In my 20s, the very idea of a peel brought up a scene in Sex in the City when Samantha Jone's freshly peeled (and horrifyingly raw) face was compared to beef carpaggio. But now that I'm older, wiser and experiencing the trauma of dull skin and dark spots, I see that peels are a gift from the beauty gods. Yes, they remove a layer of skin and leave you looking like the Cript Keeper for a day or so, but the fresh, new skin that resurfaces is brighter, smoother and super radiant. So peel away , I say.
I also found a more gentle at-home version that I use about twice a month or so to give my skin a little recharge, Planet Eden's Youthful Glow Lactic Acid Peel ($31). This bad boy is sold on Amazon and definitely packs a wallop of exfoliation. Because its high lactic acid content, it can heat up the skin pretty quickly and feel a bit itchy ad uncomfortable, especially for the first few uses. So I suggest diluting and leaving it on for a shorter amount of time than is recommended if your skin is of the ore sensitive variety.
This has been great in adding a nice glow and evening out the tone of my skin. I highly recommend it if you don't want to go the professional peel route.