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Hyperpigmentation is a common cause of concern and insecurity because it’s usually quite prominent on the skin. So you’re not alone in wishing there’s a way to eliminate it or, at least, make it less visible.
And the good news is, there’s a centuries-old solution to this problem — chemical peels!
You may have heard of it as one of the skincare services offered by your go-to aesthetician or dermatologist. But did you know there are plenty of at-home chemical peels you can purchase and apply on your own?
So keep reading to find the best chemical peels for hyperpigmentation you can safely use at home!
- Great for first-time chemical peel users
- Peel solution has 7 AHAs and BHAs
- Moisturizing Step 2 solution for neutralizing acids
- Easy one-minute and one-step peel
- Has glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids
- Deep exfoliating action to reveal youthful skin
- 99% glycolic acid purity
- Promotes collagen production
- Anti-aging and diminishes appearance of pores
What Is Hyperpigmentation and What Causes It
Melanin is the natural substance produced in our body that provides the pigment of our skin. And hyperpigmentation is when the skin makes excess melanin, causing noticeable dark spots.
Hyperpigmentation is common and can be caused by several skin traumas like burns, bruises, and acne scars. Hormonal changes can also trigger the excess production of melanin.
Also known as liver spots, this type of hyperpigmentation typically appears as black or brown spots. It often develops on the face and hands and occurs when the skin gets too much sun exposure.
They commonly appear as larger patches of dark spots on the face, particularly on the forehead and cheeks.
Hormonal changes can cause it, so pregnant women are prone to developing melasma.
Sun exposure can worsen it, too. But melasma can fade over time or be treated with light and medium chemical peels (more on these later).
This one appears in areas that experience inflammation caused by skin conditions like eczema and acne breakouts.
But any skin trauma can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). So this could also develop in other parts of the skin.
Darker skin has more protection against harmful UV rays due to having more melanin. But researchers noted too much exposure to UV rays can still exacerbate PIH.
What Is Chemical Peel?
Hyperpigmentation is common, but the ways to treat it are also widely available. And chemical peel for dark spots is one of the usual approaches to deal with this issue and restore your skin’s youthful glow.
A chemical peel is essentially an exfoliating procedure. It delivers more significant results because it uses chemical solutions to peel the top layers of the skin.
That’s why face peels for hyperpigmentation are also considered a skin resurfacing treatment.
You’ll find solutions for at-home peels for hyperpigmentation labeled as “rejuvenating” because that’s the main benefit of chemical peeling. It’s meant to bring out clearer skin that’s more radiant and glowing.
Light Chemical Peel
Water-soluble alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic and lactic are often used for light peels, which target just the superficial layer of the skin.
So it’s the most gentle and the best at-home chemical peel for hyperpigmentation for beginners.
But it’s still highly effective if you aim to fight acne, reduce fine lines’ appearance, and even out your skin tone. Skin treated with light peels can recover within a week.
Medium Chemical Peel
This one goes deeper into the skin to eliminate damaged skin cells from the epidermis to the top layers of the dermis.
So beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), like salicylic acid, are often used because they can penetrate the skin deeper.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and Jessner solution (typically combines salicylic acid, resorcinol, and lactic acid) are common medium-depth solutions, too.
It’s also great for addressing deeper wrinkles and scars with benefits for an uneven complexion. The usual recovery time is between 7 to 14 days.
Deep Chemical Peel
To dig into the lower layers of the dermis, a deep chemical peel is a way to go. It helps remove deeper wrinkles and acne scarring — even precancerous skin growths like actinic keratosis.
Using more aggressive chemical solutions, often with carbolic acid, leads to the most substantial results.
But it’s best to leave this procedure to dermatologists because you may also need local anesthesia.
It requires a meticulous pretreatment procedure and has the longest recovery time of 14 to 21 days.
9 Best Chemical Peels for Hyperpigmentation
The chemical peel products you’ll find in this list have been formulated specifically for at-home use, even for beginners. So they should be safe to apply on your own.
But if you have underlying skin conditions and severe sensitivities, it’s best to consult a dermatologist before doing chemical peeling for hyperpigmentation at home.
Here’s a great daily chemical peel product for beginners that combines AHA and BHA acids for an even skin tone.
Key benefits: quick application; formulated for daily use; removes dead skin cells and excess oils
- Has glycolic, salicylic, lactic, mandelic, malic, and citric acids
- Green tea extract
Treat yourself with this easy-to-use treatment and bring back the radiance of your skin!
