What are Chemical Peels?

What are Chemical Peels?

What are Chemical Peels?

Series 1 of 4 by Kristine Seganti

For those that know me or have read my articles in the past; you know that I like to have a good time when it comes to skincare and professional level treatments. We as the professional and even our clients can have so much fun seeing results and getting to know our skin! When I was asked to write up something on chemical peels, I have to admit I was a little hesitant. Even after being in the industry for so many years, I picture this lady walking out of a Dermatologists office embarrassed and covering her face due to the multiple shades of pain red starting from her forehead all the way to her neck.   We see so much on social media where ladies and young girls are doing their own chemical treatments at home. The first post the zombie peeling picture and then they post the smiling photo and tell everyone how baby soft their skin is. Scary that you can purchase some of this stuff from the internet with no experience except for Google and YouTube.   So, chemical peels? This is where I tend to be more serious and detailed. You should always learn from a seasoned professional and receive treatments with a professional. I don’t understand why anyone would take a chance on damaging their skin permanently, many do! We just don’t hear about it because these are not the posts they were looking to do! That being said, if you are interested in chemical peels, please read on, take your time and learn as much as you can!

#chemical #peel #acne #scars #pigmentation #skinhealth #DBH #organic #skinhealth

What is a Chemical Peel?

Chemical Peels involve the application of acids used to dissolve multiple layers of skin cells from the epidermis. The amount of skin cells removed by chemical peels largely depends on the type of acids used, the pH/strength of the acid and the amount of time it is left on the skin. Consider a chemical peel as a reboot to refresh your skin, increase fibroblasts, collagen and elastin. The end result will be smoother, healthier skin with a glow.

What are Peels Made of?

The gentlest peels use alpha-hydroxy acids, (AHA), and beta-hydroxy acids, (BHA), such as glycolic, lactic, salicylic. Fruit enzymes are also used in these treatments providing beautiful results. Some enzymes are pumpkin, pineapple, papaya, green apple, grapes and much more!

Types of Solutions






Derived from sugar cane. The smallest molecule, enabling deeper penetration. Multiple percentages, (10%-70%), & acidities (pH).

Treats, fine lines, wrinkles, acne, sun damage, texture, congestion.



Derived from sour milk. Larger molecule. Multiple percentages and acidities.

Treats dryness, fine lines, wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone and texture. Lightens and brightens.



Opens and clears congested oily pores to prevent acne. Does not kill acne bacteria.

Ideal for acne, oily and congested skin. Best for Fitz I-III, due to increased pigmentation in Fitz IV-VI.


Blended acids, usually consisting of Salicylic, Lactic & Glycolic/Resorcinol.

Dry out acne, reduce blackheads, wrinkles, scarring, pigmentation, sun-damaged, & aging skin.



Trichloroacetic acid causing top layers of skin cells to dry and peel.

Medium depth peel for lines, wrinkles, sun spots and aging, acne, large pores, uneven texture, and scarring.


Derived from wheat and barley

Treats acne, pigmentation, uneven skin tone. Lightens and brightens.


When to consider a Chemical Peel?

Chemical Peels are utilized to treat a number of skin conditions and concerns. So many conditions can be remedied when using peels properly. Some skin conditions to mention are:

  • Reduced Pigmentation
  • Increased Cellular Turnover Rate
  • Reduced fine lines/wrinkles
  • Increase Collagen & Elastin
  • Reduce congestion & clears acne
  • Even Skin Tone
  • Soften & Smooth
  • Reduce Scars
  • Anti-Aging
  • Reduce Age Spots / Sun Damage


Different Depths of Peels

There are basically three levels/depths of peels you can get. Superficial, Medium & Deep, all affecting the Epidermis and sometimes the Dermis. The level and depth of the peel is based on the percentage of acid in the chemical peel and the pH. pH is extremely important when it comes to the expectations and results of a peel. Healthy skin is pH’d at 4.5-5.5. Your skin will begin to peel when the pH is altered to 3.0 or lower. The lower the pH, the deeper the peel.

A lot is happening in the Epidermis, as pictured below. It is a highly complex system, that in reality is only about as thick as 3 sheets of paper! The Dermis is where all the blood vessels, nerves, sweat glands, lymph vessels and more are located. As you can see, in order to protect our body, we must have healthy skin. Our skin is the barrier to keep disease, bacteria, and germs out and our healthy nutrients in. During these procedures, it is imperative that the dermis is not affected. You should never allow persons without proper credentials, licensing and training to perform chemical peels, as major damage can occur and may even be permanent.



