Glycolic & Chemical Peels
Glycolic & Chemical Peels
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Glycolic & Chemical Peel Melbourne

About chemical peels

Chemical peels can play a key role in improving the appearance of the skin. At ENRICH Clinic, we have the training and experience to get the most out of your skin using chemical peels.

Peels can improve the appearance and texture of the face, neck and backs of hands, helping to reduce fine lines and pigmentation spots. Mild scarring, sun damage and fine lines around the eyes and mouth can also benefit. Age spots and melasma respond well to these acid treatments.

Peels are also used for a variety of targetted skin issues, including blackheads or whiteheads, sun damage, fine lines or wrinkling, discolouration or pigmentation, ingrown hairs, acne, dry or scaly skin, and large pores.

We adapt our peel treatments in terms of what type of peel we use for an individual’s skin type and goals, ensuring the depth of the peel is appropriate. Many medical-strength peels mean some downtime as the skin peels off post-treatment – no picking! The skin must be allowed to flake off naturally to avoid scarring.

We prefer doing more frequent peels across the course of a year to get the best results, rather than going in strong and deep immediately.

We love our peels! Here you can see what sorts of peels we offer, why each is useful, and how much you can expect to pay.

Does a chemical peel hurt?

Chemical peels tend to sting a bit, but aren’t painful. The gentlest types can also cause stinging and redness, but your skin adjusts. You may feel a burning feeling that is replaced by stinging, for about 10 minutes. Deeper peels may require some pain relief.

Stronger peels result in more discomfort than gentler types, with irritation and redness afterwards. Certain post treatment creams and gels can reduce this irritation.

What to expect after a peel

Each peel is different, but generally you can expect a sunburn-type response to a chemical treatment. Mild procedures can continue after healing, with medium-depth peels possibly resulting in blisters. These blisters may burst, causing crusting and shedding. Medium-depth treatments shouldn’t be repeated too often; once every six months to a year is suitable.

Bandages may be necessary to protect your healing cells, but your dermatologist will advise.

Different kinds of chemical peels available at our Melbourne clinic

There are quite a few substances that we use as chemical peels because of their varying properties.

Glycolic – fruit acid AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) peel

Glycolic acid and AHA are considered to be the most common and simplest  type of chemical peel. This resurfacing can remove only the very top layer, more like an exfoliant, with no real peeling involved at all.

Glycolic peels are not usually expensive and can be performed frequently on most skin types. They help to clear the complexion across the face and can also be used on the neck, chin, back and decolletage. These peels are mild but can help to improve tone and texture. Glycolic peels are suitable for any skin type.

What’s Glycolic Peel deal?

Glycolic acid peels have a small molecular structure, allowing them to travel further into the skin. The acid dissolves sebum and dead skin cells, revealing a brighter complexion. Glycolic acid peels stimulate collagen production, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Expect some redness for about half an hour post-peel. This is the kind of peel you might get every week or fortnight to keep you looking good.

Expect some redness for about half an hour post-peel. This is the kind of peel you might get every week or fortnight to keep you looking good.

Can your skin react to a glycolic peel?  

The short answer is yes. Despite this being on the lighter scale of the peel journey, everybody is different and can react to any treatment. Glycolic peels are no exception. Common reactions can be some residual stinging and redness. If you have any cut or damage to your skin, do not have a peel until it is healed. 

Luxe Four in One 

Exclusive to ENRICH Clinic, this 4-in-1 treatment encompasses four of our favourite therapies in one 75-minute session.

This no-downtime treatment promotes collagen production and exfoliates and cleans the skin whilst rehydrating it below its surface. The treatment uses different devices & a peel to build, compound and create an effective single treatment.

The treatment follows a process that allows the skin to respond to the compound effect even when performed in one session.



  1.  20 % Glycolic acid peel
  2. Erbium defocused
  3. Genesis rejuvenation
  4. Healing light diode – 15 minutes

Please note that we cannot use the laser treatment if you react to the peel. 


A medipeel (‘medical peel’) is a therapeutic-strength acid peel administered by a cosmetic doctor for more advanced treatment of skin issues. You can look forward to a more even facial skin tone, smoother texture, reduced appearance of pores and refreshed skin while also treating specific skin conditions as a medical peel.

You can expect more profound skin rejuvenation and skin resurfacing than other peels offer, treating severely pigmented, sun-damaged or wrinkled skin. Recovery time is greater, but the results can be dramatic.