This may be the best face peel for hyperpigmentation to try if you’re new to at-home chemical peeling. You won’t need extra tools to apply this product because it comes in individually packaged pads.
It’s a two-step peel with each pad packaged separately.
Its Step 1 solution contains seven AHAs and BHAs that are known for their ability to reduce hyperpigmentation, diminish fine lines, and even out skin texture.
It also contains chamomile with anti-inflammatory properties. And you’ll only have to leave it for two minutes.
The Step 2 solution is designed to neutralize the effect of AHAs and BHAs to maintain a healthy balance.
And if you still need more convincing, you can find tons of posts on social media that show this chemical peel’s before and after effects on dark spots and other impurities!
Looking for a chemical peel with a higher concentration of glycolic acid? This one’s for you.
Key benefits: can help with melasma; great for experienced users; helps grow healthy skin cells
- 70% glycolic acid
- Caprylyl glycol
- Hexylene glycol
It offers a more intense peel that helps address a myriad of skin concerns.
A 70% glycolic acid solution is one of the highest concentrations you can find in at-home chemical peels. This MedPeel kit packs quite an intense strength face peel for hyperpigmentation.
Its stronger formula means it’s best to be used by experienced users who have used formulas with lower AHA or BHA concentrations.
The MedPeel kit includes a Peel Prep Solution, the Glycolic 70% chemical peel, and a Neutralizer Solution.
But its intensity delivers great benefits, including fighting acne on non-oily skin and removing blackheads or other impurities clogging the pores. If you have melasma, this could help fade out those dark patches.
Love face peels that come in pads for easy use? Here’s one to try for gentle exfoliation.
Key benefits: enough exfoliation to make fine lines less noticeable; hydrating; reduce photodamage
- Glycolic acid
- Allantoin helps remove dead skin cells
- Vitamins C, E, and B5 antioxidants
Revealing your younger, radiant skin is made easier with this at-home chemical peel from QRXLabs.
Some of the best at home chemical peels for dark spots are gentle enough to be used daily, like the QRxLabs 20% Glycolic Acid Resurfacing Pads.
But it’s still an effective solution for hyperpigmentation, effects of photodamage like fine lines and wrinkles, and uneven skin tone.
It’s also great to hydrate dry skin and promotes collagen production for a healthy skin cell turnover. So it can rejuvenate the skin and bring back lost radiance.
Antioxidants deliver reparative properties from sun exposure. And the combination of allantoin with extracts from green tea and calendula provides an anti-inflammatory effect.
You’re getting the benefits of both AHA and BHA ingredients for the best peel for hyperpigmentation.
Key benefits: helps remove dead skin; softer and firmer skin; calms skin irritation
- Glycolic acid
- Lactic acid
- Salicylic acid
- Chamomile and green tea extracts
Do you prefer a chemical peel with a gel texture? Then this is exactly what you need!
There are several reasons to choose a gel-type chemical peel. For instance, it’s easier to apply and usually doesn’t need a neutralizer. And here’s a great option for you!
We love this one because its formula contains AHAs (glycolic and lactic acids) and BHA (salicylic acid). So you’re getting the best of both worlds and their amazing benefits to the skin.
The deep exfoliation you get from this will help minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines. And with regular use, you’ll notice acne scars, dark spots, and age spots fade.
Are blackheads and rough texture making you extra conscious about your skin? It’s time to grab this one!
Key benefits: brightens dark spots; minimizes appearance of pores; smoothes rough skin
- Aloe leaf extract
- Hyaluronic acid
- Vitamin C
It combines exfoliating acids with fruit extracts for healthier skin!
Its combination of ingredients is the best thing about this chemical peel. Glycolic is the main component for smoother skin by promoting skin cell turnover.
Vitamin C makes the skin firmer, and hyaluronic acid prevents drying out your skin from the peel.
It also has various plant extracts from aloe leaf, hibiscus, green tea, rosemary, pineapple, lavender, and more to nourish the skin.
You won’t have to avoid going out after using this because it doesn’t result in physical peeling. But it’s still effective for reducing dark spots and other skin impurities.
Want a straightforward glycolic acid-base solution? Check out this one from Divine Pro Skincare.
Key benefits: deep exfoliation; boosts collagen production; reduces the visibility of pores and signs of skin aging
- Glycolic acid
- 1-minute application
- No visible peeling
It’s got enough glycolic acid concentration for a medium-depth chemical peel!
