Best Glycolic Acid (AHA) Peels For Home Use

AHA peels are becoming incredibly popular for their amazing benefits on your skin. They are designed to help remove superficial, dull layers of the skin, thus promoting the growth of new, bright, and healthy skin cells.
Glycolic acid peel, in particular, is one of the best AHA chemical treatments; it has a very small molecular structure, which enables it to penetrate deep into the skin to effectively exfoliate, boost collagen production, and improve the skin’s tone, texture, and radiance.
Some of the amazing benefits of glycolic acid peels include:
  • Cleaning and tightening the pores.
  • Encouraging natural collagen production, thereby eliminating fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Reducing hyperpigmentation, and dark spots.
  • Brightening and reviving dull skin.
  • Eliminating and preventing blemishes, blackheads, and whiteheads.
In this article, we have reviewed ten of the best glycolic acid peels for home use in the market today.

Glytone Rejuvenating Mini Peel Gel

Glytone Rejuvenating Mini Peel Gel - Best At-home Glycolic Acid (AHA) Peels For Face
Glytone Rejuvenating Mini Peel Gel is a gentle at-home peel that works to improve the skin’s texture, vitality, and glow. The 10.8% glycolic acid it contains provides the optimum concentration for gentle, yet effective skin exfoliation.
This product is clean, in addition, it uses only seven ingredients in its formula to effectively fight wrinkles and fine lines, uneven skin tone, pigmentation, large pores, and more. With regular use, you will quickly see your skin becoming smoother, plumper, and brighter.
This product is suitable for first time AHA users.
You can use this peel 2 to 3 times a week. For best results, apply a thin layer to cleansed and dried face and leave on for about 10 minutes, rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Pros:

  • Great treatment for fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone and texture, large pores.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Oil-free.
  • Non-comedogenic.
  • Dermatologist-approved.
  • Suitable for all skin types.
  • Clean.

Cons:

  • None.

Drunk Elephant Sukari Babyfacial T.L.C.

Drunk Elephant Sukari Babyfacial T.L.C. - Best At-home Glycolic Acid (AHA) Peels For Face

This product has a cult following, making it stand out as the real deal of facial skincare products.

The Drunk Elephant Sukari Babyfacial T.L.C has a 25% AHA blend of glycolic, tartaric, citric, and lactic acids that work together to gently exfoliate skin cells, promote cell regeneration, and improve the skin’s tone and texture.

It also contains 2% salicylic acid that exfoliates dead skin cells and impurities both on the surface of the skin and deep inside pores. Extracts of fermented pumpkin and chickpea are also included in the formula to guarantee a balanced and brightened face.

It is also packed with antioxidants and fatty acids to boost further exfoliation.

Use this peel once a week; on clean and dry skin, apply an even layer, let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Pros:

  • Effective for fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots and pigmentation, dull skin, and large pores.
  • Professional quality at-home facial.
  • Fragrance, dyes, and silicone free.
  • Clean.
  • Vegan.
  • Cruelty-free.

Cons:

  • May cause irritation for people with sensitive skin.

Paula's Choice RESIST Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA

Paula's Choice RESIST Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA
As its name suggests, Paula’s Choice RESIST Smoothing Treatment uses a 10% powerful blend of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), with glycolic acid as the key ingredient, to counter hyperpigmentation, sun damage, large and clogged pores, blemishes, and uneven skin tone.
This peel also includes multiple antioxidants, such as green tea, chamomile, and grape seed extract to protect against free radical damage and reduce fine lines, and wrinkles.
Also included in the formula are skin-restoring ingredients, such as peptides and ceramides to fortify skin’s natural barrier, and allantoin, oat extract, and licorice to calm and soothe the skin after the treatment.
Consumers enjoy using this product and love how it leaves the skin glowing and feeling so soft and smooth.
This peel is gentle enough for daily use. Apply one pump over your face, including the under-eye area, once or twice a day after cleansing and toning your face, don’t rinse. Use in conjunction with a broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day.

Pros:

  • Contains 4 alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, malic, and tartaric acids) to reveal a firmer, plumper skin.
  • Also includes BHA (salicylic acid) to help refine pores and reduce the appearance of acne.
  • Lightweight.
  • Clears away sun damage.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Certified cruelty-free.
  • Paraben, sulfate-Free.

