Effective Natural Facial Peels in Your Skincare Routine – Simple Alternatives to Chemical Peels

Effective Natural Facial Peels in Your Skincare Routine – Simple Alternatives to Chemical Peels

Posted by Fernanda da Silva Tatley on

 

20 minutes read

 

Natural facial peels are a form of skin treatment that uses organic-based substances to encourage shedding of the top layers of the skin, the epidermis. This procedure helps expose more recently formed cell layers, resulting in the improved appearance of the skin, leading to a youthful glow.

Facial peels can help to diminish specific skin concerns, such as fine lines, wrinkles, scars - including acne scars, pigmentation and uneven skin tone. 

 

 

Chemical peels are largely comprised of “acids” derived from fruits, though a few are of animal origin. However, they are all synthesised in the laboratory. These include the substance groups below and are only briefly listed below, namely AHAs, BHAs, TCA and PHAs. These will be the subject of a future article. 

 

The Water Soluble AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids):

 

  • glycolic acid – from sugar cane
  • lactic acid – from milk
  • mandelic acid – from almond
  • malic acid – from apples
  • tartaric acid – from grape
  • citric acid – from citrus fruits

 

The Oil Soluble BHAs (beta hydroxy acids):

 

  • salicylic acid – from willow bark
  • citric acid – from citrus (can be AHA or BHA)

 

The TCA (trichloro acetic acid):

 

  •  a derivative of vinegar

 

The PHAs (poly hydroxy acids):

 

  • gluconic acid – from gums and kombucha tea
  • galactose acid – from galactose sugar
  • lactobionic acid – from lactose sugar oxidation

 

In this article, we’ll cover the definition of peeling treatments, provide a synopsis of the benefits of the main ingredients that are easily available for homemade peels, and the application as well as the pre- and after-care, with integration into your skin care routine.

 

 

The Ins and Outs of Natural Face Peels in Your Skincare Routine

 

How Does a Natural Facial Peel Treatment Work?

 

A natural facial peel refers to a formulation containing only natural and organically sourced ingredients such as fruit enzymes, plant extracts, and acids that can exfoliate the top epidermal layers without going beyond the basal layer. Depending on the active ingredient, the results range from improved skin condition such as that of acne or dryness, to brighter and more youthful skin. These peels can easily be made from household ingredients, and a few suggestions are presented below.

Nevertheless, for those that do not want to make their own peels, there are plenty “natural facial peel” versions in the market, using non-toxic ingredients with proven efficacy. However, be aware that the active ingredients should be below 10 - 15% of the formulation composition and that care is required to read the instructions properly.

 

What Are the Benefits of Natural Facial Peels?

 

Natural Facial Peels are a great alternative to chemical peels.  

In contrast to Chemical Peels, natural peels are gentle and cause minimal physical shedding, although your face may still appear flushed and feel somewhat tingly following the treatment. Natural peels can also be safely used on darker to medium skin tones, as well as being suitable for sensitive skin that cannot tolerate harsh exfoliating products.

 

 

 

What is the Difference between Natural Peeling & Chemical Treatments?

 

  • Natural Peeling Treatments:
    • Use ingredients that are obtained from natural/organic fruits and vegetables.
    • The active ingredients concentration is lower than in chemical peels, resulting in a gentler and more superficial cell shedding process.
    • A gentle peeling process is less likely to result is inflammation and flushing of the treated skin, and if these side effects develop, they disappear much sooner than the equivalent resulting from chemical peels.
    • Are less prone to cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in those with medium to dark skin tone. 

 

  • Chemical Peeling Treatments:
    • Use chemical solutions to improve the skin appearance and feeling.
    • During application of the selected chemicals to the skin, damage occurs in the skin’s top layers, leading to sloughing off these layers. In time, the injured skin layers peel off to expose smoother skin that has replaced the damaged and wrinkled layers. 
    • Are more likely to cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in those with medium to dark skin tone. 

 

What Skin Conditions Can Benefit from Natural Facial Peels?

 

There are several types of peels, including chemical, natural, organic, and herbal (bio) peels. The most appropriate peels for you depend on the condition of your skin, your lifestyle, health concerns, or preference. 

Natural facial peels can help correct or repair: 

  • A dull complexion
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Enlarged pores
  • Certain types of acne
  • Mild scarring
  • Sunspots and hyperpigmentation

 

How to Prepare for a Natural Facial Peel?

 

Prior to using a natural facial peel have a discussion with your professional health care provider to discuss any potential risks that may not be immediately apparent. This is s safeguard as we are all individuals and to put it simply “what is good for the goose may not be for the gander”.

