The Best At Home Chemical Peels – The Ultimate Guide

The Best At Home Chemical Peels – The Ultimate Guide

Everything you need to know about the best at home chemical peels for hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, dark spots, acne scars. Professional instructions with video reviews.
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The Best At Home Chemical Peels: Ultimate Review & Guide – Chemical peeling can eliminate a whole host of imperfections including wrinkles, active acne, acne scarring, and skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation) among others.

It is the gold standard in skin rejuvenation and is one of the most popular techniques to improve skin damage and maintain youthful and flawless skin.

The basic principle is to apply a chemical solution to exfoliate old and damaged skin in order for your body to regenerate a fresh new layer of skin that will be smoother, younger, and healthier.

Video: What happens after a chemical peel? from Jessica Rom, Licensed Esthetician

Disclosure: We independently research, test, and only recommend materials that we truly feel will deliver value to you. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more.

Table of Contents

The Benefits of Chemical Peeling:

  • Helps reduce pore size
  • Improve moderate acne scars
  • Improve uneven skin tone
  • Reduce skin discoloration like sun spots, melasma, and acne/post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark spots)
  • Improve dry, dull, and sagging skin
  • Diminish fine lines and crow’s feet
  • Improve sun damaged skin or photoaging
  • Help eliminate comedonal acne or whiteheads and blackheads
  • Help improve active, inflamed acne
  • Produce hydrated, radiant, and glowing skin
  • And more

Save for deep peels, regular chemical peeling isn’t a one-off procedure. It has to be done in a series of 6-10 weekly treatments in order to achieve full results.

Having them regularly done at a clinic will cost you anywhere from $150 to $400 PER SESSION. That’s $900 minimum and a whopping $4000 maximum for a series of treatments.

Definitely a dent to your bank account!

The good news is, you can definitely safely do this on your own and at the convenience of your home with the best over the counter chemical peels.

But first, you have to learn what the different types of chemical peels are and what kind of peeling agent is right for you in order for you to achieve the results you want.

Types or Depth of Chemical Peels:

Types of Chemical Peels

1. Light/Superficial Peels

Also known as lunchtime peels, these are superficial peels that penetrate only the upper layer of the skin. These are mild acids (AHAs & BHAs).

  • Skin problems: Mild acne, blackheads, whiteheads, fine lines, dry and dull skin, minimal sun damage.
  • Pain: These do not hurt at all, only a mild tingling sensation on contact.
  • Downtime: Virtually no recovery time, though you might be a little pink after with bits of flaky skin. It’s called a lunchtime peel because you’re able to go to work straight away.
  • Peeling Agents: Low concentrations (10-25%) of glycolic acids, lactic acids, fruit acids, and Jessner’s solution.
  • Number of Treatments Recommended: 6-10 treatments in one week intervals.

2. Medium Depth Peels

The acid penetrates to the middle layer of the skin to remove damaged skin cells.

  • Skin problems: Acne, blackheads, whiteheads, fine lines and wrinkles, light acne scarring, photoaging or medium sun damage, age spots, moderate skin discoloration or hyperpigmentation, precancerous skin growths ie. actinic keratosis 
  • Pain: It will sting more than the light peel but will not be overly painful. The sensation will reduce over time once your skin adjusts to the acid. 
  • Downtime: 7-14 days. The skin will be red in the first 48 hours. The skin will crust and peel off during the downtime period. Skin should be soaked in antibacterial solutions followed by ointments to ensure full healing.
  • Peeling Agents: A combination of higher concentrated acids – 50% TCA, glycolic acid or Jessner’s solution up to 70% with TCA up to 35%
  • Number of Treatments Recommended: 6-10 treatments in one week intervals

3. Deep Peels

The peeling agent will penetrate deep into the skin to correct damaged skin cells. You will see a dramatic improvement to the skin but we recommend that you DON’T DO THIS AT HOME, especially for beginners, as complications or potential side effects may produce permanent scarring. If you think your skin issues require this type of peeling, please visit your local dermatologist and have them assess your condition. The peeling agents used for this procedure should only be administered by trained physicians.