Cons:

  • None.

Murad Resurgence Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel

Murad Resurgence Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel - Best At-home Glycolic Acid (AHA) Peels For Face
Murad’s Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel is a bi-phase peel, which means that it combines the benefits of a chemical peel with the hydrating and soothing effects of a face oil.
Its primary ingredients are a blend of AHAs, which comprises glycolic, malic, and lactic, acids. These acids help rejuvenate the skin, and visibly improve its luminosity and plumpness, leaving it with a fresh and bright appearance.
This peel also contains salicylic acid for its deeply exfoliating and acne-fighting properties, and tranexamic acid, an amino acid derivative that is used to treat skin pigment disorders and revive dull skin.
The second phase, which is the oil phase, consists of adaptogenic holy basil and omega-rich oils to help your skin resist irritation and oxidative stress, as well as to build your skin’s natural defense barrier and restore balance.
Murad Resurgence Replenishing Multi-acid Peel is entirely cruelty-free as it contains zero sulfates, parabens, and phthalates.
This peel can be used daily, but only at night. Shake the bottle well, pour on a cotton pad, and gently apply on the skin, do not rinse. During the day, protect your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen as AHA peels can increase sensitivity to the sun’s rays.

Pros:

  • Bi-phase peel.
  • Contains a powerful AHA Blend: glycolic, lactic, and malic acids that remove dull skin and visibly improve skin’s texture and clarity.
  • Contains salicylic acid for exfoliating and acne-fighting properties.
  • Contains tranexamic acid that helps soothe and brighten the skin, and even out skin tone.
  • Sulfate, paraben, and phthalate free.

Cons:

  • A bit pricey.

Perfect Image Glycolic Acid 30% Gel Peel

Perfect Image Glycolic Acid 30% Gel Peel - Best At-home Glycolic Acid (AHA) Peels For Face
If you’re looking for a professional-grade glycolic acid peel, then Perfect Image Glycolic Acid 30% Gel is the peel for you.
This rejuvenating peel uses 30% glycolic acid (AHA) to help reduce the signs of aging, improve uneven skin tone, and minimize pores.
Retinol works on deep layers of the skin and stimulates collagen production, repairing the skin’s natural barrier, while green tea and chamomile help protect the skin from free radical damage.
Cucumber extract is also included for its soothing antioxidant and skin-tightening properties.
This peel contains 30% glycolic acid, for this reason, you should be very careful when using it and follow the instructions very closely.
After cleansing and drying the skin, apply the product evenly for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on your skin’s tolerance (use it for no longer than 1 minute if you’re trying the product for the first time). Rinse the skin thoroughly using cold water.
You can repeat the application once or twice a week.

Pros:

  • Contains 30% glycolic acid for optimal effectiveness.
  • Contains retinol (vitamin A) that improves elasticity, and enhances skin texture.
  • Contains green tea and chamomile extracts for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Helps improve uneven skin tone, signs of aging, dull skin, and enlarged pores.
  • Paraben, sulfate, and gluten free.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for beginners.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution - Best At-home Glycolic Acid (AHA) Peels For Face
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a very popular OTC peel. It is a potent chemical peeling solution that offers deep exfoliation and helps fight blemishes, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, dullness, and uneven texture.
This 10-minute peel contains a powerful blend of AHAs and BHAs that work together to exfoliate both superficial and deep layers of the skin. This peel contains glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid, known for their high ability to clear the skin, and dramatically improve skin’s tone and radiance.
This iconic product is one of the best professional-grade OTC peels.
The Ordinary peel should ideally be used in the evening, once or twice a week. Start by cleansing and drying your skin, apply evenly over the face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Let it sit for no longer than 10 minutes, then wash off with lukewarm water.
Always wear sunscreen while using this treatment.

Pros:

  • Contains a powerful blend of 30% AHA and 2% BHA.
  • Potent, professional-grade chemical peel.
  • Vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free.
  • Sulfates, and paraben free.

Cons:

  • Should only be used by advanced users.

