Everything You Need To Know About Chemical Peels

Because chemical peels get a bad rap from all the misinformation on the internet about them, I think it’s time to set the record straight. When it comes to your body and health, you have a right to know exactly what is being used in your treatments. In all my years of providing skincare treatments to my New York City clients, I can tell you that no two people’s skin are alike. We each have uniquely beautiful skin that requires special care, and chemical peels can often provide a great personalized solution for you. You just need to know what they are, how they work, and make sure you’re working with a professional esthetician to determine what would work best for you. So let’s dive in, and hopefully settle any concerns that may make you hesitant to experience this amazing facial treatment.


What Are Chemical Peels?

First of all, don’t let the word “chemical” deter you. Despite the name, a chemical peel isn’t about putting chemicals on your face. It actually gets its name from the chemical reaction it creates on your face that encourages your skin to exfoliate and naturally heal. The treatment helps remove the old, dull surface skin and exposes the fresh, new skin underneath. Without the old layer on top, your face will be smoother, brighter, clearer, softer, and younger! Chemical peels help address a variety of skin conditions, including:

  • Rough skin
  • Blackheads and whiteheads
  • Acne
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Dullness
  • Fine lines

Depending on your needs, your esthetician can customize a peel that best suits your skin type, desired effect, and desired intensity.

Do Facial Peels Hurt?

This question comes up a lot, and it seems to also stem from a misunderstanding of what a chemical peel is. While it might sound a little strange to have a layer of skin peel off, a chemical peel is actually not very painful all. The chemical reaction taking place on your skin may produce a bit of discomfort but your esthetician should have a cooling method on hand, like a fan to reduce the discomfort and make the procedure tolerable.

Are Chemical Peels Dangerous?

When administered by someone who is untrained of course they can be dangerous, just like anything else when done by a non-professional. Chemical peels are NOT dangerous when the proper procedures are put in place and the aftercare is followed precisely. This is why it is important to always go to a trained and certified professional who has had experience and training in chemical peels and the various ingredients that are used in them.

Different Kinds of Chemical Peels

The different ingredients used in specific chemical peels enable estheticians like myself to select the peel that suits your personal needs best. Let’s take some of the mystery and misunderstanding out of the chemical peel treatment and go through some of the ingredients used in my peels to give you an idea of what you can expect in your own peel:

  • Lactic acid

    Lactic acid comes from the same root as “lactose,” as in the protein found in milk, and helps create a more even, hydrated complexion

  • Salicylic acid

    This acid comes from birch willow and was used back in Hippocrates’ day to ease pain and treat fevers– which is why it’s now found in modern aspirin

  • Kojic acid

    Kojic acid is often used to prevent fruit and seafood from browning, and also helps to naturally lighten skin and reduce hyperpigmentation. It comes form a mushroom.

  • Lotus

    The lotus flower has been used for its anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties for centuries and is still used worldwide today

  • Glycolic acid

    Glycogen is derived from sugar cane, and it helps reduce blackheads, improves hyperpigmentation, tightens pores, and more

  • Hibiscus

    Hibiscus is often used to promote collagen growth and exfoliation, but it’s also less irritating to some skin types

  • Mandelic acid

    This acid comes from almonds, is known for having a more gentle peel, and has a long history as a natural antibacterial

  • Arginine acid

    An arginine peel helps lift and moisturize skin while reducing acne by using arginine acid– an essential amino acid

While the technical names might sound intimidating, they all come from natural substances that we can use to treat your skin safely and effectively.

Still Have Questions about Chemical Peels?

As I’ve said before, you have a right to know what’s all involved in any body or health treatment your pursue. If you still have questions about chemical peels, I would be more than happy to answer them! Give me a call, or feel free to schedule a consultation if you’d like to discuss your personal needs. We’ll go through all your options, and together we’ll find the best treatment for your skin.

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