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Chemical peels are probably the No.1 celeb skin treatment and the “secret” to achieving a clear, smooth, wrinkle-free and blemish-free complexion that is literally red carpet ready! No wonder why they are offered in most spas, beauty salons, and dermatologist offices across the world–it really works beyond ordinary skin treatments.
On the downside though, regular chemical peels are costly and can be quite harsh on the skin. The good news is that you can make your own DIY version at home using gentle and natural peeling agents.
If you are wondering
What are Chemical Peels?
Chemical peels are basically chemical solutions that exfoliate the top skin layer, causing it to peel off and gradually reveal a new, brighter skin layer.
Usually, these chemical solutions are infused with Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA’s) or Beta-hydroxy acids (BHA’s) such as salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, TCA, or mandelic acid in an alcohol base. They also come in various strengths e.g 3% to 80% depending on the results you want to achieve and the degree your skin can tolerate harsh chemical treatments. Of course, the higher the strength, the more aggressive the peel will be.
As mentioned earlier, chemical peels are best performed by professional spa and beauty therapists or dermatologists but now you can whip your own DIY peels at home using low or mild strengths.
These homemade chemical peels utilize naturally-derived AHAs or BHAs from such things as fruits, as well as other skin-loving agents like antioxidants and moisturizers to give your complexion an instant boost.
Do DIY Chemical Peels Work?
In a nutshell, frequent DIY chemical peels may be less aggressive than medical strength peels, but do work gradually in fighting any of the following skin problems:
- Acne and blemishes
- Superficial Scars
- Age spots
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Hyperpigmentation-uneven skin tone
- Big pores
If you also have a sensitive skin type that tends to react badly to harsh chemical formulas, you should try something more gentle first, like a DIY chemical peel.
Over time, your mini treatments will pile up and give you the same results as you would expect from one or two harsh chemical treatments. It just takes patience and working with something that matches your skin type and needs, as we’ll explain later.
What are Some Natural Chemical Peel Agents?
Your kitchen’s cabinet or fridge is actually full or “secret treasures” that you can use as natural DIY peels. Here are some:
Lemon juice is actually the “king” of all homemade acids as it is high on Citric Acid, which is an AHA that helps slough off dead skin. However, this is stronger than other natural chemical peel agents and has a high pH level so use it only if your skin is not sensitive, preferably with a neutralizing agent afterward e.g baking soda.
Yogurt makes an excellent mild peeling agent or base for other natural peels due to its natural content in lactic acid, zinc, calcium, and b-complex vitamins. It’s also suitable for all skin types and is highly unlikely to cause skin irritations.
Baking soda has natural alkalizing properties that make it an excellent neutralizing agent following chemical peels with fruit acids. You can also use it alone as an exfoliator to instantly get rid of dead skin cells.
Pineapple is packed with bromelain and papain which are enzymes that help break down the upper sticky layer of the skin. Due to their softening properties, they are also used in meat tenderizing recipes as well.
Pumpkin is naturally fortified with enzymes, AHAs, vitamin C and Beta-carotene which are useful for revealing a more radiant complexion. If you have dull or blemished skin, regular pumpkin masks will help improve it.
Avocado contains oleic acid, vitamin C, and Vitamin E, glutathione and fatty alcohols which gently stimulate the rejuvenation of the upper skin layer–if you have sensitive skin with hyperpigmentation or spots, avocados will be perfect for you.
Sugar may be bad for your health when you eat it, but it can be quite beneficial for your skin. Besides being a natural exfoliating agent, sugar contains amounts of glycolic acid, which is typically used in commercial peeling solutions.
Tomatoes make great natural skin peeling agents as they contain moderate amounts of lactic acid plus lycopene, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A which are excellent antioxidants that help perk up damaged or hyperpigmented skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar is a great source of malic acid (an AHA), pectin, potassium, Vitamin A. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and other powerful skin-rejuvenating ingredients. It also has the ability to balance skin pH and can be used both as a toner and topical treatment.
Natural Skin Peeling Recipes For Your Skin Type
When you are on the hunt for the right natural chemical peeling recipe, it is important to find one that’s suitable with your individual skin type as what works for one skin type may not work for another and vice-versa. We present you some tried and tested recipes for every skin type:
Lemon and baking soda solution for oily skin
If you wish to get rid of extra oiliness and blackheads, here is a quick recipe to try out.
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1 tsp of distilled water
- 5-6 drops of lemon juice
- Mix everything together in a small plate or
- Apply the solution onto clean skin and
massage usingcircular motions, paying special attention to oilier skin areas.
- Rinse your skin with lukewarm water and
follow withan oil-free moisturizer.
Avocado and yogurt mask for dry skin
A great nourishing and rejuvenating mask for getting rid of dry skin patches.
- 1 medium ripe avocado
- 1 tbsp of Greek yogurt
- Smash the avocado with a fork and mix in the yogurt, making sure that there are no obvious lumps.
- Apply onto cleansed skin with your fingers or a brush. Leave for 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse with plenty of lukewarm water and pat dry your skin.
- Follow with a moisturizing serum or cream.
Egg white and ACV mask for big pores
Are you fed up with your large chicken-like pores? Here is a quick peeling mask to help shrink their appearance.
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp of ACV
- Beat the egg whites until fluffy and white in a small bowl. Add in the ACV and stir.
- Dip your fingers to the mixture and apply evenly on washed and dry skin. Leave for 10-15 minutes.
- Wash off with water and cleanser and pat dry the skin.
- Follow with a light moisturizer.
Pineapple and honey mask for all skin types
A lovely enzyme/chemical peeling mask for all skin types and issues–from acne scars to dry skin patches.
- 1/4 fresh pineapple, peeled
- 1 tsp of honey
- 1 drop of cinnamon essential oil (optional)
- Pulse the pineapple in a food processor with the honey until smooth and creamy.
- Transfer into a small bowl or cup. Add (optionally) the cinnamon essential oil.
- Apply the mask with clean fingertips onto clean and dry skin (avoid the eye area). Leave for 10 minutes.
- Rinse with cool water and a mild skin wash.
- Follow with aloe vera gel or a light natural moisturizer.
Tomato and yogurt mask for sun-damaged skin
If you have sun spots or a mild case of sunburn, this lactic acid mask will help recover and repair your sun-damaged skin cells faster.
- 1 ripe tomato
- 1 tsp of greek yogurt
- 1 tsp of cornmeal
- Blend the tomato in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the yogurt and cornmeal and mix well with a spoon.
- Apply the mixture over cleansed and dry skin. If the tomato is too runny, place a tissue on top to prevent liquids from dripping. Leave for 12-15 minutes.
- Rinse with cool water and pat dry.
- Follow up with aloe vera gel or a rich moisturizer.
How Often Should you do a DIY Chemical Peel?
In case you are wondering how often you should be making these peeling treatments to see results, 1-2X a week is a good frequency for most cases.
In general, natural DIY chemical peels are highly unlikely to cause skin irritations but those with more sensitive skin types should ideally avoid too frequent DIY peels as they may aggravate skin sensitivity.
Don’t forget to follow up with a moisturizing or healing agent afterward to calm down any skin irritations and speed up your skin’s recovery process.
I hope you enjoyed this article about DIY chemical peels. Let us know in the comments how they work for you, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.