  • Skin problems: moderate lines and wrinkles, moderate acne scarring and hyperpigmentation
  • Pain: This feels like a severe sunburn
  • Downtime: 14-21 days. There will be redness, swelling, and irritation. The area will be bandaged and must be soaked 4-6 times daily, followed by ointment application. The dermatologist may also prescribe antibacterial and antiviral medication. There will also be several follow-up appointments to monitor the healing progress.
  • Peeling Agents: TCA, Baker’s phenol

The Basic Acids Used in Home Chemical Peels

basic acids in chemical peels
 Ideal for:Targeted Skin Issues:Unique Strengths:*Concentrations Available:Review:
Glycolic Acid PeelsNormal to combination skinMild acne, dull skin texture, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, minimal sun damage- Fast-acting, quickest acid to penetrate the skin.
- Smallest of all AHAs, able to penetrate deeper into the skin
- Induces exfoliation, skin turnover, and boost collagen formation.
- Reduces visible signs of aging
- The most popular type of peeling treatment.
- Usually with zero downtime; used in most lunchtime peels.
10%, 30%, 50%, 70%Jump to: Peeling demo & Product list
Lactic Acid PeelsDry, Dehydrated, or Sensitive skin; Mature skinDehydrated skin, dull or tired skin, aging skin, age spots, freckles, rosacea, light sun damage, fine lines, mild acne- Moisturizing; hydrates the skin and improves the skins natural barrier
- Brightening; clears out uneven skin tone
- Gentlest type of peeling acid, usually has minimal irritation
- Combined with other acids for the above unique characteristics
- Induces exfoliation, skin turnover, and collagen formation.
10%, 40%, 50%Jump to: Peeling demo & Product list
Salicylic Acid PeelsOily and Acne-prone skinModerate acne, blackheads, whiteheads, large pores, superficial scars, dull skin, medium sun damage- Oil-soluble; has the ability to penetrate into congested pores and soften any hard plugs
- Helps minimize and clear out large pores
- Exfoliates built-up layers of oil and dead skin cells
- Induces skin turnover, and collagen formation.
10%, 20%, 30%Jump to: Peeling demo & Product list
TCA Acid PeelsMature skin or damaged skinDiscoloration, melasma, acne scars, pigmentation, fine lines, sun damage, large pores, stretch marks, milia and skin tags- Used for facial resurfacing and skin rejuvenation; higher concentrations are commonly used for deep peels
- Used for skin discolorations such as melasma, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone; best at home chemical peel for dark spots and sun damage
- Used to treat skin laxity like fine lines, wrinkles, crows feet, drooping skin
- Used for superficial damage or acne scarring
- Downtime can take days to a few weeks
15%, 30%, 45%, 50%, 75%Jump to: Peeling demo & Product list
*Note: All acid types share the same core benefits of chemical peeling, though some areas to a greater degree than others. Weve organized them here so you can take advantage of each type for your skin conditions.

Buying Cheat Sheet:

Proven & Tested by Dermatologists:

The Best At Home Chemical Peels

At home over the counter chemical peels varies in type and strength.

When choosing which product would suit you best, you must first determine:

  1. Your skin type (oily skin, dry skin, etc.)
  2. What skin problems you’re looking to address (dull skin, pigmentation, etc.)
  3. Skin sensitivity or tolerance to acids (AHAs & BHAs – This will determine what % or concentration you should choose. The list is in ascending order or lowest % to highest %.)

Peeling for maintenance: For those wanting to maintain a youthful glow, regularly doing a series of light peels every 6 months or so will keep your skin in top shape.

Peeling for correction: Those looking to correct imperfections like hyperpigmentation or dark spots, wrinkles, acne, or scarring; gradually moving up to a series of medium to deep peels would be your best bet.

If this is your first foray into home peeling (Be prepared for your best skin yet! 😉 ), you will need tools like a fan brush and an acid neutralizer for certain types of peeling. You can refer to our Before and After Care Guide or more details. The videos provide a guide on how the best professional chemical peels are performed.

A. Glycolic Acid Peels

Glycolic acid is a naturally occurring acid found in sugar cane. It has the smallest molecule among all the AHAs, making it fast-acting and able to penetrate the skin at a rapid rate. Peels in lower concentrations can be done quickly and effectively with little to no downtime.

Glycolic acid peels are used to combat signs of skin damage and increase efficacy of everyday skincare products by removing any build-ups on the skin. It has also been proven to be effective against mild to moderate inflamed acne, hyperpigmentation, and melasma. Because of its cost-effectiveness, Glycolic peels are among the most popular type of chemical peeling performed by dermatologists worldwide.

These are mostly used for superficial peels but the depth of penetration still depends on the % strength used. Again, if you’re new to peeling, you can start with the lowest concentration and work your way up. You will also need other tools like a fan brush and an acid neutralizer. Alternatively, you can buy them in sets for convenience.

Best for: Normal to combination skin.

Treatment for: Mild acne, dull skin texture, fine lines, minimal sun damage

Glycolix Elite 10% Glycolic Acid Treatment Pads, 60 Count-square

Our Review:

Easy and convenient, this package comes with individual pads so there’s less room for mistakes. This is a perfect starting point for beginners. It gently exfoliates the skin, sloughs off dry skin, excess oil, and other residues from the skin.

The key ingredients include:

  • Glycolic Acid at pH 4 – to gently exfoliate and enhance texture and skin tone
  • Liposomal Vitamins A, C, E, Green Tea, and Co-Q10 – to nourish the skin
  • Witch Hazel – helps refine pore size and reduce surface oil

Overall this targets uneven skin texture and tone, large pores, acne, excess oil, fine lines, and wrinkles. 

This is something that you can treat yourself with to a more regular basis as part of your skin maintenance and prep the skin for other topical treatments.

Available in 10%, 15% and 20% strengths.

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Glycolic Acid 10% Gel Peel - Enhanced with AHA Collagen Stimulation (Professional Chemical Peel) - 1 fl oz For Acne, Oily Skin, Wrinkles, Blackheads, Large Pores

Our Review:

A very light solution, that should be without any visible peeling after. The package comes with detailed instructions so this is a perfect starting point for beginners. It can help clear up mild acne as well as slough off dull and dry skin.

The AHA collagen stimulation helps will the skin’s healing and rejuvenation. This is something that you can treat yourself with to a more regular basis as part of your skin maintenance.

A single bottle is enough for 15-20 peels.

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Glycolic Acid 30% Gel Peel - Enhanced with Retinol and Green Tea Extract (Professional Chemical Peel)

Our Review:

This is a moderately strong solution that has retinol or vitamin A, which is a proven anti-aging ingredient because of its ability to induce younger and healthier skin cells. It also has chamomile and green tea extracts that acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent.

There are glowing reviews for this product from those who have suffered from adult acne. With continuous use, red bumps, large pores, and fine lines have reportedly decreased.

But again, just as with any peel, if this is your first time and would like to opt for a stronger solution than the starting 10%, make sure you prepare by having all the necessary tools on hand and read the accompanying instructions carefully.

Gluten Free. No Parabens, Sulfates, or Phthalates.
Cruelty Free – No Animal Testing on Products or Ingredients
Sustainable Raw Materials & Practices.

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Glycolic Acid 50% Gel Peel - Enhanced with Retinol & Green Tea Extract (Professional Skin Peel)

Our Review:

This is a powerful solution that aimed for more problematic skin issues like deeper lines, acne scarring, and moderate sun damage.

Retinol (Vitamin A) has been proven to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and promote collagen to help rejuvenate the skin and even out skin tone.

Green tea with cucumber extract is a synergistic combination that provides anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant benefits to the skin.

Even if you have prior experience with chemical peeling, make sure you thoroughly read how to use this product properly. This should come with a pamphlet that is detailed and very informative about pre- and post-treatment, contraindications, etc. to make sure you achieve the best results it can offer.

Gluten Free. No Parabens, Sulfates, or Phthalates.
Cruelty Free – No Animal Testing on Products or Ingredients.
Recycled Materials – Sustainable Raw Materials & Practices.

Check for discounts & other customer reviews on Amazon

Glycolic Acid Peel 70% Deep+ Peel Unit - Professional Strength Medical Grade Chemical Face Peel for all Skin Tones

Our Review:

A 70% solution is the highest you can go without a prescription.

