How do I Choose the Best Chemical Peel?

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  • Written By: Harriette Halepis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2019
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Selecting the best chemical peel for your skin type is not an easy task. Thus, it is best to consult with a plastic surgeon or qualified skincare expert prior to selecting any kind of chemical peel. Prior to visiting with a skincare professional, take a look at the four basic types of chemical peels. While you shouldn't decided on any kind of peel on your own, it helps to know what types of peels are available before you visit with a skincare professional for an initial consultation.

An alpha hydroxy (AHA) peel is the mildest type of chemical peel available. AHA peels do not require any amount of recovery time, and these peels are generally derived from natural fruits and sugars. AHA peels are also incredibly fast, which is why they are sometimes called "lunchtime peels." For some people, an AHA peel is the best chemical peel available, though this is not always the case.

If you suffer from any kind of dry skin condition, then the best chemical peel for your skin may be a beta hydroxy Acid (BHA) peel. This type of peel is similar to an AHA peel, but BHA peels are oil-based. Thus, a BHA peel helps to restore moisture to extremely dry skin. In most instances, a BHA peel is an outpatient procedure.


A trichloaroacetic acid (TCA) peel is stronger than a BHA or AHA peel. TCA peels are popular, since many people believe that these peels get rid of any facial imperfection. Wrinkles, freckles, some scars, and other facial blemishes can usually be eliminated with a TCA procedure. Since this procedure is slightly more intense than a BHA or AHA peel, you may have to stay at your doctor's office for up to two hours following a TCA procedure. In addition, it may take two or more weeks for a TCA peel to completely heal, and you will have to avoid sunlight during this time.

Phenol peels are rarely recommended, since this type of procedure can be dangerous. A phenol peel is only necessary when skin has been damaged beyond repair. Phenol peels literally peel away the top layer of skin, and this type of procedure is painful. Most people do not recover from this type of treatment for up to three weeks. It is wise to gain a second opinion if a phenol peel is recommended.

The best chemical peel for you largely depends upon your skin type. Even though some salons and spas offer chemical peels, it is not wise to undergo this type of treatment without the presence of a medical doctor or licensed dermatologist. You should decide upon the best chemical peel for you with the guidance of a professional skincare expert.


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Post 4

Has anyone tried one of those home chemical peel kits?

I saw one at the pharmacy and I'm contemplating trying it. It's supposed to be very easy. It just involves leaving the peel on for some time, washing it off and following up with a moisturizer. I think the kit also has an exfoliant to use before the peel.

If it actually works, then I think that this is a great and affordable option for those of us who can't afford the peels at salons. I just have a few acne blemishes that I'm trying to get rid of. So I'm thinking that this kit should work.

Post 2

@stoneMason-- I'm too scared to try TCA. I had a light chemical peel done once and experienced a lot of irritation even from that. I can't imagine having an even stronger peel done. I don't know if my skin is too sensitive for peels or if this is how it is for everyone.

Post 1

AHA and BHA are light chemical peels that only penetrate the very top layer of skin. TCA is a medium chemical peel that penetrates a little deeper. Phenol peels are deep peels that penetrate quite deep into skin.

For most people, a light chemical peel is enough. For those with wrinkles and blemishes that are harder to get rid of, TCA may be used. But deep peels like phenol are only suitable for people with extreme aged skin and deep wrinkles. It's kind of invasive and causes many side effects during the healing period. So most people should not even be considering this type of peel.

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