The Ultimate Guide To Home Chemical Peels
How To Do Them and What To Expect

Yes, you can do them at home!

Home chemical peels are a great way to get the skin changing benefits of this treatment without the expense and time needed for professional visits. 

A detailed step by step guide is important for safety and success - which is exactly what this page is for.

Ultimate Guide to Home Chemical Peels

This page will tell you how chemical peels work, which one to use for your skin, and exactly how to do it yourself.* 

Reading this entire page is recommended, but if you want to skip to a section use the links below:

Home Chemicals Peels Navigation:

How Do They Work?

Chemical skin peels are naturally derived acids. Glycolic from sugarcane, Salicylic from Willowbark.

Both work slightly differently making each one good for a specific purpose (more details below), but essentially they work by dissolving the glue that holds dead skin cells together.

Benefits Of Home Chemical Peels

Chemical peels work by removing the build up of dead cells on the surface of skin.

Below are some of the benefits you can expect when putting them to good use:

  • Provide an even exfoliation resulting in a smooth, even complexion
  • Increase cell turnover for healthier, fresher looking skin. This is particularly helpful for acne, which at its core is bacteria reacting to an overload of dead skin cells
  • Fine lines are improved, an increase in healthy cell turnover means a plumper skin surface

Excellent For:

  • acne
  • acne scars
  • uneven skin texture, rough or thickened skin



  • hyper pigmentation or brown spots
  • fine lines
  • dull complexion
  • blackheads, Milia and other blockages
  • minimizing pores - clearer complexion and oil control

What Are The Risks?

Anything that is an active substance carries risk.

If you take the time to do proper research, know what to expect, don't try to do more than what your skin requires and be vigilant, the risks are greatly reduced...

Potential side effects of home chemical peels:

  • flaking (slight flaking is quite common, especially with salicylic. More severe means it was too strong) - don't pick if this happens!
  • stinging/pain - a tingling sensation is normal and expected. Any pain or stinging is not. Needs to be neutralized straight away and removed. 
  • thinned skin - happens if peels are performed too often. Ideally after results are gained, maintanence treatments only need to be performed (more details below)
  • pigmentation - can happen if sun protection isn't adequate following treatment, or from picking any flaking that happens. Skin will become more sun sensitive for the first few days. Spf 30 and (preferably) shade are vital.

Important Considerations/Who Should Not Use

A lot of factors can affect the outcome of home chemical peels and/or increase the risks involved.

Do Not Use If You:

  • already have thinned or highly sensitive skin
  • are or have been in the last 6months using Accutane or similar medication
  • have recently had dermabrasion treatment
  • get a lot of sun exposure - normal protection may not be adequate if you see a lot of the sun daily (this includes mountain skiing!)
  • have an auto immune disease, are going through radiation treatment, or have diabetes
  • are pregnant


  • If you have recently been sunburnt
  • Have waxed, exfoliated or been in a sauna in the previous 48 hours
  • Don't apply it to broken skin - it will sting like crazy and you don't want the acid to react with the exposed layers. This includes open, active breakouts, cysts and pimples.
  • If you're not comfortable using active ingredients. Please see a professional if you have any doubts

Don't be afraid of using chemical skin peels at home...

Just be aware of the possible risks involved and if any of the conditions above apply to you, don't use them. Always take the route of caution when it comes to your skin :)

What Is The Best Skin Peel For You? And How To Use It

Depending on what concerns you have, you might like to use either glycolic acid or salicylic acid for the best results.

Click on each one below for more details and how-to:

> GLYCOLIC ACID (details on how to do one here) -

Best for:

  • Providing exfoliation and speeding up cell turnover - fine lines, hydration, dark patches, blackheads, acne scars, rough skin, aging concerns
  • Naturally derived from sugar cane, this is the star of the Alpha Hydroxy Acid group (AHA's (Wikipedia info) - others are Lactic and Citric Acid)

> SALICYLIC ACID (details on how to do one here) -

Best for:

  • Acne. Because it's fat soluble, salicylic can penetrate pores and works very well in controlling breakouts. 
  • Naturally derived from Willow Bark and the only member of the Beta Hydroxy Acid group (BHA - Wikipedia info), it's also a main part of Aspirin.

There's a lot of information here. Take your time in figuring out the best skin peel for you. A frequent, light skin peel performed safely will give you amazing results.


Glycolic Acid Daily Peel 7.5% - an even easier to get smooth, clear, soft skin (Aging, dry skin, blackheads, oil, uneven tone)

Salicylic Acid Daily Peel 2% - the perfect daily acne treatment (acne, pimples, oiliness, blackheads)

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