Below are some suggestions and considerations before using a peeling treatment:

  • Make sure peel areas are free of open sores, skin infections, or lesions.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure or tanning for 2 weeks before treatment.
  • If you are using retinol products, stop 2 weeks before using the home-based treatment. 
  • Stop using facial scrubs or exfoliants the week before the peel.
  • Avoid waxing a week before a peel.
  • Avoid dermabrasion and microdermabrasion 2 weeks before treatment.

 

What to Expect After Your Facial Peel?

 

Your skin’s improvement after a peel depends on the severity of the skin condition you would like to address and type of treatment. 

Since the natural facial peel treatments presented here are light and gentle, you should not experience major side effects, however, it is possible that some redness and scaling will develop within 3 – 7 days.

A hydrating toner and a moisturiser are recommended following the treatments. It is best not to apply make-up immediately after the procedures, but it is fine to do it the next day, proceeding with your normal skincare routine.

For those chemical treatments that are outside of the scope of natural facial peels, you can expect a range of side effects from swelling, redness, stinging, blotchy dark patches, crusty and scaly areas between 7 – 14 days as the skin heals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy & Effective Homemade Alternatives to Chemical Peels

 

Brightening - Pumpkin & Aloe Vera

 

This inexpensive alternative to a chemical peel combines the goodness of natural ingredients to give you soft and blemish-free skin in the blink of an eye.

Benefits

This peel uses the natural acids from pumpkin to gently exfoliate your skin, by helping to dissolve dull skin layers.

Pumpkin is loaded with vitamins A, C, K, and E as well as alpha and beta-carotene. It also has traces of potassium, iron, and magnesium.

Vitamins C and K help diminish age and sunspots and brighten up a dull complexion. It also great for lessen hyperpigmentation.

 

Skin Types

This is a superb potion for acne-prone skin, damaged skin as well as hyperpigmented skin.

Vitamins C and K help fade age and sunspots and brighten up a dull complexion. It also works wonders on hyperpigmentation.

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • To ½ a cup of grated or chopped pumpkin add 1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar into a high-speed blender or food processor.
  • Sprinkle ½ a teaspoon of guar gum.
  • Add 2 tablespoon of aloe vera gel from a leaf of the plant. Alternatively, if this is not practical, add either 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel (available from health shops, pharmacies or supermarkets) or 2 – 3 tablespoons of aloe vera juice.
  • Blend until the pumpkin is finely shredded and the mixture is approaching a smooth paste.
  • Add some extra juice or gel if the paste is thick and difficult to spread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Application

  • Apply this paste gently on your cleansed face and neck.
  • Leave it on for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse with a damp face cloth in lukewarm water.
  • Pat dry using a dry soft towel.
  • Finish with a toner such as spritzed water, Azurlis Toners, or your own favourite toner, and a hydrating moisturiser from our range or your favourite.

 

 

Peel & Unclog - Pineapple, Lemon & Baking Soda

 

Benefits

Pineapple and lemon together are highly effective as exfoliators of dead skin cells.

This is due to the presence of the enzyme bromelain in pineapple which when combined with the citric acid from lemon juice make and excellent alternative to a chemical peel.

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) helps to deep clean clogged pores leading to glowing skin.

 

Skin Types

This works well for congested and dull skin in oily and normal skin types.

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • Use 1 tablespoon of oat flour.
  • Add 8 drops each of pineapple and lemon juice.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Do not exceed this amount of baking soda and you will risk drying out your skin.
  • Add almond milk to make a paste.
  • Mix well with a fork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Application

 

  • Apply on your skin using a brush.
  • Leave on for 10 – 12 minutes.
  • Wash with a warm damp cloth and rinse with tepid/warm water.
  • Finish with a toner such as spritzed water, Azurlis Toners, or your own favourite toner, and a hydrating moisturiser from our range or your favourite.
  • This can be used 1-2 times a week.

 

 

Slough off for Radiance – Apple Cider Vinegar & Sauce

 

Welcome glowing skin without a chemical peel!

 

Benefits

This is an amazing homemade peel to bring out radiant skin in just an application.

Apples are a natural source of malic acid, known to boost your immune system, detoxify metals from the body while helping to maintain healthy skin.

Apple cider vinegar, on the other hand, has natural acids that slough off dead skin cells.

The acids in a facial peel made from these two ingredients even out complexion and fade brown spots naturally. 

 

 

Skin Types

All skin types, but especially for maturing and mature skin types that will benefit fading dark spots and remove dead cells for radiance.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (organic and unfiltered).
  • 1 tablespoon applesauce, preferably homemade.
  • Combine the two in a bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes.

 

Application

  • Ensure that your face is make-up free and thoroughly cleansed.
  • Apply the mixture to your face and neck using your fingertips or a brush.
  • Avoid the region around your eyes.
  • After 15 – 20 minutes, gently wash the peel off with damp warm water and a soft cloth.
  • Finish with a toner such as spritzed water, Azurlis Toners, or your own favourite toner, and a hydrating moisturiser from our range or your favourite.
  • This can be used 1-2 times a week.

