once a week I’ll leave it without any moisturiser for more of an intensive treatment.
WHICH ONES SHOULD I USE?
There are more and more at-home chemical peels coming on the market as word spreads about how damn good they are. But don’t be fooled, there are some shockers out there that are nothing more than glorified water so knowing what to look for is key. I’ve tried pretty much all of them out there and there are three that are stand-out – the type of products that have become unwavering favourites in my skincare regime over the last few months. My skin has become smoother, brighter and more even. I love waking up in the morning and actively seeing a difference in my complexion in such a short amount of time.
ALPHA H LIQUID GOLD
This was the first at-home chemical peel that I used and it has remained a firm favourite ever since. Using 5% nature-derived glycolic acid from sugar canes, it harnesses the cell-stimulating and exfoliating properties of alpha hydroxy acids lowers the skin’s ph levels, renewing the cells and bolstering elastin and collagen. It smells very alcoholic and stings a little at first but it leaves a light dew on the skin overnight and plumps it up come morning.
LANCER CAVIAR LIME ACID PEEL
If there’s one thing I always try to keep a look out for it’s beauty products created by dermatologists. I’ve always wanted to have a dermatologist speed dial but as they’re not on the NHS (unless you have a specific problem), they’re considered a luxury to have one on standby for the odd blemish or blackhead. Until that day comes, I seek out their products in the hope I can cut some corners! Dr Harold Lancer is the dermatologist to the (Hollywood) stars and his skincare is used by the likes of Victoria Beckham and the Kardashians. I’ve used the Lancer Anti-Blemish Cleanser for a couple of years and I love it. While I usually favour a cream cleanser which is gentler on my skin, I’ve noticed a few irritating bumps and pigmentation so have been trying a slightly harsher cleanser.
The Lancer at-home chemical peel is pricey, this is true, but with a higher level of glycolic acid at 10% derived from pineapple and papaya fruit enzymes it refines pores and gives a smoother appearance to skin. Something with ‘Caviar’ in the title is either going to be supremely brilliant or tragically crap and this is, thankfullly, the former.
Think you need at-home chemical peels? You’re probably right – everyone can benefit from using them and they can be the difference between a dull complexion and glowing skin.
DR PERRICONE PORE REFINER
Whoever came up with a millennial anti-ageing range, is a genius. Oh wait, that would be Dr Perricone. Their Pre: Empt range is targeted at those around the 30 year old mark (ahem, like me) who have noticed the first signs of ageing (ahem, again, like me). Packed full of antioxidants, this is a formula that should ideally be used as a preventative, before the crows feet and frown lines set in. I feared I was too late as I thumbed my early 30 wrinkles but after 3 months my skin looked brighter, smoother and more, well, refined.
Oil-free and lightweight, it’s a less abrasive chemical peel and means you can use it every night making it perfect if you have slightly more sensitive skin or aren’t sure how a peel is going to work for you in the beginning.
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