5 minute read

Have you ever wondered if chemical peels work or if they are more hype than reality? Chemical peels use a range of ingredients to lift away layers of skin to reveal fresh skin, but are they safe an effective? Let’s talk about it!


Have you ever wondered how chemical peels renew your skin? Or how repeated, deeper peels can reduce surface, texture and tone issues? It has to be more than just getting rid of a few dull skin cells, right? Well those on the search for radiant, youthful skin, find chemical peels to be a powerful ally in rejuvenating the skin’s appearance, correcting imperfections, and promoting overall skin health.

Let’s talk about how chemical peels work to demystify them for the curious and those who may want to try them but are worried about the idea of peels in general. 

What are Chemical Peels?

Chemical peels are treatments used to improve skin texture and tone. By applying a chemical solution to the skin, they work to exfoliate and eventually peel off the top layers. This process reveals the smoother, newer layer of skin beneath. This process can address various skin concerns, including fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, uneven skin tone, and sun damage.

How Do Chemical Peels Work?

The efficacy of chemical peels lies in their ability to accelerate skin regeneration. Of course, they immediately provide a refreshed look by simply removing old, dull skin cells. This is the most immediately visible effect, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. By removing dead skin cells and stimulating the production of new cells, these peels promote collagen production, enhancing skin elasticity and firmness. This takes place under the skin and it will occur for many weeks following your peel 

The depth of the peel—ranging from superficial to deep—determines the level of exfoliation and the subsequent healing process. It also determines the amount of impact the peel has on your skin. Deep peels can have a fairly dramatic impact on skin texture and skin tone problems.

Types of Chemical Peels:

Superficial Peels: These peels, often containing alpha-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids, target the outermost layer of the skin. They are ideal for mild skin imperfections and require minimal recovery time.

Medium Peels: Using trichloroacetic or glycolic acid, medium peels reach the middle and outer layers of the skin. They address wrinkles, acne scars, and uneven skin tone, with a slightly longer recovery period.

Deep Peels: Phenol acid is the main component of deep peels, affecting the skin more intensely. These peels are used for significant skin issues, including deep wrinkles and pre-cancerous growths, requiring the most recovery time.

Types of Peeling Agents in Chemical Peels

Chemical peels use a variety of peeling agents, each with unique properties and benefits. Understanding these agents allows for a tailored approach to skin rejuvenation, addressing specific skin issues more effectively.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): Derived from natural substances like sugar cane, milk, and fruits, AHAs such as glycolic and lactic acid are popular for superficial peels. They exfoliate the skin’s surface, reducing signs of aging and improving skin texture.

Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHAs): Salicylic acid is the most common BHA, known for its ability to penetrate deep into the pores. It is particularly effective for oily skin and acne-prone skin, helping to reduce breakouts and promote a clear complexion.

Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA): Used in medium depth peels, TCA can treat more pronounced skin issues like moderate wrinkles, blemishes, and pigmentation irregularities. It provides more dramatic results than AHAs and BHAs.

Phenol: The most potent of the peeling agents, phenol is used in deep peels for profound skin resurfacing. It addresses deep wrinkles, precancerous growths, and severely damaged skin but requires significant recovery time.

Jessner’s Solution: A combination of resorcinol, lactic acid, and salicylic acid, Jessner’s solution is versatile, used either superficially or at medium depth to treat acne, pigmentation, and to prepare the skin for deeper peels.

Enzyme Peels: These peels use fruit enzymes from pineapple, pumpkin, or papaya to gently exfoliate the skin. Suitable for all skin types, enzyme peels are particularly beneficial for sensitive skin, offering a mild option for exfoliation without the use of acids.

Personalizing Treatment with Peeling Agents

Choosing the right peeling agent depends on the individual’s skin type, concerns, and desired outcome. A skincare professional can assess the skin and recommend the most appropriate type of chemical peel, ensuring both safety and effectiveness. By incorporating a variety of peeling agents, chemical peels can be customized to target specific skin conditions, making them a versatile tool in aesthetic skincare.

Understanding Peel Levels and Recovery:

The depth of a chemical peel influences both its effectiveness and the necessary recovery time. Superficial peels may lead to mild redness and peeling, allowing for a quick return to daily activities. Medium peels may result in noticeable flaking and require a few days of downtime. Deep peels, however, involve a significant healing process, often accompanied by swelling and peeling. This type of chemical peel can require a structured recovery period, including avoiding sun exposure and adhering to a specific skincare regimen.

Regardless of the type of chemical peel you have, it is vital to follow post-treatment care instructions. These instructions ensure that you heal properly and that you get the best results possible. No matter how minor you think the peel may be, do yourself a favor and take post-treatment instructions seriously!

Are chemical peels safe? 

Some people are worried about the safety of chemical peels, and that is understandable. Even the phrase “chemical peel” is a bit scary! But, rest assured that chemical peels are safe as long as they are performed under professional supervision. This allows for precise control over the process and ensures that safe, high-quality ingredients are used. Additionally, these treatments are tailored to fit individual skin types and conditions, minimizing the risk of adverse effects. Our friendly 

Chemical peels offer a versatile and effective solution to various skin concerns, allowing individuals to achieve a smoother, clearer complexion. By understanding the different types of peels and their respective levels, it’s easy to make informed decisions about the most suitable treatment path.  With proper care and recovery, the benefits of chemical peels can unveil rejuvenated, healthier-looking skin.

If you are in or near Prescott, Arizona and want to see if a chemical peel is right for you, give us a call at 928-277-7414. Our friendly team of experts will be happy to answer your questions and guide you to the right option for you.