The Best Organic Face Peels and Why They Work

The Best Organic Face Peels (and Why They Work)

WRITTEN BY:  DIANE ELIZABETH K. | PUBLISHED: 05/23/2017 | LAST UPDATED: 01/17/2020

Interested in trying an organic facial peel? Want to know if organic peels are really safe and effective? Organic facial peels are chemical treatments that literally dissolve dead skin cells, dirt, and oil from the surface of the skin. (If you’re looking for the masks that literally “peel-off” like glue when dry, then you’re in the wrong place!). Organic peels are packed with exfoliating acids and enzymes that are naturally derived from fruits, plants, and nuts. While there are a lot of benefits to using an organic face peel, there are also a lot of misconceptions. Here’s a quick guide on how organic peels work and how to choose the best product for your skin.

How Do Facial Peels Work?

Facial peels are chemical exfoliation treatments that use acids to break down skin cells. Depending on the type and strength of acid used, a facial peel can either be a gentle routine exfoliator or a clinical-grade treatment for severe skin issues. For example, strong acids (like trichloroacetic and carbolic acid) are able to penetrate deeply and dissolve away many layers of skin cells. These acids cause 2nd degree chemical burns and can leave you recovering with red, irritated, and flaky skin for months. Luckily, these acids are typically only found in clinical-grade deep chemical peel treatments and administered by a trained aesthetician.

Not all facial peels require pain and downtime. Many peels use acids and enzymes that are only strong enough to break down the weak bonds between dead skin cells. These acids gently exfoliate away dead skin cells and clear out clogged pores without damaging healthy skin cells in the process. In fact, many at-home peels are gentle enough to be used weekly. Light exfoliating peels are great tools for treating dark spots, blemishes, acne, acne scars, and uneven skin tone.

What Is An Organic Facial Peel?

An organic facial peel is simply a product that is made from all-natural and organically sourced ingredients. These treatments are made with naturally derived fruit acids and enzymes capable of dissolving surface-level dead skin cells. In their raw form, these fruit acids gently break down dead, unclog pores, and stimulate collagen production. In higher concentrations, however, these acids can be more potent and irritating. Each organic peel formulation is different and each skincare brand holds itself to a different set of standards. Just because a product contains organic ingredients doesn’t mean it is overall safe, gentle, or effective for your skin. The best organic peels are made by reputable brands and contain only clean, natural, organic, and non-toxic ingredients. A truly organic peel won’t contain any parabens, mineral oils, synthetics, or potentially cancer-causing ingredients (these ingredients can irritate the skin further and actually hinder your skin from functioning optimally). Read the labels carefully and find the right mask for your skin type and needs.

What Acids Do Organic Peels Use?

The two common acids found in organic facial peels are alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). Both acids can be naturally sourced from fruits like papaya, lemon, pineapple, apple, grape, willow bark, and grapefruit.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)

AHAs are mild exfoliating acids such as glycolic, lactic, citric, and malic acid. These acids work on the top most layers of the skin to remove dead skin cells, lighten blemishes, clear pores. AHAs have been known to increase blood flow to the skin and stimulate the production of collagen (to help fight fine lines and wrinkles).

Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)

BHAs are oil-soluble acids that can penetrate oily skin deeper than AHAs. This is why BHAs are usually recommended for a treating blackheads, acne, and problematic skin. As a bonus, BHAs antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties can actually help to reduce the frequency of breakouts.  The most common form of BHA found in organic facial peels is salicylic acid derived from willow bark.

alpha-hydroxy-acid
beta-hydroxy-acid

Are Organic Face Peels Effective?

Organic facial peels are great for people who want a chemical exfoliation without downtime. They are also great choices for people who cannot use abrasive exfoliating products. Exfoliating your face routinely helps to keep your pores clear, balance sebum production, and allows your skin to better absorb products. As a rule of thumb, dry skin types benefit most from AHA peels and oily skin types will experience better results with a BHA peel. The effectiveness of an organic facial peel depends on its concentration of AHA and BHA. The higher the concentration of acids, the more powerful the peel. (However, powerful peels are more likely to cause skin irritation.)  For most mild peels, the results will be subtle at first and build up over time.

