The skin renews itself every 28 days. However, over time, this process slows down. To rejuvenate your face without going through the operating room, many people opt for chemical peels. These are cosmetic treatments in which certain chemicals are applied to the skin to promote or accelerate exfoliation, or, in other words, to accelerate the natural rejuvenation process. Do you want to know if it is an option for you? Let us tell you what it is and what you can expect from it.

chemical peel

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is a non-surgical and non-invasive dermatological procedure in which certain types of acids are used on the skin to accelerate or promote its natural cell rejuvenation process, improving several skin defects and blemishes 1. Although they can be performed anywhere in the body, the most common chemical peels are facial chemical peels.

What are chemical peels used for?

The following are some of the main effects that can be achieved: 2 

  • Reduction of fine wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.
  • Improvement in the appearance of the wrinkles that appear due to the sun, age and genetics.
  • Improvement in the appearance of the skin affected by certain types of acne.
  • Visible reduction in freckles, age spots or hormonal spots caused by pregnancy or contraceptives.
  • Improvement with regard to texture, small scars, stretch marks or open pores.

Classification of chemical peels

Peels are classified into several types, depending on the amount of skin penetration:3 

  • Very superficial: They slightly exfoliate the outer layer of the skin, in order to even out the tone and give a more radiant appearance
  • Superficial: They act at the epidermal level without going below the basement membrane. They stimulate renewal of the epidermis by eliminating the most superficial layer.
  • Medium: They reach the epidermis in its entirety, producing significant peeling. They stimulate cell renewal, increasing collagen and elastin production.
  • Deep: They work on the deepest layers of the skin, resulting in a reorganization of structural elements (collagen and elastin fibres). They are mainly indicated for scars caused by severe acne and mid-level ageing due to sun exposure.

Factors that influence the depth of exfoliation

There are several factors that will influence the depth of exfoliation:

  • Concentration and pH: The depth, intensity and effectiveness of the peel vary depending on the substance that is used and its pH.
  • Types of chemical substances: These can be alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), beta-hydroxy acids (BHA), alpha-keto acids or trichloroacetic acid (TCA).
  • Skin type and condition: Including the history, thickness, area to be treated or activity of the sebaceous glands.
  • Texture: Peels that use aqueous, alcoholic or hydro-alcoholic solutions act quickly, while those that use gel penetrate the tissues more slowly and their action depends on the exposure time.
  • Skin preparation method: It is important to prescribe a product to be used at home a few days before treatment to prepare the skin and minimise adverse effects.
  • Application method: If applied with a brush, gauze, or a stick, the amount of product applied, the number of layers and the exposure time.

What is the process like?

The basic protocol for a professional peel includes of the following steps:

  • Skin preparation: If performed on the face, remove any make-up around the eyes and lips, and then clean and tone the skin and remove any oil from it. With regard to treatments performed on the body, you can remove the oil directly. 
  • Protecting sensitive areas: Delicate areas such as the outside of the eyes, the nostrils or mucous membranes must be protected.
  • Applying the peel: It must be performed quickly and in a uniform manner. You may feel some tingling.
  • Regeneration and application: A mask is placed on the skin to sooth, repair and unclog it.
  • Finishing and protection: Apply the cream to comfort the treated tissue, as well as a broad-spectrum sunblock of SPF 50+.

Skin exfoliation products and treatments

mesoestetic® has chemical exfoliation products that you can use at home, such as the gel brightening peel booster, which treats irregular tones and pigmentation imperfections and making the face more radiant. Similarly, the micro-exfoliating ultimate micropeel, which gently rejuvenates the surface of the skin, removes dead cells, reduces blemishes, refines skin texture, and smoothes out blemishes, instantly increasing the skin's radiance and softness.

Finally, the blemiderm® resurfacing gel rejuvenates, purifies and texturises the skin, reducing excess sebum and unclogging the pores to avoid the appearance of blemishes.

If you're looking for a treatment, the mesopeel® professional range is the most advanced range of chemical peels, giving safe, effective, versatile, and adaptable products, for personalised results.

Do you want to experience a complete new start with a chemical peel? Search for your nearest centre in our authorised centre search engine.

Before and after results: mesopeel® treatment

Before Before
Focal application. Reduction of hyperpigmentation.

Before Before
Results in a single session of mesopeel phenTCA. Renewed and more radiant skin.

Precautions to take before the treatment

Prolonged exposure to the sun or UVA rays is not recommended throughout the treatment cycle. For superficial peels, it is not advisable to dye, remove dye, depilate or shave the area in the two 2 days prior to treatment. You must also wait for 1 month after a getting tattoo.

Adverse effects and contraindications

Although unlikely, light oedema, transient erythema, peeling, or changes in skin texture may appear after treatment. 

The use of chemical peels is mainly contraindicated in the following cases:

  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding. 
  • Hypersensitivity or allergy to any of the ingredients used. 
  • Treatments with oral isotretinoin (for up to 6 months after the last intake) or other retinoids. 
  • Autoimmune diseases. 

However, it is important that you see a professional who will study your particular case.

We hope you've helped you to better understand what a chemical peel is and why it can be a new start for your skin.