Chemical Peels

chemical peels

chemical peels fight aging, acne, hyperpigmentation, and more

Chemical peels are generally considered to be the foundation of any results-driven clinical skincare treatment plan. 

They are central in our arsenal to fight aging, acne, scarring, fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, precancerous growths, and hyperpigmentation for all ages and skin types. Chemical peels are one of the safest, most effective and least expensive treatments for all ages and skin types. Even darker skin tones will benefit from chemical peels done by a qualified professional with experience in the clinical treatment of ethnic skin (I cannot overstate this enough).

chemical peels scottsdale

chemical peels 101

Chemical peels of any strength can offer measurable improvement in:

  • Minimizing fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reducing pore size
  • Reducing acne breakouts
  • Minimizing the appearance of acne scars
  • Clearing blemishes
  • Reducing hyperpigmentation (brown spots)
  • Improving the skin’s texture, tone, and hydration
  • Reducing the appearance of sun damage and photoaging

Great for all skin types and tones, your skin takes on a more vibrant appearance with even a single chemical peel!

What chemical Peel do I need?

Chemical peels are offered utilizing different acids and enzymes in varying strengths.

Chemical peel acids Celebrity Skin may choose for you are glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), mandelic acid and tartaric acid. 

Many factors are taken into consideration to determine the best peel for you on the day of your appointment, such as your current skin condition and desired downtime.

The strengths of chemical peels can be categorized as a light/superficial peel, progressive peel, medium depth peel or deep peel. Remember that even if your skin is a prime candidate for a light or medium depth peel, you may have lifestyle considerations that will factor in (work consideration, upcoming vacation, big event, sun exposure during the peel recovery or the following week), and we may make a joint decision to either hold off peeling or administer a light peel versus a medium depth peel instead.

Frequently asked questions about chemical peels

  1. Am I a candidate for a chemical peel?
  2. Contraindications for chemical peels
  3. What is the difference between a light peel, superficial peel, progressive peel, medium depth peel, and deep peel?
  4. Light and progressive chemical peels
  5. Medium depth chemical peels
  6. Medium depth chemical peel progression photos
  7. VI Peel
  8. Can I peel other areas of my body? 
  9. Are chemical peels good for acne? 
  10. Which services include chemical peels?
  11. Can people with dark skin get chemical peels?
  12. What is the Microneedling Treatment?
  13. What skincare products should I use at home?
  14. Skincare products – what not to do
  15. Chemical peel preparation instructions

am i a candidate for a chemical peel?

Chemical peels are one of the safest, most effective and least expensive treatments for all ages and skin types (including ethnic skin). However, there are contraindications, or specific reasons, why a chemical peel may not be suitable for everyone.

contraindications for chemical peels include:

  • Accutane – 1 year off (isotretinoin, 13-cis-retinoic acid)
  • Recent cosmetic surgery, laser resurfacing, deep chemical peels or dermabrasion (not microdermabrasion) – must have doctor’s note
  • Active bacterial, viral, fungal or herpetic infections (cold sores, shingles)
  • Pre-existing inflammatory dermatoses (psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, pemphigus)
  • Rosacea – Will need to be evaluated (moderate to severe or current flare up)
  • Facial cancers (especially facial melanoma), history of radiation to the region, undergoing chemotherapy currently or within the past year. Must have doctor’s note.
  • Serious medical conditions such as diabetes, severe systemic autoimmune disease, infectious disease.
  • Pregnant or lactating
  • Allergy to aspirin (Salicylic Peels)
  • Permanent Cosmetics (such as microblading of eyebrows) – best to wait 7 to 10 days then cover with occlusive barrier
  • Discontinue Retin-A, Tretinoin, Renova, Tazorac, EpiDuo, Differin, Avage, Ziana– for 3 to 7 days prior to treatment
  • Currently or recently on prescription steroids
  • Sunburned or compromised skin, open wounds, lesions, rash or irritated skin
  • Facial Waxing – requires a 72-hour waiting period
  • Obsessive pickers

What is the difference between a light peel, superficial peel, progressive peel, medium-depth peel and deep peel?

