I think some people underestimate peeling gels, dismissing them as gimmicky. The stuff coming off is not dead skin — it’s polymers in the product combining with some sebum and dirt on the skin surface to form little clumps. (Japanese peeling gels, unlike Western gommage, do not contain enzymes nor scrubbing particles.) If you get past the visual, it is a really gentle yet incredibly efficient form of physical exfoliation.
There’re boatloads of peeling peels in the market, but one of my all-time favourites is this cheapy one by Rosette. They have 2 varieties and I love them both. I’ve used the original version in the blue tube for years, which leaves combination-oily skin feeling squeaky clean and toned. In a direct comparison, the “new” (it came out earlier last year) Moist version is a smidgen more hydrating in feel.
The whole process may seem little anti-climactic if you’re used to face scrubs — you gently massage the gel on clean, dry skin till there’re no more soft rubber bits remain on the skin. It doesn’t feel like it’s doing much. It’s not until you rinse it away and your skin is as smooth a freshly peeled egg that you even realise that it’s been picking up crap sitting on the surface and gently polishing away at your face. Both versions leave my skin incredibly smooth, but not tight.