If used correctly, and the results will be phenomenal. This is the type of chemical peels that one would pay top dollar to an aesthetician for.

This deep but superficial peel is recommended for those with experience in peeling.

One of the best chemical peel for wrinkles, this depth of peel can minimize fine lines, age spots, hyperpigmentation, and dilated pores.

Best for sun damaged, dull, uneven toned, and dehydrated skin. Great for overall skin rejuvenation.

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Glycolic Acid Peel Kits

When you buy your first bottle of chemical peeling agent, you’ll need to purchase other tools as well, like a brush applicator and a neutralizing agent among others.

You can save yourself the trouble and reduce any chances of buying the wrong one by getting a complete set instead.

Retexturizing Chemical Glycolic Facial Skin Peel Kit

Our Review:

This professional skin peel helps refine pore size, control break outs, release congested and clogged pores, even out skin tone, reduce dry patches, fine lines, and wrinkles.

It’s a unique system that combines 3 different exfoliants: glycolic acid, enzymes, and physical exfoliation to resurface and rejuvenate skin texture.

The kit includes:

  • Peel prep – an enzyme scrub
  • Peel Accelerator Pads (60 count) – pre-moistened glycolic peel pads
  • Glycolic Peel Solution – the original peel kit solution
  • Fan brush and Dispensing cup

The Ellen Lange Retexturizing peel utilizes their SubSurfacing technology proprietary delivery system that accelerates product migration into the epidermis. Its controlled oxygen feature targets collagen regeneration, metabolic activity, and dermal cell production. This combination helps clear complexion, improve texture, even out skin tone, and enhances the skin’s overall glow.

Allure Best of Beauty Award
Leaping Bunny Certified (Cruelty-Free Certification)

Plastic Surgeon Tested.
Not tested on animals.

Free from: Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Gluten, Barley, Wheat.

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30% Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Aging Glycolic Peel System - FREE $65 Anti-Wrinkle Creams INCLUDED

Our Review:

Safe & proven brand with over 27 years of servicing dermatologists and spas.

This professional strength glycolic acid is to minimize oil production, acne breakouts, scars, redness and inflammation; all while improving your skin’s tone and texture. It also stimulates collagen production and moisture retention, making it one of the best chemical peel for wrinkles in our list.

You can see the same results done by professionals by using the same products AND save money in the long run. Peels at spas & dermatologist that uses this brand can run from $100 to $500 PER SESSION. This kit offers great value as it’s good for an estimate 10-15 facial peels, with each peel clocking at just roughly $7.50.

You should see a difference after 4-6 applications when used regularly. Just keep in mind that this is NOT a one-time solution but a long-term skin regimen for consistent, younger-looking skin. Please be patient.

Aside from this solution, the kit is also available in various strengths:

  • LIGHT (30% Glycolic acid) – for those looking to peel away blemishes and reveal healthy skin. Use to get rid of age spots, fine lines, and for acne-prone skin. No downtime or heavy peeling.
  • MEDIUM (40% Glycolic acid) – For experienced peelers that would like to have faster results than those seen at 30%.
  • DEEP (60% Glycolic acid) – For very seasoned peelers with damaged skin that you’re working to correct.

The glycolic acid used are derived from natural cane sugar and supplemented with hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, green tea, chamomile, cucumber, grapefruit, and grapeseed to ensure a clean peeling session that hydrates and doesn’t overly dry the skin.

This is 100% Vegan, Paraben-free, Cruelty-free, and doesn’t contain Sulfates, Synthetic Dyes/Fragrance, Mineral Oil, Formaldehyde Releasers, Alcohols, and MI/MCI Preservatives.

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Our Review:

It’s best not to second-guess your peeling process, especially when dealing with very strong concentrations.

This package is great because it has everything you need in every step of the way, from cleansing to the recovery cream.

The recovery cream, in particular, is formulated with over a dozen different antioxidants that help heal your skin after your peel. It provides anti-inflammatory protection and stimulates collagen. This is geared towards restoring skin elasticity and refined skin texture.

This concentration is recommended for a whole host of skin issues like acne, enlarged pores, fine lines, sun damage, wrinkles, keratosis pilaris, age spots, melasma, freckles, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, dry dull skin, and rosacea. You’ll notice an improvement as well in hydration and suppleness within a few uses, and see continuous improvement with regular use.

