The 7 Best Lactic Acid Peels for Brighter & Smoother Skin (2021 ✅)

Written By: 
Tom Qiao
Last Updated: 
May 14, 2021
Affiliate Disclosure: I earn a small commission when you buy products via affiliate links on this website.

Discover the best lactic acid peels, why it was Cleopatra's secret skincare weapon, and find the perfect one for your skin type, skin concerns, and budget!

Did you know that chemical peeling is a 2,000 year old tradition?

Chemical peels like lactic acid (milk) and tartaric acid (wine) were used in the ancient world, most famously by Cleopatra and the Egyptians in the form of sour donkey milk bathes.

Fortunately, you no longer need a whole bathtub of sour milk to achieve that Egyptian glow. 🤣

You just need a simple lactic acid peel and a few minutes of time!


What Is The Best Lactic Acid Peel?

Here are my top picks for the best lactic acid peel:

  1. Editor's Choice: Perfect Image Lactic 50% Gel Peel
  2. Professional Quality: Platinum Skin Care Lactic Acid 50 Peel
  3. Best Value for Money: ASDM Beverly Hills Lactic Acid Peel 25-90%
  4. Best Combination Peel: QRxLabs Glycolic/Lactic Acid 30/20 Gel Peel
  5. Strongest Chemical Peel: Skin Beauty Solutions Lactic Acid Skin Peel 90%
  6. Best for Clear Skin: Planet Eden 20% Gly-Lactic Exfoliating Pads
  7. Best for Glowing Skin: Perfect Image Hydro-Glo Peel Pads 40%
Perfect Image Lactic 50% Gel Peel

Perfect Image 
Lactic 50% Gel Peel

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Best For:

  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Uneven Tone / Dull Skin
  • Dark Spots / Sun Spots
  • Wrinkles / Fine Lines
  • Aging / Age Spots
  • Acne / Acne Scars
  • Sensitive Skin / Dry Skin

Key Ingredients:

  • Lactic Acid
  • Kojic Acid
  • Bearberry
  • Licorice Root

Key Features:

  • Spa-Quality
  • Botanical Extracts
  • Cruelty-Free
  • GMP Certified
  • Made in USA

Do you dream of brighter, more even looking skin without annoying dark spots, age spots, or blemishes?

If so, it's time to wake up because Perfect Image has the perfect answer with Lactic 50% Gel Peel!

(my readers get 20% off at Perfect Image with DERM20 👍)

With over 1,500 reviews, this powerful chemical peel combines 50% lactic acid with natural brightening agents like kojic acid, bearberry, and licorice root extract, to help complete your quest for a healthy & youthful glow.

Lactic acid, one of the most popular alpha hydroxy acids, works by removing dead skin cells from the epidermis to stimulate faster cell turnover and collagen production, resulting in smoother & firmer skin texture. 🤗

At the same time, lactic acid helps draw moisture into the epidermis from the lower layers of your skin, boosting overall hydration levels and reducing the appearance of shallow wrinkles, fine lines, and atrophic scars.

Meanwhile, our brightening (special) agents slow down melanin production by deactivating tyrosinase enzymes, sending the root cause of pigmentation to a grinding halt.

Finally, a blend of botanical extracts (green tea, cucumber, chamomile, comfrey) soothes skin and reduces redness for a more comfortable peel experience.

Perfect Image Lactic 50% Gel Peel Ad

As with any chemical peel, make sure to follow all pre-peel and post-peel instructions, including pretreatment with a melanin inhibitor like Meladerm to help darker skin types avoid PIH.

For best results, cleanse your skin with Hydro-Glo Skin Brightening Cleanser, apply the gel peel with Premium Peel Application Pads, and follow-up with Hydra-Repair Super Moisturizer. 😉

Perfect Image Coupon: Perfect Image is giving my readers 20% off with promo code DERM20 and shipping is always free in the US with any $20 order (exclusively at Perfect Image 👍).

My Verdict: I don't always use a lactic acid peel, but when I do, I prefer Perfect Image because it's a high-quality chemical peel with bonus brightening boosters at a reasonable price.

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Platinum Skin Care Lactic Acid 50% Peel

Platinum Skin Care 
Lactic Acid 50 Peel

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Best For:

  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Uneven Tone / Dull Skin
  • Dark Spots / Sun Spots
  • Wrinkles / Fine Lines
  • Aging / Age Spots
  • Acne / Acne Scars
  • Sensitive Skin / Dry Skin

Key Ingredients:

  • Lactic Acid
  • Allantoin
  • Panthenol
  • Horsetail Plant
  • Rosemary

Key Features:

  • Professional Quality
  • Buffered pH of 2.5

For a professional chemical peel, Platinum Skin Care has everything you need from pH certified chemical peels to essential accessories and even a VIP club membership that saves you 20% on all orders and $10 off shipping.   