Caudalie Brightening Glycolic Peel Mask

Caudalie Brightening Glycolic Peel Mask - Best At-home Glycolic Acid (AHA) Peels For Face

If you have unwanted dark spots, then Caudalie’s brightening glycolic peel mask is the skincare product you are looking for.

Its main ingredients are viniferine and exfoliating glycolic acid. Viniferine is a natural plant-based ingredient that is known for its ability to lighten dark spots 60 times more than vitamin C can.
Caudalie Brightening Glycolic Peel Mask is a gentle peel that works to slough away dull, dead skin cells, tighten pores, and reduce both oiliness and uneven skin texture. The ingredients include papaya enzymes, viniferine, and glycolic acid.
Benefits include reduced dark spots, even skin texture, and instant brightening and radiance.
Use this peel twice a week. On a cleansed and dried face, apply a thick layer of the product, avoiding the area under the eyes, leave on for about 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Pros:

  • Contains viniferine, known for its high ability to reduce dark spots and boost skin’s radiance.
  • Contains glycolic acid that gently exfoliates and promotes healthy skin cell turnover.
  • Reduces dark spots and hyperpigmentation, fights signs of aging, and promotes radiance.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Non-comedogenic.
  • Vegan and cruelty-free.
  • Paraben, and sulfate free.

Cons:

  • None.

Glycolix Elite Glycolic Acid Treatment Pads

Glycolix Elite Glycolic Acid Treatment Pads - Best At-home Glycolic Acid (AHA) Peels For Face
Glycolix Elite Glycolic Acid Treatment Pads provide a gentle yet effective solution for mild hyperpigmentation, large pores, blemishes, fine lines and wrinkles, and large pores.
These easy-to-use glycolic acid pads have an optimal pH level of 4 to gently moisturize the skin and exfoliate all dead skin, oils, and pore-clogging impurities.
The ingredients include vitamins E, C, A, and the Coenzyme Q10. It also contains witch hazel, which is a gentle astringent and antioxidant. It is the perfect blend of modern science and ancient remedies that bring the best to your face.
These pads are available in glycolic acid concentrations of 10%, 15%, and 20%.
You can use these pads once to twice per day. On clean skin, gently wipe the glycolic acid pad all over the desired area; avoid the area under the eyes.
If you’re using acids for the first time, use these pads twice per week and gradually build up the frequency.

Pros:

  • Great solution for mild hyperpigmentation, free radical damage, large pores, blackheads, and whiteheads.
  • Contains vitamins E, C, A, and the Coenzyme Q10.
  • Each jar comes with 60 pads.
  • Great for beginners.
  • Suitable for all skin types.
  • Paraben, gluten, alcohol, and fragrance free.
  • Dermatologist-approved.

Cons:

  • Not strong enough to fade stubborn hyperpigmentation.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads - Best At-home Glycolic Acid (AHA) Peels For Face
Exfoliate, brighten and clear your skin with these First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. These are treatment pads that you can use daily without fear of adverse effects. They contain enough glycolic and lactic acids to even out your skin tone and texture, enhance radiance, and safely exfoliate all skin types.
Ingredients such as the Indian gooseberry and cucumber help even your skin tone, while licorice root and lemon peel help brighten and boost skin’s radiance. Your skin will get nourished without experiencing any discomfort. It also helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, pores, and dullness.
Use these pads once or twice daily. After cleansing and drying your skin, wipe the pad over your face and any area you need to treat.

Pros:

  • Contains glycolic and lactic acids that gently exfoliate the skin, making it appear brighter and smoother.
  • Convenient and easy to use.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Great for beginners.
  • Dermatologist-tested.
  • Non-comedogenic.
  • Available in different sizes.

Cons:

  • None.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel - Best At-home Glycolic Acid (AHA) Peels For Face
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel is a two-step AHA/BHA chemical peel that comes with pre-dosed pads to refine and rejuvenate the skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, dullness, large pores, dark spots, and blemishes.
This peel contains a powerful blend of 5 AHA/BHAs, antioxidants, and vitamins to effectively buff away dead skin cells, excess oil, and pore-clogging impurities while rejuvenating the skin and enhancing tone and texture.
Willow bark extract acts as an anti-inflammatory and an astringent that helps to reduce inflammation and tighten the tissues.
Numerous factors make this product among our best choice for glycolic acid peels. The most crucial aspect is that it is gentle and suitable for all types of skin. Whether you have oily, normal, or dry skin, it will still help you achieve great results.
For optimal results, use this peel once to twice a day. On clean dry skin, massage step one until pad dries out, after 2 minutes, massage step 2 onto the skin. Don’t rinse.

