Chemical Peels

The chemical peels used at Northern Skin Studio range in their concentration and ingredients. We use a total of 12 different chemical peels and our therapists will customise a program tailored to your skin. They may also use a different peel on your face than the ones used on your neck, shoulders or back.  

Some peels are from Rationale Skin Care and are considered "non-prescription" strength. The remaining peels are prescription strength have been formulated to specific concentrations and require a medical assessment prior to the procedure. Acne, sun damage, pigmentation, wrinkles and mild scarring can be treated with chemical peels and they are safe on most skin types.

After the peel you can expect to have: smoother skin, less pigmentation, fewer blackheads and a long-term increase in skin tone.

What are chemical peels?s.

A chemical peel is the application of a chemical solution to the skin which is designed to correct a variety of problems including sun damage, mild scarring, removal of fine wrinkles and improvement in irregular pigmentation.

A facial chemical peel works like a snake shedding its skin. It causes the even, controlled shedding of sev­eral layers of damaged skin cells to leave a new fresh layer of skin which has a more even texture and colour.

Collagen stimulating Glycolic Peels- superficial depth

These peeling agent is the most commonly used chemical peel and is frequently referred to as the ‘lunch time peel’. Side effects are uncommon, recovery is quick (within an hour or two), and the procedure is affordable. Our peel concentration starts at 20% and typically ends at 70%.  .

Ideal for – pigmentation, mild acne scarring, mild photodamage, uneven skin tone and collagen stimulation.

Duration: 25 minutes. Frequency: 3 to 6 times, spaced every two-four weeks apart.  Cost is $120 or $50 when added to another facial treatment. (6th free with series of 5) Downtime is 1-2 hours.

refining Salicylic Acid Peels- superficial depth

Salicylic acid peels have an anti-inflammatory component which is ideal for acne treatments.  Recovery is seen within a few hours, and results can be seen within 2-3 days of the peel.

Ideal for – oily and clogged skin, acne, especially blackheads/ whiteheads, scaling skin (psoriasis, sun damage)

Duration: 25 minutes. Frequency: 3 to 6 times, spaced every two-four weeks apart.  Cost is $120 or $50 when added to another facial treatment. (6th free with series of 5) Downtime is 12-36 hours.

Pigment Peel - medium depth

This traditional peel is prescription only and a medical assessment is required prior to the procedure. This peel is usually performed as a one off peel and results in obvious skin peeling for up to 10 days. It is safe enough to use on all skin types and is a great exfoliation for pigmentation including melisma.

Duration 25-30 min. Frequency 1-2 per year. Cost $350

What to expect

  1. Skin cleansed

  2. Skin is then prepped with a peel prep.

  3. Application of peel agent, general 3-10 min application time- mild stinging is to be expected.

  4. Termination of the peel with a neutralization agent.

  5. Completion of the peel with application of sunscreen and serums.

What is involved in a chemical peel?

A chemical peel may be performed in the doctor’s surgery or day-care facility.

Superficial peels are usually well tolerated without the need for any pain medication. Discomfort may be decreased by using a fan during the peel or by taking two aspirin an hour beforehand.

Initially the skin is cleaned with a liquid soap and then further prepared with alcohol or acetone to remove all oils and grease from the skin surface. Make-up should not be worn on the day of a chemical peel.

The chemical solution is applied in either a single layer or sometimes several layers. Immediately after application, a stinging sensation may be experienced, which subsides within 5 to10 minutes. The solution stays on the skin for a variable period of time, as determined by the practitioner, after which it is removed either with water or a neutraliser. It can be removed earlier if excessive discomfort is experienced.

What happens after a chemical peel?

Recovery time after a peel will depend on its depth.

In the first few days after most peels, the skin turns darker, will feel somewhat tight and then peels or flakes to leave a new fresh layer of skin. There are no scabs, bandages or bleeding.

The recovery period and side-effects of a superficial peel is much less than with a medium-depth peel. It usually takes 3 days after a superficial peel for the skin to return to normal. It usually takes up to 7 to 10 days after a medium-depth peel for the skin to settle.

How many treatments are needed?

Superficial peels are typically performed between 3 to 6 times, spaced every two weeks or so apart.

Most people are pleased with the result from a single medium-depth peel.

Can a chemical peel be combined with other procedures?

A chemical peel may be combined with other procedures to improve contour and texture of skin. Procedures such as laser treatment, injectable filling agents and muscle relaxants are often combined with chemical peels. (Laser ablation may be performed to treat more heavily wrinkled areas or for pitted scarring. Filling agent injections may be required to touch up wrinkles and scars.)

How much time off work is needed after a chemical peel?

Super­ficial peels may warrant a day or two off work, although many people are able to cover up with make-up and continue working the next day.

A medium-depth chemical peel may require one week for the skin to heal and it may be beneficial to arrange time off work. At this time the face will be somewhat reddened with an appearance like sunburn but otherwise should appear unaffected.  The redness can be camouflaged by a tinted moisturiser or make-up.

Are there any complications with chemical peels?

As with all procedures complications may occur after a chemical peel. The most common is a change in skin colour. People with dark, olive skin are prone to an increase in skin colour. These changes tend to settle over weeks to months, but in rare cases can persistent. Pigment stabilising creams may be used both before and after the chemical peel to try to minimise this complication.  A mild decrease in skin colour may be noted after medium-depth facial peeling and there may be a slight demarcation between the peeled and unpeeled skin. The peel usually stops underneath the jawline to minimise such an effect.

Rare complications include: bacterial infection, reacti­vation of cold sores, persistent redness and a more reactive skin for up to six months or so. Occasionally, mild acne-like pimples can occur due to the use of ointment in the post-peel period.

What chemical peels cannot do:

  • Chemical peels cannot tighten loose skin; such change may require a surgical procedure e.g. a face-lift.

  • Chemical peels cannot improve deep scarring. Laser treatment and other procedures are more effective.

  • Chemical peels cannot always totally remove hyperpigmentation in dark-skinned people of Caucasian or Asian background and may not be indicated.

  • Chemical peels cannot remove broken blood vessels on the face.