In this post, I review the best glycolic acid peels (my top pick is Perfect Image).
But first, let’s discuss what a glycolic acid peel is and how you can benefit from one.
What Is A Glycolic Acid Peel?
Glycolic acid is the most popular type of chemical peel on the market today. It’s the smallest type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and is considered a light or superficial peel.
It works by helping remove the dead skin cells and excess oils on your skin surface and increasing cell turnover to promote clearer, smoother, and younger-looking skin.
Do Glycolic Acid Peels Work?
With regular use, a glycolic peel can help smooth skin texture, clear up acne-prone skin and acne scars, fade dark spots & melasma, and stimulate collagen production to reduce wrinkles & fine lines (source: A Practical Approach to Chemical Peels, 2018).
It’s one of the most cost-effective skincare treatments that you can safely do at home, when compared to microneedling ($100-$300 a session), laser therapy ($1,000+ a session), and microdermabrasion ($100-$200 a session), to name a few examples.
Now, let’s find the best glycolic acid peel for your skin condition and budget!
The 21 Best Glycolic Acid Peels
Here are our top recommendations:
- Editor’s Choice: Perfect Image Glycolic 10/30/50% Gel Peel
- Runner-Up Pick: Platinum Skin Care Glycolic Acid Peel 30/50/70%
- Best Budget Pick: ASDM Beverly Hills Glycolic Acid Peel 10-70%
- Most Popular Pick: QRxLabs Glycolic Acid 20% Resurfacing Pads
- Best Value for Money: Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads 10/15/20%
- Best Professional Treatment: CANE+AUSTIN 30% Miracle Pad+
- Best Spa-Quality Treatment: Bliss That’s Incredi-Peel Glycolic Resurfacing Pads
- Best for Beginners: Perfect Image Pineapple Pumpkin Enzyme Peel 30%
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Perfect Image Pineapple Pumpkin Enzyme Peel 10%
- Best for Acne & Blemishes: Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads
- Best for Hyperpigmentation & Melasma: Exuviance Performance Peel AP25
- Best for Uneven Skin Tone: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel
- Best for Wrinkles & Fine Lines: Perfect Image Revitaboost Peel Pads 35%
- Best for Brighter & Smoother Skin: m-61 Labs PowerGlow Peel
- Best for Keratosis Pilaris: DERMAdoctor KP Duty High Potency Daily Body Peel
- Best for Men: Jack Black Power Peel Multi-Acid Resurfacing Pads
- Best for Beauty Junkies: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
- Best for Beauty Junkies Vol. 2: The Ordinary 3-Piece Chemical Peel Set
- Best Daily Peel: First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
- Best Body Peel: Makeup Artists Choice 5 Acid Body Peel
- Best Overnight Peel: Paula’s Choice 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant
Perfect Image is my top pick for an effective & affordable glycolic peel with over 1,300 reviews on Amazon and botanical extracts of green tea, cucumber, chamomile, and comfrey for a comfortable peel experience.
As a special bonus, my readers get an extra 20% off with promo code DERM20 (exclusively at Perfect Image) and shipping is free on orders over $20. 🤗
For a quality chemical peel, you really can't go wrong with Platinum Skin Care (an A+ business for 19 years with BBB).
Their glycolic acid peel uses cooling menthol to reduce burning & stinging while allantoin & panthenol soothe skin.
Need some advice on chemical peels? Platinum Skin Care has tons of tutorials on their YouTube channel.
Would you like a chemical peel for $10?
No, you're not dreaming! You can get a 10% glycolic acid peel for only $10 at ASDM Beverly Hills (30% for only $12) and all the way up to 70% for just $15.
Want more savings? Get the 2 oz size for a few dollars more plus save an extra 10% with promo code LIFE10. 🤑
With over 6,000 reviews on Amazon, QRxLabs has created one of the most popular beauty products of all time with glycolic acid for gentle exfoliation, while witch hazel cleanses & purifies, calendula & green tea soothes, and vitamins B5, C & E nourish and repair.
Save more when you buy at QRxLabs with COMBO3 (10% off 3-item orders) and COMBO4 (15% off 4-item orders).
It's a clean formula with no alcohol that provides excellent value for money with 60 fully soaked peel pads.
Dermatologist Dr. Craig Austin created Miracle Pad+ to provide similar results to an in-office 30% glycolic acid peel (without the expensive bill at the end!).
30% Miracle Pad+ includes a blend of glycolic acid, lactic acid, phytic acid, tartaric acid, natural salicylic acid, and vitamins A-C-E, plus cucumber, chamomile, and coenzyme Q10.
Give yourself the pampering you've been missing with a luxury peel from Bliss Spa to promote brighter, clearer, and smoother skin.
Meanwhile, witch hazel purifies, calendula & vitamin E calms, glycerin hydrates, and licorice root brightens.
Bliss products are "blissfully free" from parabens, phthalates, SLS, SLES, fragrance, and of course, cruelty.
For your first chemical peel, I'd go for Pineapple Pumpkin Enzyme Peel 30% with gentle acids like glycolic & lactic plus natural fruit enzymes from pineapple, pumpkin, and papaya. 🍍
This product helps brighten skin tone, correct blemishes, and smooth texture without the irritation or downtime of stronger chemical peels.
