About Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is a skin-resurfacing procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin to peel away the top layers. The skin that regenerates after a chemical peel is smoother and more youthful looking.

Chemical peels are used to treat fine lines, acne, skin discoloration, age spots and scars — typically on the face. A chemical peel can be done alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures.

chemical peel

Chemical peels can be performed at different depths — light, medium or deep — depending on your desired results. Each type of chemical peel uses a different chemical solution. Deeper chemical peels produce more dramatic results, but also involve longer recovery times.

A series of chemical peels scheduled at specific intervals can also strengthen the skin. In fact, this will make the treated skin stronger against the harmful effects of the environment.

How Chemical Peels work

Chemical peels work on the top layer of the skin or epidermis, loosening the ‘glue’ that holds the dead skin cells together. With the peeling process, any unwanted pigment is shed and healthy new epidermal cells are stimulated to grow. New collagen fibers in the underlying dermis are created, causing the skin to feel firmer.


chemical peelsCommonly treated conditions

The following conditions are commonly treated by chemical peels:

  • Fine lines
  • Weathered skin
  • Acne
  • Acne scarring
  • Brown spots and enlarged pores
  • Freckles
  • Sun spots
  • Age spots
  • Melasma

The results are softer, smoother and more youthful looking skin.

In those cases where these conditions are more severe, photo facial rejuvenation and laser resurfacing may be more appropriate to achieve the results you are looking for.

Types of Chemical Peels

Glycolic Peels

Glycolic acid (AHA) is an alpha hydroxy acid derived from sugar cane. It exfoliates the skin and contributes to enhanced skin hydration, smoothes fine lines and improves skin texture and tone. Glycolic acid peels are effective anti-aging treatments that help the skin regenerate. Glycolic acid is a popular chemical peel for young adults and those who want to brighten the skin.

Salicylic or Jessner Peels

Salicylic or Jessner chemical peels are often used to control acne prone skin. Salicylic acid (BHA) is a beta hydroxy acid which is an oil soluble solution derived from willow bark, wintergreen leaves, and birch bark. This chemical peel helps oily prone skin by dissolving bacteria. Salicylic acid peels also promote cutaneous shedding as well as dissolving black-heads and white-heads.

Salicylic chemical peels are also popular for patients with maturing skin who want to regenerate the skin on a deeper level than is commonly achieved with microdermabrasion treatment or glycolic peels. By stimulating cutaneous shedding, we are able to exfoliate the deep layers of the skin improving fine lines, pigmentation, and wrinkles. Salicylic chemical peels are safe for all skin types.

Chemical Peel procedure

During a light chemical peel treatment, the skin is first thoroughly cleansed and dried. Next, the AHA or BHA is applied to the face. The exfoliating agent is generally thin--almost water-like in its consistency--and is applied with a small brush.

You will feel a warming sensation soon after the exfoliating agent is applied. Some people say they feel a slight stinging; others describe it as more of a light burning sensation. The length of time the peeling agent is left on the skin varies, but the average is about 10 minutes. Next, the peel is removed with cool water and a neutralizing agent. The skin is dried and the peel is complete.

Following the procedure

After your peel, your skin will look like it’s sunburned. This redness normally fades in a few hours, depending on the strength of the peeling agent used and how long it was left on the skin.