Treatment Explained

Chemical peeling uses a chemical solution, usually an acid, to ‘peel’ away the top layers of the skin in order to improve conditions such as acne, uneven skin tone or wrinkles. The treatment consists of applying chemoexfoliants which renew epidermis and part of the dermis, thus inducing a natural skin renewal process.

Chemical peels generally take 15 to 20 minutes. The type and strength of the chemical peel along with the number of treatment sessions depend on your skin problems and will be discussed in detail during your first consultation. An example of a treatment protocol would be six successive applications with a minimum rest period of two weeks between treatments. Other chemical peels may require a single application of the peeling agent at the clinic followed by a customized skincare protocol at home.

Immediately prior to the application of the peeling agent your skin will be cleansed with acetone and salicylic acid or isopropyl alcohol, and then the carefully chosen peel for your skin condition will be applied and left on for a specific amount of time before it is neutralised or removed. During the application of the peel you may experience a slight burning and/or stinging sensation, but this effect is usually very mild and no anaesthesia is required. The longer the peeling agent is in contact with the skin the deeper the active ingredients penetrate. However longer periods of application may be associated with more redness and post peel skin sensitivity.

Post treatment and depending on the chemical agent used a range of complimentary products may also be required for optimal results. For instance INNOSEARCH offers the INNO-PEEL Post Treatment range of products consisting of four complimentary items, specific to each one of the INNO-PEEL professional treatments.

Medium and deep depth chemical peels should only be performed by experienced doctors as there is a higher risk of complications and side effects.


Sun exposure, waxing, electrolysis, depilatory creams, laser hair removal, dermabrasion, injectable fillers should be avoided for at least a week prior to the application of the peeling agent.

Exfoliating or bleaching products and Vitamin A containing formulas should also be avoided five to seven days prior to your chemical peel.

Men are advised against shaving on the day of the chemical peel treatment.

Are there any contraindications to chemical peeling?

A chemical peel is contraindicated if any of the following occurs:

  • Allergic reactions to peeling agents
  • Roaccutane use within six months
  • Active cold sores on lips or face
  • Wounded, sunburned or excessively sensitive skin
  • Dermatitis and inflammatory rosacea
  • History of recent chemotherapy or radiation
  • Pregnancy or active breastfeeding
  • Steroid use
  • History of keloid scarring
  • Skin infection

If unsure please discuss it with Dr Sotirios Foutsizoglou during your first consultation.

Is skin preconditioning required?

Preconditioning regimens are often used before chemical peel therapy. Your doctor will advise you which preparation and if you need to have your skin preconditioned prior to your chemical peel.

Skin preconditioning may include:

  • Pretreatment with retinoids
    • Increases dermal collagen
    • May help reduce post-treatment hyperpigmentation
    • Has a rejuvenating effect
    • Increase blood flow speeding up healing process
  • Retinoic acid preparations such as Tretinoin 0.05% or 0.025%
    • Increases the permeability of the epidermis particularly to trichloroacetic acid (TCA)
    • Usually 4-6 weeks prior to chemical peeling
  • 4% Hydroquinone
    • Suppresses melanocyte activity
    • Helps prevent post-peel hyperpigmentation
  • Pretreatment with other keratolytic agents such as Jessner’s solution or AHA’s
    • For deeper peeling as they enhance the depth of penetration of the peeling agent (e.g. TCA)
    • Rejuvenating effect
  • Antiviral therapy for a history of herpes


Depending on your skin problem and the peeling agent used, following a course of chemical peels you should expect fine line reduction, better skin hydration, even skin tone and an overall younger, firmer and healthier looking skin. This can be achieved by:

  • Acceleration of epidermal exfoliation eliminating skin blemishes and superficial scarring.
  • Stimulation and reorganisation of collagen and elastin fibres improving skin quality.
  • Increase in fibroblast activity.
  • Increase in hyaluronic acid production providing greater degree of hydration.
  • Correction of sebaceous secretion normalising skin’s pH and eliminating whiteheads and blackheads.
What you should expect after a course of chemical peels
Conditions Observable changes
• Fine lines and wrinkles • Softening appearance
Hyperpihmentation • Evening of skin tone
• Mild scars and acne scars • Softening of scars
• Pore size • Diminished pore size
• Uneven/Rough texture • Increased smoothness
• Dull skin tone • Improved natural glow
• Acne prone skin • Control of symptoms

A chemical peel can also be combined with other medical treatments such as microneedling or mesotherapy for even greater results.