 

 

Glow for Sensitive Skin - Tomato & Aloe vera

 

This natural facial peel alternative to a chemical peel is a Godsent for sensitive skin types to glow.

Tomatoes are a natural source of sulphur that increases the rate at which the upper layers of your skin sheds. They are also an excellent of the carotenoids lycopene and carotenes, vitamins A and C as well as tomatine, known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

These properties in the tomatoes are complemented by aloe vera that supplies plant hormones like auxins to your skin.

Both plant’s properties contribute towards accelerating replacement of the top skin layers with newly formed cells.

It is thus not surprising that these will contribute to glowing skin.

 

Benefits

Tomatoes work wonders to even out your skin texture, fading out dark spots and excess tan, as well as vanishing dullness.

Tomatoes also help in gently tightening your skin.

With improved cell replacement, your skin will glow.

 

Skin Types

For all skin types, but especially for sensitive skin types.

Ingredients

  • Peel a fully ripe medium-sized tomato and puree it in a blender.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of aloe vera from a leaf of the plant and blend well.
  • Alternatively, if this is not practical, add either 2 tablespoon of aloe vera gel (available from health shops, pharmacies or supermarkets) or 2 teaspoons of aloe vera juice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Application

  • Apply the paste on your face and neck and let it sit for about half 30 minutes.
  • Wash off with a warm damp cloth, rinse with water and pat dry.
  • Your skin will look fresher, clearer, and radiantly glowing.
  • Finish with a toner such as spritzed water, Azurlis Toners, or your own favourite toner, and a hydrating moisturiser from our range or your favourite.
  • You can use this rejuvenating facial peel 2 times a week to reduce skin damage and to keep your skin smooth, supple and glowing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Glycolic Acid Facial Peel

 

Glycolic acids have been used for millennia, in skin care treatments and potions.

 

This skin-friendly glycolic acid (AHA) penetrates and loosens the surface layer of the skin, acts as a gentle exfoliator, thus removing dead skin cells. Regular application of glycolic acid can work miracles on your skin tone.

It can also lighten stubborn skin spots and slough away fine lines in combination with orange juice contains citric acid, which is a type of AHA.

 

Skin Types

This is a magical potion for acne-prone skin as well as damaged skin.

 

Benefits

Regular application of glycolic acid improves your skin tone and can also lighten stubborn skin spots and smooth away fine lines.

 

Ingredients

  • Pour 1/4 of a cup of fresh soft brown sugar into a mixing bowl.
  • Do not use large granular sugar as it can graze your skin.
  • Pour in 1/2 teaspoon of orange juice.
  • Stir the mixture till it forms a homogeneous paste.
  • Add enough rosewater to make a thick firm paste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Application

  • Using Your fingertips dab the paste evenly on your skin using your fingertips in gentle circular motions.
  • Start from your nose and move out towards your hairline.
  • Avoid your eyes and eyebrows.
  • Allow this peel to remain for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with a damp lukewarm water cloth.
  • Finish with a toner such as spritzed water, Azurlis Toners, or your own favourite toner, and a hydrating moisturiser from our range or your favourite.
  • Use 1-2 times a week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Face & Eye Compresses

 

This is a real treat for tired eyes or for an after peel relaxing quiet moment.

  • Follow the recipes for the Teas or Rice Bran Brews to reduce the bags under the eyes.
  • Make enough of the brews to soak a face cloth. Keep the brews at a body temperature, around 37 C.
  • Soak the cloth in the preferred brew.
  • Squeeze the face cloth and apply over your eyes and brown for 5 – 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy the soothing time. This is an order!

 

Take Home Message

 

Say NO to chemical peels, given the large variety of garden and pantry ingredients that can safely be used as face peeling products, providing all the benefits without the risks associated with chemical peel treatments.

Nevertheless, even the natural ingredients that we so love, are made up of substances that if used in high concentration or for long periods can sensitise or irritate the skin. So, be observant of how your skin responds, as each of us will have different thresholds of sensitivity.

Use only what is necessary both for sustainability reasons, as well as to safeguard against any side effects. Generally, it is advisable to limit the concentration of an active ingredient to no more than 10 - 15% of all ingredients in a peel, whether chemical or natural.

Since the active ingredients in the fruits or vegetables, used in natural masks, are in appropriate physiological concentrations for optimal plant growth, that are much lower than the sensitizing percentages mentioned above, homemade masks have relatively low risk of side effects. Fresh ingredients, from our pantries and gardens, that work as natural peels. A win-win!

Email me – fernanda@azurlis.co.nz, should you have questions or comments. Have fun!

 

 

 

 

 

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