What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. The new skin is also temporarily more sensitive to the sun. There are three basic types of chemical peels:

  • Superficial or lunchtime peel: Alpha-hydroxy acid or another mild acid is used to penetrate only the outer layer of skin to gently exfoliate it. The treatment is used to improve the appearance of mild skin discoloration and rough skin as well as to refresh.
  • Medium peel: Acid is applied to penetrate the out and middle layers of skin to remove damaged skin cells. The treatment is used to improve age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, freckles and moderate skin discoloration. It also can be used to smooth rough skin and treat some precancerous skin growths, i.e. actinic keratosis.

A thorough evaluation is imperative before embarking upon a chemical peel.


Chemical peels improve the texture and appearance of the skin by sloughing off the outer layers of the skin. They are effective facial treatments for improving blemishes, fine lines, wrinkles, and skin tone. During the treatment, a pre-determined quantity of the peel solution is applied to the face, neck, chest, hands, arms, or legs. This solution works by reacting with the upper layer of the skin to efficiently dissolve the bonds that bind surface cells to the skin, ultimately revealing smoother, healthier skin underneath. The follicular action of a chemical far outweighs the effect of an exfoliating scrub or brush. Best of all, chemical peels are appropriate for nearly everyone. It is a matter of knowing which chemical is best for your skin type and concerns.

Your skincare professional will be able to determine the most appropriate peel formulation for your skin type and the most effective post-procedure regimen.

Prices : $89/1 treatment, $199/3 treatments

The Perfect Derma Peel claims to be the only medical-grade chemical peel that features glutathione.

“Glutathione is a very potent peptide that is commonly used as a brightener and is a coenzyme that helps reduce inflammatory reactions in the cells. Recently it’s experienced a surge in popularity, with glutathione drips and supplements used in many forms of anti-aging and healing therapies.” – Created by Beverly Hills-based beauty company Bella Medical Products, this medium-degree peel is only available for purchase by medical professionals, such as physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, medical aestheticians, and medical spas.

While glutathione is the main ingredient, the peel also has a blend of other acids, powerful antioxidants, and peptides such as:

  • trichloroacetic acid (TCA)
  • salicylic acid
  • retinoic acid
  • kojic acid
  • phenol
  • vitamin C

“TCA and retinoic acid have anti-aging effects to reduce line and wrinkles,” says Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD, dermatologist at Modern Dermatology of Connecticut. She also notes that the other ingredients are mostly for hyperpigmentation or to reduce scarring, while the phenol is in there for a slightly numbing effect.

What is the Perfect Derma Peel doing to your skin

After a medical professional administers the peel — which only takes about 15 minutes — you’ll be instructed to leave it on for 6 hours. Clients are given a home care kit that comes with The Perfect Derma Moisturizer with 1 percent hydrocortisone and Post-Peel Towelettes to help calm any tightness, redness, or itching that may happen as your skin prepares to peel. Then, a couple of days will go by as if nothing happened.

But by the third day, the magic happens

Thin sheets of the epidermis skin will start to peel. This lasts for three to four days. “The [whole process] gently resurface skin within seven to ten days,” says Graceanne Svendsen, LE, CME, licensed aesthetician at Shafer Plastic Surgery & Laser Center, who currently doesn’t offer the peel at the clinic but knows the science behind it. During this process, you can’t slough, pick, or peel the shedding skin, as it may lead to scarring. Yep, you have to just let the peeling happen.

Prices : $399/1 treatment, $999/3 treatments