Patch Test
It is normal to experience a mild tingling sensation while wearing an organic peel. If the peel starts to burn or hurt, then rinse your face immediately. Even the gentlest AHA and BHA peels can irritate certain sensitive skin types. For this reason, always conduct a patch test on a small area of skin before applying any chemical peel to your entire face.

Sun Sensitivity
Using BHAs and AHAs increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun by 50%. Protect your skin by only using peels at night, applying plenty of SPF before going outside, and wearing protective clothing. If it’s possible, limit direct exposure to sunlight for a week after using a strong facial peel.

TOP 9 ORGANIC FACIAL PEELS

These six peels are some of the best organic facial peels that you’ll find anywhere! We scoured the internet to find the best organic peels based on customer reviews, quality of ingredients, and brand reputation. These peels are all gentle enough to be done at-home (that use alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids to exfoliate the skin) and are perfect for weekly use. Each peel is formulated differently, so be sure to choose a product that’s best suited for your skin’s specific needs.

GET MATCHED! TAKE THE ORGANIC PEELS QUIZ

Need help finding the perfect organic facial peel for your skin? Take our Organic Facial Peels Quiz & get matched with the best organic and all natural peels for you! We've created a custom quiz to help you quickly find the top 5 organic peels from our list. Takes just a few seconds to complete---click to get started.

*Amala Beauty – Retexturizing Gel Aqua Peel ($88)

Amala describes this Aqual Peel as an "instant facial" and we couldn't agree more. If you are looking for dramatically smoother, clearer, tighter skin--then look no further than this gel mask exfoliator. This pretty pink clear gel features a 15% AHA fruit complex, a fermented Japanese seaweed pre+probiotic blend, an the brands signature nourishing Mineral Complex (copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, and silicon). After the initial 3 day usage period, our testers were blown away by how bright and smooth their skin looked.

*Andalou Naturals – Organic Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask

A really effective and affordable organic peel mask made from vitamin C, glycolic AHA, manuka honey, organic pumpkin, and tons of other skin nourishing ingredients. This is one peel that you can feel (has a slight tingle, not recommended for sensitive skin types). It's fantastic for large pores, blackheads, dry skin, and maturing skin. This peel is especially great for those with dark spots because of the brightening effect of the acids, fruit enzymes, and vitamin C.

The Ox Box: Organic Beauty Box (No Subscription!)

Can't decide which yummy organic skin care products to try first? Then let us choose the best skin care products for your skin type with our organic beauty box! Choose from 3 different boxes (based on your skin type) and get a full skin care routine for 40-60% off retail. No Subscription required! Limited quantities each season.

*True Botanicals – Natural Resurfacing Moisture Mask ($90)

Need a fast acting natural exfoliant that you can use in a hurry? Then check out this resurfacing mask from True Botanicals. Made with lactic acid and tons of antioxidants, this mask both removes dead skin cells and replenishes moisture--all in less than 5 minutes! Contains avocado butter, mango butter, astaxanthin, bergamot, jasmine, and ylang ylang. Can be used day and night, although you should avoid sun exposure after chemical exfoliation to avoid sun damage. Has a light, yet lovely scent.

*Juice Beauty – Green Apple Natural Exfoliating Peel ($48)

This peel combines both AHA + BHA (not recommended for sensitive skin) to deliver a deeper level of exfoliation capable of resurfacing skin. Not only does this peel contain fruit acids (like green apple and lemon) to break down dead skin, it also contains tons of vitamins (vitamins A, C, and E) and antioxidants to rejuvenate dull, uneven skin. After just 5-10 minutes of use, it leaves your skin looking firmer, smoother, and definitely glowing. A personal favorite of the skincare ox team.

