Anti-Wrinkle Facial Peels

The One-Hour Procedure That Keeps Your Skin Young

Do you have an amazing daily anti-aging routine in place but just aren’t seeing the results that you’d like? It could be that your skin just isn’t absorbing it correctly.

Don’t worry, though – it’s fixable. You just need to get that outer layer of yuck off of your face so that your products can roll up their sleeves and get to work!

What’s the Difference Between a Facial and a Peel?

Have you heard these terms and wondered what in the world the difference was? Well we’re going to clear it up once and for all.

A regular facial is simply a good, deep cleanse and exfoliation accompanied by a massage to stimulate your blood flow.

A peel involves the use of chemicals, either natural or man-made, to treat wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, acne scarring or other blemishes. A peel actually removes the first, and sometimes the second, layer of skin on your face.

What Ingredients Should I Look For In a Facial Peel?

This is a tough question because it really depends upon what your skin tone is and what problems you’re wanting to correct. We’re going to review several of the most common ingredients and discuss exactly what they’re used for. There are peels that contain two or more of these ingredients if you need to treat more than one condition. We’ll review our top product picks at the end of this article.

  • Glycolic Acid

    Glycolic acid is one of the most common ingredients that you’ll find in an anti-aging facial peel and is an alpha hydroxy acid. It’s extremely powerful and is actually regulated by the government. It’s a favorite ingredient as an exfoliant because of its high acidity but excellent water solubility.

    When applied to your face as part of a peel, it goes underneath the first, and sometimes second, layer of your skin and dissolves the cells that hold all of those dead skin cells in place. The other ingredients in the peel wash away those dead layers and neutralize any remaining glycolic acid, leaving your skin smooth and younger looking.

    Because it’s so acidic, you may be sensitive to the sun and have a red appearance for a day or two after your peel, depending on the percentage of acid in the peel so for your first time, you may want to try something around 30%. Glycolic acid is a great ingredient for getting rid of fine lines, sun damage and age spots in concentrations higher than 10% but less than 70%.

  • Salicylic Acid

    Salicylic acid has been used for centuries to treat everything from pain to acne and is the main ingredient in plain old aspirin. Originally made from willow bark, it’s now usually synthetically created.

    The primary use for salicylic acid in a chemical peel is to exfoliate and to treat acne and psoriasis. It also opens up your pores so that your skin is ready to absorb your moisturizers or other treatments.

    Salicylic acid treatments are considered to be light, or superficial, because they only remove the outer most layers of skin.

  • Lactic Acid

    Lactic acid is produced by your body during exercise and is also found in milk products. It’s a great ingredient to look for in your peel if you have dry skin and want to treat fine lines and wrinkles around your mouth and under your eyes. Lactic Acid treatments are also great to use as a weekly moisturizing treatment.

  • Trichloracetic Acid (TCA)

    TCA is a non-toxic exfoliating acid that’s used to treat fixed fine lines, freckles, age spots, acne and sun damage. It’s not a good treatment for dynamic wrinkles or acne scars. After a treatment with TCA, your skin will be brighter and small blemishes will be reduced or eliminated. TCA peels will cause your skin to peel, so that’s something that you may wish to consider when scheduling your treatment.

  • Resorcinol

    Resorcinol is a chemically-created agent that is water-soluble and used to treat such skin conditions as acne, psoriasis and rosacea. Because it is a moderately aggressive acid, you may have a slightly red appearance that resembles a sunburn for a day or two after getting your peel, depending upon how strong the concentration is.

  • Baker’s Phenol

    Because this ingredient is typically used to treat deep wrinkles and is considered a deep chemical peel, you won’t find it in any at-home kits, or even at spas but we thought you might want to know about it.

    Baker’s phenol is so powerful that it carries a risk of heart and kidney problems as well as decreased skin coloration (hypopigmentation). Deep chemical peels are so dangerous that they must be conducted in an operating room and require weeks of preparation.

    You run the risk of infection, herpes simplex infections, bacterial infections, scarring and discoloration of your skin, so think carefully before you undergo this procedure and choose a seasoned professional.

If you’d like to do an at-home facial peel, check out the products that we’ve chosen below. We’ve broken them down into categories for you to make it easy to choose.