Light or Superficial chemical peels are the mildest type, having minimum side effects (slight dryness, mild/light flaking to no flaking) and are quick to recover from.  Light peels exfoliate the topmost layer of the skin helping to reduce acne, unclog pores, reduce uneven pigmentation and rough skin revealing smoother, fresher and more radiant skin tone.  Although not ideal, you could put makeup on and go out to dinner after this peel and no one would know you had done anything.

Progressive Peels are light peel treatments are safe enough to be done every 4 to 6 weeks on a regular basis.  Progressive peels will have cumulative effects without having to go through noticeable downtime.  For darker skin tones, progressive peels reduce the potential risks that mid-depth and deep peels carry for this skin type.

Medium depth peels (Mid-Depth) are deeper targeting the intra-epidermal layer. This type of peel is considered minimal to moderate downtime.  Remember downtime is subjective.  What you think looks bad may not be what I think looks bad.  On average, it will take 5 to 8 days from peel start to finish. Day 1-3 your skin will be dry and tight, day 3-4 your skin usually starts to peel and peeling can last 3 to 5 days.  Mid-depth peels tend to be more noticeable than superficial ones. The flaking is considerably more and the flakes are larger. Sometimes the skin looks shiny like parchment paper and wrinkles and brown spots appear more pronounced until the peel has completed. This peel is safe for most skin types including darker skin tones so long as skin has been appropriately prepped before hand and after care instructions are strictly followed.  (The VI Peel would fall under Medium Depth Peel Category too).

light / superficial and progressive chemical peels

Light/superficial peels are ideal for:

  • Younger individuals (puberty up) to address minor skin problems
  • Individuals who do not want to experience downtime (peeling)
  • Individuals with sensitive skin
  • Individuals who receive ongoing monthly light peels, as monthly medium depth peels indefinitely are not advised

Light/superficial peels are the mildest type, only exfoliating the topmost layers of skin. Light/superficial peels have minimal side effects (slight dryness, mild to no flaking) and are quick to recover from. You could actually wear makeup and go out to dinner the same day following this peel and no one would know you had anything done (although not recommended).

Progressive peels are light/superficial peel treatments performed every 4 – 6 weeks on a regular basis. They will have cumulative effects without substantial downtime. For darker skin tones, progressive peels reduce potential risks that medium depth and deep peels carry for this skin type. Progressive peels are an ideal preparation for darker skin toned individuals wanting/needing medium depth peels.

Outside variables can affect the strength of a light/superficial peel. For example, use of skincare products containing acids and when they were used, time passage since you received a previous chemical peel, frequency of getting light/ superficial peels, as well as your aftercare routine can increase or possibly decrease the level of chemical peel results. For example, use of Retin A or some other acid (AHA, glycolic, salicylic) consistently prior to a peel could possibly increase the level of your light/superficial peel, meaning you might be flaking for a bit longer.  Some aestheticians like myself, contrary to other schools of thought, recommend using acids to prepare the skin prior to peels to increase your results. The “average” time for flaking and peeling is 7 – 8 days from start to finish, but no one can guarantee this precisely.

mid-depth / medium-depth chemical peels

The Celebrity Skin Medium Depth Chemical Peel is a mid-depth level peel designed for all skin types and tones.  Formulated to boost collagen production to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and all types of scarring (acne scars, surgical scars, stretch marks), to create an even tone and smooth texture, to reduce and in some cases eliminate hyperpigmentation (brown spots, melasma, sun damage), and to reduce acneic skin conditions.