Pros:

  • Contains 5 AHA/BHAs, antioxidants, and vitamins.
  • Great for fine lines and wrinkles, dullness and uneven skin texture, pigmentation, blackheads and whiteheads, acne and blemishes.
  • Suitable for first-time acid users and all skin types.
  • Vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free.
  • Sulfate, paraben, and phthalates free.

Cons:

  • A bit pricey.

Glycolic Acid Peel After Care Tips

If you want to have the best results, consider the following best practices.

Be Gentle

Keep in mind that after your peel session, your skin will be very vulnerable. So you should treat it very gently.
Avoid touching, scratching, or continuously pulling the skin off your face. The best way to heal is to let the skin peel off naturally.
When taking a bath, you should avoid washcloths and cleansing brushes after undergoing a chemical peel.

Hydrate your skin

It is normal to experience dryness and irritation after your glycolic acid peel. To help soothe your skin and ease inflammation, use a mild, non-comedogenic moisturizer.
Be sure also to drink plenty of water to help avoid dehydration.

Apply Sunscreen

Glycolic acid may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Sunscreen will help you protect your skin from the sun and other harsh elements that may harm your skin.
Make sure to use a mineral sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher.

Avoid Spending Time Outdoors

After starting the chemical peel process, try to hibernate as much as possible. If you can avoid the outdoors, your skin will heal in due time.
The outdoors exposes your skin to UV light and heat, which can damage your skin before it heals.

Consider Products That Have Soothing Ingredients

Soothing ingredients help reduce the urge of scratching and irritation as the skin heals. These ingredients also reduce redness and any kind of discomfort that is associated with the skin peeling process.
You can cool these soothing ingredients in a refrigerator to make them have a more cooling effect on your skin.

FAQ - Best Glycolic Acid Peels

What Are Glycolic Acid Peels?

These are skincare products that use safe chemicals to help peel your skin and rid it of dead cells that clog your pores. The result is a clean, plumped, and radiant skin.

What Does Glycolic Acid Peel Do?

Most dermatologists believe that glycolic chemical peels are safe for all skincare regimens. Glycolic acid reduces signs of aging, unclogs pores, and eliminates dead skin.
They also enhance your skin tone, eliminate acne, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots, and tighten large pores.

How Do You Neutralize A Glycolic Acid Peel?

After a glycolic acid peel, you may experience skin tightness, redness, or inflammation. A neutralizer will allow you to stop the action of the acid on your skin after you’ve completed your chemical peel session.
AHA peel kits often come with a neutralizing solution. A gentle cleanser, baking soda, or plain water can also be used to neutralize the acid.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Almost all chemical skincare products come with side effects. However, the concentration of the glycolic acid for homecare treatments is reduced, hence reducing side effects, if not none at all.
To minimize the risk of side effects, ensure that you follow all instructions as advised.

How Often Should You Do A Glycolic Peel At Home?

The frequency of glycolic peels depends primarily on the concentration of the peel used. But be keen on reading instructions first.

What Is The Best Moisturizer To Use After A Chemical Peel?

To avoid dryness and irritation that may follow your glycolic acid peel, it is recommended to apply a gentle, non-comedogenic moisturizer; this will help reduce inflammation, lock moisture in the skin, and speed the healing process.
Apply your moisturizer several times per day.

How to Use Glycolic Peel?

Follow all instructions and avoid mixing products from different manufacturers.

Conclusion: Best Glycolic Acid Peels

At-home glycolic chemical peels achieve the same functions but at a milder scale compared to the office chemical peels. Because they have low chemical concentrations, they are safer to use without a dermatologist prescription as long as you follow all instructions very closely.
Glycolic acid peels will reinvigorate and rejuvenate your skin as they safely eliminate wrinkles, leaving you with a bright, radiant, and youthful face. They are becoming popular and hence readily available at affordable prices.
Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.