Dos and Don’ts for At-Home Chemical Peels

Dos and Don’ts for At-Home Chemical Peels

15.11.2021 Off By manager_1

shallow focus photography of men's muddy face

You’ve probably seen the Sex and the City episode where Samantha receives a chemical peel right before Carrie’s book release party. It’s likely that you have associated the procedure with sensitive, splotchy and scary-looking skin. This popular treatment is a bit scary, even the name. It’s really one of the best ways to get your skin looking its best. There are also at-home chemical treatments that can bring medical-grade solutions to your vanity.

Dennis Gross MD, a celebrity dermatologist, was ideal contact to get all the details on at-home chemical peels. Alpha Beta Peels are daily, acid-soaked chemical peel pads.

Continue reading to learn everything you need about at-home chemical skin peels, and to see a complete list of the top ones to try right now.

 What is a chemical Peel? And what are its benefits?

Gross explains that a chemical peel is a two-step active chemical formulation applied to the skin to exfoliate dead skin cells. A peel does not have to be two-steps. The first step will deliver acids and exfoliate the skin. The second step will neutralize and provide anti-aging benefits.

Gross claims that chemical peels have many benefits. He explains that if you use a peel with beta-hydroxy acids or alpha-hydroxy acid (BHAs), AHAs will dissolve the bonds holding dead skin cells together. BHAs remove dead cells and unclog pores. This will also eliminate bacteria that can have caused clogged pores. Radiance will be visible immediately and your skin will appear brighter. Your pores will appear smaller and fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable.

What is the difference between at-home and in-office chemical skin peels?

Many people associate chemical peels with doctor visits. While there are some chemicals and strengths that should be left to professionals, there are many safe and effective formulations you can try. We are now able to make products that are potent and yet gentle, which are suitable for home use. Gross explains that at-home products have foolproof formulas and lower active ingredients so consumers don’t need to worry about causing harm when they apply their treatments. “Professional Alpha Beta Peels are available at my practice. They can be performed once per month. Our skincare products are designed for daily use.”

However, at-home skin peels may not contain as many potent actives. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t beneficial for your skin. Gross says that at-home peels can be as effective as in-office ones if used daily. Gross adds that all doctor’s office peels are two-step. Our at-home product also has two steps. However, many other at-home products are not.

 What are the potential risks of performing chemical peels at home?

You may be aware that strong acids can have some adverse side effects. Gross says that if you source your own ingredients, or hire a professional to do the peeling, there is a risk of skin damage. Gross also points out the benefits of a two-step procedure, which reduces the risk because it includes a dedicated and intentional neutralizing step. Even if the formulas are intended for home use, it is important to ensure that they have been neutralized in order to avoid any irritation or chemical burns. He explains that there are two steps to a 2-step peel. The first removes any skin damage and brings out the best skin cells. The second is a neutralizer with lots of anti-aging ingredients (plus 15) so the new skin can absorb the ingredients most effectively.

Don’t: Ignore ingredient labels.

Do: Use the correct acids.

  • Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Peel ($88)

We recommend using peels with beta and alpha hydroxy acids. Gross says that they keep pores clean, prevent acne, enlarged pores and help to firm and smoothen skin. Look for peels that contain multiple acids at lower concentrations than one acid at high concentration. This will give your skin multiple benefits and prevent skin damage.

He continues, “For instance, lactic acid is very moisturizing and stimulates ceramide, which is great to the moisture barrier,” while salicylic acid can dissolve oil and unclog pores. Non-abrasive chemical peels can brighten all skin types and cause no irritation. Gross recommends that you use the Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peels, his brand’s name, every day to maintain your daily exfoliation needs.

Do not: Use a one-size fits all approach.

Do: Take into consideration your skin type and skin tones.

  • Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha beta Extra Strength Daily Peel ($88)

Gross suggests that you know your skin so that you can tailor your home chemical peels to suit your needs. He recommends that people with dry or sensitive skin look for lactic acid peels. This is a great way to strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier. It also penetrates deeper than a glycolic. You should use a two-step peel. In the second step, you can search for ingredients that soothe sensitive skin like colloidal oatmeal.

Gross recommends a beta hydroxy acid peel for those who have acne-prone skin. Gross says that salicylic acid can unclog pores and reduce their size. “Malic acid can also be used to remove dark spots caused by acne. This is why the Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel is your best option.”

Gross says that you can use all acids on any skin tone. Gross says that darker skin tones are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation. A chemical peel to reduce dark spots will be safer for someone with darker skin tones. Mandelic acid is a better choice than glycolic because over-exfoliating can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Do not:  use trichloroacetic (TCA) at home

Do: Use safer acids

  • Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Clinical-Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel ($95)

TCA is an acid that exfoliates skin vigorously and causes peeling. You’ve probably heard horror stories about people getting burns and severe peeling. TCA and phenol peels should not be used at home. Gross warns that they are too strong to be used at home and should only be used professionally.

“Alternatively, it’s not as much about the ingredients than it is about the percentage of active ingredient in a peel. He says that he doesn’t believe in using super-high levels of any one acid in a single-step procedure. Glycolic acid at a low level is safe to use at-home. You should have your peel performed by a licensed professional if you want to increase the amount. Otherwise, it can cause skin damage. Moral of the story? Do not assume that more is always better.” Gross claims that it is a common myth that stronger acids will yield better results. Chemical burns can be caused by products that use high amounts of acid. Don’t assume that more is always better. He says there is a limit on what is safe, useful, and beneficial.

Gross’s Clinical Grade Liquid Peel is an advanced treatment that you can use up to twice per week. It contains additional exfoliation with enzymes and its expert acid mix.

If you are pregnant, don’t administer at-home chemical Peels

Do not: hesitate to consult your doctor if in doubt.

  • Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Spectralite Pro Faceware Pro ($435)

You should consult your doctor if you are pregnant about any products you use. Gross also advises that Accutane can make your skin more sensitive. But don’t worry. Gross offers another option if your doctor recommends against at-home chemical skin peels. An LED light therapy device is another great option. He says that LED light therapy can also be used to treat acne preventatively and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Do not: apply harsh acids to freshly peeled skin

Do: After a chemical peel at home, incorporate products that support your skin’s overall health

  • EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 46 ($36)

Gross says that while you should always use SPF, it’s even more important to use it if you are using acids. Exfoliation can reveal glowing, young skin that is more vulnerable to sun damage. Sunscreen, every day, no matter what. (Especially after an acid peel)

  • Mukti Hyaluronic Marine Oil ($91)

This hydrating serum smells divine. It contains hyaluronic, the main ingredient, and soothing blue tansy and wakame, for full-spectrum hydration. It is completely clean, vegan and cruelty-free.

  • TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum ($20)

Vitamin C is another excellent active that can help with brightness and free-radical protection on freshly peeled skin. TruSkin’s affordable selection also contains vitamin E and H to provide extra protection and moisture.

  • IS Clinical Youth Serum ($154)

Peels prepare your skin for maximum absorption of any products that are applied. Gross says that you should use active ingredients-rich moisturizers and serums after your peel. The products that you apply after a peel are more easily absorbed into the skin and will give you the best results. IS Clinical is a great brand. Our favorite IS Clinical product is the Youth Serum. It contains antioxidants, peptides and vitamins A, E, and C. This luxurious oil seals in all of the wonderful skincare that has been applied to it.