Since you’re missing your dermatologist appointments and shopping for new skincare products is difficult right now, skipping your regular AHA and BHA peels can leave your skin in a lurch. Are you in the same boat? You can turn your pantry into your skincare lab. The AHAs/BHAs that are in your cleansers, moisturisers, peels and masks, are all derived from organic sources like citrus fruits, sugar cane and mint leaves—things you can find in your kitchen. So, we asked celebrity dermatologist, Dr Kiran Kaur Sethi of Isya Aesthetics to share some of her homemade peel recipes that work as great substitutes for your chemical peels. “You won’t be using any potent acids so there won’t be any peeling of the skin like in a chemical/medical peel (chemical peels are highly concentrated and exfoliating that peel the top layer of the skin), but the homemade peels are milder and will help you exfoliate and get rid of dead skin cells,” assures Sethi.
A lactic acid peel for dry, dull skin
Lactic acid is one of the milder alpha hydroxy acids and is derived from milk. It is known for its hydrating properties, which is what your parched skin is looking for. It is both exfoliating and moisturising. “The acid helps bind water into the skin to reveal a hydrated glow. The substitute for this at home can be buttermilk which is a great source of lactic acid and helps get rid of dead and dull skin,” says Sethi. Start by taking two tablespoons of buttermilk. Make sure it isn’t too dilute as it won’t sit on the skin. Apply a generous amount on the face, avoiding the eye area. Leave it for ten minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
A glycolic acid peel to fight fine lines
Glycolic acid is one of the stronger AHAs on the market, and is usually derived from sugarcane. Known for its anti-ageing properties, it helps fight fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation. “Glycolic acid is also known for its antimicrobial properties and we have always raved about sugar being a natural exfoliant. This is where they come together. A sugar peel is highly effective for a plump looking and firm skin,” says Sethi. Take two tablespoons of sugar and honey. Add two to three tablespoons of water to it. Mix them all together and make a paste. Apply this mixture on the face evenly. Keep it for five minutes and rinse.
A salicylic acid peel for clogged pores and acne-prone oily skin
Salicylic acid is a powerful BHA that is known for working on acne, breakouts, inflammation and clogged pores. It is derived from willow bark and is common in all anti-acne products. “Willow bark extract is not commonly found or easily available but you can always use mint leaves as it also contains a high content of salicylic acid,” says Dr Sethi. As for the technique? “Wash mint leaves with water, crush them, and put them in a glass jar. Add grapeseed oil to the mix and let it sit for 48 hours. Mix soaked cabbage and buttermilk to create a thick paste, and then apply to the face,” she says. Cabbage is rich in antioxidants, and buttermilk will soothe the skin, essentially making this an AHA-BHA peel. “Focus on the nose and T-zone, which is most prone to clogged pores,” says Dr Sethi.
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