Best Chemical Peel At Home

There are many facial peels advertised and i wonder why these arent just as good as going to a facialist or spa. If you recommend home peels, what concentration is safe but effective at removing hyperpigmentation and sun damage?

Doctor Answers 18

Facial Peels and Medical Chemical Peels

There are hundreds or thousands of different types of chemical peels. Very light peels offered by a spa can improve skin texture for a very short period of time, exfoliating the skin to make it feel softer and smoother. This type of peel is very inexpensive with no downtime and limited results.

Very deep chemical peels can get rid of acne scars, smokers lines and turn back the clock 10 - 15 years. This kind of peel is very expensive with general anesthesia required, several weeks of downtime and amazing results for the right patient.

This is why all chemical peels are not created equal and why the type of peel you use depends on the type of results you desire. There's nothing to prevent you from solving your skin problem with a facial peel at a spa. But if it doesn't work to solve your problem, understand that there are much more effective solutions available at a medical facility.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Peels vary by depth of effect

All peels (whether they are chemical, laser, or mechanical) create a mild burn, somewhere between first and second degree. The body's response to the burn is what yields the results. With chemical peels, the depth is determined by the agent used, concentration of agent, and time applied. The "at home" products are weak agents, as they have a wide safety margin. They also yield a minimal result. Deeper peels give more of a result because they result in a deeper second degree burn. Agents used for deeper peels are dangerous, as they can result in scarring if used improperly. For this reason, the more powerful agents are restricted to use by physicians. It is certainly reasonable to use the home products (as directed), but if they are not giving the results that you desire, consult with a physician who performs deeper peels.



Michael A. Bogdan, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

"At Home" stuff isn't as strong


"At Home" kits aren't as strong as the in-office agents your surgeon will provide. If you use "At Home" stuff, I tell patients to take it easy and rely upon repetition to provide results. Your chances of hurting yourself are greater when you do it yourself sometimes. Just be careful.

Your results won't equal what I can do in the office, but then again they aren't professional strength and that might OK. The best things patients can do with less risk for hyperpigmentation and sun damage are using over the counter bleaching creams and a good sun screen.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Chemical Peels at Home

Chemical peels at home such as using peel pads can definitely keep your acne or exfoliate your skin at home.  However, they are definitely not as effective as chemical peels in a physician's office.  Only an MD, not a spa, can use medical grade TCA and get the best results.  Please consult a board certified dermatologist with expertise in chemical peels for the best cosmetic results.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Need assessment by skincare expert first

You would really need an inperson consultation with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to get advice on which peel would work for you. The peels available at medical offices contain medical-grade ingredients that are only available for use at a doctor-supervised facility. This means that they tend to be more intense than those you find for home use. But this isn't to say that the ones at home don't work - they can but without skin knowledge it's difficult for you to choose which one is best for your skin.

Michael Constantin Gartner, DO
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

Home peels will always be less effective than medical spa grade treatments

Not all peels are created equal. Home kits contain lower concentrations of acids/peeling agents. For your safety, home kits are designed to be “fool-proof” with low risk. If your goal is to effectively remove hyperpigmentation and sun damage, most likely a home peel will offer minimum to no results. Your best bet is to schedule a consultation with a medical spa. After a thorough analysis of your skin’s condition, a treatment plan will be determined. Also, plan on receiving a series of peels to achieve your desired result.

Important: beware of medical grade peels being sold online. Logically, if a peel is labeled “medical grade” or “professional strength” play it safe and leave the treatment up to the medical professionals and licensed spa professionals.

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Conservative Peels at Home

Chemical peels used at home can certainly improve your acne or allow for exfoliation of your skin.  If you are going to use at home products. I think it is best to take a conservative approach and use repeated peels as opposed to a longer peel as this will decrease risk and the chance of a burn.  In order to achieve the best results it is important to visit your physician’s office rather than a spa or at home usage.

Robert W. Sheffield, MD
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Peels for Hyperpigmention: Need a Careful Pro

Yes peels can help hyperpigmentation, but be careful. Realize that often those with hyperpigmentation have that problem because they ARE PRONE TO IT. So while peels can help, here's what I advise: go slow. You should not focus on how strong you need it be...focus on not over doing it. You may be better off doing a series of peels at lower concentrations,rather than one with major downtime and recovery- that's when you can get hyperpigmention as side-effect from the peel. Remember, irritation can cause worsening hyperpigmentation. Discusss this with your facialist or doctor.

As far as at-home peels go, peels that are 2-steps and have a neutralizing step are the key to being gentle yet effective. Labels that state percentages of acids contained in the product do not always truly reflect the "actual clinically available concentration." Very often its alot less than stated.

Dennis Gross, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

At home Chemical Peels Vs. in office Chemical Peels.

At home chemical peels are going to be less effective than one from a licensed professional due to the at home chemical peels having a lower percentage of active ingredient and a higher ph balance. Therefore they deliver less exfoliation and are not as strong as a in office peel and will not reduce hyperpigmentation effectively.  It is always best to see a professional who can recommend the proper Chemical Peel for your skin type.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Advertised home peels- are they for you?

Dont try it! Get on a good regimen. Dermatologists who dispense from their offices have a lot of great products which can allow you to get into the action at home without sacrificing your skin's beauty! Its better to be on a regimen of advancing glycolic acid strengths (such as glytone, citrix line, Obagi's line) and/or use a retinoid to achieve the results you want in a controlled, continous fashion. A "home peel kit" amy seem like a good quick fix but, remember, one aggressive treatment can leave you with hyperpigmentation and possible scarring that could take months to fix! Besides, caring for your skin is an ongoing to remind it to behave on a regular basis!

Marcy Alvarez, DO
Miami Beach Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.