What You Need To Know About Chemical Peels

by | Jul 28, 2017 | Blog, Cosmetic

first derm facial chemical peel

Chemical peels are an increasingly popular procedure among skin care enthusiasts. Unlike physical exfoliants that scrape off dead skin cells, chemical peels use acids to strip the skin of its topmost layer. The result is  a fresher, more youthful appearance. We know it sounds scary, but if done properly, chemical peels can be very effective.

Understand the procedure and decide whether or not it’s  right for you!


The Science Behind Chemical Peels

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) are active acids in chemical peels that break down the skin’s tissues to stimulate collagen production, even out skin tones and textures, and promote overall skin growth.

Peels composed mainly of alpha hydroxy acids tend to be the best option for dryer, damaged skin. But  a combination of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) is  more common as  a solution to acne scarring and hyperpigmentation.

Ask a board-certified dermatologist today!


Six Things To Know Before Getting A Chemical Peel

1. Whether or Not You Need One

Many toners and serums incorporate very low percentages of AHAs and BHAs  which exfoliate your skin bit-by-bit everyday. For those who use AHAs and BHAs frequently, an intense chemical peel may not make much of a difference.

Summer Skin Care Post-Inflammatory Erythema

2. How Your Skin Will React

When applied, chemical peels may make your skin feel like it’s burning. After the procedure , your skin is often left with a reddish-pink, raw appearance, and texture. After a few days, the skin peels. This may sound frightening, but by inflicting a minor injury on the skin, chemical peels activate skin repairing bodies.

Many have reported positive results after receiving a chemical peel, but everyone’s skin reacts differently. Burning and redness may signify something other than positive results. That’s why it is important to determine how your skin will respond by testing the peel on the back of your hand or your neck.


3. What Percentages Do You Use

Now that you’ve decided that chemical peels are suitable for your skin, choose wisely. According to the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel, concentrations of AHAs and BHAs under 10% are safe for at home use, while concentrations that exceed 30% are better reserved for professional settings.

While most chemical peels sold by skin care companies have a relatively safe concentration of AHAs and BHAs, it is easy to come across chemical peels with higher concentrations online. Warning:Experts warn consumers to stay wary of using high percentages of these acids in a unregulated environments.

Curious about other procedures or treatments for your skin concerns? Ask a board-certified dermatologist today!


4. What Products To Avoid

If you use other active ingredients regularly in your daily skin care regimen, it is important to know which ones do not work well with chemical peels. Retinoids are notorious for further irritating the skin when mixed with chemical peels. Products with alcohol or peppermint have similar negative effects on the skin when combined with chemical peels.

first derm peppermint


5. How Often To Get One

In-office professional peels are far more intense and abrasive. Therefore, ask your aesthetician or physician how frequently you should be getting the procedure done.

At-home treatments are far less abrasive, yet it is recommended to use chemical peels at most once or twice a week. The more sensitive your skin, the less frequently you should use them.


6. How To Take Care of Your Skin Afterwards

Two words: Moisturize and Protect!

Your skin is raw and delicate after a chemical peel , so it is important to protect the skin during its healing process by locking in the moisture. Apply your moisturizer day and night to soothe the irritated, red skin.

Avoid sun exposure at all costs, as  fragile skin is more prone to aging, damage, discoloration, and scarring caused by harmful UV Rays. Apply sunscreen diligently and try to stay in the shade.



Chemical peels come with their own set of limitations and risks, just like any cosmetic procedure. It’s important to do your research and get a better understanding of whether or not the procedure is meant for you.

If you have further questions or want to address a skin concern, contact one of our board-certified dermatologists today!


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