*Herbivore Botanicals – All Natural Blue Tansy Exfoliating AHA Mask ($48)

A fantastic treatment for acne prone skin. This mask combines blue-tansy (anti-inflammatory) with white willow bark (natural beta hydroxy acids and salicylic acid), fruit enzymes (high in alpha hydroxyl acid), and aloe leaf to exfoliate, smooth, and resurface your skin. This mask is milder than a typical AHA + BHA peel, but sensitive skin types may still experience tingling and redness. The blue tansy oil and aloe leaf will help to counteract irritation that may occur from the AHA exfoliation.

*Tammy Fender – Epi Peel All Natural Exfoliant ($80)

This organic and all natural facial exfoliator is designed to gently polish, brighten, and purify the skin. Featured ingredients include kaolin clay, shea butter, peppermint, spearmint, and rosemary. This mask and exfoliant combo deeply cleanses while also sloughing off dead skin, refining pores, and brightening your complexion. It's super quick to use--simply apply to clean skin and let dry for about five minutes then rinse. Feels tingly after a few minutes and leaves skin super smooth.

Earth Harbor Naturals – Glow Juice Refining Enzyme Mask ($40)

This pretty purple gel is a real treat to use. This organic enzyme mask is jam packed with AHA + BHA acids, fruit enzymes, and white willow bark to gently retexturize the skin without causing irritation. It has a light botanical scent and a fun, jelly-like consistency. The great part about this mask is that you only need to wear it for a minimum of 3 minutes. Even better, you can even use it as a quick spot treatment. This organic peel is potent--so its best to use at night.

*Maya Chia -The Refreshmint Resurfacing Moisture Mask ($68)

The Refresh Mint is one of our favorite organic exfoliating masks. This silky beautiful blue gel resurfaces, moisturizes, and softens after a few uses. It's packed with fruit enzymes and acids such as pumpkin extract, azelaic acid, bromelain (from pineapple), as well as nurturing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, chia seed, and turmeric. It has a refreshing (and mildly tingly) minty cool feeling. It dries in just a few minutes--making this an easy mask to incorporate into your weekly routine.

TAKE THE QUIZ & FIND YOUR PERFECT FACIAL PEEL

Make sure that the next organic facial peel that you buy is the right one for your skin! Get matched to your perfect organic peel in seconds with our Organic Facial Peels Quiz. Click now to get started.

*Tata Harper – Natural Resurfacing Exfoliating Mask ($62)

This natural exfoliating mask has been praised by countless magazines, customers, beauty bloggers and professional aestheticians as being a mask that can delivers results. With a combination of beta-hydroxy acids, probiotics, and soothing aloe vera, this mask instantly smooths skin, reduces pore size, and brightens skin tone. It delivers all of the benefits of a traditional peel treatment without risking major irritation/redness. Use every day for 2-3 days and then reduce to 1-2 times/week.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
about-author_diane-elizabeth125
This Article Was Written By…

Diane Elizabeth K., Founder at SkinCareOx.com

Diane Elizabeth founded Skin Care Ox in 2016 after her personal struggle to find truly clean, natural, and organic products. Leveraging her background in biomedical engineering, scientific research + analytics, and entrepreneurship, she created Skin Care Ox to be an easy-to-use resource to find real clean beauty options. Since then, her articles have been read by over 3 Million people and have helped millions choose cleaner alternatives. She currently lives in Colorado with her husband and growing family.
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PRODUCT BADGES LEGEND
100% NATURAL

100% NATURAL

The product contains only natural ingredients (non-synthetic or lab created). It does not contain anything artificial or synthetic.

100% ORGANIC

100% ORGANIC

The product has been formulated with 100% organically sourced and/or certified organic ingredients.

GMO FREE

GMO FREE

This product does not contain ingredients which have been genetically modified.

GLUTEN FREE

GLUTEN FREE

All of the ingredients contained in the product are free from gluten, wheat, and ingredients which are commonly contaminated with gluten.

VEGAN

VEGAN

The product is made without animal products or byproducts such as beeswax, honey, milk, eggs, etc.

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