The absence of extra ingredients in this product ensures you’re getting the best benefits of glycolic acid.
It’s most suitable for oily and dull skin and reduces skin discoloration.
With skin reparative properties, it’s a great face peel for hyperpigmentation and other skin damage from sun exposure.
With 99% glycolic acid purity, it’s formulated to boost collagen production to achieve skin-rejuvenating results.
If you want a chemical peel that mainly features lactic acid, this is the one!
Key benefits: diminish freckles and age spots; hydrating; even skin tone
- Lactic acid
- Kojic acid
- Bearberry, licorice root, and cucumber extracts
A powerful exfoliator that removes more than just dirt — it eliminates dead skin cells, too!
Lactic acid has been scientifically proven to have positive effects on hyperpigmentation. But it also showed promise in dealing with mild wrinkles, rough skin, and the effects of photodamage.
And this product is also amazing for fading out stretch marks and improving skin elasticity by boosting collagen generation.
Kojic acid is a great addition to intensify the benefits to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of freckles.
This is one of the best at home chemical peel for hyperpigmentation if you’re looking for something more potent. This packs a stronger punch due to its lactic acid concentration, so it’s best to try lighter peels first.
A one-step and one-minute solution that makes facial peels a breeze.
Key benefits: boosts skin cell turnover; visible improvement of pore size; great for acne-prone skin
- Glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids
- Lemon and orange extracts
- Bilberry extract
Who knew face peels for hyperpigmentation can be this easy to do at home?
The best at-home chemical peels for dark spots are easy to use without compromising efficacy. And that’s just what you can expect here.
It comes in individually packed peel pads, but M-61 made the experience much easier because you’ll only have to apply it for one minute, and there’s no follow-up solution.
But you’ll notice immediate improvements at par with the results you expect from a professional face peel.
Glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids work together for deep exfoliation and reveal youthful skin. Bilberry extract is also a key ingredient for an even skin tone. It has chamomile and lavender extracts for a skin-calming effect.
All these reasons make this product the best chemical peel for hyperpigmentation!
What I love about this is it is an at-home peel with medical-grade key ingredients and is rich in antioxidants!
Key benefits: visible improvements of age spots; removes excess oils; gentle anti-aging effects
- Crystalline glycolic acid
- Vitamins A, C, and E
- Alcohol-free witch hazel
Its container has enough saturation, so you get enough solution even to the last peel pad.
It uses a crystalline glycolic acid (10%) with medical-grade potency for instantly noticeable skin improvements. And it’s formulated to the right pH level to avoid irritation without reducing its benefits.
The combination of vitamins A, C, and E acts as antioxidants to fight free radicals before they can cause damage to the skin. So your skin will not just look great, it’s healthy from the inside, too!
Its pore-diminishing effect comes from purified witch hazel that also helps remove excess oils on the topmost layer of skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Chemical Peel Safe for Dark Skin?
People with darker skin must be extra cautious before getting a chemical peel.
Skin types with more melanin have the potential to develop prolonged hyperpigmentation when the chemical peel isn’t done right or if the solution used is too strong.
That said, light to medium chemical peels can also be safe for dark skin.
Experts note that glycolic, mandelic, lactic, salicylic, and citric acids are great ingredients for the best peel for hyperpigmentation on dark skin.
One study also found glycolic peels are the best for melasma treatment on dark skin due to their safety and efficacy.
Is Chemical Peel Safe for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women?
Hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy can cause a myriad of unwanted changes to the skin as well. There’s a reason why melasma is also widely known as the “mask of pregnancy.”
Chemical peels often contain higher concentrations that are best to avoid for pregnant and lactating women.
However, a scientific review by the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology in 2017 said glycolic acid peels are “relatively safe” for pregnant women.
Still, the best course of action is to consult and follow the advice of your healthcare provider.
Find the Best Peels for Hyperpigmentation To Eliminate Dark Spots
A chemical peel, as intimidating as it sounds, can be an easy and effective skincare regimen done at home.
And to avoid unwanted outcomes, make sure to read the product’s label for detailed instructions on how to prep your skin before applying a chemical peel solution.
This is also where a patch test is highly recommended. Apply a small amount first on the back of your ear and wait 24 to 48 hours to observe if it irritates your skin.
AHAs and other exfoliating acids also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. So never forget your sunscreen once you start your at-home chemical peel journey.