The 11 Best Chemical Peels for Hyperpigmentation & Dark Spots

written by: Tom Qiao
last update: December 24, 2023

Did you know that chemical peels have been around for literally thousands of years? 😮 Early adopters like Cleopatra and the ancient Egyptians were famous for bathing in sour milk […]

Did you know that chemical peels have been around for literally thousands of years? 😮

Early adopters like Cleopatra and the ancient Egyptians were famous for bathing in sour milk (which contains lactic acid) to cleanse their skin and remove imperfections.

Among their many uses, chemical peels are very effective for treating hyperpigmentation, including melasma, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. 🤗

In addition, regular use can soften wrinkles, smooth fine lines, and correct acne scars as well.

In this post, I've hand-picked the best at home chemical peels for hyperpigmentation, based on peeling agent, active ingredients, customer reviews, price/value, and my personal experience.

I only recommend skincare products that I'd use myself (every product here passes this test), so you can feel confident that you're getting a high-quality chemical peel for your skin. 👍

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What Is The Best Chemical Peel for Hyperpigmentation?

Overall, the best chemical peel for hyperpigmentation is Platinum Skin Care TCA Peel 13%. Here's my full list of recommendations based on skin type, skin condition, and budget:

  1. Editor's Choice: Platinum Skin Care TCA Peel 7-13-20-30
  2. No.1 All-Time Bestseller: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel
  3. Rave Reviews: Skyn Iceland Nordic Skin Peel
  4. Best for Age Spots: MedPeel Vitamin C Brighten 70% AHA
  5. Best for Dark Spots: Glycolix Elite Glycolic Acid 20% Resurfacing Peel
  6. Best for Melasma: Exuviance Performance Peel AP25
  7. Best for Sun Damage: IT Cosmetics Hello Results Baby-Smooth Glycolic Peel + Caring Oil
  8. Best for Uneven Skin Tone: Neogen Dermalogy Lemon Bright PHA Gauze Peeling
  9. Best for Sensitive Skin: Bliss Rose Gold Rescue Gentle Resurfacing Peel
  10. Best Budget Pick: QRxLabs Glycolic Acid 20% Resurfacing Pads
  11. Best Luxury Pick: Algenist Blue Algae Vitamin C™ Dark Spot Correcting Peel
Editor's Choice

Platinum Skin Care TCA Peel

$40.00

Long considered the gold standard of chemical peels, this popular TCA peel reduces signs of aging, scarring, and hyperpigmentation.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

For an effective and affordable TCA peel at home, I recommend Platinum Skin Care.

With over 1,300 reviews, Platinum Skin Care is the best TCA peel on the market. 🏆

Platinum Skin Care TCA Peel 13% 1oz
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This certified chemical peel is often used by professionals like dermatologists and estheticians and comes in 4 concentrations:

  • 7% TCA: for eyes and extremely sensitive areas
  • 13% TCA: for beginners and dark skin types (Fitzpatrick IV-VI)
  • 20% TCA: only if you've completed 5 layers of 13% TCA with no results
  • 30% TCA: for body peels, TCA CROSS, or dilution into lower concentrations

In addition, all TCA peels (except the 30%) include "Cool-Action" menthol to soothe stinging and reduce irritation for a more comfortable peel experience. 👍

Personally, I love that Platinum Skin Care shares a ton of information about chemical peels on their website and YouTube channel. Here's Jen, the CEO, explaining TCA peels in more detail:

If you have mild hyperpigmentation, such as dark spots, brown spots, or post-acne marks, start with a 13% TCA peel (single layer) every 2 weeks for a total of 6-8 treatments.

Over time, you can gradually increase the number of layers to 3 (with 5 minutes in between).

By the end of this treatment plan, you should see visible improvements in hyperpigmentation, smoother skin texture, and brighter skin tone, as well as fewer blemishes and dark spots.

If you have severe hyperpigmentation, however, such as age spots, sun spots, or melasma, you should still complete a beginner TCA peel series (unless you've already completed one), but consider adding a peel enhancer like Platinum Skin Care Luminosity Serum (0.5% Retinol) at the end of each TCA peel to promote further cell turnover and skin regeneration.

Editor's Note: a 6mL Luminosity Serum is available as an add-on with any purchase.

