The Best Organic Face Peels and Why They Work

The Best Organic Face Peels (and Why They Work)

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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 6 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.
1

NATUROPATHICA: PEAR FIG POLISHING ENZYME PEEL $52 (1.7 OZ)

This organic facial peel combines AHA (from ingredients figs, pears, papaya, and added lactic acid) and BHA (from the salicylic acid in willow bark) with moisturizing oils (like cranberry seed and jojoba oil) to create a potent resurfacing peel. The oils calm and hydrate your skin while the AHA dissolves dead skin cells. All you have to do is apply the peel and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Fans of the peel say that it made their skin noticeably softer, firmer, and brighter after just one use. As for the brand? Naturopathica is a luxury natural and organic skin care brand, certified by Ecocert, and whose products are featured in high-end spas across the globe. Good stuff all around!

Skin Concerns:

anti-aging, dry/dehydrated skin, flaky skin, dull complexion, sensitive skin, uneven skin tone 

Ingredients

Organic Ingredients: (pear fruit extract, jojoba seed oil, fig fruit extract, cinnamon bark oil, cranberry seed oil)

 Non-Organic Ingredients: (lactic acid, arginine, xylitylglucoside, anhydroxylitol, xylitol, jojoba wax beads, water, xanthan gum, sodium hydroxide, willow bark extract, raspberry seed extract, lemongrass leaf oil, maltodextrin, papaya fruit extract, bergamot peel oil, dehydroacetic acid, benzyl alcohol)

86.04% of the total ingredients are from organic farming.

2

EMINENCE: YAM & PUMPKIN ENZYME PEEL $46 (2 OZ)

This natural AHA + BHA enzyme peel from Eminence Organics is a powerful all-around exfoliator. It uses gentle exfoliating fruit enzymes and acids to slough off dead skin cells, clear out the pores, and smooth out wrinkles. This organic face peel is particularly great as an anti-aging tool because it is rich with antioxidants, vitamins, and amino acids which all help to plump and renew aging skin. You’ll also find natural hyaluronic acid which also plumps the skin by locking in moisture. This peel is great for all skin types (except areas with active acne breakouts). Customers and fans say that they’ve experienced noticeably smoother and brighter skin after just one use.

Skin Concerns:

clogged pores, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, sun damage, fine lines, dull complexion 

Ingredients

Ingredients: (yam puree, pumpkin puree, glycolic acid, soybean oil, sodium hyaluronate, sunflower oil, avocado oil, vegetable glycerin, tocopheryl acetate, orange pulp, pineapple pulp, corn meal, carrot juice, pineapple enzyme, papaya enzyme, asafetida juice, phytocollagen, white willow bark extract, calendula oil, comfrey root extract, white tea, lavender oil, allantoin, panthenol, glycine derivative, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, orange oil and frankincense essential oil, grape seed oil)

*Specific information on which ingredients are from organic origins is not available. Eminence Organics owns  and sources their ingredients from their certified organic farm in Hungary.

3

ANDALOU NATURALS: PUMPKIN HONEY GLYCOLIC MASK $15 (1.7 OZ)

This product works more like an organic face peel than a mask. Like a peel, it’s packed with AHA from natural ingredients like pineapple, pumpkin, lemon, apple, and grape enzymes (as well as added glycolic acid). The exfoliating acids are balanced out by soothing anti-inflammatory ingredients like manuka honey, aloe leaf juice, tamanu oil, and sunflower seed oil. Tamanu oil is particularly great for those with facial scars and blemishes because it has been proven to soften scar tissue and heal damaged skin.  One note, reviewers with sensitive skin say that they experienced a mild/intense tingling sensation when using this mask; thus, it is not recommended for those with sensitive skin or active acne.

