The beginner's guide to chemical peels in the home



What is a chemical peel?


A chemical peel is an exfoliant for the skin of greater resistance with a pH that is generally around 2.0. When most people think about chemical exfoliation, they are probably familiar with the things of lesser strength like Paula's Choice 2% BHA, or COSRX BHA (my personal favorite).


These types of exfoliants differ from chemical peels for two reasons:



  • They have a higher pH.

  • There is less acid in general within the product.


When looking for chemical peels to buy, make sure your chemical peels have a pH of around 2.0. When the pH of a solution is 2.0 or lower, it means that the full percentage of that acid in the product is "free" to exfoliate your skin. However, when the pH is even slightly elevated, less of that product will work.


For example, let's say we have a 5 percent salicylic acid product with a pH of 2.0, that 5 percent would be completely "free" to work its exfoliating magic. But when the pH of that salicylic acid increases slightly, less than that 5 percent is really active.


If you want the full effect of chemical peel, make sure your product has a pH of around 2.0. If all this is a bit confusing, just know that a chemical peel is simply a stronger version of over-the-counter chemical exfoliating products, and as such requires a lot of caution when used at home


What does a chemical peel?


It makes your skin (and you) sexy!


Jokes aside, chemical peels have many benefits! These include, but are not limited to:



  • deep chemical exfoliation





  • Treatment of hyperpigmentation and other discolorations of the skin.

  • facial rejuvenation

  • unclogging the pores

  • get rid of acne

  • Reducing the depth of wrinkles or acne scars.

  • bright skin tone

  • Improving the absorption of other products for skin care.


In other words, do you have a problem? There is a chemical exfoliation with your name and solution.


Types of chemical peels and recommendations.


In terms of strength, there are three varieties:


1. Surface peels


Also known as "lunchtime peels," since they involve little or no downtime, superficial peels penetrate minimally, gently exfoliate, and are more suitable for mild skin problems such as mild discoloration or rough texture.


Examples: Exfoliations using manic acid, lactic acid and low resistance salicylic acid are usually included in this category.


2. Medium Peels


These penetrate more deeply (middle layer of the skin), attack damaged skin cells and are more suitable for moderate skin problems such as superficial scars, fine lines and wrinkles, and annoying discoloration, such as melasma or age spots .


Even medium peels have been used in the treatment of precancerous skin growths.


Examples: Exfoliations with a high percentage of glycolic acid, Jessner and TCA are included in this category.


3. deep peel


As the name implies, these penetrate the middle layer of the skin very deeply. They focus on damaged skin cells, moderate to severe scars, deep wrinkles and discoloration of the skin.


Examples: Chemical peels with TCA and high percentage phenol are included in this category. However, you should Never Make a deep peeling at home. Keep it for the frontline professionals.


Most of the skin peels that are performed in the home are classified in the surface category. Extreme caution It should be taken with shells of medium strength.


What type of chemical ingredient should I buy?


As for the ingredients, there are many different options to choose from. Since we like simplicity here, here is a list of common chemical exfoliations, listed from the weakest to the strongest, with quick summaries of what they do.


Enzyme shells


This is the lightest shell in the bunch and is considered a "natural" option because it is a derivative of the fruit. It is especially good for people with sensitive skin or people who can not tolerate acids.


But unlike alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA), it does not actually increase cell turnover. Instead, the peels with enzymes work to remove dead skin and refine the pores in a way that does not make your skin more sensitive to the sun.


Enzyme shell products



  • Enzyme shell GreatFull pumpkin skin

  • Protégé Beauty Pumpkin Enzyme Peel


Mandelic acid


Mandelic acid improves texture, fine lines and wrinkles. It is beneficial for acne and helps hyperpigmentation without the irritation or erythema (redness) that glycolic acid can induce. It is more effective on the skin than glycolic acid when used in combination with salicylic acid.


Mandelic acid products



  • Exfoliation with MUAC 25% mandelic acid

  • Cell bone technology 25% mandelic acid


Lactic acid


Lactic acid is another good start exfoliation because it is considered light and soft. Softens the skin, provides a shine, helps with minor wrinkles and is better than glycolic acid to treat hyperpigmentation and general skin discolorations. In addition, it is more moisturizing.


