Chemical Peel is the Holy Grail Acne Treatment

What would you give for an ingredient that dives deep into your skin?

That can erode blackheads and fade post-pimple marks.

And lingers deep within your pores, keeping them clear over time, to reveal a spotless, flawless complexion.

Well, fortunately, there is the perfect treatment for you, in the form of a chemical peel, which is gentle on your skin but tough on acne.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about using chemical peels to treat acne skin.

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is a cosmetic treatment in which acids with exfoliating properties are applied to the skin — typically the face. The peel removes dead skin, oil, and debris to reveal newer, smoother, and clearer skin; several peels can be used to treat acne; each brings different results to the skin.

Superficial peels produce injury limited to the epidermis — the outer layer of your skin and are effective for mild to moderate acne. In darker skin types, superficial peels are safe and effective in reducing papule, pustule, and comedone count.

Phenol peels produce injury through the papillary dermis and can be used to treat acne scarring. Careful patient and peel selection will ensure procedural success, which depends on the selection of the proper peeling agents and the understanding of gentle versus aggressive application technique during application.

Follow the link to find out about the types of chemical peels that can be used, depending on the skin concern being treated.

Why should you use a chemical peel for acne scars?

In our clinic acne and actinic keratosis is one of the most common medical indications for chemical peels, and acne comes out the winner every time.

Chemical peels are effective for many medical indications, but a mild peel can really shine as a treatment for acne, they can help both the comedonal and the inflammatory component.

The deeper phenol peels are more aggressive and can improve acne scars significantly. On occasion, a stronger peeling agent is applied just into the centre of the deep scar, which is a spot treatment referred to as the cross method.

Chemical Peels can also help to eliminate post-inflammatory pigmentation. PIP generally occurs when your skin becomes inflamed as a result of an injury, rash or acne. This inflammation can cause the release of melanin-producing enzymes, which results in a darker appearance in the area of skin that has been affected.

A variety of chemical peel formulations can be considered for acne.

Typically, a light chemical peel will be used, such as glycolic or salicylic acid. Other options include Jessner’s solution or a light trichloroacetic acid formulation, and tretinoin alone can also be considered.

Both glycolic and salicylic acid will bring different things to your skin; salicylic acid a beta hydroxy acid should theoretically be the best agent because it is lipophilic, whilst glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid is hydrophilic.

Studies reveal successful treatment of acne using glycolic and salicylic.

The reality of how these ingredients perform clinically, though, different, was identified in this double-blind, randomized, controlled trial.

Both salicylic acid and glycolic acid was used on 20 women who suffer from acne on their face; The severity of the women’s inflammatory acne was considered to be mild to moderate, with an average of 27 inflammatory lesions. They had all been on over the counter or prescription acne for two months or more.

The women received six peels – one every 2 weeks – with 30% glycolic acid and 30% salicylic acid in the split-face study. All of them started their treatment plan with four minutes of exposure, which increased up to five minutes as tolerated. What was found, is that after six peels there were no significant differences, therefore, even though salicylic acid should be better, the study proved that glycolic acid also held its own.

It should be noted, however, that a slight trend was seen with slightly better results observed from salicylic acid, the result with this ingredient was more durable than those seen with glycolic acid, and the women reported fewer side effects.

Another study carried out in Japan, performed a double-blind, split-face study, to compare the use of 40% glycolic acid with a placebo which had a similarly low pH of 2.0.

The patients all had moderate acne and received five peels each on a bi-weekly schedule, with glycolic acid significantly outperforming the placebo. Among the acne subtypes, those with non-inflammatory acne improved significantly better than those with inflammatory acne with the glycolic acid.


Whatever peel you chose to you, we need to stress; it should be considered an adjuvant to other topical and systemic acne therapies. To maintain results, you really need to be on an acne treatment plan that takes into accountant a complete holistic approach.

In the beauty industry, the administration of chemical peels is poorly regulated; not everyone offering this service is fully qualified; therefore you need to do your research well before committing toa chemical peel treatment, if administered incorrectly it can have a devastating effect on your skin, which will be difficult to reverse.

Chemical peels do also increase sun sensitivity; to prevent photoaging, we recommend only having a peel during the winter months, and be sure to stay out of direct sunshine straight after a peel, and always make sure you’re using an adequate sunscreen.

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