Chemical peels are a way of deeply exfoliating the skin (chemexfoliation). They typically contain acids of varying strengths and types which remove the sun damaged, thicker, outer layers of dead skin.

There are three broad types of chemical peel:

  • Superficial peels which remove part of the outer, epidermal layer of skin
  • Medium-depth peels which remove the whole epidermal layer and can reach the upper dermal layers
  • Deep peels which remove the epidermal, upper dermal and can reach the deep dermal layers of skin


The depth of the peel depends on the strength and type of acid used. Only medically qualified practitioners should administer the more concentrated, deeper, more effective acid peels.

Chemical peels can be used to reduce the appearance of fine lines, age spots, sun damage and acne scarring, resulting in smoother, more even skin. They do this in part by removing superficial damaged skin, but also by stimulating collagen production in the deeper layers.

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