Some flaking and a mild redness may stick around for several days after treatment. Prescription medicine-based procedures can be done fortnightly

PCA peels

PCA Skin chemical peels improve all skin types by improving acne, hyperpigmentation and visible signs of ageing such as fine lines. Skin turnover rate is increased, providing a fresh complexion by removing old and dead skin cells.

PCA Skin peels work to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and help to clear away pimples and dead skin cells. PCA Skin peels are a modified version of the Jessner peel containing lactic acid, salicylic acid, kojic acid, citric acid and resorcinol. You can expect very comfortable treatments.

PCA peels contain bleaching agents, which makes them a good option when pigmentation is a core concern. When pigmentation is a result of inflammation, sun damage or scarring, a PCA peel may be most suitable. 

Expect skin to be red and a little flakey, as PCA peels are stronger than other peels. We recommend regular peels for best effect for pigment-related issues.

Jessner peel

A Jessner is a mixture of lactic and salicylic acid and is an effective skin-maintaining peel that also works on other parts of your body. We use the Jessner peel on crepey skin, which can appear anywhere (such as the legs and feet), along with being useful for pigment changes on the back (freckles, dark spots), and acne. There are many great applications for the Jessner peel, which is an intermediate-depth peel.

The peel affects the upper layer of the dermis in a controlled application of various acids. Each acid dissolves certain substances very effectively, so the combination of acids means a solid peel.

A Jessner peel is left on the skin and works across several days. The solution is self-neutralising. It’s important to leave the skin undisturbed with oil or water for about 6-8 hours to get the full benefit.

There is a  little downtime with a Jessner peel and this is patient dependent.

Retin-A Peel

Retin-A (tretinoin) is most commonly used to treat acne and is available in varying strength mixtures either by prescription (strong) or over the counter (weak). Retin-A causes the skin to dry out, resulting in peeling and flaking across the first two weeks or so of use when using topical treatments for acne.

When we use Retin-A as a skin peel, it has several major benefits. Skin texture improves overall with softening of wrinkles and fading of brown spots. The anti-aging benefits of Retin-A are multifactorial, with sun-damaged skin benefiting greatly. Retin-A remodels the skin on a cellular level. Retin-A is a vitamin A-derived product, with retinol a less potent form of Retin-A.

Skin cells have retinoid receptors that regulate cell function. When our cells age, they become less predictable in their behaviour, with Retin-A having a normalising effect. Skin cells turn over faster, which shrinks pores while keeping pores clear of debris like dead skin cells and oil. Retin-A can also affect collagen retention in the skin, improving firmness and elasticity.

Salicylic acid Peel

Salicylic acid is a peel that exfoliates by breaking down the bonds that connect skin cells. Salicylic peels are exfoliative in nature, with over-the-counter peels being gentle, while the peels you get at the dermatologist clinic being stronger and deeper.

Salicylic acid peels are useful for most skin types and offer brighter, softer, smoother skin. You can expect improvements in texture, reduced pore size, and an overall clarified complexion. When suffering from acne and blackheads, a salicylic peel can unblock pores and offer a drying effect for oily skin.

Dark spots and discolouration tend to fade with a series of salicylic acid peels, with improvements seen in melasma, freckles and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Our peels range from 30-50 per cent salicylic acid and are a much lower pH than you could expect from an at-home peel. The peel is a quick treatment to which we can add other treatments, such as the diode or laser. You can expect a bright, healthy complexion after one session, with more required for ongoing skin issues. Talk to our team about how many peels we recommend for your skin type.

TCA peel at 20%

A TCA peel is a mixture of trichloroacetic acid, designed to improve the texture, tone and clarity of skin. We use TCA 20 per cent peels to remove dead skin cells and increase cell turnover, as an anti-ageing, pigmentation and scarring treatment.

TCA peels take about 30 minutes to apply, and while you’ll likely experience some redness after your treatment, you can return to your usual activities. We have special dermatologist training in TCA peels for acne and melasma.

We use a TCA peel for fine lines and wrinkles, and to stimulate collagen production with a moderate depth peel. The top layers of the epidermis are dissolved, revealing fresh skin cells underneath.

These peels can be applied across the body and face to improve texture and tone. We can use TCA peels on the back, chest, neck, shoulders, upper arms and limbs.

It can take a few days to see the full effects of a TCA peel, though you’ll notice improvements straight away, despite the redness and tight feeling.

