You might be surprised to learn that you’ve got the ingredients to make your own skin peel in your kitchen as you read this. Even if you don’t have everything you need right now, you can buy a few common items and keep your skin younger looking, without spending time and money at a spa or on commercial home treatments.


You don’t need any chemicals to make a simple alpha hydroxy acid skin peel in the comfort and privacy of your own home. That’s because the acid comes from food items such as citrus fruit or dairy products. And, because you’re not paying an esthetician, you can remove the peel as quickly as you like without worrying about wasting a costly appointment. For a more intense peel, you’ll need to visit a trained esthetician or a licensed dermatologist.


A simple, natural home peel won’t provide the same dramatic results as a deeper one performed by a professional, but home peels help exfoliate skin, clean blocked pores, remove other surface debris, and treat dry skin. A home peel like this will only treat skin layers near the surface.


Common ingredients for natural home skin peels provide citric, malic, lactic, glycolic or tartaric acid. Citric, tartaric and malic acids are mild, providing the lightest peel. Glycolic acids are good choices if your goal is exfoliation. Choose lactic acids to remove dead skin. Choices for a home peel can include:

  • Limes (citrus)
  • Lemons (citrus)
  • Oranges (citrus)
  • Pineapples (citrus)
  • Tomatoes (citrus)
  • Apples and cider vinegar (malic)
  • Grapes, grape juice and wine (tartaric)
  • Avocados (tartaric)
  • Cream of tartar (tartaric)
  • Sour milk (lactic)
  • Yogurt (lactic)
  • Sugar cane (glycolic)
  • Molasses (glycolic)
  • Sugar beet (glycolic)

Depending on your goals, you can combine different acids. Instead of pouring juice on your face, combine liquids with solids to make a paste, such as mashed avocados with lime juice, sugar with lemon juice, yogurt with wine, or sour milk with orange juice. Gelatin, cream of tartar, whisked egg whites or mayonnaise are also good choices. You can add oatmeal or finely crushed nuts for a bit more exfoliation.


Rinse your face with cold water. Don’t scrub it or use soaps or creams or hot water. Put your fingers into your peel concoction and gently apply the solutions to your face. Don’t use a rough cloth. Lie down and relax for 10 minutes as you feel the tingle. If you’re at all nervous about your first peel, remove it after five minutes.

To remove your peel, just splash your face with cool or lukewarm water, using only your hands and fingers to gently remove all of the liquids or solids. Avoid heading into the sunlight soon after a peel and don’t perform more than one a week until you see the results.


Experiment with each type of acid to see which ingredient works best for your skin. Limit your acid to about a half-teaspoon at first. Use a small amount of your peel on your hand, arm or neck to test the results before you apply a full mask.


This article was written by Sam Ashe-Edmunds, contributor for The Daily Clutch.