That said, it is still a whopping 70% in strength so is recommended only for those who have experience with peeling and looking to correct damaged skin.

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B. Lactic Acid Peels

Lactic acid is naturally occurring and found in sour milk. It is one of the oldest types of skin treatments, dating back to Ancient Rome and Egypt. (Cleopatra reportedly bathed in milk to maintain her youthful beauty. Turns out its was lactic acid all along!)

It has the characteristics of all acid peels, which is inducing exfoliation, cell turnover, and collagen formation.

What makes lactic acid unique however is its ability to induce hyaluronic acid, the skin’s natural way of retaining moisture. It hydrates the skin and improves the skin’s natural barrier moreso than the other acids. It also brightens and evens out uneven skin tone, even difficult cases like melasma in darker-skinned patients.

Lactic acid does all of this while keeping it gentle with minimal irritation. This makes it perfect for sensitive, dry, or dehydrated skin.

Best for: Dry, Dehydrated, or Sensitive skin; Mature skin

Treatment for: Dehydrated skin, dull or tired skin, aging skin, age spots, freckles, rosacea, light sun damage, fine lines, mild acne

Video: Chemical Peels – Lactic Acid Peel Demonstration by Skin therapist Nash Tsolos

Theraderm - Fruit Acid Exfoliant (10% Lactic Acid) 2 fl oz.

Our Review:

One of the gentlest types of chemical peeling available. This is unbuffered lactic acid that goes through the motions of exfoliation without the added risk of irritation. The low acid content will not cause burns or redness, and works great for those with sensitive or dark skin. This fruit acid exfoliant, in particular, is even safe enough to use on eyelids.

This is step 2 of the brand’s renowned Skin Renewal System, which aims to improve skin health and helps fight against oxative damage & signs of aging.

Free from: Parabens, Fragrances, Oils, Gluten.

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Makeup Artists Choice 40% Lactic Acid Peel For Acne, Anti Aging, Hyperpigmentation (.5 Oz)

Our Review:

If you prefer a stronger solution for age spots or mature skin, a higher concentration may suit your skin better.

This is great to use on the regular, every 2-3 weeks, to make sure your skin keeps its youthful glow whilst keeping pigmentation at bay.

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Glyco-Lactic Acid 60% Gel Peel (20% Glycolic + 40% Lactic) with After-Peel Neutralizer

Our Review:

This is a 2-in-1 set in more ways than one. This peel combines 20% glycolic acid + 40% lactic acid in one bottle, combining the benefits of two of the most popular chemical peels used by dermatologists. This combination makes it one of best at home chemical peels for hyperpigmentation, in our opinion.

Both exfoliates and stimulates collagen to reveal younger looking skin but each type has their own unique strengths:

  • Glycolic acid is fast-acting and penetrates deeper into the skin. It treats acne, dull skin, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and more.
  • Lactic acid attracts moisture to the skin and hydrates it, improving dry or dehydrated skin. It also helps brighten and even out the skin tone.

This at-home kit comes with its own neutralizer so you don’t have to purchase one separately. Their calming After-peel Neutralizer stops the peeling action to prevent burns and irritation. It also contains 6 acne-fighting and anti-aging ingredients: Aloe Vera, Kojic acid, Vitamin C, Retinol, Mulberry, and Licorice.

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Lactic Acid 50% Gel Peel with Kojic Acid, Bearberry & Licorice Root Extracts - Professional Grade Chemical Face Peel - Alpha Hydroxy Acid, 1 Bottle of 1 fl oz - QRxLabs

Our Review:

Kojic acid and bearberry are botanical extracts that are proven to inhibit melanin. This ensures that any pigmentation is also actively prevented with every session (as opposed to just being stripped by layer).

This formula combines medical grade lactic acid at 50% strength with pure bearberry and licorice root extracts to help even out skin tone and fade any hyperpigmentation, age spots, sun spots, and reduce the appearance of scars. This also comes is a one of the best at home chemical peel for hyperpigmentation.

It also helps smooth out fine lines and wrinkles for a younger, healthier-looking skin.