As before, you can (and should) gradually increase the number of layers to 3-5 to remove more damaged skin tissue, including the problematic skin cells with excess melanin pigments that are responsible for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and melasma.

In both cases, make sure to follow all pre-peel and post-peel instructions for the best results, including pretreatment with a melanin inhibitor like Fade Bright or Meladerm for darker skin, and of course, a broad spectrum sunscreen like my personal favorite, Josie Maran SPF 47.

No.1 Bestseller

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel (30 Count)

$92.00 ($92.00 / Count)

Experience the #1 bestselling at-home chemical peel from Dr. Dennis Gross featuring 7 acids for exceptional exfoliation.

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Rave Reviews
Skyn Iceland Nordic Skin Peel, 60 Count
$48.00 ($0.80 / Count)

Soothe stressed-out skin with this gentle lactic peel from Skyn Iceland featuring Icelandic glacier water, Arctic cloudberry, and fruit enzymes.

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Best for Age Spots

MedPeel Vitamin C Brighten 70% AHA, 1.0 oz

$49.00

Fade age spots and reverse signs of aging with this powerful 2-in-1 peel from MedPeel featuring 70% AHAs and 2 forms of vitamin C.

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Best for Dark Spots

Glycolix Elite Glycolic Acid 20% Resurfacing Peel, 60 Count

$34.50 ($0.58 / Count)

Treat acne, fine lines, and scars with this popular peel from Replenix featuring 20% glycolic acid, vitamins, and botanicals.

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Best for Melasma

Exuviance Performance Peel AP25, 13 Count

$86.00 ($6.62 / Count)

Get professional results using the award-winning Performance Peel AP25 to treat melasma and pigmentation with a 25% blend of glycolic, mandelic, and gluconolactone.

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Best for Sun Damage

IT Cosmetics Hello Results Baby-Smooth Glycolic Peel + Caring Oil, 1.0 oz

$59.00 $35.00

Wake up to baby smooth skin with this overnight peel from IT Cosmetics, a hidden gem that gently exfoliates with glycolic acid while nourishing skin with argan and meadowfoam seed oils.

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02/29/2024 12:46 pm GMT
Best for Uneven Skin Tone

Neogen Dermalogy Lemon Bright PHA Gauze Peeling, 30 Count

$28.00 ($4.36 / Fl Oz)

Brighten up your skincare routine with a daily peel that thoroughly removes dirt and makeup, exfoliates dead skin, and nourishes with 15 vitamins, including vitamin C.

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Best for Sensitive Skin
Bliss Rose Gold Rescue Gentle Resurfacing Peel, 15 Count
$34.94 ($2.33 / Count)

If you're looking for a chemical peel for sensitive skin, Bliss has you covered with a gentle PHA/AHA blend along with soothing colloidal gold and nourishing rosehip oil.

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Best Budget Pick

QRxLabs Glycolic Acid 20% Resurfacing Pads, 50 Count

$19.95 ($0.40 / Count)

See why thousands choose QRxLabs as their preferred peel to smooth fine lines and wrinkles while improving tone and texture.

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Best Luxury Pick

Algenist Blue Algae Vitamin C™ Dark Spot Correcting Peel, 1.5 oz

$85.00 ($56.67 / Fl Oz)

Harness the power of the sea with Algenist's algae-inspired peel that brightens, tightens, and visibly reduces signs of aging.

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02/29/2024 12:21 pm GMT

Chemical Peel Safety Tips!

If you've never done a chemical peel at home before, this is a helpful tutorial by Dr. Davin Lim:

You'll also need a few tools to perform a safe chemical peel:

Immediately after a chemical peel, it's a good idea to apply a cream, moisturizer, or sheet mask to keep your skin hydrated and help it rebuild its moisture barrier. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, panthenol, allantoin, and copper peptides to accelerate the healing process.

In the following days, it's extremely important to wear sunscreen and avoid direct sun exposure as your skin is more sensitive to UV photodamage (which may result in hyperpigmentation!).

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Article written by Tom Qiao
Tom is the founder and editor of TheDermDetective.com where he applies his decades of personal experience with skincare problems like acne and acne scarring to provide readers with practical advice and product recommendations.

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