Service Spotlight: Chemical Peels


Thanks to Samantha from “Sex in the City,” the public perception of chemical peels is generally a scary one, but many aesthetic experts know chemical peels can be a wonderful solution for a variety of skin issues, and done right, they don’t result in looking like beef carpaccio. (If you don’t know the reference, head here for a good chuckle.)

However, even though chemical peels treat a broad range of skin issues, it’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all treatment, and the results of the peel are extremely dependent on the skill of the person performing it.

So, with that in mind, today I want to get into some of the details about chemical peels including the science, specific components and ingredients of a chemical peel, how they work, and determining who is a good candidate.  Let’s jump right in.

What Are Chemical Peels?

Chemical peels are a cosmetic treatment that a technician performs by applying a chemical solution to the skin.  The chemical solution is most commonly some blend of AHAs, BHAs, TCA, and/or Retinoic Acid.

Peels can be broken down into 3 levels based on the depth they penetrate into the skin; superficial, medium, and deep.  The majority of the time we, as aestheticians, are going to be working with superficial peels.  

To understand the strength of a peel you should look at two things; the percentage of acid and the pH.  The higher acid content and the  lower pH the stronger the peel.  

How Do They Work?

Well like many other cosmetic treatments, they are creating a controlled injury in the skin.  Imagine your skin cells laid out like bricks and mortar.  Well what the chemical solution is doing is dissolving that mortar - the glue that holds everything together.  That is where the shedding comes from but the real benefit is the regeneration of those connections.  That’s why we can tell patients that they are still receiving a good treatment even if they are not shedding like a snake.

Who Is A Good Candidate For A Peel?

Patients concerned with acne, melasma, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, and anyone wanting to incorporate anti-aging treatments into their regimen.

Each brand that offers a line of professional chemical peels will have specific instructions on how to perform the peel.  To ensure the safety of your patient or client it is incredibly important that you follow the instructions carefully and note any specific contraindications.

If you’ve been a reader/viewer of mine for even a little while, you know I’m big on continually developing our knowledge base so we can elevate the aesthetic industry together. So even if you’re well versed in chemical peels, this service spotlight is also an invite for you to share your skills with our community!

Now I want to hear from you, let me know your success stories with chemical peels down in the comments, and if you have questions or would like to dive into more conversation surrounding the topic of chemical peels, join the Aestheticians Connect Facebook group and start a discussion.


Until next time, keep making the world a more beautiful place inside and out!