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The chemical peel is one of the ...

Posted Jun 10 2009 6:43pm

The chemical peel is one of the oldest beauty secrets known! Since ancient times women have bathed in sour milk, or rubbed fruit skins over their skin to attain a smooth, healthy radiance, and to look younger and better. They didn’t know it then, but the source of perfect skin came in little hydroxy acids which functioned as a superficial skin peeling agent. 

If you’re looking for a quick way to rejuvenate up your face, you can now go to your doctor! Chemical peels are an affordable service now available at the dermatology office. Nicknamed the ‘lunchtime peel’ for the short amount time it takes (the actual process takes 10 to 15 minutes!) and convenience that the patient undergoes. The best news of all is that they deliver visible results at a reasonable price. 


Chemical peels come in  a range of strengths. It can work from superficial peels, which work on the topmost skin layer with minimal downtime, to deeper peels, which give more dramatic results but involve a longer recovery time and more side effects to contend with. 

Although both beauty salons and the aesthetic doctor’s clinic may offer chemical peels, a beauty therapist they are only able to do superficial peels, in lower concentrations and using chemicals with a pH level of more than 2.5. For stronger peels you will need to visit a medical doctor such as your dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or aesthetic doctor.




Chemical peels utilize a chemical solution to remove the top layers of skin. This exfoliation of the upper layers allows the younger, newer skin cells to surface from below. It also smoothens the skin, quickens the rate of cell turnover, increases collagen production and decreases wrinkles.

The active ingredients in chemical peels is usually one of the following: phenol, alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) or trichloroacetic acids (TCAs).

Alphahydroxy acid peels, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid and fruit acids, are the mildest form of chemical peels. Trichloroacetic acid peels are commonly used for medium depth peels, while phenols produce the deepest peels. 

Lunchtime peels are often glycolic acid peels- this gives the least downtime, and allow you to resume your daily activities right after stepping out of the doctor’s office, unlike TCAs or phenol peels which can leave you with a red face, require you to stay out of the sun or require you to rest at home. 


 Anyone can start going for a peel whether you are in your 20s or 60s! If you notice fine lines on the face which is one of the first signs of aging, you can consider going for a chemical peel. A light, lunchtime peel can help to diminish fine lines, skin pigmentation and smoothen skin. Peels are very effective for rejuvenation of skin with early signs of aging!


Consult your doctor to determine the best treatment regime for your face based on your age, skin type, and skin condition. A series of 3 to 5 peels may be recommended, which are performed at regular intervals ranging from weekly to monthly or even less frequently. 

Chemical peels are generally safe when performed by qualified personnel. However, watch out for side effects such as face redness and swelling, temporary (sometimes permanent) loss of skin pigmentation, infection, scarring. The stronger the peel, the more risky it is. However, as the skin adjusts to the treatment regimen, these problems will subside. 

It is also important to avoid sun exposure after your peel. Sometimes the clinic may also dispense glycolic acid skin care products to be included in your daily skincare regime.


A good source of information on chemical peels is found  here, written by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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