Totally random and not my usual topic, but my skin issues have gotten loads better since I started doing at home skin peels. If you have acne or other skin issues, this is an affordable and powerful option to be aware of.
I’m not gonna endorse any brands or anything, but here's some info for anyone interested:
at home skin peels are way more affordable than the same treatments done in spas/clinics. They are available online without a prescription, can cost as little as $15, and last up to a year (depending on how frequently you use it).
however, many of these are professional strength, so you have to do your research and follow the guidelines, and always patch test. at home peels can be remarkably effective, but can cause real damage when not done properly.
you also need to follow proper aftercare procedures (e.g. moisturizer and sunscreen are mandatory).
fortunately, these things are not that difficult to learn! I learned by reading a bunch of online how-to guides. Here is a beginner’s guide to get you started, and here are examples of more detailed instructions: link 1 link 2
I don’t know anything about different brands (I just chose products with decent reviews in my price range), but the main things to keep in mind when choosing a peel are the acid type and solution strength.
choose the acid type based on the skin issues you want to treat. for example, I alternate between salicylic acid (for acne), and glycolic acid (for acne scars and texture issues). There are plenty of other options.
chose the solution strength based on how strong you want the effects to be. For example, a 10-15% solution probably won’t cause peeling or redness, but the results will be less dramatic (but it is a good place to start if you are unsure what your skin will tolerate). I use 30 to 40% solutions, and experience minor peeling for 2-3 days afterwards. there are stronger options, such as 70%, but these require experience and serious research before using, as they require different prep and aftercare, and come with a much higher risk of accidental misuse (read: chemical burns). PH and acid type also factors into true peel strength.
When choosing a peel strength, keep in mind your own knowledge of your skin’s sensitivity. Not everyone's skin responds the same; when in doubt err on the side of caution. It’s better to work your way up to stronger peels as needed. (And you can use the weaker ones more frequently/leave them on longer as needed).
I’m also a fan of using peels to spot treat (as opposed to doing the whole face at once). I do a full peel every 3-6 weeks, and use q-tips to spot treat individual breakouts as needed.
You can also buy kits, which are more expensive but may be easier to use, and include extra products. For example, some include a neutralizing spray (I just use a baking soda-water mixture), and hyaluronic acid serums (very good for moisturizing afterwards, but you can use generic moisturizers too, which you may already have lying around at home).
Skin peels also work for body acne and other body skin issues. Apparently some peels are also a treatment option for eczema.
final note: be sure not to use retinol products in the days before and after a skin peel, since that thins the skin and increases the risk of damage. treat your skin very gently as it heals, avoiding other treatments (such as facial waxing, depilatories, etc).
anyway. I have spent very little money and gotten very good results, much better than with drug store products. so if that appeals to you, do your research!
personally I'm just fantastically smug that for like $45 bucks a year I'm getting the same stuff people pay hundreds a month for at spas. nothing makes my skin glow like the sheer malicious pleasure of cheating the system
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