One of the beauty trends to emerge during Covid-19 centered around achieving younger and smoother skin—we’re talking about at-home chemical peels.
From coloring hair at home to working out at home, at-home peels gained popularity as people sheltered in place and attended work meetings and social gatherings on Zoom—where the camera tends to exaggerate skin imperfections and signs of aging. And the peels show no signs of dimming down.
“We have seen the acceleration of several at-home trends due to Covid-19,” says Kristin Kohler Burrows, senior director at Alvarez & Marsal Consumer and Retail Group.
“The home as the center or hub for many people also has an impact on the beauty and skin care categories,” Kohler Burrows adds. “People want to be able to do spa-like treatments from home and skin peels are no exception.”
At-home chemical peels are a safe way to refresh your skin, says Dr. Monica Rani, of Advanced Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine in Chicago. The products contain acids similar to professional in-office peels but in lower concentrations, Rani says.
“The goal of at-home peels is not to completely resurface your skin. The goal is to gently lift away the topmost layer of skin, trigger the cells lying below that top layer to move on up, increase collagen production and make hyaluronic acid. All this is what gives that dewy fresh look,” Rani says. “And you don’t even need to actually see the ‘peeling’ to get these benefits.”
Face peel products have grown 150% from 2019 to 2020, according to analysis from 1010 data, with a 107% spike in sales in April 2020 compared to March 2020. Some beauty brands leading the online face peel market include The Ordinary, QRxLabs, Dr. Dennis Gross, M-61, Bliss and Neogen Dermalogy.
Demand for at-home peels appears to be growing. According to Statista, the market for chemical peels is expected to grow 50% over the next five years.
“People wanting to do more at-home services and at-home peels are a part of the consumer trend toward doing more at home. The health, beauty and wellness craze is contributing to this,” says Kohler Burrows. “We believe that the majority of the expected growth will come from at-home peels, largely because it’s easier and more convenient, less expensive, and delivers results. We are seeing a lot of players enter this space to deliver lower cost and more frequently-used options to higher-cost, less frequently used options driving even more growth in the overall space.”
At M-61, the skincare brand sold at Bluemercury, its PowerGlow Peel has been the brand’s top-selling product for more than three years. The product contains glycolic and salicylic acids to help reduce pore size, the appearance of fine lines and help improve skin’s texture.
“We sell one every five seconds,” says Julie Kelly, vice president of M-61 Powerful Skincare.
For those looking for a stronger boost, M-61 recently introduced the Extra Strength PowerGlow Peel, with 20% glycolic acid—the highest percentage the brand offers. In comparison, the original PowerGlow Peel contains 7% glycolic acid.
“These one-minute, one-step pads offer an at-home, professional-grade resurfacing chemical peel that mirrors glycolic peels done in the dermatologist office,” Kelly says.
Over the last year, The Ordinary saw demand increase for products designed to improve the look of skin.
“We saw a huge spike in our Vitamin C sales for example, which could be a direct impact of customers looking at how they can enhance the look of their skin for at-home virtual meetings,” says Nicola Kilner, chief executive officer and co-founder of Deciem, parent company of The Ordinary.
“The popularity increased when our AHA Peeling Solution built viral momentum on TikTok. This could be attributed to multiple factors, but the fact our audience could not physically get to a salon for treatments, meant they began exploring at-home alternatives.”