Superficial / Light Depth Peel

Depth surface skin layers are removed from the Epidermis known as the Stratum Corneum.

Provides increased cellular turnover, reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, congestion, acne, light pigmentation, and minor scarring. Instant glow with smoothing, brightening and tightening!

How Often:  With the use of low percentage acids and/or enzymes, treatments can be received approximately every 2 weeks with consultation by a licensed professional.

Sensation: Superficial peels are not painful. There will be a tingling, itching or warming sensation. Mild redness may occur immediately after the treatment and will subside in 30-60 minutes.

Downtime: Little to No Peeling will occur with no downtime. Great to treat minor skin conditions, special occasions, night out, job interview, or just because your skin needs to be refreshed and renewed!

Recommendation: Series of six to eight for optimal results. Daily sunscreen use.

Medium Depth Peel

Depth under the control of the professional administering the peel, epidermal skin layers up through the Stratum Granulosum / Stratum Spinosum is safely removed.

Provides increased cellular turnover, collagen, elastin, fibroblasts. Reduces the appearance of lines, wrinkles, age spots, sun damage, pigmentation, and scarring.

How Often:  Treatments can be administered approximately every 4-6 weeks with consultation by a licensed professional.

Sensation: Medium depth peels tend to provide more sensations. During the treatment, you will feel burning and stinging, which will continue for 30-45 minutes after the treatment is administered. A fan may be used to cool the skin. Redness will occur during and immediately after the treatment, along with some minor swelling. Reddened and pink skin will continue for 2-3 days. By day three, the skin will tighten and darken; peeling will begin around the mouth and forehead. Day 5-7, full facial peeling will occur. It is extremely important that you do no exfoliate, pick or peel the skin. Damage, scarring, and pigmentation can easily be caused to your healing skin.

Downtime: Generally you will have a seven-day downtime with possible pink skin for up to 2-4 weeks. Full peeling will occur with approximately a seven-day downtime. By day 7, the majority of the dead skin cells should have naturally fallen. At this point, you can schedule a light enzyme treatment to remove any remaining dead surface cells.  Great to treat sun damage, pigmentation, wrinkles and scarring. Baby fresh skin will be revealed!

Recommendation: Series of two to three for optimal results. Post treatments required

Deep Depth Peel

Depth These are the deepest peel that you can receive penetrating into the dermal layer.

Provides increased collagen, elastin, fibroblasts. Amazing results for deep wrinkles, lines, pigmentation, and scarring.

How Often:  Treatments can be administered once every 6-12 months based on consultation with a licensed dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Sensation: deep burning sensation during and after the treatment, with facial swelling for 2-3 days.

Downtime: After the treatment, your skin will be very red and extremely sensitive and swollen. Swelling will reduce in 2-3 days, while redness will persist for months to follow. Healing time from redness to scabbing and peeling will generally occur within 3 weeks.   There will be plenty of itching and peeling skin that you can not touch, rub, pick or peel! Permanent skin damage may be caused. After a full recovery, talk about baby soft and smooth!

Recommendation: One treatment every six months based upon consultation with a licensed dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Pre & Post Treatments are required!

Pre & Post Care

Prior to receiving a peel, I suggest scheduling a consultation, skin analysis and hydration treatment with your Professional Esthetician. Properly hydrated and healthy skin will experience the best results when it comes to resurfacing and peels. Post care prescriptions will be provided by your Licensed Professional prior to your appointment as well. This will ensure proper healing. Some professionals will even require pre-peel self care! Trust them, they know what they are doing and the safety and health of you and your skin is their priority!

The MUST HAVE to properly prepare and heal your skin for all peels:

  • C-Lester Vitamin C20 Serum
  • Colorlite Plus Gel
  • EGF UV Shield (spf 50)
  • Rx Mist

“Invest in your Skin. It’s going to Represent you for a very long time”


For those of you that prefer to keep chemical at an arms length, you now have the choice to go organic! One of my favorite organic deep treatments is the Blue Deep Sea Herbal Peeling System. The complete system covers Level I to Level III peels for the person that has deep conditions and need resolution. This is an ALL NATURAL PEELING system that delivers refined skin texture, even skin tone, suppleness and firmness. Invoking the skins natural exfoliation process, for ALL SKIN TYPES, SKIN CONDITIONS, ACNE LEVELS, PIGMENTATION LEVELS AND FITZPATRICK GRADES.

Clearly one of my favorite, safe, result oriented, organic!

‘Tis the Season to Peel My Friends!

Xo, K