Since there are many kinds, as well as many concentrations of chemicals utilized in chemical peels, the art and science of chemical peeling is not as simple as it seems. However, a cosmetic practitioner with years of experience should be the only one trusted to recommend a peel, or a combination of peels, that fit your needs and goals.
Below are some general guidelines:
For Active Acne – Peels that contain salicylic acid are best indicated for active acne with blackheads and whiteheads.
For Acne Scars – Depending on the skin type, glycolic acid or TCA acid peels are best for treating acne scars.
For a Healthy Skin Glow – Glycolic acid, mandelic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, or combination acids, such as in Jessner peel are best for that healthy skin glow. But, again, only trust experience medical professionals to come up with a combination of peels.
For Sun Damaged Skin – Glycolic acid, TCA, croton-phenol oil peel, or any combination of these are best for sun damaged skin.
For Skin Tightening – For the face, usually the deeper peels are the best, such as TCA or croton oil peels.
For Melasma – Melasma is a difficult condition to treat. Serial chemical peels with a mixture of formulas are the best, such as kojic acid, retinoic acid and glycolic acid peels.
For the Neck – The neck skin is thin, so it’s best to treat the neck with milder chemical peels. Milder and gentle appeals are preferred. Aggressive peels are contraindicated.
For the Body – There are various formulas for body peels, but the most common acid is glycolic acid.
For Feet & Hands – Signs of aging of the hands and feet can be treated by serial, gentle chemical peels with astonishing results. Keeping up with regular chemical peels can result in baby-smooth skin of the feet and hands.
What are some of the common MILD chemical peels?
Usually these are fruit/organic acids:
- Salicylic acid, which is a beta hydroxy acid extracted from citrus fruits
- Glycolic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid extracted from sugarcane
- Lactic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) extracted from sour milk
- Kojic acid, which is extracted from a special Japanese mushroom
- Azelaic acid, which is a dicarboxylic acid found in wheat
- Mandelic acid, which is a alpha hydroxy acid extracted from bitter almonds
It is important to note that these peels come in various concentrations. The higher the concentration, the deeper the peeling. For example, a 17% glycolic acid peel will have a much milder recovery course and outcome than a 70% glycolic acid peel.