(it's like Amazon Prime but for chemical peels 👍)

Lactic Acid 50 Peel is an excellent option if you're looking for a gentle chemical peel to treat hyperpigmentation, photodamage (sun damage), signs of aging, and dry skin.

Remember, lactic acid is a very mild peeling agent that's perfect for sensitive skin due to its large molecule size.

As a result, you might not see any visible flaking like with a glycolic acid peel, but beneath your skin surface, microscopic exfoliation is still taking place.

In addition to 50% lactic acid, Platinum Skin Care also included allantoin and panthenol for hydration benefits while herbal remedies like horsetail plant and rosemary extract act as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents.

Last but not least, Platinum Skin Care has a ton of useful information about chemical peels on their website and YouTube channel. I highly recommend checking out their videos, such as this one which provides an overview of lactic acid peels:

In addition, you'll find a collection of testimonial videos on Platinum Skin Care's product page, which is helpful for seeing actual before/after photos and what real customers had to say.

My Verdict: When it comes to chemical peels, don't leave your skin in the hands of any brand. Choose a professional one like Platinum Skin Care that's been in business for almost 20 years with an entire selection of chemical peels, essential accessories, and customer support.

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ASDM Beverly Hills 25% Lactic Acid Peel

ASDM Beverly Hills 
Lactic Acid Peel 25-90%

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Best For:

  • Savvy Shoppers
  • Bulk Buyers
  • Exfoliation Enthusiasts

Key Ingredients:

  • Lactic Acid

Key Features:

  • Amazing Prices!
  • 1 oz and 2 oz Sizes
  • Unbuffered pH

Are you tired of overpriced skincare products where you're paying for 80% hype and 20% ingredients? 🤔

If so, you'll love this amazingly affordable brand that sells chemical peels starting at $10: ASDM Beverly Hills.

Now, when a price is "too good to be true", it usually is...

That's why I ordered a batch of their chemical peels (40/60% glycolic acid, 20% salicylic acid, 60% lactic acid) and after testing them, I'm very happy with the quality!

ASDM has 4 concentrations of lactic acid from 25% to 90% available in 1 oz and 2 oz sizes (the 2 oz is the best deal).

A single bottle will definitely last many months, especially if you use peel pads to avoid wasting any product.

Finally, this is an unbuffered lactic peel, which means you're getting the natural pH of lactic acid (it's stronger than buffered, which raises the pH to increase safety).

ASDM Beverly Hills Lactic Acid Peel Ad

If you love to save money (who doesn't?) or do chemical peels at home on a regular basis, ASDM Beverly Hills is a fantastic place to stock up on low-cost peels.

You can put the savings into additional peels or try some of ASDM's bestselling products like 100% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Tepezcohuite Serum.

For best results, use Chemical Peel Prep Kit (a bit expensive, but it's got everything you need) and follow-up with Matrixyl 3000 Serum with Hyaluronic Acid or Tepezcohuite Moisturizer.

ASDM Beverly Hills Coupon: save an extra 10% with LIFE10 and get free shipping after $60.

My Verdict: Don't pay for the hype and expensive marketing of mainstream brands. Get chemical peels starting at $10 from ASDM Beverly Hills and keep more of your money! 🤗

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QRxLabs Glycolic Lactic Acid 30 20 Gel Peel

Glycolic/Lactic Acid 30/20 Gel Peel

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Best For:

  • Best of "Both Worlds"

Key Ingredients:

  • Glycolic Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Calendula
  • Chamomile
  • Green Tea

Key Features:

  • Professional Formula
  • Gel Consistency
  • 600+ Reviews

By now, you know all about lactic acid and why it's such an excellent chemical peel.

But what if you want stronger, better, faster results?

That's where QRxLabs Glycolic/Lactic Acid 30/20 Gel Peel comes in, which is (as the name suggests) a combination of 30% glycolic acid and 20% lactic acid.

This unique product provides the "best of both worlds", combining the transformational power of glycolic acid with the gentle and hydrating properties of lactic acid.

Due to its smaller molecule size, glycolic acid penetrates deeper than lactic acid (as far as the stratum basale or "basement layer" of the epidermis) to help you shed more layers of dead skin for better overall results. 😍

Meanwhile, lactic acid balances out the formula by attracting moisture into the epidermis to offset the drying effects of glycolic acid.

Finally, QRxLabs added calendula, chamomile, and green tea extract for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant skin benefits, keeping your skin refreshed during the chemical peel.

QRxLabs Glycolic Lactic Acid 30 20 Gel Peel Ad

QRxLabs Coupon: When you shop directly at QRxLabs, save 10% on orders of 3+ items with COMBO3 and 15% on orders of 4+ items with COMBO4.

