Are Home Chemical Peels Safe?

by Amy Pusey
(last updated February 1, 2017)

No mater what we may say to the contrary, the truth is we all like to look good. The first thing most of us notice about other people is the appearance of their faces. Quite often, though, we are our own worst critics when gazing into the mirror. The lack of glow to our skin, blemishes, and fine lines seem magnified upon inspection. For these reasons, skin care procedures, like chemical peels, have become very popular.

Demanding work and family schedules leave us little time to schedule the luxuries into our already busy days, including facial appointments. Cosmetic companies recognized an opportunity and developed home chemical peel kits to meet this burgeoning market. They were created for you to use at home, at your convenience, and with cost and safety in mind. Chemical peels are designed to improve the appearance of some typical skin changes, including:

  • Acne marks
  • Sun damage
  • Brown spots
  • Crow's feet around the eyes
  • Minor scars
  • Wrinkles around the mouth

It is very important to remember that even though you can perform chemical peels from the comfort of your own bathroom, the basis of the peels are acidic chemicals that can be very damaging if not used exactly as directed. Chemical peels may not be suitable if you have very sensitive skin, and they could pose serious risk, like any medical treatment, if there is the possibility of an undiagnosed health condition. If you have never had a chemical peel, you may be wise to have your first one administered by a dermatologist, or at the very least seek a consultation on the appropriate home kit for you type of skin. While it is great to save possibly thousands of dollars on a peel, you certainly do not want to risk burning and scarring potentially resulting in permanent damage.

There are four basic chemical peel groups:

  • Alphahydroxy Acids (AHA) Peels: Mildest peels, and are derived from sugar. They are used to treat sun spots, acne, as well as pigmentation problems.
  • Betahydroxy Acids (BHA) Peels: Mild-to-medium strength peels, and are oil soluble based. These peels are used to treat bacterial-based acne and skin problems.
  • Trichloroacetic Acids (TCA) Peels: Medium strength peels, are longer lasting, but take two to three weeks to completely heal. They are used to treat acne, scars, sun damage, and wrinkles.
  • Phenol Acids Peels: Harsh peels, are considered dangerous and generally not performed for safety reasons. They have been linked to heart arrhythmias. They take several weeks to fully recover.

For a home chemical peel, begin with the mildest peel available. If solution concentrations are clearly identified, also select the lowest concentration mix if you are a first-time user. Follow all directions provided in the kit to the letter. Always do a skin patch test first to determine your level of sensitivity to the acids provided for the peel. You may discover that even the mildest concentrations are too strong for your skin type, and if you proceed with application you may end up with a second degree burn covering your face. After completing any home chemical peel, also be certain to follow any instructions provided for the healing process. It is also recommended that after any type of face treatment you remain out of the sun, but any sun exposure you do experience should be limited and you should always wear a sunscreen.

Author Bio

Amy Pusey

With over 18 years experience in operations and human-resource management, Amy Pusey uses her skills in her consulting and freelance writing activities. She is a freelance writer for Tips.net, as well as a resume writer for GreenThumbResumes.com. ...

MORE FROM AMY

Symptoms of Arthritis

There are several major types of arthritis, and treatments may vary according to type. If you believe you are experiencing ...

Discover More

Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

Simple tasks, such as opening a car door or shifting a laundry basket, are made increasingly difficult to perform because of ...

Discover More

Risks of Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are often sought for an efficient way to thoroughly cleanse the skin and revitalize your appearance. Since ...

Discover More
More Beauty Tips

Daily Beauty Regime

Having healthy skin begins with just a simple daily beauty regime, and it doesn't need to take long. Just follow these four ...

Discover More

Choosing a Great Moisturizer

Taking care of your face is an essential part of any hygiene routine, and you need to have a great moisturizer. Here are some ...

Discover More

Skin Care Techniques

Knowing how to care for your skin is essential if you want to have a healthy complexion. Here are some techniques to keep in ...

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 five less than 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.)