Our Top Picks


  1. Fine Lines, Discoloration, Uneven Complexion, Enlarged Pores, Clogged Pores (Keratosis Pilaris)

    DermaDoctor Physical Chemistry Microdermabrasion + Multiacid Chemical Peel: This powerhouse contains glycolic, lactic, azelaic and alpha hydroxy acids that work together to provide the ultimate at-home peel. It also contains several skin soothers such as green tea extract, algae extract and dimethicone to reduce irritation. To top it off, it has smooth-edged microdermabrasion beads that do an excellent job of exfoliating but break down when applied so that they don’t irritate your skin.

  2. Acne, Oily Skin, Clogged Pores, Fine Lines and Wrinkles, and Age Spots

    40% Glycolic Acid Peel by Skin Obsessions: This really says all that it needs to – it’s a high enough concentration to work, but not so high that first-time users will burn themselves. Be sure to follow the directions!

  3. Uneven Skin Tone, Acne, Psoriasis, Sun Damage – All Skin Tones

    50% Lactic Acid Gel Peel: Formulated for all skin tones and contains enough for 15 full facials.

  4. After-Peel Treatment

    Neutralizer Skin pH Balancer: Helps balance the pH of your skin after a peel for a safe, effective procedure.

If you’ve tried a facial peel, we’d love to hear how it worked out for you. Please fill us in in the comments section below.


Best Morning and Night Routine for Anti-Aging

Keep Your Skin Moist and Glowing Using Our Tried-and-True Routine

Are you tired of buying one expensive skin product after another with exactly zero results?

If so, you’re not alone.

There are a million products out there that claim to reduce wrinkles, eliminate age spots, and improve your complexion in general.

Unfortunately, many of them simply don’t live up to their claims.

Your problem may also be user error. If you’re not properly preparing your face, you’re wasting your time and money slathering on that expensive moisturizer or wrinkle-removing serum. As a matter of fact, you may be making the problem worse.

Don’t worry though – you’re in the right place. By the end of this article, you’re going to know exactly what steps to take each morning and night to stay young-looking and beautiful!

Also, just as a side note, all of the products that we suggest are available either over-the-counter or from reputable online skincare companies – none of those scammy deals that require memberships or credit card numbers are included.

Deep Cleanse at Night

Nighttime is when you do your deep cleansing. Basically, you only need 4 products but you need to make sure that they are designed for your skin type. Especially if you have excessively dry or oily skin, using the wrong product could make your issues worse instead of better.

  1. An Exfoliating Cleanser: In order to have healthy, glowing skin, it’s absolutely imperative that you exfoliate. It’s only necessary to do this once or twice a week because it takes a few days for dead skin cells to accumulate, but you’ll see almost immediate results. Your skin will be brighter, will have a more even tone and will feel softer, too.

    Our Top Picks

    • Neo-Cleanse Exfoliating Skin Cleanser by NeoCutis: This product gets our top pick because it’s free of fragrances and dyes, contains glycolic acid, and is good for all skin types. It claims to be good for twice-daily use, but we caution against that simply because glycolic acid can be an irritant if used too much. As with any product, use your common sense.

    • Loreal Paris Go 360 Clean Deep Exfoliating Scrub: This inexpensive exfoliating scrub has natural apricot beads and comes with a little scrublet with which to clean your face. It’s gentle enough for all skin types and works to scrub away dead skin cells without chemicals. Great for people with sensitive skin.

  2. A Good Daily Cleanser: On nights that you don’t exfoliate, you need to clean your face with a mild cleanser that’s free of fragrances and oils that can irritate your skin and cause breakouts.

    You can pick up a good cleanser for very little money and there isn’t really a difference between many of the cheaper ones and the more expensive ones. Make sure that it’s a facial cleanser, though; you should never use regular bar soap on your face because it will dry your skin out.

    When cleansing your face, use warm water and massage your face in circular motions. This stimulates your circulation, which helps your skin generate healthy new skin cells. Make sure that your water is luke warm because both really hot and really cold water can cause your capillaries to burst.

  3. Our Top Picks

    Here are a couple of great suggestions that are gentle, effective, and affordable:

    • Liquid Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Formula: We like this product because it’s inexpensive, won’t clog your pores, is great for all skin types including sensitive skin, and is fragrance and oil free.

    • Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash: This product gets our thumbs up because it’s oil and fragrance free, gentle enough for all skin types, and is even gentle enough to use around your eyes for makeup removal. As an added bonus, it’s got Alpha Hydroxy in it, which helps smooth fine lines.

  4. Anti-Aging Serum: Some people prefer to simply use an all-inclusive moisturizer because historically serums haven’t really been that effective. With recent breakthroughs in anti-aging technology though, they’re worth a second look.

    Serums are targeted specifically at your eyes, forehead, laugh lines, and/or neck and our research turned up some awesome products that received rave performance reviews. You’re going to spend a bit but the results will be well worth it if you’re serious about giving your wrinkles the boot.

    When you’re applying your serum, do so in a circular motion just like you do when you’re cleansing. Many of these products take a few weeks to see results so don’t get discouraged and quit before the product has a chance to work its magic.

  5. Our Top Picks

    Here are a couple of tried and true serums. They’re a bit pricey but worth it. With these, you could skimp a bit on the moisturizer because they contain all of the anti-aging ingredients that you need.

    • PCA Skin ExLinea Peptide Smoothing Serum: Packed full of good stuff like argireline, vitamins A and E, and aloe, this little miracle worker has what you need to decrease wrinkles and hydrate your skin.

    • SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex: The name says it all on this one. It’s got your retinols to get rid of those wrinkles, plus shea butter to help moisturize.

  6. A Proven Anti-Aging Night Moisturizing Cream: When it comes to anti-aging moisturizers, the more expensive products really are usually better. Look for ones with antioxidants and a combination of anti-aging products. Some effective ingredients to look for include:

    • Argireline (acetyl hexapeptide)
    • Hyaluronic Acid
    • Retinol
    • Matrixyl
    • Alpha-Lipoic Acid
    • Haloxyl

    Our Top Picks

    Here are a couple of night creams that people just love:

    • Peptides Double Action Wrinkle Reverse by Derma e: In addition to argireline and matrixyl, this product from Derma e also contains vitamins A and E as well as several natural moisturizers and ingredients to help increase collagen and elastin production. To make it even better, it’s not tested on animals!

    • Peter Thomas Roth Mega Rich Intensive Anti-Aging Cellular Creme: This night formula made our list because it contains several different peptides known to boost collagen production as well as Argireline, antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, and sodium hyaluronate to help your skin retain moisture.

Now that we’ve covered what you need for your night time anti-aging routine, let’s talk about what you need to do in the morning to keep your skin healthy and youthful. Go ahead and jump to page 2!


Top 10 Anti-Aging Ingredients Revealed

The Good, The Bad and The Useless

Have you been thinking about spending some money on a really good anti-aging serum or moisturizer but don’t know what to look for?

You’re definitely not alone.

Every product claims to be the best, but which one’s telling the truth? We’re going to review the top anti-aging ingredients, tell you how (and if) they work, and then offer some product suggestions for you.

Ready to get started?

Good. Here goes, in no particular order:

  1. Retinol: Long used for it’s anti-wrinkle properties, retinol is the purest form of the antioxidant vitamin A. Though it’s effectiveness has been proven, many people can’t use it because it causes redness and irritation. ROC claims that they have resolved this issue with their newest product, Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Creme.

  2. Argireline: Touted as the needle-free alternative to Botox, argireline is a peptide that is a shortened version of the botulinum toxin in Botox, Dysport and other injectable wrinkle treatments. It also acts similarly by relaxing facial muscles, thus decreasing the appearance of wrinkles.

    Since it’s relatively new, there are no long-term studies regarding effects or side effects, but the short-term reviews on it are nothing short of incredible. The product being shouted about from the rooftops is PCA Skin ExLinea Peptide Smoothing Serum. It has an entire anti-aging arsenal in it including argireline, vitamins A and E, and aloe.

  3. Hyaluronic Acid: With the ability to hold up to 1000x it’s weight in water, this is the ingredient that you want to look for in your moisturizers and other creams. It’s actually naturally produced and used in you joints, connective tissue, and eyes as a lubricant.

    In addition to its amazing ability to latch onto and retain moisture, it’s also prescribed by doctors as an anti-scarring and healing aid. Look for it in your moisturizer, your sunscreen, or anything else that you slather on! Give Derma e’s Hyaluronic Acid Night Creme Intensive Rehydrating Formula a shot. It’s affordable and contains your hyaluronic acid, plus vitamins A and C. This is an excellent cream to use if you’re also incorporating a serum with the big-dog ingredients in it.

