by Christina


Many people think dermatologist or doctor's office when they think of a facial peel, as they are generally thought of as something that requires expertise, money, and time! However, that's changed over the past few years and now we are able to do some of those things in our own homes- of course with great care and education on proper usage! Facial Peels themselves encompass a broad range of chemical peels that are essential skin treatments use to help improve the skin's look and texture while using a chemical solution that causes dead skin cells to essentially "slough off". These dead skin cells will also eventually peel off and the skin underneath is rejuvenated and smoother skin that glows!

types of facial peels

1. Salicylic acid [Beta hydroxy] : 

These tend to be anywhere from 3%-20% in strength and are fantastic for acne-prone skin that needs loosening of dirt and blackheads.  This acid will only penetrate the upper levels of the dermis, however it is HIGHLY recommended that if you DO have an allergy to Aspirin products that you DO NOT utilize this specific peel with Salicylic Acid.


2. glycolic Acid [alpha hydroxy] :

One of the most common types of peels, these are good for most skin types from normal to oily and are more harsh than say those peels composed of lactic acids. These peels usually contain an alpha hydroxy and will only go as deep as the epidermis level. 


3. lactic acids [alpha hydroxy] :

These peels are great for treating skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation, tend to be more mild than Glycolic Acid peels, and are made up of an alpha hydroxy that only goes epidermis-deep. Lactic acids are an excellent choice for those just wanting to start or try out an at-home peel! They are also okay for most skin types from normal to oily skin. I would strongly NOT recommend these for those that may have MILK allergies! 


4. phytic acid: 

Generally, these peels have exfoliating properties and are a good fit for those that may be sensitive to other peels that contain AHA's. They are made up of rice and target fighting the signs of aging, brightening of the skin, aiding in reducing discolorations, and smoothing skin :) If you have acne-prone skin this is also an excellent alternative to Lactic and Glycolic Acid peels.


5. mandelic acid [alpha hydroxy]:

This peel actually comes from bitter almonds and although it tends to take longer to absorb into the skin, it's known to cause less irritation and great for fighting acne! If you want to reduce pore size, rid blackheads, reduce sun damage, and have a darker skin tone or super sensitive skin- this is also the peel choice for you :)


6. trichloreacetic acid/tca:

You will probably get much more of a peeling action with the usage of this type of peel and its considered to be a deeper-penetrating class of acid peel. They are perfect choices for severe acne, deep lines and wrinkles, scars, and pigmentation as well. I would HIGHLY recommend starting with a low strength when starting out with this type of peel and use extreme caution and care with each application- ensuring that you do NOT leave this on past what is recommended!!!



As these types of peels are generally alcohol-based, they are best for oily types of skin and are made up of both alpha and beta hydroxies {14% salicylic acid} + resorcinol. It also means that this type of peel will penetrate deeper than an alpha or beta peel, but less the above mentioned TCA. I would NOT use these peels like Jessners if you have sensitive skin, as I myself do and would also steer clear if you have DRY skin too! You will only end up drying out your already super parched skin more!!

quick tips on how to use:

  1. Prep your skin!!! If you are using products containing Accutane or Retin-A or Differin, you'll want to STOP using those products at LEAST a WEEK before using a peel. Not only can they impact the results of your peel, but they can cause a LOT of skin irritation on top of peel usage. A mild exfoliator can be used to also help prep the skin.
  2. Perform a skin test BEFORE using the peel so as to avoid unpleasant reactions that could be extremely detrimental and cause irreversible damage if this does happen! Check the test patch after a 24-hr. period has passed and if you see irritation such as redness or tenderness or raised bumps and itching,you may want to avoid this product.
  3. Make sure to cleanse the face well before application of the peel. Using a soap-free cleanser followed by a mild astringent should get your skin ready to go!
  4. AVOID open wounds and sores/blemishes, or if you have a tendency to scar easily on the skin. 
  5. Ensure that you apply an even AND thin coating to your skin or your results will be very inconsistent.
  6. Rinse off with COOL water at the recommended time-frame setting and you can follow with a neutralizing solution if that is needed- otherwise follow with a light oil-free, dye-free, and scent-free moisturizer.

bonus skincare product review

perfect image salicylic 20% gel peel $34.95*

* pricing!


Propylene Glycol, Salicylic Acid, SD Alcohol, Octoxynol 10, Polysorbate 20, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Leaf Extract, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

Hands down the BEST peel that I've ever used- works well and is just what I was looking for in a peel. It's super effective yet doesn't make your skin feel as though it's been though a harsh day in the sun or stressed. I would recommend using a fan brush applicator especially made for peels and masques as it will make application a lot easier and less messier ;)

I would not recommend leaving it on however past the recommended time frame which is 1 minute or LESS the FIRST application and then 1-2 minutes. I did experience some peeling after a couple of days, but it was quite mild and also what I did want it to do as it is a peel! I don't prefer that they cause a LOT of peeling and this one was just right in the middle of that and was just the right amount of peeling as a result. You will see and feel the difference after the very first usage with this product from Perfect Image- I saw a lot more smoothness and brightness in my skin and it felt beyond soft as well.

If you have sensitive skin, I think most should still be okay using as I had no negative reactions myself and I do have fairly sensitive skin. If you are looking for a good at-home peel for beginners, this may be one that you will want to hold off on . It was Perfect Image considers to be a level 2 which are usually for intermediate users, causing sometimes visible peeling and are twice as strong as those products in Level 1. They tend to be more aggressive on the skin which makes it VERY important to remove the product within the recommended time-frame as I suggested above as well.

As for the price and the quality at-home peel that you're getting here from Perfect Image, you really are getting a great steal! When I usually come across a skincare product of this quality such as an excellent facial peel, they are generally in upwards of $50+, but Perfect Image's Salicylic 20% Gel Peel is just under $35!

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