Chemical peels are concentrated acidic solutions that exfoliate the outer layer of your skin, exposing the softer and smoother skin underneath. Depending on the type of acid the peels have additional benefits like hydration, brightening or anti acne properties.
Chemical peels are classed according to the depth of penetration. Nowadays the main peels in use are superficial to medium depth peels as laser resurfacing and dermabrasion have essentially replaced the medium and deeper-depth peels.
Some of the more common chemical peels include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and TCA peels (or trichloroacetic acid), ranging from 10% to 75% strength peels. Which percentage is right for you depends on whether you have a course of peels, what skin type you are, what skin issues you are trying to treat, and whether you had chemical peels before.
First time peel-users should always start off with the lowest percentage peel and gradually increase as skin adjusts. Using a strong percentage on the skin the very first time can cause burns and potentially permanent damage. You might even be allergic to the particular acid used for the peel. Therefore it is important to carry out a thorough consultation.
Chemical peels are generally used all over the face (except around the eyes) but they can also be used to spot treat other areas of the skin, such as hands and neck. Keep in mind that usually more than one peel is necessary to get the desired results. A single peel will generally not work any miracles. However, with proper and consistent use, chemical peels can keep your skin looking young and healthy.