Cruelty-free. Eco-friendly packaging. Parabens-free and Silicone-free

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C. Salicylic Acid Peels

All of the other type of peels are water-soluble. This means that while it can exfoliate the upper layers of your skin, it won’t be able to get through any pockets of oil in the pores.

For those with oily or acne-prone skin, you’ll need an oil-soluble peel that can cut through the oil so it can flush out the pores. This is where salicylic acid comes in.

Salicylic acid is the only oil-soluble peel that is able to penetrate into congested pores to effectively exfoliate the pore lining. It’s able to unclog blackheads, whiteheads, and acne because of this. It’s also a good anti-inflammatory agent so it can help with some of the redness associated with acne.

Salicylic peels have proven to have excellent results against hyperpigmentation and comedonal acne.

With regular exfoliation, there will be less build up of dead skin and debris on the skin, resulting in less frequent bouts of acne.

You skin will also me more susceptible to any topical medication and serums you use, increasing its efficacy.

If you’re new to peeling, you can start with the lowest concentration and work your way up. Make sure to avoid this if you are pregnant or allergic to aspirin.

Best for: Oily and acne-prone skin

Treatment for: Moderate acne, blackheads, whiteheads, large pores, superficial scars, dull skin, medium sun damage

Video: Acne Prone Skin Care : How Do I Peel Skin With Salicylic Acid? Expert Advice by Dr. Rosalyn George

ASDM Beverly Hills 10% Salicylic Acid Medical Strength, 2oz

Our Review:

If you have oily but sensitive skin, this 10% salicylic acid solution is a good place to start. With regular sessions, you can improve acne-prone skin as this can deeply cleanse pores, remove deep-seated dirt and sebum, control oil production, and eliminate acne-causing bacteria.

This solution is pure & unbuffered, meaning it retains its naturally low pH and will come at full strength and penetrate deeper into the skin.

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Salicylic Acid 20% Gel Peel - Enhanced with Tea Tree Oil & Green Tea Extract (Professional Chemical Peel)

Our Review:

If you have experience with any type of peels, 20% is just right for you. This concentration is not too strong but can be very effective especially against more physical issues like large pores and blackheads.

The tea tree oil and green tea give it its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities, which has been proven effective in killing Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria directly responsible for breakouts. Green tea also contains polyphenols, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and restore youthful and vibrant skin.

No Parabens, Sulfates, or Phthalates. Gluten-Free.
Cruelty-Free – No Animal Testing on Products or Ingredients.
Recycled Materials – Sustainable Raw Materials & Practices.

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SALICYLIC Acid 30% Chemical Peel with Beta Hydroxy BHA For Rosacea, Acne, Oily Skin, Blackheads, Whiteheads, Clogged Pores, Seborrheic Keratosis & More by Skin Beauty Solutions – 4 oz/120 ml

Our Review:

If you have experience with any type of peels, 20% is just right for you. This concentration is not too strong but can be very effective especially against more physical issues like large pores and blackheads.

The tea tree oil and green tea give it its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities, which has been proven effective in killing Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria directly responsible for breakouts. Green tea also contains polyphenols, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and restore youthful and vibrant skin.

No Parabens, Sulfates, or Phthalates. Gluten-Free.
Cruelty-Free – No Animal Testing on Products or Ingredients.
Recycled Materials – Sustainable Raw Materials & Practices.

Check for discounts & other customer reviews on Amazon

D. TCA Peels

TCA or trichloroacetic acid have long been considered the de facto peeling agent for damaged skin because of its versatility and extensive history. Because TCA is a stronger acid than glycolic, lactic, and salicylic; these are used for medium and deeper type of peels because of its effectiveness against pigmentation, sun damage, and wrinkles.

It’s used for facial resurfacing to correct discolorations like melasma, pigmentation, brown spots, sun damage, and uneven skin tones. It’s best for damaged skin as well, like leathery skin from tanning/sun damage or acne scarring.

This is one of the best at home chemical peel for dark spots and sun damage. A series of medium depth peels have been proven to significantly reduce sun damage.

TCA is also used in clinics for skin rejuvenation, especially for mature skin. It improves skin laxity like sagging skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and crows feet.

If you’re looking for the best chemical peel for acne scars at home, this is a great way to start.

