What strength chemical peel is right for your skin?

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Chemical peels are a broad category of treatments that can address a wide range of skin problems. In general, they are acid-based products that make the top layer of skin peel off, revealing the fresh, healthy skin underneath. But peels can range from quick salon procedures to serious medical treatments, so which one is right for you?

Should you get a chemical peel?

Chemical peels are a great option for almost anyone who isn’t satisfied with the look and feel of their skin – men, women, and teens included. If you have any of the following concerns, you should consider a peel:

●     Acne

●     Oily skin

●     Dry skin

●     Dull skin

●     Sun damage

●     Age spots

●     Lines and wrinkles

●     Scarring

●     Loose skin


Although a single peel can have impressive results, you’ll get your best complexion if you do a series of three to six over several months, or better yet, make peels a regular part of your skincare routine.

Chemical peel strength (pH)

The “depth” of a chemical peel refers to the strength of the product. All chemical peels are acids, so they have a low pH, usually ranging from 1 to 3. The lower the pH, the stronger the acid, and the deeper the peel.

Stronger products penetrate the skin further and cause more peeling, but they also cause more irritation, and there’s a higher risk of burning the skin. That’s why a doctor or nurse should perform a medium peel (pH of 1.5 to 2.5), and only a doctor should do a deep peel (pH of 1).

The active ingredient alone does not determine the depth of the peel – the concentration is also important. A high concentration of a milder acid might be deeper than a weak formula of a stronger acid. Make sure you know the pH of your peel and are prepared for its effects.

Light peels

A light peel can be done in as little as 30 minutes and has minimal side effects, so there’s no downtime afterwards. This kind of peel works well for fine lines, light acne scarring, sun damage and age spots, and dry skin. The best products contain additional ingredients like antioxidants and vitamins that help the underlying skin heal quickly, and the results can be as good as a medium peel in some cases.

Medium peels

If light peels aren’t working for you, a medium peel may do the trick. The procedure can sting quite a bit, and you may want to hide away for a few days while the resulting redness heals. The trouble is worth it to smooth out persistent wrinkles and pigmentation problems.

Deep peels

Deeper peels have very dramatic results, but they can be painful. You may be sedated during the treatment and experience redness, peeling, and irritation that takes days or even weeks to heal completely. If you have major scarring, wrinkles, or discoloration, a medium or deep peel may be right for you. But be sure to find an experienced doctor, since there is some risk of scarring or bleaching if the procedure is not done correctly.

Find a reputable provider

No matter the peel you chose, remember that these are acidic products that can damage your skin if used improperly. Find a reputable medical spa or doctor to make sure you have a safe, comfortable experience and optimal results.

At Become Medspa, our luxurious facility is continuously supervised by a board-certified physician to ensure the safety of our patients. Along with chemical peels specifically designed for acne, wrinkles, brown spots, and skin tightening, we offer a full complement of skin and body treatments to help you look and feel your best. Click here to learn more.

Rob Taormina