My Verdict: With 600+ reviews, QRxLabs Glycolic/Lactic Acid 30/20 Gel Peel is a fan favorite that combines the "best of both worlds" for one amazing price. 👍

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Skin Beauty Solutions Lactic Acid Peel 90%

Skin Beauty Solutions 
Lactic Acid Skin Peel 90%

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Best For:

  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Melasma
  • Sun Damage
  • Clogged Pores
  • Enlarged Pores
  • Wrinkles / Fine Lines
  • Aging / Age Spots
  • Acne / Scarring

Key Ingredients:

  • Lactic Acid

Key Features:

  • Highest Concentration
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Available in 1-16oz and 15mL roll-on stick

Still searching for the perfect chemical peel?

Skin Beauty Solutions might have the right one for you with a full line-up of lactic peels from 35% to 90%, available in 1-16 oz and even 15mL roll-on sticks.

The 90% version is the most popular, with 500+ reviews, and helps you unclog pores, treat melasma, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and revitalize your complexion.

This is the highest concentration of lactic acid and is a suitable "step up" from 50% or 70%.

If you're not getting enough results with this product, then it's time to move on to a glycolic peel or TCA peel.

Interestingly, Skin Beauty Solutions is the only company to advertise a 60 day money-back guarantee, which gives you peace of mind in case you want a refund.

Editor's Note: for the best price, check the official website and Amazon because Amazon prices change frequently.

My Verdict: If you're searching for the strongest chemical peel, Skin Beauty Solutions has the answer with its bestselling 90% lactic acid peel, available in 1-16oz sizes and 15mL roll-on stick.

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Planet Eden 20% Gly-Lactic Exfoliating Pads

Planet Eden 
20% Gly-Lactic Exfoliating Pads

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Best For:

  • Acne / Pimples
  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Clogged Pores
  • Congested Skin
  • Dry Skin / Oily Skin

Key Ingredients:

  • Glycolic Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Aloe Vera
  • White Tea
  • Lotus Flower
  • Cucumber
  • Chamomile
  • Bearberry
  • Niacinamide

Key Features:

  • 60 Peel Pads
  • Daily Use
  • No Alcohol

Are you struggling with constant breakouts?

For many years, I did as well and it's the main reason that I started The Derm Detective in the first place!

As you might know by now, exfoliation is the key to improving most skin conditions, and acne is no exception.

By removing dead skin cells via chemical exfoliation, you open up clogged pores, dissolve keratin plugs, reduce excess sebum, and gradually fade pimples and cysts. 🤗

For an effective acne treatment at a reasonable price, Planet Eden is an excellent choice with 20% glycolic/lactic for powerful results yet gentle enough for daily use.

(it's like a stronger version of Stridex)

Hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, white tea, and lotus flower boost hydration, while cucumber and chamomile extracts refresh and soothe skin.

Meanwhile, bearberry (arbutin) and niacinamide help fade post-acne marks and brighten skin tone.

With 200+ reviews and a price tag under $15, Planet Eden may provide better results than expensive treatments like Proactiv and Exposed Skin Care.

If you decide to use Planet Eden, start with 2x a week and slowly increase to once a day.

A 10% version is also available for more sensitive skin.

My Verdict: Eliminate breakouts, blackheads, whiteheads, and clogged pores with Planet Eden for the smoother, clearer, and acne-free skin that you deserve! 👍

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Perfect Image Hydro-Glo Peel Pads Level 2

Perfect Image 
Hydro-Glo Peel Pads 40%

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Best For:

  • Dark Spots
  • Brown Spots
  • Uneven Tone
  • Dullness

Key Ingredients:

  • Lactic Acid
  • Mandelic Acid
  • Kojic Acid
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Licorice Root
  • Bearberry
  • Glutathione

Key Features:

  • Spa-Quality
  • 30 Peel Pads
  • pH of 2.5-3.0

"You have a bright future ahead..."

Said almost every fortune cookie ever 🤣.

With Perfect Image Hydro-Glo Peel Pads 40%, however, your skin has a very bright future indeed!

This professional strength skin brightening peel features a 40% blend of lactic acid and mandelic acid, along with powerful brightening agents like kojic acid, licorice root, and bearberry (arbutin) extract.

Meanwhile, natural enzymes from papaya (papain) and pineapple (bromelain) help dissolve dead skin cells and polish uneven skin texture to get your skin glowing!

Finally, glutathione and select botanical extracts provide antioxidant protection and reduce skin irritation.

This at home chemical peel is perfect for dark spots, correcting uneven tone, re-energizing dull skin, and reducing the appearance of skin discoloration.

In other words, you'll be on your way to glowing skin!

For best results, use Hydro-Glo Skin Brightening Cleanser and Hydra-Repair Super Moisturizer.

Perfect Image Coupon: My readers get 20% off with DERM20 and free shipping after $20! 👍

My Verdict: A healthy glow is only a peel away with Hydro-Glo Peel Pads featuring lactic acid and mandelic acid, powerful brightening agents, and natural fruit enzymes.

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3 Alternatives to Lactic Acid

Didn't find what you're looking for? Here are some popular alternatives to lactic acid:

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.

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