Understanding Acid Peels

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated May 23, 2016)

You've probably heard the term "chemical peel" before, but you might not know what it means. It might even sound kind of scary! Once you know what chemical (or acid) peels are, then you'll be able to make an educated decision on whether or not acid peels are right for you. Chemical peels have their pros and cons, and you need to approach them with a certain degree of caution and knowledge.

Chemical peels, in definition, are simple to understand. It's essentially the removal of the top layer of skin through chemical means, leaving the new layer of skin smoother and with fewer wrinkles. It's a regenerative idea, and one that can work, but can also harm your skin. There is a variety of chemical peels, which include alpha and beta hydroxy acid peels, Jessner's peels, and trichloroacetic acid peels.

Alpha hydroxy peels use naturally occurring carboxylic acids like glycolic acid. This peel is the mildest of the chemical peels, effecting fewer and less deep fine wrinkles, treatment of dryness, acne, and uneven pigmentation. Something unique about alpha hydroxy peels is that they can be combined with your regular cleanser. Beta hydroxy peels are becoming more common, starting to replace the alpha peels as the most often used. Beta peels work better with controlling oils and removing more dead skin cells.

Jessner's peels combine salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol to break intracellular bridges between keratinocytes. Trichlotoacetic acid peels are a more intermediate level of chemical peel and are considered to be a deeper type of peel, peeling all the way into the reticular dermis. This is one that should be used with caution and reserve because of its generally abrasive nature and potential for causing significant scarring if not used correctly. These peels work on smoothing fine wrinkles, removing superficial blemishes, correcting skin pigmentation, and they work best on darker skinned patients. Points to keep in mind about trichloroacetic acid peels are that they may require a pre-treatment, may require repeated treatments for full effectiveness mandate the stringent use of sunscreen, will take several days to recover, and the risk of scarring.

So, now you know the basics behind acid peels, you can better decide if that's what you want to do. If you need another, more specialized opinion, you should see a dermatologist. Work with your dermatologist to decide whether acid peels will be healthy for you and your skin, and always use caution when doing any kind of procedure like this one.

Author Bio

Charlotte Wood

MORE FROM CHARLOTTE

Controlling Allergic Reactions to Laundry Detergent

You don't want to be itching in your clothes and sneezing all day just because of a detergent allergy. Find the right kind of ...

Discover More

Picking a Nail Stylist

Picking a good nail stylist is like finding a good hairstylist. There are certain tactics you need to know how to use and ...

Discover More

How to Separate Egg Whites

You need to separate egg whites for many different recipes and so it would probably be good to actually know how to do it. ...

Discover More
More Beauty Tips

Choosing the Best Eyeglass Frames

Support and style, when it comes to eyeglasses, are not mutually exclusive issues. Here are some handy guidelines you can use ...

Discover More

Covering Facial Blemishes with Makeup

Facial blemishes happen to the best of us and it's one of the banes of beauty. Despite your unfortunate blemish, you still ...

Discover More

Makeup Tips for the Workplace

Sometimes working out what's appropriate and what's not at the office is murky to figure out. When in doubt always go for ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured beauty tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven minus 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured beauty tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)