Is there anything more gratifying than shedding off dead skin? This is what makes exfoliation an addictive yet tricky practice. Buff too hard and you risk damaging your moisture barrier—but scrub too soft and you might as well not have tried at all. Fortunately, there’s an Asian sensation that occupies the middle ground between the two, and that, friends, is peeling gel.

Contrary to the name, peeling gels don’t actually peel your skin. These delicate chemical exfoliants use enzymes to dissolve dead skin cells, so they never hurt your face. When applied with a gentle massage, these gels dislodge buildup from the surface of the skin, super quick. See the magic at work with our two current faves, straight outta K-beauty.

SPLURGE: Too Cool for School Aqua Soft Peeling Gel, now on sale at P637 (limited time only)
A good peeling gel must thoroughly exfoliate without stripping the skin of moisture. You can cover both bases with TCFC’s Aqua Soft Peeling Gel, a formula known for its hydrating properties. It’s infused with a vitamin droplet called “inosol,” which replenishes moisture and prevents dryness even after rinsing. The keratin enzymes in the gel melt away dead skin cells, so you can wash off all that gunk without a whisper of abrasion. For the current sale price of P600-something, we wouldn’t think twice about this tube.

Shop it here.

SAVE: DewyTree Nature Source Peeling Gel, now on sale at P496 (limited time only)
For an equally mild option, there’s DewyTree’s Nature Source Peeling Gel. This affordable exfoliant is great for sensitive skin! Its 7-free formula contains no parabens or other harmful chemicals, so rest assured it won’t trigger a breakout. This lightweight gel keeps your skin from getting dull by buffing away makeup-, oil-, and dirt-related residue. What you’re left with: a baby-smooth complexion that’s brighter with every wash. Need we say more?

Shop it here.

What’s your pick: Too Cool for School’s hydrating jelly or DewyTree’s ultra-gentle gel?

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: