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Skin

6 of the best facial peels

It’s the one treatment that truly transforms skin. LISA NIVEN decodes the gold standard in peels that will guarantee your best skin yet

Beauty

A good skincare regime is built on patience and consistency, but there are times when you just need one great treatment to deliver results fast. Today’s new-gen peels, whether a daily system that dials up your glow with every use or a powerhouse mask to revitalize skin ahead of a big event, offer all the blemish-busting, radiance-boosting and wrinkle-softening benefits with none of the downtime. From enzyme-packed peels perfect for congested skin to a fruit-acid mask that gently purifies, find our favorites below.

BEST FOR BLEMISH-PRONE SKIN

If you’re nervous about trying your first peel product, these gentle pads are a great way to get started. Soaked with a blend of brightening vitamin C, soothing jasmine, hydrating burdock root and plant-derived alpha and beta hydroxy acids to keep blemishes at bay, they dissolve dead skin and gently exfoliate without affecting your natural moisture barrier. They’re designed to be used daily, but you can start off every other day and build up if you prefer.

BEST FOR SKIN IN NEED OF A BOOST

You know when a product makes your skin feel so smooth that you can’t stop touching it? That’s what this enzyme-powered peel does after each use, using apple, lemon and grapefruit extracts alongside apricot-seed granules to buff away dead skin cells and reveal a more revitalized complexion. Aloe vera and algae are also included in the formulation to soothe and moisturize, so those with sensitive skin can use it, too.

  • Irene Forte
    Enzymatic Apricot Face Peel, 50ml
    $91.00

BEST FOR TACKLING WRINKLES

A beauty-editor favorite and for good reason, this two-step peel tightens pores, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and acts on uneven skin tone – and it takes just five minutes. Simply massage the first pad onto the skin, wait two minutes and follow with the second pad for refreshed, renewed and revitalized skin.

  • Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
    Alpha Beta® Universal Daily Peel
    $88.00

BEST FOR CITY SKIN

If you live in a city, you’ll be all too familiar with the level of grime and pollution in the air and, ultimately, on your skin. This peel-style mask is designed specifically to aid the fight against urban dirt, with a powerful trinity of alpha hydroxy acids – mandelic, lactic and glycolic – to get deep into pores and lift away impurities without the need for manual exfoliation.

  • Prager Skincare
    Urban Protect Acid Peel Mask, 50ml
    $210.00

BEST FOR SENSITIVE SKIN

This gel-textured peel uses natural, organically cultivated ingredients such as kiwi, apple and papaya fruit acids to ensure gentle yet effective exfoliation even for those with sensitive skin. Use it weekly to purify and refresh, following up with a hydrating mask if you’re prone to dryness, and get ready to really glow.

BEST FOR QUICK RESULTS

This powerhouse mask combines three different ways to peel in one luxurious treatment. The chemical action comes from fruit acids, the mechanical action from microdermabrasion-like powders and the biological action from botanical enzymes. The result? Luminous, baby-soft skin and even tone in just two minutes.

  • Anne Semonin
    Resurfacing Peel Mask, 75ml
    $111.00
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