Chemical Peels: How they work and Side Effects.

Chemical Peel Face Skincare Treatment.

Chemical peels keep gaining popularity even though it is a treatment with a downtime of as much as seven days. It is gaining popularity because it drives results. In this post, we will look at how they work as well as their side effects.

What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is treatment that uses one or more chemicals to peel off old and dead skin to reveal new and more vibrant skin. It stimulates new collagen and that helps to improve skin texture.

Chemical peels are used when treating acne, aging signs, and pigmentation among others in patients with Fitzpatrick skin type 1 to 3.

Chemical Peels can be used on people with Fitzpatrick skin type 4 to 6 mainly because it gives a great result when treating hyperpigmentation and gives better results than laser treatments. The trick when it comes it darker skin tones though, with chemical peels, is to have a full treatment plan that consists of a pre peel and post peel regimen.

There are three principal types of Chemical peels. Alpha hydroxyl acid, Trichloroacetic acid, and Phenol-croton oil.

Chemical Peel Depths

Chemical peel treatments do come in three different depths depending on the objective of the treatment. Superficial peels remove thin lesions on the skin surface and are good for reducing skin pigmentation. Medium depth peels are usually performed with TCA peels and are used for reducing more serious pigmentation and treating dry sunspots. Deep peels are not used as much as the other two peel depths, but it is remarkably effective at correcting skin wrinkles and severe sun damage because they penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.

Types of Chemical Peels

Beta Peel

Also known as Salicylic acid, Beta Hydroxyl acid peels do a fantastic job at exfoliation as it breaks down the bond between the old skin cells to review new glowing skin.

They are effective at reducing wrinkles, clearing dead skin cells, and tightening the skin.

Skin damage from using BHAs are more visible on darker skin tones that people with lighter skin.

It is normal to feel some mild discomfort when using this peel. Please let your Esthetician know as soon as the feeling is moving away from mild during a treatment.

Glycolic Peel

Glycolic Acid Peels are used to slowly break down the boding of the to layer of dead skin cells. They reveal new healthy skin as well as a firmer skin.

It is mostly effective for treating acne, aging signs, and pigmentation. Darker skin types can also use this peel but with caution.

Redness, Tingling, mild itching, and/or burning sensations are normal with Glycolic acid peels depending on the strength of the peel.

Lactic Peel

As you might have guessed, lactic acid is derived from Lactose (i.e. milk) and works perfectly for reducing appearance of wrinkles and for correcting uneven skin tone.

It is milder than Glycolic acid and this makes it the preferred peel for sensitive and darker skin types.

You might notice irritation and itchiness when using a lactic peel.

Pigment Balancing Peel

This peel is a combination of 40% Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Emblica, Kojic Acid and vitamin C. It improves uneven skin tone, corrects hyperpigmentation, brightens the skin, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

TCA Peel

TCA peels are derived from acetic acid and comes in varying strengths. It is popularly used on the face, neck, and hands.

It is used in reducing wrinkles and fine lines, pigmentation, acne, melasma and sun damage. It works by breaking down keratin in the skin and this results in damaged skin peeling off to reveal new and vibrant looking skin.

If you have a very light skin or have a dark skin tone, it is better to proceed with caution and allow only a seasoned professional to apply on your skin.

Vitalize Peel

Vitalize Peel is used to reduce signs of aging, lighten freckles and sunspots. It also helps to fade off light scars, tighten the skin and eliminate blackheads.

It is a combination of AHA and BHAs plus resorcinol and retinoic acid. It is popularly used on the face and neck but can also be used on other parts of the body as needed.

The redness and/or itching from a vitalize peel are very minimal compared to other peels


Before doing a chemical peel, it is important to ask for before and after photos of previous work they’ve done to be certain that they can deliver results.

If you have a darker skin, it is good to make sure your skincare professional can manage the peels on your skin irrespective of the mildness of the peel.

Also share your skin and health history with your Esthetician to make sure that they can help you choose the best peel for you.


Estheticians and Chemical Peels: A Match Made in Heaven –

Chemical Peels 101: Acid Types –

What no One Tells you About Chemical Peels for Black Skin –

Understanding Different Types of Chemical Peels –

Subscribe to our Newsletter