What is facial peeling and is it effective?

Facial peeling is a skin care technique that is gaining popularity for its impressive results in skin rejuvenation. This procedure, also known as a "chemical peel", aims to improve skin texture and smooth skin texture by removing dead cells and promoting cell renewal. This article will explore in depth what facial peeling is, how effective it is, the different skin types it is suitable for, and the potential risks associated with this method.

What is facial peeling?

Facial peeling is a cosmetic procedure that uses chemical solutions to exfoliate the outer layer of skin, removing dead cells and stimulating cell turnover. This process helps improve skin texture, reduce imperfections and restore the natural radiance of the complexion.


What are the differences between peeling and exfoliation?

Peeling and exfoliation are two terms often used interchangeably, but they can have slightly different meanings depending on the context. In general, both processes aim to remove dead skin cells, thereby improving the texture and appearance of the skin. However, there are some important distinctions between peeling and exfoliation.


The term "peel" is often associated with more intensive cosmetic procedures, such as chemical peels performed in a doctor's office. These treatments typically use chemicals, such as acids, to exfoliate the skin in a controlled manner. Peels can be superficial, medium or deep depending on the depth of the exfoliation.

Exfoliation can be a gentler process and can be done at home using exfoliating products such as scrubs, brushes or sponges. Exfoliation also aims to remove dead skin cells, but it can be done using mechanical (physical) or chemical (products containing acids) methods.


Peels, especially those performed in a doctor's office, are often more intense and can reach deeper layers of the skin. They are generally used to treat specific skin concerns such as wrinkles, age spots or acne scars.

Exfoliation may be less intense, especially when done at home. It often focuses on removing dead cells from the outer layer of the skin, improving skin texture and restoring luminosity to dull skin .

  • Place of application

Peels, particularly chemical peels, are often performed in a professional medical or aesthetic setting. They require expertise to be carried out safely.

Exfoliation can be done at home using exfoliating skin care products. However, it is important to follow the instructions and choose products suited to your skin type to avoid irritation.

How does peeling work and what are the types of peeling?

There are several types of peels, each tailored to specific skin needs. Superficial peels use fruit acids such as glycolic acid , while medium peels may involve the use of trichloroacetic acid (TCA). Deeper, more invasive peels may require more powerful solutions to achieve significant results.

  • Superficial peeling - glycolic acid

Superficial peels are ideal for people looking to improve the texture of their skin without an extended recovery period. Glycolic acid, a type of fruit acid, is often used in these peels because of its small molecular size, which allows it to easily penetrate the outer layer of the skin.

Glycolic acid acts as a powerful exfoliant by dissolving the bonds between dead skin cells. It promotes cell renewal by effectively removing layers of dull and damaged skin cells. Additionally, it stimulates the production of collagen, helping to improve skin elasticity.

Glycolic acid is often recommended for normal to oily skin, but it may also be suitable for sensitive skin at lower concentrations. Regular use can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, age spots, and enlarged pores .

In addition to glycolic acid, other fruit acids such as citric acid, malic acid and lactic acid can be used in peels. These superficial peels are often chosen to improve skin texture, treat light age spots, and stimulate cell turnover .

glycolic acid

  • Medium peels - Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA)

Medium peels are deeper than superficial peels and are used to treat more substantial skin problems and achieve a new skin effect. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is frequently employed in these procedures, providing deeper exfoliation than glycolic acid.

Trichloroacetic acid penetrates deeper into the skin than glycolic acid, acting on the thicker layers of the skin. It causes controlled desquamation, eliminating dead cells more intensively. TCA also promotes collagen production, improving skin firmness and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

TCA peels are generally suitable for people with more pronounced pigmentation issues, deeper wrinkles, or sun damage. However, they require close monitoring, as improper use can lead to complications.

  • Phenolic Peel

The phenolic peel is the deepest and most powerful type. It uses phenol, a strong acid, to penetrate deep into the skin and treat serious problems such as deep wrinkles, severe acne scars and heavy age spots. Due to its depth, this type of peel requires a longer recovery period and may result in permanent changes in skin pigmentation.

  • Calcium Phosphate Peel

This type of peel uses calcium phosphate microcrystals to exfoliate the skin. It is considered less harsh than some other chemical peels and is often used to treat acne scars, skin blemishes, and enlarged pores.

  • Laser Peeling

Laser peeling uses beams of laser light to exfoliate the skin and stimulate cell turnover. It is effective in treating wrinkles, age spots and acne scars. There are different types of lasers, each tailored to specific needs.

Is facial peeling effective?

The effectiveness of facial peeling depends on various factors, such as the type of peel chosen, the condition of the skin and the skill of the professional administering it. In many cases, facial peeling can be extremely effective in treating various skin problems and restoring a more youthful, glowing appearance to the skin.

Benefits of facial peeling

  • Removal of dead cells: Peeling promotes the removal of dead skin cells, which helps make the skin smoother and brighter.
  • Stimulation of cell renewal: By encouraging the regeneration of skin cells, peeling improves skin texture and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Treating Blemishes: Peels can also be effective in treating acne, dark spots, and sun damage.
  • Reduction of enlarged pores: Certain types of peels help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, giving the skin a more even appearance.
  • Skin Rejuvenation: Peeling can play a crucial role in combating the visible signs of skin aging by restoring a more youthful appearance to the skin.

Skin types and peeling

It is essential to consider skin type before resorting to a facial peel. People with sensitive skin may react differently to chemicals, requiring a gentler approach. Oily skin may benefit from peels to regulate sebum production, while dry skin may require hydrating peels.

What are the risks of a peel?

peeling dangers

Although facial peeling can offer many benefits, it also comes with potential risks. It is crucial to understand these risks before deciding to undergo this procedure.

  • Irritation and redness

After a facial peel, it is common to experience irritation and redness. However, in some cases these side effects may be more pronounced, requiring a longer recovery period.

  • Increased sensitivity

The skin after a peel may be more sensitive to UV rays. It is essential to take appropriate measures to protect the skin from the sun, such as using sunscreens and avoiding excessive exposure.

  • Risks of infection

Improper application of the peel or neglect of hygiene measures can lead to skin infections. It is crucial to choose a qualified professional and follow all post-peel instructions to minimize this risk.

  • Allergic reactions

Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to the chemicals used in facial peeling. Prior consultation with a healthcare professional can help identify and avoid these risks.

Conclusion: Optimize the results of facial peeling

Facial peeling, when carried out by competent professionals and adapted to the skin type, can be an effective solution to deeply cleanse the skin and optimize its radiance. However, it is essential to weigh the benefits against the potential risks and take appropriate precautions to minimize complications.

To maximize the results of facial peeling, it is recommended to follow the recommendations of the healthcare professional, use care products suitable for the post-peeling phase, and avoid excessive exposure to the sun. By understanding the different types of peels, the specific benefits to each skin type, and being aware of the potential risks, everyone can make informed decisions about using facial peels as a method to restore radiance to their skin. skin and fight against the signs of skin aging.