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7 Exfoliating Peels That Are So Gentle, They Won't Irritate Sensitive Skin

Slough away dead skin with these gentle exfoliating peels that won't leave your skin red and irritated. Hello, radiant skin.

This article first appeared in Her World.

If instant gratification is your jam, then you will love peels.

They instantly smooth, soften and brighten the complexion, leaving it more refined, even-toned and healthy (also read about: the underrated skincare step you’ve been missing out to get clearer skin). They’re also great for treating breakouts and clogged pores (these concealers cover your blemishes without clogging pores, check them out here).

While they’re definitely effective and fast working, peels can also be too harsh on certain complexions. However, as with all things, it’s about picking the right ones. So we’ve put together a list of gentle peels that are also suitable for those with sensitive skin.

Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions’ Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate, $99
This overnight treatment is so gentle it can be used daily – or should we say nightly – can helps to refine skin’s texture and even out skin tone. Infused with fruit acids, cactus extract and quinoa husk extract, it helps to boost cell turnover with zero irritation. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel, $135 for 30 applications
Ideal for fragile skin, this treatment avoids mechanical abrasion and instead removes dead skin cells safely to buff and polish the surface. Step one is packed with rejuvenating exfoliating acids, while step two delivers anti-ageing actives and nourishes and soothes skin to keep it balanced and luminous. It also has calming and hydrating ingredients, such as colloidal oatmeal, to comfort and protect. Derma-Rx Arazyme Exfoliant, $79
Enzyme peels tend to be a gentler, non-abrasive alternative to physical scrubs and chemical peels. Formulated with an innovative blend of active ingredients, this acts as a bio-dermabrasion procedure to dissolve the build-up of dead skin cells from the outermost layer of skin while preserving the healthy cells, helping to improve skin’s natural renewal cycle. The Inkey List Lactic Acid Face Serum, $18
Made with natural AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid) derived from milk and fruit sugars, this lightweight liquid helps to loosen and remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, to target uneven skin tone and reduce fine lines. Not only is lactic acid less irritating and more moisturising than most acids, this serum is also infused with hyaluronic acid for added hydration and comfort. Naturally Serious Cold Pressed Peel Pads, $63
These peel pads exfoliate with pomegranate enzyme and skin-smoothing oleic, palmitic and linoleic fatty acids, while colloidal oatmeal helps soothe and hydrate the skin. Its formula also contains a patented Anti-Pollution Blend of six antioxidants to help combat visible signs of ageing caused by UV rays, pollution, free radical damage and other environmental aggressors, while an exclusive Active Rescue Complex leaves skin looking radiant, healthy and even-toned. Clarins Gentle Peeling Smooth Away Cream, $58
This gentle peeling cream is formulated with soothing primrose extract to eliminate dead skin cells and impurities without the need for microbeads. Use it twice a week for a consistently radiant and soft complexion. Biossance Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Facial Mask, $97
This contains a mixture of acids, fine mineral spheres and hydrators to leave skin smooth and radiant within minutes. Glycolic, lactic, malic and tartaric acids renew and brighten, while the mineral spheres gently polish to smooth and soften, reducing the appearance of fine lines, discolouration and enlarged pores.