Chemical peels are a popular cosmetic procedure that involves applying an acidic solution to the skin to remove the top layer of dead skin cells. The depth of a chemical peel refers to how deep the solution penetrates into the skin, and it determines the type of results that can be achieved. Chemical peels are typically classified into three categories based on their depth:
- very superficial: No downtime, great for first timers, leaves skin feeling tight and bright
- Superficial Peel: This is the second mildest form of a chemical peel and involves the use of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic acid and lactic acid. The solution is applied to the skin for a short period of time and only removes the outermost layer of dead skin cells. It can help improve skin texture, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skin clarity.
- Medium Peel: A medium peel is a stronger form of chemical peel that uses trichloroacetic acid (TCA). The solution penetrates deeper into the skin, removing both the outermost layer of dead skin cells and the upper portion of the deeper skin layers. This type of peel can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin tone, and treat acne and acne scars.
- Deep Peel: A deep peel is the strongest form of chemical peel and involves the use of phenol. It penetrates deep into the skin, affecting the underlying structures of the skin and the deep dermis. It is used to treat more severe skin conditions, such as deep wrinkles, acne scars, and age spots. However, it is also associated with more significant downtime and can have longer-lasting side effects.