Skin Concerns:

dark spots, clogged pores, blemishes, dull complexion, dry skin, acne scars 

Ingredients

Certified Organic Ingredients: (pumpkin puree, aloe leaf juice, fruit stem cells and bioactive 8 berry complex, sunflower seed oil, apple fruit extract, pineapple fruit extract, sugar cane extract, lemon fruit extract,  rooibos extract, clove flower extract, nutmeg kernel powder, cinnamon bark powder)

 Non-Organic Ingredients: (purified water, vegetable glycerin, manuka honey, hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, tocopherol, tamanu seed oil, meadowfoam seed oil, glycolic acid, vitamin c, xanthan gum, sodium hyaluronate, lecithin, caprylyl glycol, phenethyl alcohol, ethylhexylglycerin)

4

JUICE BEAUTY: GREEN APPLE PEEL-FULL STRENGTH $48 (2 OZ)

If you’re looking for a powerful organic face peel that you can do at home, then you might like this peel from Juice Beauty. This peel combines AHA + BHA (so it’s not recommended for sensitive skin) to deliver a deeper level of exfoliation capable of resurfacing skin. Not only does this peel contain fruit acids to break down dead skin, it also contains tons of vitamins (vitamins A, C, and E) and antioxidants (resveratrol) to rejuvenate dull, aging, and discolored skin. This is a solid peel product with hundreds of customer reviews. Not to mention, you can’t go wrong choosing a brand with reputation for quality products and certified organic ingredients.

Skin Concerns:

anti-aging, flaky skin, dull complexion, blemishes, dark spots, fine lines & wrinkles 

Ingredients

Certified Organic Ingredients: (apple juice, lemon juice, aloe juice)

 Non-Organic Ingredients: (lactic acid, glycolic acid, vegetable glycerin, hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, sodium hydroxide, gluconolactone, willow bark extract, xanthan gum, sclerotium gum, lysolecithin, pullulan, sodium benzoate, grape seed extract, vitamin e, vitamin c, vitamin a, tetrasodium glutamate diacetate, magnesium aspartate, zinc gluconate, copper gluconate, caprylyl glycol, phenethyl alcohol)

5

SUKI SKINCARE: RESURFACING ENZYME PEEL $83 (1 OZ)

If you have overly active skin that just won’t behave no matter what you try, then this peel from Suki may be your skin savior. Using a proprietary blend of AHA + BHA acids and enzymes, this peel promises not to cause peeling, irritation, or inflammation of the skin. In fact, this organic face peel specifically addresses skin sensitivities like cystic acne, blackheads, and other delicate skin concerns. What makes this organic peel different is their advanced delivery system which stabilizes these high-potency acids, makes them more compatible with our skin, and allows them to penetrate deep beneath the skin without causing irritation.

Skin Concerns:

acne, acne scars, dull complexion, uneven skin tone, aging skin, clogged pores, fine lines and wrinkles 

Ingredients

Certified Organic Ingredients: (provence rose concentrate, alcohol –from sugar cane denatured with lavender oil)

 Non-Organic Ingredients: (apple fruit extract, willow bark powder, glycolic acid, xanthan gum, limonene, papain, pumpkin seed powder, citric acid, fragrance, linalool)

Total organic content = 12.0%

6

HERBIVORE: BLUE TANSY AHA + BHA RESURFACING CLARITY MASK $48 (2.3 OZ)

This AHA + BHA mask from Herbivore is a great exfoliator for sensitive skin types who cannot handle a full-strength peel. It combines luxurious ingredients like blue-tansy (anti-inflammatory) with white willow bark (natural BHA: beta hydroxy acids and salicylic acid), fruit enzymes (high in AHA: alpha hydroxyl acid), and aloe leaf to gently remove dead skin and excess oil. Try this mask if you have acne prone, aging, sensitive, dry, or sun damaged skin.

Skin Concerns:

anti-aging, sensitive skin, dull complexion, blemishes, fine lines & wrinkles 

Ingredients

Organic Ingredients: (aloe leaf juice, pineapple fruit extract, papaya fruit extract, papaya leaf extract)

 Non-Organic Ingredients: (plant derived hydroxyethyl ethylcellulose, glycerin, glyceryl caprylate, willow bark extract, blue tansy flower oil, jasmine flower water, radish root ferment)

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