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How To Choose The Best Chemical Peel For Your Skin Type

Long before the term social distancing became part of our regular vocabulary, at-home chemical peels had been steadily making their way into our medicine cabinets. And now that DIY everything is the only option, there’s no better time to hop aboard the at-home chemical peel train.

And while peels aren’t as scary as they sound (don’t fret—there will be no visible peeling), you should still proceed with caution when attempting any extra strength exfoliation at home. That means easing into the product and incorporating it into your routine occasionally until you’re confident it’s not causing any adverse reactions. But before you even get to that step, you’ll want to make sure to choose the right type of peel for your skin and the specific concerns you’re hoping to target and treat.

Not sure where to start? We’ve made it easy for you! Below are the types of peels you should pick up, based on your skin type.

Glycolic Acid
If your issue is hyperpigmentation and acne scarring, try glycolic acid. The holy grail of exfoliators is a surefire bet for sloughing away dull, dead skin cells and revealing brighter, more even skin underneath.
29Secrets recommends: Beauty RX by Dr. Schultz The Progressive Peel, $98

Lactic Acid
If you want to treat fine lines but your skin is on the sensitive side, try lactic acid, which is a gentler exfoliant, thanks to its larger molecular size.
29Secrets recommends: Dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peel, $116

Mandelic Acid
If you want to stop acne in its tracks, reach for a mandelic acid peel. The alpha hydroxy acid is known for its antibacterial properties that can treat breakouts, while controlling acne-causing excess sebum production.
29Secrets recommends: The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA, $6.70

Salicylic Acid
If large pores and blackheads are your main concern, BHAs like salicylic acid will be your BFF. It can get deep into your skin and dissolve the pore-clogging debris that causes blackheads.
29Secrets recommends: Paula’s Choice BHA 9 Treatment, $36.55

Polyhydroxy Acid
If you want the exfoliating effect of AHAs like lactic and glycolic acid, without the potential irritation, and a dash of antioxidant properties, look no further than polyhydroxy acid for your skin tone-evening needs.
29Secrets recommends: Neostrata Skin Recovery Kit, $25

Azelaic Acid
If acne is a concern for you but you also have reactive skin (or even rosacea), azelaic acid has shown to be a promising option for not only combating acne, but treating skin redness, too. Prescription azelaic acid is often used for rosacea patients, but over-the-counter options are becoming more readily available.
29Secrets recommends: The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%, $7.90

Phytic Acid
If your skin is dull and dry, reach for phytic acid, a gentle exfoliator that’s also moisturizing and an antioxidant, simultaneously hydrating and evening out your skin.
29Secrets recommends: Peter Thomas Roth PRO Strength Exfoliating Super Peel, $116

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