Types of Chemical Peels

Types of Chemical Peels
  • Home
  • |
  • Types of Chemical Peels

If you’re looking to brighten and rejuvenate your skin, chemical peels may help. Also known as cosmetic peels, chemical peels are a popular skincare treatment that targets a wide range of imperfections.

Different types of chemical peels are available, each designed to address specific skin concerns. Whether you’re looking to treat wrinkles and fine lines, acne scars, or uneven pigmentation, there’s a chemical peel suited for your skin’s unique needs.

Different types of chemical peels

Different chemical peels work on various skin conditions, but all aim to revitalise the skin. The most common types are superficial, medium, and deep peels. Stronger or deep peels are used to target deep-seated scars; others are for correcting hyperpigmentation or uneven skin tone.

Superficial or lunch-time peels

Superficial peels, the so-called “lunchtime peels,” are perfect if you crave a quick skin refresh but your schedule is packed. These gentle chemical treatments work fast to exfoliate the outermost layer of your skin for a brighter and smoother appearance – all without disrupting your busy life.

Some examples of superficial peels are:

  • Glycolic acid peel: This peel uses a compound of various strengths, from a lighter 20% and 35% concentration for gentle exfoliation to a more intense 50% and 70% concentration for deeper effects. The strength of the glycolic acid peel determines its effectiveness for different conditions. It can reduce the appearance of acne scars, even out skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, or give an overall refreshed look.
  • Salicylic acid peel: This lighter peel is performed using a compound known for its ability to penetrate oil-filled pores. It is for managing acne, blackheads, whiteheads, and oily skin.

Medium peels

Compared to superficial peels, medium peels use more potent agents to penetrate deeper into the skin. They target the middle layers of the skin, effectively treating issues like fine lines, wrinkles, and moderate skin discolouration. 

These peels require a bit more downtime than superficial peels, but the results are more pronounced. Common examples of medium peels include:

  • Retin-A peel: Retin-A is a vitamin A derivative for treating acne and improving skin health. It’s available in prescription (strong) and over-the-counter (weak) strengths and may initially cause dryness and peeling. A Retin-A peel softens wrinkles, fades brown spots, reverses sun damage, reduces pore size, and keeps skin clear.
  • Jessner peel: A Jesneer peel combines multiple exfoliating agents to manage crepey skin, pigmentations and acne.
  • PCA peels: PCA peels use professional-grade chemical peels and bleaching agents to reveal fresher skin underneath. They are used to improve acne and hyperpigmentation.

Deep peels

Deep peels are the most intensive type of cosmetic peels. They penetrate the lower dermal layers to address severe skin issues, such as facial wrinkles, sun-damaged skin, or deep-seated scars. These peels are performed by cosmetic doctors and dermatologists and require longer recovery times. 

  • Medipeel: This therapeutic-strength acid peel is administered by a cosmetic doctor and is designed for deep skin rejuvenation. A combination of potent acids penetrates the skin to address various issues such as uneven skin tone, dull skin and enlarged pores.
  • TCA peel at 20%: A TCA peel is a blend of compounds to enhance skin texture, tone, and clarity. They are for removing dead skin cells and boosting cell turnover to manage scarring, pigmentation and ageing.

What is the most effective chemical peel?

The most effective chemical peel depends on your unique skin concerns and goals. Whether you’re dealing with acne, hyperpigmentation, sagging skin, or wrinkles, there’s a peel that can help. It’s important to consult your dermatologist, who can help you choose the type of peel that fits your needs. But here’s a quick guide to get you started:

Best chemical peel for beginners

If you’re new to chemical peels, start with a glycolic acid peel. This gentle peel lightly exfoliates the skin, leaving it fresh and glowing with minimal irritation or downtime. Choose this if your concern is mild sun damage, uneven skin tone, or fine lines.

Best chemical peel for hyperpigmentation

If pigmentation is your core concern, we recommend getting a PCA peel. But if you want to improve skin texture, tone and clarity, along with hyperpigmentation, go for TCA peel at 20%. For severely pigmented skin, you can try Medipeel.

Best chemical peel for acne scars

Glycolic peels can improve surface-level scarring and overall skin texture. But for deeper acne scarring, you may need a Retin-A peel. For deep-seated acne scars, your dermatologist will personalise your treatment plan, which might include peels alongside other options like microneedling or laser therapy.

Best chemical peel for sagging skin

While chemical peels can’t tighten sagging skin, some can improve its appearance. One is TCA peel at 20%, which can improve texture and tone.

Best chemical peel for acne

A salicylic acid peel is often a top choice for acne-prone skin, especially for active breakouts. But for long-term acne control and the prevention of future flare-ups, Retin-A peels are more common.

Best chemical peel for wrinkles

While most chemical peels offer some benefits for wrinkles, the ideal type and strength depend on the depth of your wrinkles. A dermatologist might combine different peels or acids to customise the treatment based on your wrinkle severity and skin tolerance. For wrinkles, however, consistency can often be the key, so getting a regular glycolic peel every six weeks can help keep the wrinkles at bay.

Discover Chemical Peeling at ENRICH

If you need help determining which option will give you the best results, schedule a consultation with us. Our expert skincare specialists will thoroughly assess your skin, discuss your goals, and create a personalised treatment plan for you.

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.

Spread the Love

Have more questions?

Request a consultation!

Request a consultation

"*" indicates required fields


Check out our Latest Newsletter

We talk psoriasis and see what all the fuss about Bio remodelling is.

Blog Categories

Have you tried our ENRICH skin care range?

Combining Dr Rich’s dermatological skill with his knowledge of restorative skin regimes and treatments, the ENRICH range is formulated to help maintain and complement your skin. Our signature Vitamin C Day & Night creams are now joined by a Vit A, B,&C Serum and a B5 Hyaluronic Gel, both with hydration properties and much, much more. 

Related Articles