Lactic acid products



  • Choice of makeup artists 40% lactic acid peeling

  • 50% lactic acid gel peel


Salicylic acid


This is, by far, one of the best peels to treat acne. It is soluble in oil, which means that it will effectively enter the curves and crevices of the pores to dissolve any congestion and debris.


Unlike glycolic acid and other AHAs, salicylic acid does not increase the sensitivity of the skin to the sun, which in turn could cause an erythema induced by UV rays. In addition to treating acne, it is excellent for:



  • photodamage (sun damage)

  • hyperpigmentation

  • melasma





  • lentigines (liver spots)

  • freckles

  • Warts or excess accumulation of dead skin.

  • Folliculitis due to malassezia (Pityrosporum), better known as "fungal acne"


Products of salicylic acid



  • Perfect Image LLC Salicylic Acid 20% Peel Gel

  • ASDM Beverly Hills 20% salicylic acid

  • Exfoliation with 20% salicylic acid Retin Glow


Glycolic Acid


This is a bit more intensive and, depending on its concentration, can fall into the category of "medium shell".


Glycolic acid increases collagen production, refines texture, brightens and refreshes skin tone, reduces wrinkles and is a particularly excellent chemical exfoliation for acne scars. And when I say acne scars, I mean the actual notches left in the skin of the old buds.


Like all the other exfoliations mentioned so far, glycolic acid also treats hyperpigmentation and acne, although less effectively than salicylic acid.


Products of glycolic acid



  • YEOUTH 30% glycolic acid

  • Gel shell 30% glycolic acid Perfect Image LLC


The shell of Jessner


This is an exfoliation of medium concentration composed of three main ingredients (salicylic acid, lactic acid and resorcinol). It is a great exfoliation for hyperpigmentation skin and prone to acne or fat, but should be avoided if you have dry or sensitive skin because it could be quite dry.


This exfoliation will cause the formation of frost when the parts of your skin turn white during exfoliation because the acidic solution exfoliates your skin. Downtime can last from a couple of days to a week.


Jessner's peeling products.



  • Skin Obsession Jessner's Chemical Peel

  • Dermalure Jessner 14% Peel


TCA shell (trichloroacetic acid)


The TCA is a shell of medium strength and the strongest of the group that is listed here. Exfoliations with TCA are not a joke, so take it seriously. Tear that, take them all seriously!


This exfoliation is good for sun damage, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, stretch marks and atrophic acne scars. Just like a Jessner shell, this will have downtime (usually 7 to 10 days).


TCA peeling products



  • Perfect Image 15% TCA Peel

  • Retin Glow TCA 10% Peel Gel


Side effects of chemical exfoliation.


The side effects that you may experience depend to a large extent on the strength, intensity and type of peel you use.


For light exfoliations such as 15 percent salicylic or 25 percent mandelic acid, there will be little or no side effects. Some redness will occur after exfoliation, but it should subside in an hour or two. Exfoliation of the skin can occur in two or three days. However, this is quite uncommon with light superficial peels.


Note: Just because you do not fight, he does not It means that it is not working! Do not underestimate the strength of a chemical peel, even if you feel you did not do much.


As for the products of greater resistance, there will definitely be peeling and reddening of the skin. This can last from 7 to 10 days, so make sure you are doing these peels when you can afford to stay at home and hide for a while. (Unless you agree to see yourself a bit like a lizard in public, and if you are, more power to you!)


Rare side effects include:



  • change in skin color (it is more likely to happen with people of color)

  • infection

  • scarring (very rare, but possible)

  • damage to the heart, kidney or liver


Damage to the heart, kidney or liver is only a concern with phenol peels, which I should never do at home These are even stronger than TCA peels.


What else do you need?


We are almost in the exciting part, but first, we need to review the things you will need.































Ingredient or equipmentWhy
sodium bicarbonateto neutralize the exfoliation: you should never use sodium bicarbonate directly on the skin, as it is highly alkaline, but it is perfect to neutralize acidic exfoliations
fan brushto store the product and allow a smooth and controlled application
Vaselineto protect the sensitive areas of the skin that the chemical peel should not touch, such as the sides of the nose, lips and eye sockets
stopwatch or timertrack when to neutralize the shell
glovesTo protect your hands when handling chemical exfoliation.
Shot glass (or small container) and dropper dispenser. all optional, but recommended to save the product and make the whole process of the application much easier

How to make a chemical exfoliation at home.