Best for: Mature skin or damaged skin

Treatment for: Discoloration, melasma, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, fine lines, sun damage, large pores, stretch marks, milia and skin tags

Video: How to TCA peel – Tutorial by Aesthetic & Laser Dermatologist Dr. Davin Lim

10% TCA Peel Including After Peel Neutralizer. Best for Wrinkles, Acne, Smoker’s Skin. Mild-Medium Strength. Contains Retinol & Vitamin C

Our Review:

A light strength peel that treats acne and detoxifies skin. It purges the skin of dirt and bacteria, and in the process helps treat post-acne scars, discoloration, sun damaged skin, melasma, and smoker’s skin. 

It also helps refine skin texture and chicken skin (keratosis pilaris).

Formulated with retinol and vitamin C, it boosts collagen and antioxidant protection to fight signs of aging.

Comes with an after-peel neutralizer, so there’s no need for a separate purchase.

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TCA 15% Gel Peel - Salicylic Acid 5% Enhanced with Botanical Extracts (Professional Quality Chemical Peel)

Our Review:

This is a unique formula that combines both TCA and salicylic acid for a powerful exfoliator. It deep cleans to the clear out pores, unclog blackheads, whiteheads, and other impurities that can cause breakouts.

This also has green tea and chamomile extracts that has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties.

Gluten Free. No Parabens, Sulfates, or Phthalates.
Cruelty Free – No Animal Testing on Products or Ingredients.
Recycled Materials – Sustainable Raw Materials & Practices.

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Professional 30% Pure Medical Grade Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA Peel) + Jessner's (Lactic Acid, Salicylic, Resorcinol) Chemical Peel, 30mL each, with Powerful Ultra Healing Moisturizing Lotion

Our Review:

This is a combination peel that provides medium depth peels. The TCA addresses acne scarring and fine lines, while the Jessner’s solution will target acne, pigmentation, dull skin, prevent infection and allows for faster recovery periods.

TCA and Jessner combined have also been proven to be more effective against melasma in darker-skinned patients.

The kit also comes with a moisturizer to speed the skin’s healing process. Fantastic deal.

Each kit includes:

  • Professional Jessner Cosmetic Peel Solution (30ml)
  • Professional TCA 30% Cosmetic Peel (30ml)
  • Professional Ultra Healing Moisturizing Lotion with Vitamin E (0.5 fl oz) – for the healing process
  • Easy-to-Read and Easy-to-Follow instructions
  • After Peel Therapy and healing process procedure
  • Transfer Dropper

This TCA/Jessner kit is also available in 25% strength.

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Trichloroacetic Acid Solution TCA 35% Chemical Skin Peel

Our Review:

A step up to 35% concentration, recommended for skin resurfacing, stretch marks, scar reduction, skin rejuvenation, acne scars, age spots, freckles, wrinkles, and tattoos.

Ideal for use by dermatologists, physicians, skin care professionals, and experienced home consumers.  This a very strong peel that is recommended only those with experience with chemical peels.

Most users have recommended diluting the solution first to test and start at a lower strength. If not, you can neutralize much sooner.

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Trichloroacetic Acid - TCA Peel 50% Medical Grade 1oz. 30ml Pro Size (Level 4 pH 0.6)

Our Review:

The brand Dermalure provides medical grade products for dermatologists, estheticians, and skin care professionals.

50% TCA is an extremely effective and popular stand-alone treatment for the strongest of skin-damage. This is deep peel used to resurface skin that’s been damaged by acne scars, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, and more.

For home use, we recommend that peels from this point on should almost always be diluted as a start. You need to determine your skin’s tolerance and slowly working your way to full strength is the best way to start a new product.

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75% TCA Chemical Skin Peel - Tattoo Remover, Age Spots, Skin Tags, Warts, Moles

Our Review:

Another deep peel to undo skin damage like age spots, sun damage, acne, scarring, and hyperpigmentation among others.

This concentration is best used as a spot treatment for issues like skin tags and milia, as well as a tattoo remover. This can also be used for TCA cross, a procedure used to improve depressed acne scars, ice pick scars, and large pores.

Included in the package are 2 alcohol prep pads, gloves, and instructions.

