Chemical Skin Peels

A chemical peel is a skin-resurfacing procedure in which a solution is applied to the skin to remove the top uppermost layers, allowing the skin to regenerate itself resulting in smoother and younger-looking skin.

Chemical peels are used to treat wrinkles, skin discolouration, and scars — typically on the face. A peel can be done alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures.

Chemical peels can be done at different depths — light, medium, or deep — depending on your desired results. Each type of peel uses a different chemical solution. Deeper peels produce more dramatic results, but also involve longer recovery times.

Our most popular Chemical peel is the Blue Peel Radiance by Obagi.

It is a quick, superficial facial chemical peel that exfoliates and helps improve overall complexion and provides firmer, smoother, brighter-looking skin after just one use. A series of four to six peels provides the best overall results.

An image showing the various obagi blue peel treatment productsBlue Peel RADIANCE helps improve the following skin concerns:

  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Rough, uneven skin
  • Blemishes
  • Mild to moderate photoaging

Active Ingredient:

  • 20% Salicylic Acid


What Are Chemical Skin Peels?

In short, a chemical peel is a skin clinic procedure that aims to improve the skin texture and appearance – primarily the face. The way this beauty and skin rejuvenation treatment works is quite simple – a chemical solution, such as salicylic or glycolic acid or a TCA chemical peel, is applied, the skin starts to “blister” and eventually peels off allowing the new skin cells to grow.

Where Can Chemical Skin Peels Be Applied? 

Chemical peels are most often used on the face since facial skin is usually the first to show signs of ageing, sun damage, pollution, harsh and unsafe cosmetics, and so on.

The neck and hands are also areas that suffer from ageing and damage, which makes peels popular for skin treatments for those areas as well.

However, there are no limitations as to where skin peels can be applied.

Image showing the benefits of a chemical skin peel


What Are Chemical Peels Used For? 

A chemical peel treatment aims to improve the look, texture, and feel of one’s skin. Depending on the skin type, it can be used to:

  • Reduce lines and wrinkles
  • Reduce deeper lines caused by ageing
  • Reduce acne scars and other scarring
  • Improve the appearance of acne-prone skin
  • Lighten age spots, freckles, and dark spots on the skin (including those caused by pregnancy or birth control)
  • Smoothen the skin
  • Reduce skin discolouration

Different Types of Chemical Skin Peels

It is important to note that not all chemical peel treatments are the same. The three basic types of peels are superficial, medium, and deep peels.

Superficial Peels

This chemical peel type involves the removal of skin cells from the topmost part of the skin, called the epidermis. A solution is applied to the skin and removed after a couple of minutes, after which the skin may feel tight and sensitive for several hours or even the entire day. The discomfort is mild and rarely lasts longer than a day.

Superficial treatments need to be repeated on a regular basis in order to keep showing effects.

Medium Peels

Medium skin peels involve the removal of both the top and the middle skin layers. A solution is applied and left on the skin for a couple of minutes. However, unlike the less invasive type of treatment, with medium skin peels, you may experience a burning or stinging sensation while the product is on your skin. In addition, some redness or even dark, brownish skin can be expected over the following few days.

After a medium chemical peel treatment, the skin may take up to six weeks before going back to normal. Effects are not permanent, but they are certainly longer-lasting than in a superficial peel – lasting from six to 12 months.

Deep Peels

Finally, deep chemical peels penetrate deeper and are more invasive, with a longer recovery period. Because the solution penetrates deeper and causes much more discomfort and pain, a local anaesthetic and/or a sedative may be administered. The products are left on the skin for longer, 30 minutes, and sometimes even more. In some cases, especially if phenol is being used, it may be required for the client’s heart rate and blood pressure to be monitored, as the chemical can affect heart and kidney functions.

After the procedure at the skin clinic, the client will typically experience peeling, redness, burning or stinging sensation and general discomfort for a few days.

Deep peels usually do not need to be repeated as they produce near-permanent effects.


picture of a woman about to get a chemical skin peel treatment


Who Is a Good Candidate For a Chemical Skin Peel? 

Anyone who wants to improve their skin, reduce the effects of sun damage, acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, or address similar skin concerns may consider getting a beauty skin peel. There are, however, some things to keep in mind.

In general, people with a lighter complexion and light hair make better candidates for these treatments. That’s not to say that those with darker skin types won’t enjoy any benefits, but darker complexions come with the potential risk of ending up with an uneven skin tone afterward.

Also, don’t get one of these treatments if you’re looking to fix saggy skin, bulges, or very deep wrinkles, as these skin issues won’t respond to a peel.

What To Do Before Getting a Skin Peel?

First of all, make sure to tell your skin clinic professional if you have had any issues related to scarring before, if you suffer from recurring cold sores (HSV), or if you have had facial X-rays performed. It’s also important to notify the doctor of any medication you might be taking.

Second, it can help to prepare the skin for the procedure using products such as glycolic acid, Renova, or Retin-A. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a prophylactic dose of antibiotics or antivirals.

Also, you may want to have someone take you home after the procedure as you might experience some discomfort.

What Does the Procedure Look Like?

A chemical peel is an outpatient procedure, which means you don’t have to spend the night at the skin clinic.

As for the procedure itself, before applying the products, the skin will first have to be cleaned thoroughly. Then, one or more solutions are applied to parts of your skin. The chemicals may include salicylic acid, lactic acid, phenol (carbolic acid), glycolic acid, or trichloroacetic acid (TCA peel). The chemicals may cause a burning, stinging, or painful sensation as the solutions create a controlled wound.

After the procedure in the skin clinic, patients may be advised to apply cold compresses to ease the discomfort. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe painkillers or antibiotics. You may also need to wear bandages on the parts of the skin that were treated for protection. In the following days, you may develop a reaction similar to a sunburn, with redness, blistering, and scaling. After three to seven days, the skin will start to peel off, allowing new skin to develop. Depending on the type of peel you have received, you may need to repeat the treatments in weekly or bi-weekly intervals until the desired result is achieved.  Note that you will need to apply sun protection after the treatment.


picture of a woman with the blue radiance peel applied to her face


The Obagi Blue Radiance Peel 

The Obagi Blue Radiance Peel is a quick, non-invasive peel using salicylic acid. It improves the overall appearance of the skin, reducing acne scarring, melasma, fine lines and deeper wrinkles, pigmentation, and other issues. It is safe for all skin types and tones, requires no overnight stay, and can be done in under an hour.

The Treatment

Before applying the solution, your skin will be cleaned, and the Obagi Radiance Peel Prep solution will be applied and left to dry. Next, the Blue Radiance solution will be applied once or several times, depending on the desired results and the condition of the skin. The solution may stay on the skin for up to 12 minutes, after which it will be removed using a gentle face cleanser and water. Next, a non-chemical sunscreen will be applied to protect the skin from the sun.

After the Treatment

Some redness, tenderness, and peeling might be expected after the procedure. The skin’s condition will improve in seven to 10 days, during which time it is expected to heal completely. The skin will already appear younger after the first treatment but for the best results, it is recommended to repeat the treatments another four to six times.