Are Chemical Peels Right for You?

Chemical peels are one of the most frequently asked for non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the United States.  For many women and men, chemical peels can take years off by uncovering dead, dull skin and promoting new skin and collagen growth.  Similar to microdermabrasion, chemical peels seek to remove the outermost layer of your skin.  Unlike microdermabrasion, chemical peels should only be performed by an experienced doctor or trained esthetician.  Most individuals can benefit from chemical peels as long as they have a trained clinician who understands which chemical peel is right for their skin.

The Benefits of a Chemical Peel
Some patients have the misconception that a chemical peel is similar to facelift surgery.  While there are many benefits to having a chemical peel procedure, chemical peels will not remove deep wrinkles and fine lines.  They are great for treating uneven skin tones, getting rid of sunspots/agespots, decreasing the appearance of fine lines and treating other skin blemishes.

The 3 Main Types of Chemical Peels
Before you decide to get a chemical peel either at the doctor’s office or at a clinic/spa, be sure to understand the differences in the types of chemical peels!  There are 3 main types of chemical peels: AHA, TCA, and phenol.  They are all named after the chemical compound of which they are composed of.

1. AHA

  • Pro: Great for taking care of uneven skin tone and treating sun damaged skin.  The most mild chemical peel in the market.
  • Con: Increased sensitivity to sunlight.  Possible redness and discomfort.

2. TCA

  • Pro: Will take care of fine lines, treat multiple types of skin blemishes and promote new skin growth.  Suitable for different areas of the body.
  • Con: Possible uneven skin tone after treatment.  Must stay out of the sun for a few weeks to a couple months, depending on doctor’s orders.

3. Phenol

  • Pro: This is the strongest type of chemical peels.  It is able to take care of discoloration, reverse signs of sun damaged skin and even take care of possible malignant skin cancer.
  • Con: Because of the strength of the peel, patient’s might experience lightening of the skin, extra sensitivity to sunlight and possible burning and irritation.

Do Your Research!
Chemical peels are generally suitable for all skin tones, skin types and even different areas of the body.  Though there are possible side effects, most people only experience mild side effects that last at most a couple of days.  For the best results, be sure to have your procedure done by a professional with experience.  Do your research, find the right clinic, find an experienced doctor and read up on the different types of chemical peels.


Emily Li is a writer and blogger for Look Young Atlanta, a premier laser and skin care clinic offering a wide array of cosmetic procedures including chemical peels in Atlanta.  In her free time, she loves to keep up with cosmetic trends via Pinterest and Tumblr!


Note:  All views expressed in this blog post are the personal opinions of the guest blogger. doesn’t favor any particular skincare brand or take advertising from any of them. Our scientific algorithm is entirely unbiased based on your skin profile.

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