And again, because it bears repeating and one just can’t be too careful with this: read all indications and safety information attached to the product prior to use. This can have dramatic results but if used the wrong way, you can end up with chemical burns. Safety first!

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Before and After Care

Before Doing Chemical Peels at Home:

  • To make your peel even more effective, you can use retinol or low strength AHA toners or AHA serums 1-2 weeks prior. This preps your skin for higher strength peels and expedites any flaking afterwards.
  • Do a patch test to make sure your skin can tolerate the strength of the product. Over the counter chemical peels usually come with instructions on how to properly perform a patch test.
  • Only do a peel once a week to start to avoid damaging your skin. You can do a series of peels once every 6 months, 1 week apart for 5-8 weeks.
  • It’s extremely important you do not leave the peel on any longer than the recommended amount of time to avoid damaging your skin.
  • Peel type and strengths should be tailored depending on your condition. You know your skin best so be very observant especially on your first time.

What you will need:

  1. Gentle cleanser
  2. Washcloth
  3. Petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
  4. Timer
  5. Peeling Agent
  6. A fan brush (e.g. Fan Brush Taklon 7.75″), gauze, or cotton pads
  7. Neutralizing agent (e.g. Cellbone Neutralizer Skin pH Balancer, Planet Eden Organic Botanical Skin Chemical Peel Neutralizer, QRxLabs Chemical Peel Neutralizer)
  8. Soothing gels like aloe vera, hyaluronic serums, non comedogenic moisturizers, or repair creams to maximize your skin healing and recovery (e.g. Glytone Soothing Lipid Recovery CreamHydrating Repair Peptide Wrinkle Cream (Post Peel)

Basic Procedure:

  1. Cleanse with a gentle face wash and a washcloth. Avoid anything with exfoliants like beads or any other strong ingredients. You won’t go wrong with face washes that are aimed at sensitive skin.
  2. Pat your face dry before putting on the peel. Your skin needs to be completely dry before starting the process.
  3. Apply a barrier in your eye and lip area to protect them. You can use petroleum jelly.
  4. Get your timer ready. If it’s your first time, turn the timer on before you start applying the peel. If you’re on your 5th or 6th try, you can start timing your sessions once you finish applying the peel.
  5. Dip your gauze, brush, or cotton in the solution, making sure to squeeze out any excess to avoid any drips.
  6. Apply a thin layer of the peel starting with your forehead and working your way down, avoiding sensitive areas like around the eyes. (Acid in the eyes or lips is trouble!)
  7. As you wait for the timer to go off, you might feel a tingling sensation on your skin. You can fan your face to help with the discomfort. If it hurts too much, wash it off immediately. If you did the patch test though, you should be fine.
  8. Using lukewarm water or your neutralizing agent, gently. Be very gentle because it will be sensitive from the chemical peel. Make sure to wash thoroughly to remove any residue.
    You’ll notice that your skin will be brighter and clearer. For some, it might be slightly pink but this will subside in about an hour.
  9. Finally, you’ll have to nourish and protect your skin. You can use soothing gels like aloe vera, hyaluronic serum, or hydrocortisone at night. Again, products aimed for sensitive skin will be your best bet. This will help calm down the skin from any irritation you might have from the peel.

Aftercare Reminders: Chemical Peels at Home

  • Avoid using acids or exfoliants for the next few days to allow your skin time to heal.
  • Avoid direct sunlight. The week after the peel, you’ll be more sensitive to sunlight.
  • Avoid smoking to minimize the risk of any infections.
  • Apply a sunscreen with at least the 30 SPF to protect the skin while healing and avoid any hyperpigmentation.
  • Do not manually peel the flaking skin. This is very important because if you do, you’re going to create scabs and could potentially be infected.
  • Use a gentle cleanser to avoid aggravating your skin.


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Samantha Welch
Samantha Welch
Samantha Welch is an esthetician and professional makeup artist. As a teen embattled with acne, her mission to have perfect skin has turned into a lifelong passion for skincare and beauty. In 2006, she co-founded HealthyBeautiful to create a space where she can share her experiences and channel her love for all things beauty. She believes that through education and resources, everyone can make informed choices that can change their lives.