  4. Matrixyl: This mighty little ingredient is actually scientifically proven to stimulate both collagen and hyaluronic acid production in your skin. It’s a lipopeptide (fatty acid mixed with amino acids) and its active ingredient is Micro-Collagen, another peptide. It stimulates the lower layers of your skin cells to heal themselves, so it’s good for healing as well as anti-aging.

    The best part is that it acts relatively quickly. Women noticed that deep wrinkles were decreased by as much as half and fine lines faded, sometimes completely, within 2 weeks. A product that’s receiving rave reviews is Peter Thomas Roth’s Unwrinkle Nightcreme.

  5. Haloxyl: Another relative newcomer to the anti-aging scene, this tetrapeptide is making a huge splash because of its ability to reduce and even eliminate under-eye circles and puffiness. It works by increasing lymphatic drainage while you sleep.

    The blood and fluid that normally builds up under your eyes overnight is what causes both the puffiness and the circles so Haloxyl doesn’t just cover up your circles and bags, it actually prevents them from occurring to begin with. To get rid of your bags and under-eye circles, try EmerginC’s Lighten-Up Under-Eye Circle Fighter

We’ve made it through the first 5 top anti-aging ingredients, but we’re not done yet. Continue reading to find out what other products made the list. I’ll give you a clue: there are actually SIX more! That’s right. I couldn’t narrow it down to just 10, because the last one may just be the most important. Read on!

  1. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA): Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant and is unusual in that it is both water- and fat-soluble. This means that it can fight damage caused by free radicals both inside and outside the cell. It also is a “recycling” agent for other antioxidants such as the mighty CoQ10 and Vitamin C.

    Because alpha-lipoic acid also has a mild anti-inflammatory effect, it’s great to use in conjunction with stronger, more irritating anti-aging products. On its own, it’s not a really big anti-aging gun but it’s an awesome little helper in your war on wrinkles. Give this one a shot: Dermaquest’s Skin Therapy cleanser. It’s packed with goodies including ALA, DMAE and Vitamin C.

  2. Alpha Hydroxy: An acid derived from fruits, alpha hydroxy is an excellent exfoliant. It eats away the top layer of dead, dull skin so that your skin can rejuvenate with new, healthy cells. Though the name sounds fancy, you may recognize it by some of its various compounds including citric acid, glycolic acid, malic acid, lactic acid and tartaric acid.

    If you’ve been looking at anti-aging products including wrinkle reducers and peels, some of these are probably familiar. Both glycolic and lactic acid are frequently found in facial peels and of course citric acid is just old fashioned, antioxidant vitamin C. A good toner containing alpha hydroxy is Nutragena’s Pore Refining Toner.

  3. Tretinoin: As the first retinoid (an acidic form of vitamin A) used in aging, tretinoin remains effective as an anti-aging tool. Much like retinol, it dissolves the outer dead layers of skin so that new cells are exposed and can thrive.

    Tretinoin also has a second function (as do all retinoids) that’s a little fuzzier to understand. The gist of it is that when it’s absorbed into your cells, it’s converted into retinol and acts as an antioxidant as well as a cell nutrient. Therefore, you get double your bang for your buck.

    Tretinoin eats away the dead stuff, burrows into the healthy cells and then protects it from free radicals and feeds it. Unfortunately, tretinoin is extremely irritating and will often cause redness, peeling, swelling and extreme sensitivity to sunlight wherever it’s applied. That’s why you don’t see it used more frequently – people choose to use the less-irritating retinol instead.

  4. Copper Peptide: Used primarily as a healing agent for wounds and ulcers, copper peptide’s usefulness as an anti-wrinkle tool is questionable. It does have anti-inflammatory properties and stimulates collagen production, so combined with its healing properties copper peptides may be useful as a tool to use after a chemical peel to help prevent the creation of free radicals caused by the irritation that many chemicals such as retinoids cause. Used as a stand-alone anti-aging tool, however, its effectiveness is unproven.

