Pick The Chemical Peel That's Right For You

If you're considering a chemical peel to enhance and brighten your skin, but want to start simple, consider a light peel. "These peels increase cell turnover and need to be done monthly because the results are cumulative," says Boca Raton, FL, aesthetician Cheryl Staurowsky. So which single-acid chemical peel is right for you? Here is a breakdown of the three popular options:

Glycolic Acid
Best For: Fine lines and wrinkles, minor sun damage, discoloration (brown and red spots), acneic and oily skin
How it works: One of the more frequently used peeling agents, this mild sugar-derived acid, which is said to provide collagen synthesizing benefits, lifts dead skin cells to break the bonds that keep them glued to the skin. Charlotte, NC, dermatologist Gilly Munavalli, MD, explains that 70 percent glycolic acid is small enough to really get into the pores to help improve the skin's surface. "This is my all-time favorite peeling agent to use because it does such a good job retexturing the skin," says New York dermatologist Gervaise Gerstner, MD.

Salicylic Acid
Best for: Oily skin, comedonal acne, blackheads, melasma and enlarged pores
How it works: This betahydroxy acid improves the skin by breaking through oil-packed follicles to purge the pore of whatever is trapped inside. That's why it's not rare to notice a few blemishes in the days following your peel. Salicylic acid is great at treating malasma since it eliminates the upper most layer of dead skin cells where discoloration can live. While it can be drying, it is good for those with sensitive skin because it is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Lactic Acid
Best for: hydrating and an anti-aging effect
How it works: Classified as a more gentle peel, lactic acid is heralded for its ability to soften, nourish and moisturize the skin. "The nice thing about lactic acid is that we can mix-and-match it with other AHAs to create a customized solution," says celebrity aesthetician Nerida Joy.

For more information on chemical peels, check out the Spring-Summer 2012 issue of NewBeauty magazine, on newsstands now.

How to Prep for Your Next Chemical Peel
Demystifying Chemical Peels

Find Chemical Peels Doctors near you:
  • About Face by Nancy
    Posted on

    very superficial and superficial chemical peels are performed by licensed aestheticians. these are very safe and offer a number of benefits for dull skin, superficial wrinkles, sun damage, and discoloration. a series of 4 to 6 peels have an accumulative affect, and is one of the best anti aging treatments. i highly recommend it, i have melasma and an a licensed aesthetician. about face by nancy

  • No offense...
    Posted on

    Skincyclopedia, no offense but I wouldn't trust my aesthetician to perform a deep peel, regardless of the years of experience, just as I wouldn't trust my dental hygienist to perform a root canal. I'd prefer to trust heavier peels to a nurse or dermatologist as they have advanced training in the field. Just a side note...I use Dr. Gross's Alpha Beta peels nightly and have seen nice results considering it's an at-home product. Don't discredit at-home products as it's an essential part of a skin-care routine; something you should know considering your profession. They're meant to enhance NOT replace in-office treatments, so don't mock them for fear of loosing business.

  • skincyclopedia
    Posted on

    Anonymous: "do it yourself at home! cheapest and best way" you are wrong on both counts. That can cause permanent damage (e.g. scarring, infection, hyper/hypopigmentation, and other serious problems). Please consult an experienced esthetician. Also, Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta pads are not peel strength, anything that is gentle enough to be used daily is not strong enough to produce the results that are inferred when discussing a chemical peel. I'd like to point out that estheticians are by nature of their education qualified to offer a chemical peel. It's best to find one that is experienced and well versed in the particular product lines they use. To the poster Esthetician: as a fellow esthetician I perform superficial, medium and deep peels. Dermatologists generally refer their clients to a nurse, medical assistant, or esthetician to perform the peel but very rarely perform a peel themselves. Don't sell yourself short. We should be offering services & education that provide real results to our clients. If we are not providing results, we are not doing any favors to our profession. It is viewed as largely expendable and it's our job to prove that there is more to it than relaxation.

  • Esthetician
    Posted on

    Superficial peels can be performed by any licensed esthetician. Depending on your skin concern, a more aggressive medium peel is performed by a dermatologist. Medium peels require more down than superficial peels.

  • Dr. McNeese
    Posted on

    Now is the best time for a lactic acid peel. Ours is mild yet effective and helps to moisturize, brighten and lessen those hyperpigmented areas and skin stains. Come get a "peel" with "appeal" in Burbank.

  • anonymous
    Posted on

    try Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare's Alpha Beta Peels! They are an at home version and contain Glycolic, Lactic, Salicylic + Malic and Citric Acids for a gentle, yet effective at home peel!

  • Anonymous
    Posted on

    To Tonya, Estheticians are ALREADY Licensed to perform chemical peels already.

  • anonymous
    Posted on

    I would say either to a dermatologist or to an esthetician. if you go to an esthetician make sure that they are certified in chemical exfoliation

  • Tonya
    Posted on

    Larry, either to a dermatologist or an esthetician. Make sure if you go to an esthetician that they are certified in chemical exfoliation.

  • anonymous
    Posted on

    do it yourself at home! cheapest and best way

From around the web