The Best New Face Peels For People Who Are Terrified Of Face Peels

As a sentient human in this world capable of executive reasoning and bipedal locomotion, it's normal and healthy to question everything around you. What is the meaning of life? Why is the sky blue? How is babby formed? How did Kobe Bryant manage to win an Oscar in the age of #TimesUp? Why the hell is a face peel called a face peel if the face does not actually peel?

Where there are questions, there are answers... sometimes. The sky is blue because of Rayleigh scattering, and the comparatively short wavelengths of high-frequency blue light. And face peels get their name from their origin, which is as chemical treatments that, in their most potent, medical-grade form, will actually cause the skin's surface layer to blister and peel away, a process that will eventually reveal fresh new skin underneath. (Unfortunately, those other inquiries remain open-ended.)

Today's face peels, particularly the kind you can do at home, are powerful but gentle, sloughing away dulling dead cells without the raw-meat side effects of the peels that give peels a bad name. They're safe and easy enough for the uninitiated to approach them without fear, but they don't skimp on efficacy, either. And, most importantly, these new formulas keep your face skin where it belongs: on your face.

You've never seen a peel like this before, but you probably have seen similar technology in cleansers and eye-makeup removers that encourage giving the bottle a good shake to mix up the oil- and water-based molecules. The same principle applies to this formula, which separates into two distinct layers, with conditioning oils of olive, algae, and omega-rich sacha inchi rising to the top and a blend of skin-friendly acids and extracts sinking to the bottom. Shake, dispense onto a cotton pad, smooth it over your face, and leave it on for five minutes before rinsing to reveal clear, radiant skin totally worth the arm workout.

Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Bi-Phase Peel, $85, available at Net-a-Porter.
Don't be afraid of a little bathroom skin-care chemistry: Blend a few pumps of the cooling Activator with a quarter-sized amount of the Omega Polish in the palm of your hand to turn the finely-milled flax, oat, and rice flour grains to a smooth, creamy paste that you can use as a quick-and-easy brightening scrub or leave on for a few minutes for a clarifying, pore-refining peel that leaves skin softer, clearer, and completely rejuvenated.

Sonya Dakar Omega Polish and Activator Duo, $88, available at Sonya Dakar.
These professional-strength peeling pads are powerful enough to satisfy the seasoned chemical-exfoliation fan, but they're also gentle enough for a first timer. The key is in the balance of a potent concentration of glycolic acid paired with natural astringent witch hazel and soothing, anti-inflammatory calendula extract.

Bliss That’s Incredi-peel Pads, $22, available at Ulta.
Glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids — the exfoliating gang's all here, and they're accompanied by moisture-retaining sodium hyaluronate, naturally conditioning lecithin, and Australian caviar lime extract for softer, more even-toned skin practically overnight.

Omorovicza Acid Fix Treatment, $115, available at Sephora.
Hormonal breakouts clear up faster, skin feels calmer, and acne spot patches work better when these jumbo-sized cotton swabs are in the picture. They come individually packaged — perfect for travel — and pre-soaked in an exfoliating solution of bamboo water, lactic and glycolic acids, and tea tree extract to slough away pore-clogging buildup without irritation.

Dr. Oracle A-Thera Tea Tree Peeling Sticks, $24, available at Soko Glam.
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