Before starting, keep in mind that it is possible to experience negative side effects. These ingredients are very strong and should not be used casually daily or more than once a week.


As always, it is best to first consult with your primary health care professional before deciding to perform a chemical peel at home. This information is for educational purposes to ensure that, if you choose to do a chemical exfoliation, have the precise knowledge.


With any peel you start with, first try the patch! For a patch test:



  1. Apply a small amount of product to your skin in a discreet area, such as the inside of your wrist or your inner arm.

  2. Wait 48 hours to see if there is a reaction.

  3. Check the area 96 hours after the application to see if you have a late reaction.


Enter it slowly in your routine Your patience will be be rewarded, and safety is paramount. More is not necessarily better here!


Now, if you still want to take the step for healthier skin, follow these steps precisely to mitigate any potential danger.


It may not seem like enough, and to be honest, it probably is not, but when you start, it's better to be safe than sorry. Ideally, increase the time you leave it on your face in increments of 30 seconds each session until you have reached the maximum limit of five minutes.


For example, let's say you started with an exfoliation with mandelic acid at 15 percent. The first week you would leave it on for only 30 seconds. Next week, one minute. The week after that, 1 minute and 30 seconds, and so on, until you've worked up to five minutes.


If you have reached the five-minute mark and feel that your chemical peel is still not doing enough, this would be the time to move up in percentage. In other words, instead of using an exfoliation with 15% mandelic acid, you should go up to 25% and repeat the whole process, starting again, leaving it on for 30 seconds for the first application.


With all that said, as soon as you apply the exfoliation on the skin, keep a record of your timer until the allotted time has passed (30 seconds minimum, maximum five minutes).


And that is! You have already successfully completed your first chemical peel!


Subsequent care of the chemical peel


For at least the next 24 hours, you should ensure that you do not use active ingredients such as tretinoin (Retin-A) or products that include acids, such as glycolic or salicylic acid, in your skin care.


Do not use for 24 hours.



  • tretinoins recipe

  • AHAs

  • BHAs

  • Sera of vitamin C with ascorbic acid.

  • low pH sera

  • retinoids

  • any other chemical exfoliator


Once you have completed an exfoliation, you should follow up with a very smooth and simple skin care routine. Incorporating a hyaluronic acid product can help moisturize your skin's daylights, and research has shown that hyaluronic acid plays an important role in healing wounds, two things you should definitely focus on after a exfoliation session.


You can not go wrong with the use of moisturizers that strengthen and repair the barrier against moisture. Look for ingredients such as ceramides, cholesterol and hyaluronic acid, which function as identical ingredients to the skin that repair the barrier's damage and strengthen the moisture barrier.


CeraVe PM is a favorite moisturizer because it comes with the addition of 4 percent niacinamide, an antioxidant that:



  • illuminates skin tone

  • increases the production of collagen

  • has anti-aging benefits


However, CeraVe Cream occupies a second place and is best suited for people with drier skin.


Another good and cheap product to use after chemical peels is Vaseline. Contrary to popular belief, petrolatum is not comedogenic. Its molecules are simply too big to clog pores.


Vaseline is the most effective ingredient on earth to prevent the loss of transepidermal water (TEWL), which keeps the skin hydrated and hydrated. If you want to speed up the recovery time of a chemical peel, make sure you use petroleum jelly!


Last but not least, be sure to use sunscreen and protect your skin from the sun immediately after its exfoliation. Your skin will be very sensitive.


And that does it to make chemical peels at home! Keep in mind that incorrectly applied chemical peels can leave you scarred for life. Many people have had to seek emergency care for not being cautious.


Be sure to buy your products from a reliable source and know exactly what you are requesting. Be sure, have fun and welcome to the world of wonderful skin.


We select these items according to the quality of the products and list the pros and cons of each one to help you determine which one will work best for you. We partner with some of the companies that sell these products, which means that Healthline can receive a portion of the revenue when you buy something using the links above.


This post, which was originally published by Simple skin care science, has been edited for clarity and brevity.




F.C. is the anonymous author, researcher and founder of Simple Skincare Science, a website and a community dedicated to enriching the lives of others through the power of knowledge and skin care research. His writing is inspired by personal experience after spending almost half of his life suffering from skin conditions such as acne, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, folliculitis by malassezia and more. His message is simple: if he can have beautiful skin, you can too!



Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/chemical-peels-at-home






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