Our cosmetic doctors perform TCA peels, and there can be some downtime with this type of peel. The doctor will discuss this with you before your procedure. You can’t have TCA peels in certain circumstances, so please talk to our team about the treatment before your booking.

LED or diode treatment with peel

LED and diode treatments are light-based procedures that stimulate cells to function at a higher level. These light treatments also improve skin healing, so they are especially useful after a peel or laser treatment. We often end a cosmetic treatment with a diode or LED treatment where you get to relax and enjoy the warmth of the lights with your eyes closed.

LED and diode treatments take about 15 minutes to complete, with plenty of scientific evidence of their efficacy. Regular LED or diode treatments are recommended to keep skin healthy and boost cell function.

LED and diode treatments can help with acne, inflammation and anti-ageing, for all skin types and tones. There is no risk of burning from these light treatments, and they do not touch your skin.

After-peel care

The most important factor after a chemical peel is to avoid the sun, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen all the time. New skin is so delicate, and UV rays will cause damage. Problems will likely recur if you don’t adequately protect your new skin from the sun. Avoid all skin irritants too, the way you would protect a baby’s skin. Your doctor will discuss your regime with you at your appointment. Smoking is not ideal for your skin. 

Is there anything that should happen prior to a peel?

Your dermatologist will do a thorough analysis of your skin to see exactly what it would benefit from. A peel is not always appropriate.

People not good candidates for this resurfacing include those with infectious diseases, cuts or damage, sunburn, or active Herpes simplex 1 sores (cold sores). If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, having taken some medication for acne in the previous six months, have psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis or rosacea, or have used other prescription peel/skincare products that contain specific agents, a chemical peel may have to wait.

Darker tones require different substances than pale skin for best results, but anyone can get a peel (so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise) no matter their skin tone. You should avoid inexperienced practitioners at all costs, particularly if you have risky skin.

Possible risks and side-effects of chemical peels

There is some risk of a temporary or longer-lasting pigmentation problem, which seems to occur more in women on the oral contraceptive pill, those who become pregnant after peels, or those with a history of pigmentation issues. This can be mitigated and your dermatologist will be able to help you establish the risks of this. Chemical peels are so good for pigmentation, it should be discussed and perhaps a trial.

If a peel is poorly managed or your skin is scar-prone, scarring can result, which is why it’s critical to use a trusted, experienced practitioner for these procedures. Cold sores may become more active for a period after a chemical peel, since the immune system is intrinsically involved in any trauma to the skin.

Why we’re choosing peels more often than ever.

Chemical peels were at one point in history the most-performed cosmetic procedure. They fell out of fashion, but now are back in as a relatively quick way to get a cleared complexion without spending a fortune. 

Lasers became the ‘new’ way to do resurfacing and they still are but chemical peels can be a more cost-effective option. The benefits of chemical peels are numerous, since the top layer of skin is removed, taking with it some pigmentation and fine lines. This works on all types and tones. Often combining peels with lasers in an annual treatment plan can certainly bring about a beneficial skin outcome.

New versions of the chemical peel substances are improvements too – glycolic acid peels, for example, have been vastly improved since the days that they would leave you raw and in pain. Now, peels can cause changes, instead of just peeling it off, including promoting collagen production and reducing lines or actually sticking around in your pores to keep acne at bay.

The minute you take off the top layers, the bottom starts performing better.  New ingredients make the process more versatile, with  an array of options now for darker skin tones too.

Why do we use chemical peels?

  • Acne
  • Acne scarring
  • Wrinkles
  • Pigmentation
  • Melasma
  • Scarring
  • Sun damage
  • Sagging skin
  • Rejuvenation
  • Refreshing your complexion

Visit us at our Melbourne clinic for your facial peels. 

*Results may vary from person to person. 

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Please Note:

*With all surgeries or procedures, there are risks. Consult your physician (GP) before undertaking any surgical or cosmetic procedure. Please read the consent forms carefully and be informed about every aspect of your treatment. Some surgeries have a mandatory seven-day cooling-off period to give patients adequate time to be sure of their surgery choice. Results may also vary from person to person due to many factors, including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise. Before and after photos are only relevant to the patient in the photo and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience. Ask questions. Our team of dermatologists, doctors and nurses are here to help you with any of your queries. This page is not advice and is intended to be informational only. We endeavour to keep all our information up to date; however, this site is intended as a guide and not a definitive information portal or in any way constitutes medical advice.

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