POSTED: 26 Mar 2017


Fo many of us, the Winter isn’t just dark and dreary but can also leave skin looking dull and neglected. Not only can the winter weather strip the skin of its natural oils and rob it off moisture but the effect of in door heating can also leave skin looking dry and flakey. Worse still, for those of us who tend to comfort-eat in the colder months (guilty as charged!) and not manage to drink enough water,this may exacerbate pre-existing skin problems. What’s the solution if you’re too busy or money is tight to invest in expensive products or treatments? Well, some of the benefits of fruit-based chemical peels can be achieved at home with ingredients either lurking in your kitchen or easily bought from any food shop. Of course, these DIY peels do not reach the depths that you get from chemical peels in clinic but if used regularly (once a week) they can still help remove dead skin and achieve brighter and more glowing skin. Even if you do get facials, microneedling or chemical peels, these can be used for between treatments to build on and maintain the effect of these treatments.

Word to the wise, before trying anything, identify your skin type and concerns. Also make sure that you don’t have any allergies to the ingredients. Also avoid the delicate eye area and whilst these peels can be used on the face, neck, décolleté, arms, legs and even backs please do not use them on delicate areas like the genitals. Also for best results, make sure your cleanse your skin first and apply moisturiser afterwards. As always, use sunscreen if going out (this should be part of your routine anyway).

Before proceeding, make a neutraliser solution (2 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 cup of water) which is applied with cotton pads at the end of the peel to neutralise it. An additional benefit is that this also helps with exfoliation but as with anything, test on a small patch of skin before using.

1) The Glycolic Acid Peel

What is it?

This is the most commonly used skin peel in clinics and treatments. Its a sugar-based peel that works on exfoliating dead skin

What is it for?

Best for dull skin and fine lines/wrinkles. It exfoliates dead-skin and leaves behind smoother and fresher looking skin


Mix together 2 tablespoons of raw sugar (fine granules), 2 tablespoons of raw honey and juice from half a lemon. Apply the peel either with a spatula or your finger tips (careful it could be a little messy) and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. Neutralise and then wash off with warm water.

2) The Lactic Acid Peel 

What is it?

Ever wondered why Cleopatra bathed in Asp’s milk? Whilst we don’t know whether this is true or not, the logic behind it is sound. Lactic acid is a gentle peel that helps exfoliate dead skin.

What is it for?

Works for sensitive skin (do a small skin test first) that requires toning and also for acne-prone skin.


Combine half a cup of natural yoghurt and juice from half a grapefruit. Apply to skin for 10 minutes, remove with dry pad. Neutralise then wash off with warm water.

3) The Citric Acid Peel

What is it?

Citric acid contains Vitamin C which helps brighten skin and even out hyperpigmentation.

What is it for?

Good for dull looking skin or patchy hyperpigmented areas. Be careful though, adding too much Citric acid to the skin can cause burns so if using try a little on a small area of your skin first. Also, if you start to get anything more than a tingle (definitely do not wait if its burning), then rinse off immediately.


This is where you get to choose your favourite Citrus fruits! Grapefruits, Oranges or Lemons (or even combined) are great. To avoid too high a concentration of citric acid on your skin, use 1 part water and 1 part citric juice. The other alternatives can be to use the pulp of the fruit after you have juiced (and drank it) to your skin. Leave on for 5-10 minutes (as comfort allows and remove if uncomfortable) then neutralise. Finish by washing with warm water.

4) The Salicylic Acid Peel

This is a popular peel for those with acne-prone skin. Those with allergy to Aspirin or any non steroidal anti-inflammatories should not try this peel.

What is it?

Again, this is a relatively mild peel which unclogs pore, reduces redness and inflammation.

What is it for?

Oily skin, acne and those seeking a gentle exfoliation.


Crush 5-6 Aspirin (uncoated) tablets and mix with 2 tablespoons of raw honey to form a paste. Apply to skin for 10 minutes. Neutralise then wash off with warm water.

5) The Bespoke Peel

At City Skin Clinic, we encourage all our patients to take the time to understand their skin. Skin is highly sensitive to the internal and external environment so your health and surroundings will influence its well-being and appearance. Also, its important to understand that even in the same area (for example the face), your skin may have different problems or needs. For example, you might have dry flakey skin on your cheeks and oily or acne areas on your forehead. As such, you can mix and match some of the ingredients in the peels above to suit your skin’s requirements.

A good way to approach this is to use the Lactic or Glycolic acid as a base and add to it either the ingredients of the citric or the Salicylic acid peel thus getting the benefits of two peels in one. If you have hyperpigmentation or acne in one area of skin only then you can use  a Citric (pigmentation) or salicylic (acne) peel on that specific area and use a lactic or Glycolic acid peel for the rest of the face to get smoother and brighter skin with targeted treatment of problem areas.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this post and picked a few easy tips on how to easily look after your skin on a regular basis with these peels. For more information on chemical peels in general please visit our chemical peels page.

Authored by:

Dr Amel Ibrahim
Aesthetic Doctor & Medical Director
Founder City Skin Clinic
Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Associate Member of British Association of Body Sculpting GMC Registered - 7049611

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