A chemical peel uses a specialized chemical solution to exfoliate the skin and boost new cell growth. They come with a variety of benefits, including addressing skin discoloration, scars, and wrinkles. Although many patients can benefit from a single chemical peel, they work best as a package of treatments for ongoing benefits. Here’s what to know about the right chemical peel type for you.
Chemical Peel Depths
The right chemical peel for you is dependent on the skin concerns you’re looking to address. These are usually classified by their depth.
• Light Peel – A light chemical peel addresses the superficial layer of the skin to treat minor skin concerns such as acne, fine wrinkles, dryness, and uneven skin tone. Unlike other peel depths, a light skin peel will not drastically affect your skin and comes with very little downtime and aftercare.
• Medium Peel – This technique addresses the upper layer of the skin (the epidermis) and parts of the middle layer (the dermis). Medium peels treat deeper wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and acne scars. Because it comes with more significant downtime and peeling afterward, you can repeat treatments between three and nine months apart for consistent results.
• Deep Peel – This is ideal when you have deep wrinkles, extensive scars, and precancerous growths. Here, the peel removes the outer layer of the skin and deep layers of the dermis. It comes with extensive downtime and is usually performed under anesthesia. You’ll need to prepare your skin for a few weeks in advance for this option.
Types of Chemical Peels
Along with depth, chemical peels can be customized based on the type of solution used. These are usually chosen based on your skin type and concerns. Common chemical peels include:
• Lactic Acid Peel – This is an acid derived from dairy. It’s ideal for those with dry and sensitive skin. If your skin doesn’t respond well to retinol, the lactic peel produces gentle exfoliation to remove fine wrinkles, correct sunburn, and remove small dark spots.
• Glycolic Acid Peel – The peel uses glycolic acid as the active ingredient. Besides exfoliation, this peel promotes the growth of collagen for healthier skin. Glycolic acid features small molecules that penetrate your skin the deepest. However, the peel can appear in different strengths for different peel depths.
• TCA Peel – Trichloroacetic acid removes the superficial layer of the skin to reveal younger, smoother, brighter, more even-toned skin. This peel corrects skin problems such as fine lines, dark spots, blotchiness, melasma, and fine wrinkles. The formula appears in the light and medium strengths for darker and sensitive skins.
• Beta Hydroxyl Peel – This chemical peel uses salicylic acid to correct acne and acne scars, blotchiness, and uneven skin tones. The treatment is ideal for people with combination, acne-prone, and oily skin. It helps address post-acne inflammatory issues.
Which Peel is Right For You?
Your skin type and skincare goals will determine the chemical peel that works best for you. The best way to learn more is to meet with our expert team to create a customized chemical peel treatment package. You can schedule a consultation with Drs. Papel, Kontis, and Brown at the Aesthetic Center at Woodholme in Baltimore, Maryland. To get started, we invite you to contact us by calling or filling out our online form.
Dr. Ira D. Papel is certified in Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Papel earned his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from Boston University of Medicine. He completed a residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and a fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Papel is considered an international expert in rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty, and facial aesthetic surgery.