You can get 20% off with promo code DERM20 (exclusively at Perfect Image) and shipping is free on orders over $20.
If you have sensitive skin, the same Pineapple Pumpkin Enzyme Peel comes in a 10% concentration that is very gentle and can be used daily.
Helps reduce visible signs of aging, blemishes & imperfections, and promotes a brighter complexion.
Get 20% off with promo code DERM20 (exclusively at Perfect Image) plus get free shipping on orders over $20.
Clear up acne breakouts & blemishes with a daily dose of 10% glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells & keratin plugs while 2% salicylic acid penetrates into oily skin to open up clogged pores.
Aloe vera, allantoin, chamomile, and green tea extract soothe inflammation & redness associated with acne, while witch hazel tones and arginine calms.
Includes 60 double-sided peel pads with a fresh peach bellini scent. 🍹
With a powerful 25% AHA/PHA blend (glycolic, mandelic, gluconolactone), AP25 is a professional chemical peel that can produce visible improvements in hyperpigmentation & melasma.
This product includes a 6-week supply (13 sets) of 2-step peel pads.
The doctor's in the house and he's prescribed 7 Alpha Beta acids to cure your dark spots and uneven skin tone, including glycolic, salicylic, lactic, mandelic, malic, citric, and willow bark (natural source of salicylic acid).
With over 6,000 reviews on Sephora, the Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel is a fan favorite filled with botanical extracts of green tea, chamomile, and yarrow, while resveratrol, retinol, vitamin C & E, and copper/sodium/zinc PCAs help nourish and repair your skin.
For the best value, get Sephora's exclusive 30+5 treatment set for $88.
Smooth out wrinkles & fine lines and fade age spots & sun damage with a unique 5-acid blend of glycolic acid, TCA, mandelic acid, malic acid, and citric acid, while botanical extracts of green tea, cucumber, chamomile, and comfrey calm skin inflammation.
TCA, in particular, is a stronger agent that can penetrate into the dermis to remove damaged skin structures and promote new collagen formation for firmer, smoother, younger-looking skin.
Read my full review of Revitaboost here (with before and after photos).
Save 20% off your order with DERM20 (exclusively at Perfect Image).
For body blemishes and concerns like keratosis pilaris, a chemical peel can open clogged pores to allow your skin to "breathe" by dissolving dead skin cells and red bumps associated with KP.
DERMAdoctor KP Duty Daily Body Peel is specially formulated for KP with 17 AHA and BHA acids to penetrate and exfoliate the thick skin on your body for smoother, KP-free skin.
A great value with 30 Resurface pads and 30 Quench pads.
Power Peel, another bestseller, is designed to help guys reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots as they age, with natural fruit acids, glycolic, lactic, salicylic, and 3% UGL Complex.
Plus, niacinamide evens skin tone and peptides reverse signs of aging.
With over 2K+ reviews at Ulta Beauty, The Ordinary AHA/BHA Peeling Solution is a beauty junkie staple with a blend of 30% AHAs (glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric) and 2% BHA (salicylic acid) for brighter, smoother, and more even-looking skin.
Meanwhile, vitamin B5, hyaluronic acid, and Tasmanian pepperberry help reduce stinging, burning, and redness.
A powerful & extremely low-cost peel for more advanced users.
For the ultimate beauty junkies, grab a set of The Ordinary's cult favorites with 7% glycolic acid toner to cleanse while 2% hyaluronic acid hydrates & repairs.
Two perfect products to compliment the AHA 30% BHA 2% Peeling Solution.
Editor's Note: the cheapest way to buy these products is individually from Deciem, Ulta, or Sephora as the sellers on Amazon grossly overcharge for them.
For a cleansing wipe that doubles as a daily dose of glycolic and lactic acids, First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads are the perfect option to tone, exfoliate, and brighten your skin.
Cucumber & Indian gooseberry tones, glycolic & lactic acid exfoliates, while lemon peel & licorice root brightens.
Alcohol-free and safe for sensitive skin.
For a cheap and effective body peel, MUAC 5 Acid Body Peel is my top pick with 20% lactic, 5% glycolic / mandelic, 2% citric, and 1% salicylic acid, to help deep clean your pores, fight blemishes like bacne and keratosis pilaris, and brighten skin tone with licorice root.
Straddling between a light peel and strong serum, Paula's Choice offers the best of both worlds with a leave-on gel exfoliant that removes dead skin cells, resurfaces texture, and helps brighten dark spots & uneven skin tone.
Chamomile, aloe vera, and green tea add antioxidant and soothing benefits while hyaluronic acid and panthenol nourish and hydrate parched skin.
3 Alternatives to Glycolic Acid
Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Here are some popular alternatives to glycolic acid:
- Lactic Acid: this gentle and hydrating alpha hydroxy acid is amazing for dry skin
- Salicylic Acid: this beta hydroxy acid (BHA) is particularly effective for clearing acne
- Trichloroacetic Acid: if you need a stronger chemical peel, TCA penetrates deeper than glycolic acid to correct rough skin texture, wrinkles, fine lines, and acne scars
Not sure which chemical peel is right for you? Take our 3-step quiz to find the perfect one – it will take into consideration your skin type, skin concerns, and level of experience.
Have you used an awesome glycolic peel that we missed? Let us know in the comments!