  5. Coenzyme Q10: This little protein/vitamin combination is a veritable powerhouse of good things for your body. It’s disease fighting abilities are becoming legendary, it’s a free radical’s worst nightmare, and its importance in many bodily chemical functions is proven. For more on this, check out our Coenzyme Q10 article.

    Unfortunately, there haven’t been many studies focusing on its topical effectiveness. Until that happens, you might want to stick with using the proven bad boys of topical anti-aging as your main ingredients until more research is done on the external effectiveness of CoQ10.

  6. DMAE: OK, so I said 10 at the beginning of the article but I just had to throw this one in, too. DMAE, or dimethylaminoethanol, is an ingredient that actually has some scientific backing supporting its claim to reducing facial sagging which is probably an even bigger indicator of age. After all, young people can get wrinkles, but they surely don’t get saggy faces or bodies.

    How it works exactly is unclear even to scientists but they suspect that it destroys the garbage that accumulates in your cells as you age, thus preventing sagging. An awesome product that contains DMAE along with several of our other top picks here is Pericone MD’s Face Finishing Moisturizer.

If you’ve had any experience with these ingredients or would like to mention one that’s not listed, please tell us about it in the comments section below.


Youthful Skincare Tips

Battle Father Time and WIN!

You’ve done everything that you can…you’ve armed yourself with a million different products that promise results, and you’ve slathered them on religiously.

Why then do the crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles and saggy skin still progress with a vengeance?

It could be that you’re not using the right products, or maybe you’re using the wrong combination of products for your age and skin type.

Before you throw your hands up in defeat and rush to the plastic surgeon, read on. We’re going to discuss how best to take care of your face so that you remain youthful-looking and beautiful.

Nourish From the Inside!

Here’s a fact for you: your skin is about 90% water and if you don’t drink enough, you’re actually encouraging wrinkles. That’s right – when your body is dehydrated, your skin loses its elasticity. Also, your body sends water to your skin last because your organs actually need it to keep you alive. Since that’s the obvious priority, your skin only gets it when there’s enough to go around.

The lesson here is that in order to keep your skin healthy looking and glowing, you absolutely have to drink enough water. By adding the old tried-and-true 64 ounces a day to your anti-aging routine, you’ll be amazed by how much better your skin looks and feels.

You also want to eat a balanced diet rich in antioxidants. These superfoods help your body fight the free radicals that damage your skin, make you look old and cause all kinds of horrible diseases.

Moisturize!

As soon as you get out of the shower and immediately after you wash your face, you need to slather on the moisturizer. This is the best time because your pores are open from the warm water and your skin will absorb it. You can use the best anti-aging creams on the planet but if your skin doesn’t absorb it, you’re wasting your time and money.

There’s an ingredient that grabs moisture and traps it in your skin called hyaluronic acid. This awesome moisture-trapping machine can hold up to 1000x its weight in water and should be in every moisturizing product that you own. If you’re curious about other top ingredients found in your beauty products, we’ve got an entire article dedicated specifically to explaining how the latest products work here.

Get Plenty of Sleep!

Your body uses sleep to regenerate and if you’re not resting well, your skin will become dry and dull. Make sure that you’re getting enough zzz’s for your body heal itself. How to tell? You should wake feeling rested and ready to start the day. If not, your body isn’t functioning at maximum efficiency and your looks are going suffer.

Use Sunscreen!

Did you spend your youth slathering on the tanning oil and worshipping the sun in order to get that beautiful, golden glow and now, 20 or 30 years later, you’re paying for it? Everyone loves to look sunkissed but research has shown that exposure to UV rays is the leading cause of wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer.

Fortunately, there are some amazing products out there that will not only prevent further sun damage but will also reverse some of the damage that’s already been done. Also, there’s new research that proves that your old sunscreen may not be cutting the mustard. Tp find out why, and to learn about a fabulous skin care routine that includes an effective sunscreen, check out our daily routine article.

Pamper Yourself!

Do you take the time to pamper yourself as well as you should? If not, your skin is probably paying for it. In addition to daily care, people over 30 also need to invest an hour or two per month into a good facial peel. If you don’t take the time to de-gunk your face, none of your products will be as effective as they could be. If you check out our article on facial peels, you’ll never skip this essential step in your anti-aging routine again.

If you have a great tip that you’ve found that works for you, please tell us all about it in the comments section below.