Let’s talk exfoliants for a minute. Nowadays, most of us have the basics down. Skin needs exfoliation in order to go through the process of renewal. A proper exfoliation will slough off dead cells, making room for new, fresh looking skin. Of course, this can be a rough process, and if you have sensitive skin, it can also be a major source of irritation. Peeling gels are one way to go about exfoliation, and are championed as skin savers too.


Why? The name “peeling gel” refers to the fruit enzymes that act as a chemical exfoliant in the product. The gel is effective enough to slough off dirt and dead skin immediately, while being gentle enough to use on the face or sensitive areas (because it is not physically removing it). In general, peeling gels are a must-try for anyone who isn’t into harsh chemicals, those gritty microbeads, or your average exfoliating scrub. When applied to the skin, a peeling gel will sort of “ball up” in little pieces, kind of extracting the dead skin as it goes. Some users say you can actually see the skin getting picked off, but it’s the gel gathering on your skin that’s most visible.

There are many of these gels – keep in mind they’re not masks nor scrubs – on the market, but not all offer the same instantly gratifying results: a glowing, fresh face free of dead skin and unsightly buildup. However, there are three definitely worth trying:

1. Mizon Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel – Don’t be fooled by this unassuming name, this Korean beauty product means business. With a medley of fruit enzymes from orange to lemon, this gel goes straight to work when applied and is gentle enough for use up to three times a week. It’s been used for anything from controlling acne to reducing the appearance of pores, but you’ll have to see for yourself.

2. Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Peeling Gel – This is probably the most popular product out there right now, but the results just may be worth the hefty price tag. Skin shifts from dull and dry to bright and soft even on the first use, despite being one of the gentlest exfoliators you can get. If your skin is constantly dry and flaking and other products simply make it worse, this is your savior.

3. Tony Moly Floria Brightening Peeling Gel – Yep, sometimes it just pays to stick with a tried and true Korean brand like Tony Moly – especially if you need an inexpensive alternative. This is another gentle product that contains mainly sensitive skin-approved ingredients and is free of irritants. However, if you use it frequently or notice drying, you may want to follow up with a moisturizer.

Have you tried any of these products? What’s your experience with peeling gels?

Beauty, skincare

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