If you're already a big fan of face peels, allow us to introduce you to the world of body peels. As opposed to body scrubs, which can either be a painful disappointment (quite literally) or a bit of a mess, body peels work in much the same way as face peels—containing acids to gently but effectively nibble away at dry, dull skin and leave it feeling soft and looking more even. Similar to their facial counterparts, body peels are available as an in-office treatment performed by a professional or in an at-home version in different guises: leave-on lotions, wipes or pads, and liquids that you apply, wait, and rinse.
"We use the exact same types of solutions on the body that we do for the face," says board-certified dermatologist Morgan Rabach, MD, of LM Medical in NYC. "But every time I do a chemical peel, it’s very tailored to the specific issue at hand, and they work best in a series." Whether the patient is looking to even out the skin tone on their neck and chest, treat keratosis pilaris on their arms, fade acne spots on their backs, or smooth bumps on their butt, Rabach says chemical body peels are a quick, easy, and (thanks to the formulas of today) painless solution for any and every skin type. But if you're someone with sensitive or easily inflamed skin, like those with rosacea, leave your peel in the hands of a professional.
Before you get to peeling, there's one more caveat worth noting: make sure to stay diligent about sunscreen application following the treatment to protect your new, vulnerable skin. Now that we've got our bases covered, go ahead and make your appointment to try a custom in-office peel (you won't regret it), or keep scrolling for seven editor-approved body peels worth trying.
Step one: rub the first wipe of this two-step peel all over your body before stepping into the shower. A combination of 17 acids works in just two minutes to brighten and exfoliate the skin. Then, rinse off the formula, pat dry, and follow with step two to moisturize the skin.
A bit of a cult-classic, this body lotion boasting alpha-hydroxy acid was invented to target keratosis pilaris (otherwise known as chicken skin) on the arms. It unblocks pores, making it great for preventing ingrown hairs, and hydrates in one go.
The first of its kind, this South Korean product is a natural, spray-on exfoliant. The peel dissolves the "glue" that binds dead cells to the skin's surface. Simply spritz on and, using your hand or a washcloth, gently exfoliate in a circular motion. You'll notice the dead skin rolling right off (sort of gross, but also quite satisfying). Exfoliating fruit acids are combined with soothing aloe vera and brightening milk thistle extract. Another winner.
Light and fresh, this lotion contains a blend of 10% glycolic acid to exfoliate as well as shea butter and vitamin E to moisturize, nourish, and leave your skin feeling velvety smooth.
A lightweight serum, this is designed for the face, but I have it on good authority you can use it all over your body, too. A little bit of this glycolic acid–based product goes a long way, but use it on areas that are seriously dry (think elbows and heels) or apply to anywhere that is looking a little lackluster.
A favorite with Lindsey Metrus, the managing editor for Byrdie U.S., this peel makes for the perfect body acne treatment. The trio of acids—glycolic, lactic, trichloroacetic and salicylic acids—combine to target the acne bacteria, dissolve the sebum and tackle uneven skin tone. It even works to improve eczema flare-ups. A self-neutralizing peel, you simply brush this on and go—no need to rinse it off. It's effective and easy to use.
With 10% AHA, this lotion tackles both skin texture and tone, smoothing the skin and fading dark spots. It also boosts your body's own collagen production to soften and plump the skin over time.
Next up, the glow-giving at-home facial peel products you need in your bathroom cabinet.
Opening Image: Free People