How Effective Is A Chemical Peel – Make an Informed Decision

do chemical peels workTypes Of Chemical Peels: What Do Chemical Peels Treat

Chemical peels have three different levels of treatment: light, medium and deep. Each of these treatments offers varying degrees of peeling and use different chemical acids.

What Are They For?

Light Chemical Peels

This is a superficial treatment. Many of these treatments are available over the counter at 5 to 10% concentration. a l light chemical peel

  • treats fine lines
  • restores skin moisture & treats a dry skin
  • a series of treatments makes skin radiant
  • controls acne
  • restores skin tone

Examples Of Light Chemical Peels

Light Chemical peels use Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) such as glycolic, lactic and citric acid. Beta Hydroxy acids (salicylic) are also used specially when treating acne problems. Another chemical, Beta-lipohydroxyacid (LHA) is also proving to be an even better chemical peel although it is not yet widely used as a cosmetic ingredient.

Medium Chemical Peels (Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Peel )

Medium chemical peels are best performed by beauty therapists or dermatologists. It is primarily administered to
lessen fine surface wrinkles

  • get rid of mild acne scars
  • get rid of dark spots and even skin tone
  • correct pigmentary disorders

Since a medium chemical peel leaves the acid on the skin for a longer time, the results are far more noticeable than superficial peels and results are visible in a shorter period.

Within 3 to 4 weeks after treatment, skin will be noticeably smoother and more radiant. Within a few more weeks, there will also be softening of fine lines and wrinkles caused by sun damage, smoothing of acne scars and blemishes, and significant dark spots reduction.

Chemicals Used:

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) used to be the chemical of choice for medium chemical peels. This has recently changed however because of recent studies showing that it could be unsafe.

For this reason, many dermatologists, now use a combination of different chemicals that are proven to bejust as effective as using only TCA. One of the popular chemical combinations used is a mixture of TCA,Glycolic Acid and Jessner solution.

Other chemical combinations include

  • Monheit’s combination (Jessner’s solution + TCA)
  • Brody’s combination (solid carbon dioxide + TCA)
  • Coleman’s combination (Glycolic acid + TCA)

Deep Chemical Peels

Deep chemical peels are used for maximum effectiveness. The results are dramatic but the process can also be painful.It also takes a longer time for the skin to fully recover. Deep peels also have risk factors that a patient needs to put into consideration before going through the treatment. This MUST only be done in a doctor’s office with a qualified professional.

Deep peels are used to

  • Fill deep wrinkles and scars
  • smooths crows feet and forehead wrinkles
  • get rid of precancerous growths
  • smooths skin and corrects spots caused by sun damage, pregnancy, hormonal changes, birth control pills
  • Deep peels MAY also permanently remove freckles and liver spots.

Chemicals Used

Deep chemical peels usually need pretreatment of lighter chemical peels.

The Baker-Gordon phenol peel is the chemical combination widely used for deep peels. It is a combination of Septisol, croton oil, phenol and water.This combination can penetrate into the deep layers of the skin and eventually helps the skin to rejuvenate and trigger collagen production.

What Is The Best Chemical Peel?

For dramatic results, deep chemical peels performed at a doctor’s office can do wonders for skin rejuvenation, filling deep wrinkles, smoothing crow’s-feet and getting rid of dark spots.

However, the cost of the treatment and the recovery period is prohibitive for many.

Most people start with a superficial peel that they can do at home. Many of these peels work especially for minor skin problems. They don’t have any recovery period and are often cheaper too.

Some of the best light chemical peels include:

Alpha Hydroxy Acids:

    • Alpha Hydroxy Enhanced Lotion: 10% Glycolic acid ($11.88)
    • Skin Obsession Glycolic peel: 40% Glycolic acid ($16.99)
    • Perfect Image Lactic acid + Kojic acid: 50% lactic acid ($34.95)
    • Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir: 30% glycolic acid ($21.30)
    • Skinceutical C+ AHA: 15% L-ascorbic acid and 10% hydroxy acids ($75.96)
    • Neostrata Refine Gel Plus – 15% glycolic acid ($44)

Salicylic Acid:

    • Perfect Image Salicylic Acid: 20% salicylic ($29.95)

Combination Of AHA’s and BHA’s in One

    • Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta – Face Peel 2 Steps – Extra strength 2 step formula withglycolic acid, salicylic, malic, lactic, mandelic and citric acid. ($82) – featured in Allure, the Morning Show, Lucky,


    • Skinceutical LHA Solution – combination of LHA, glycolic and salicylic acids (from $31.59)
    • L’Oreal Paris RevitaLift Triple Power Concentrated Serum Treatment – combination ofHyaluronic acid and LHA ($17.57)

Chemical Peel Before And After: Are Chemical Peels Effective?

The effectiveness of chemical peels depends on depth your skin problems and the treatment you use. For example, light acne scars and minor brown spots can be treated with regular use of superficial peels but if you want to smooth wrinkles at a shorter period, deep peels are most effective.

To make sure even more efficacy with this treatment, it is best to combine chemical peels with other resurfacing techniques.

Here are some chemical peel before and after photos to show you how effective chemical peels are:

Celebrities Who Have Had A Chemical Peel

Jennifer Aniston talks about having a chemical peel


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