What is an at-home peel and what does it do?
O, The Oprah Magazine, May 1, 2005

What to look for in an at-home peel.

...These solutions typically consist of alpha hydroxy (glycolic, lactic or fruit) acid or beta hydroxy (salicylic) acid, which when smoothed over the skin, lifts off the top layer of cells and stimulates tightening and regeneration of tissues, says Michelle Copeland, D.M.D., M.D., assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and author of Change Your Looks, Change Your Life.

You get better in-office results with microdermabrasion and non-ablative lasers, says Copeland. So the most important caveat is to be sure your peel contains only alpha or beta hydroxy acid, which is milder and doesn't penetrate as deeply as others, in concentrations of no more than 20 percent. The peel I use is 7 percent acid, and I find it plenty strong. Any peel containing trichloroacetic acid or that causes visible peeling or flaking is too strong for at-home use, says Copeland...Acids change over time, says Copeland; be sure to do a patch test before applying one you haven't used in a couple of months because it may have become stronger (or weaker).