Acid peels rejuvenate and refresh the skin of the face and neck by using salicylic, lactic, glycolic or fruit acids to reduce the appearance of blemishes, sun damage and fine lines. This cosmetic procedure is commonly performed in a dermatologist’s office and can vary by acid type and concentration strengths.
Different types of acids work through different mechanisms. Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that functions by accelerating the sloughing off of old skin cells and thus preventing skin pores from clogging, allowing new cell growth. Alpha-hydroxy acids are also commonly used to treat skin conditions like acne.
Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid which more easily penetrates into the skin due to its very small molecular structure. Glycolic acids react with the upper layer of the skin, destabilizing the binding properties of the fats, referred to as lipids, that hold the old dead skin cells together. This allows the top layer of skin to fall off, revealing the new underlying skin.
For light acids peels, doctors generally use a commercially prepared alpha-hydroxy acid, but you can make an acid facial peel at home from a variety of fruits, including pineapple and papaya. While the pineapple and papaya used in this all natural fruit facial peel contain natural acid compounds that aid in skin exfoliation, the honey is added to produce a moisturizing effect.
What you will need to make an acid facial peel:
- 1/4 cup fresh papaya
- 1/2 cup fresh pineapple
- Food processor or blender
- Small glass bowl
- 1/2 tablespoon raw honey
- Plastic spoon
- Warm water
- Large bowl
- 2 Face towels
- Plastic spatula
- Cut up one fresh whole papaya and place it in a blender or food processor along with 1 cup of diced pineapple. While you can use canned pineapple, fresh fruit has the highest amount of natural acid compounds and will therefore produce the best results.
- Puree the fruits until the pineapple and papaya has the consistency of a paste.
- Transfer the blended mixture into a glass bowl.
- Add the raw honey to the pineapple and papaya paste, stir the mixture thoroughly with a spoon and set the bowl aside.
- Add warm water to a second bowl, soak a towel in the water and then wring out the towel to remove the excess water.
- Cover your face with the damped towel for at least five minutes to soften the skin and open up the pores in your face
- Remove the towel and pat your face gently with a clean dry towel.
- Scoop some of the papaya and pineapple mixture out of the bowl with a plastic spatula and spread a thin layer of the acid peel evenly over your face with your fingers, taking care not to get any of the mixture in your eyes or hair.
- Allow the fruit and honey mixture to remain on your face for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- Wash the peel off from your skin by splashing your face with cool water and then pat your face gently dry with a soft towel.
There are many different variations of this homemade chemical facial peel recipe that you can try, but pineapple and papaya peels are gentle, effective, beneficial and safe for use on most types of skin. However, the type of fruit used for a facial peel may need to be adjusted depending on skin type, as papaya can cause redness with some people having overly sensitive skin. If you should experience redness try using just the pineapple and honey, and omit the papaya.
Many other fruits and vegetables also contain high amounts of natural acids that may be used for facial peels, including citrus juices, like lemon and orange. Tomato, apple, cranberry and peach are also good choices. Tomato generally works well on excessively oily skin whereas an orange and apple peel is a good choice for dry skin.
Before applying a chemical peel to your entire face perform an allergy test on a small inconspicuous spot, such as behind an ear, to be sure you will not have an allergic reaction to the mixture.