The words “chemical” peel often bring to mind some scary image of bright red faces and long downtime. Fortunately this is association with some of the peels of the olden days is now in the past! Current day peels are much more sophisticated. These are  effective while well-tolerated. There is much to know, and our staff is trained to select the right peel for/with you to suit your needs. Kim is actually a trainer for Pierre Fabre/Glytone. She teaches other practices how it is done!


Chemical Peels are non-invasive and contain active chemical exfoliants that help restore skin surface and appearance. Peels help speed up the process of cellular turnover by shedding dead surface cells to reveal brighter and renewed skin. Chemical peels come in a range of intensities with different active ingredients to target various skin concerns – fine lines and wrinkles, acne prone, hyperpigmented or uneven skin as they help build collagen and resurface the skin.


Did you know Cleopatra used lactic acid from sour milk for bathing to keep her skin looking beautiful? Peels are a great way to support your daily skin care routine. To begin with we all need to take care of some basic needs. Cleanse (toners help to remove stubborn traces of oil, dirt, and make-up), Exfoliate, Apply any specific problem oriented treatment, Hydrate, Sun protect. Peels help the exfoliation process which in turn preps the skin for other treatment and improves its appearance. A professional peel makes your at-home products more effective! Most people come in three or four times a year for maintenance.


Microdermabrasion and Dermaplaning are mechanical ways to exfoliate. So are Loufa sponges, scrubs and the Clarisonic brush. Some skin types and skin problems are better served with peels. Peel solutions gently loosen up the top layer of dead skin cells. They also get into pores better. As we get older the escalator mechanism by which new skin becomes dead skin tends to fail in that there is a bit of a pileup at the top. This makes your skin look dull, clogs pores, and blocks your moisturizers and other treatments from penetrating to where they work best. As a result of proper exfoliation the skin takes on a healthier appearance (radiance or glow).

AHA (Mandelic, Lactic, Citric and Glycolic Acid), PHA (lactobionic acid and  gluconolactone), BHA (Salicylic Acid), Pyruvic, Resorcinol, TCA (Trichloracetic Acid). Is your head spinning yet?

Then there are combination peels such as the Jessner (salicyclic acid, resorcinol and lactic acid mixed in ethanol). You get the idea..

Why so many? Because we have different skin behavior (oily or dry, T-zone), with differing tolerances. Even between different parts of our bodies. Eyelids, lips (vermilion border) and hands all need to be respected for their different requirements! Some patients are redness-prone as in Rosacea, others look to reduce unwanted hyper-pigmentation or texture and fine lines, wrinkles. Peels help manage acne. Lasers can be deployed as well for lighter skin types, but these are more costly and can have longer downtime. Peels generally are safest for darker skin.

salicylic         glycolic

AHA, BHA or PHA - Which acid is right for you?    Image result for lactic acid molecule             Image result for resorcinol
               lactobionic                    lactic                 resorcinol
Image result for tca molecule         Image result for mandelic acid molecule              Image result for gluconolactone molecule                Image result for pyruvic acid molecule                                       TCA               mandelic            gluconolactone                   pyruvic


After a peel, your skin is much more sun-sensitive. You should already be in the habit of using a daily SPF of 50 or higher, but after a peel you really should step it up to a sunblock (with micronized zinc and/or titanium) for several weeks.

We strongly discourage patients from doing peels at home! Generally this is a risky proposition and therefore you can land yourself in deep water, with skin damage as a result. Please entrust this to us professionals. Having said that, we can set you up with great products from  Glytone (a wide range), SkinBetter Science (AlpaRet-overnight; EyeMAX, Interfuse Eye, Face&Neck; Oxygen Infusion Wash). SkinBetter has individually wrapped peel pads that contain salicylic, lactic and glycolic acid enhanced with a proprietary retinoid (AlphaRet). Avène boasts their Retrinal+ night cream. Many of these products are in our web store.

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