With over 20 years of chemical peeling experience using every type of peel out there – from the Iconic Obagi Blue Peel, Melanage Peel, VI Peel, Vitalize Peel, Perfect Peel and PCA Peel to the TCA peel, Salicylic Peel, Glycolic Peel, Lactic Acid Peel and Jessner Peel – I have acquired an extensive knowledge about what works well, what doesn’t and for whom will it be best.

mid depth peel after
Results 7 days after a medium depth peel. This illustrates the results from the chemical peel to help remove hyperpigmentation.

At the end of the day, all peels do the same thing to different degrees; boost collagen production to improve fine lines and wrinkles, help with texture and tone, reduce hyperpigmentation (brown spots), reduces the appearance of all types of scars and helps to reduce acne.

Every major brand has “their version” of what they consider to be the “best” peel out there. Some are superficial peels (light peels), some are mid-depth peels (more aggressive), some are designed for sensitive skin, some are designed to be “safer” for skins of color and some are designed to include numbing for those individuals too afraid to experience the stinging sensation that comes with getting a peel.

  • Medium depth chemical peels are deeper and target the intra-epidermal layer.
  • This peel may be administered every 6 weeks if needed, but not indefinitely.
  • There is minimal to moderate downtown with a medium depth peel.
  • Skin exfoliation starts within 2-3 days of treatment, with the skin feeling dry and tight. On average, the skin begins to flake around day 3 and flaking can last 5-7 days, with flaking tending to be more noticeable than with light/superficial peels.
  • Sometimes the skin looks shiny like parchment paper and wrinkles and brown spots appear more pronounced until the peel has completed.
  • This peel is safe for most skin types, including darker skin tones, so long as the skin has been appropriately prepped beforehand with products and progressive peels (The VI Peel would fall under the medium depth peel category).
mid depth chemical peel progress

Why choose the Celebrity Skin Medium Depth Chemical Peel over one of these other peels? 

safe and effective

The Celebrity Skin Medium Depth Chemical Peel is safe, effective, and superior mid-depth peel blend that is customizable, performed by an highly trained professional that includes all after care products and instructions to protect, promote and prolong your peel results!

powerful ingredients = real results

The Celebrity Signature Medium Depth Peel includes a powerhouse blend in specific percentages of Salicylic Acid, Tricholoracetic Acid (TCA), Retinoic Acid & Kojic Acid as well as ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and the king of all antioxidants, glutathione. Alone these ingredients are powerful, but the combination produces amazing results.

  • Salicylic Acid – An anti-inflammatory acid that dissolves and unplugs dead surface cells to allow for better penetration of all other acids and ingredients.
  • Tricholoracetic Acid (TCA) & Retinoic Acid – stimulate cellular renewal increasing collagen production, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scarring and pigmentation issues.
  • Kojic Acid– Lightening agent and increases both collagen and elastin production.
  • L-Ascorbic Acid – The most potent form of Vitamin C brightens skin, stimulates collagen production, strengthens capillary walls, and protects from UV damage.
  • Glutathione – Lightening effect on skin helping to prevent and diminish hyperpigmentation, melasma and those dreaded “age spots”. Glutathione helps to maintain and stimulate collagen improving fines lines resulting in firmer skin.

customized for your skin

The Celebrity Skin Medium Depth Chemical Peel has several formulations to allow us to customize your peel to your specific needs and safety.

Due to controversy over its possible side effects and toxicity, The Celebrity Skin Medium Depth Chemical Peel has replaced your standard go to lightening drug Hydroquinone with the lightening anti-oxidant Glutathione.  Both have great lightening capacity and are a great addition to any Mid Depth Peel worth its weight, but Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that has no known toxicity or side effects topically.

Due to controversy over its possible side effects and toxicity, The Celebrity Skin Medium Depth Chemical Peel comes with or without Phenol. This peel is formulated to come with or without phenol. This allows individuals who are concerned about possible irritation, allergies and/or toxicity to have an effective peel without phenol.  In my opinion, phenol is not necessary to produce results, but I also understand wanting the experience to be more comfortable.

Why would I even want phenol in my peel? Phenol is a chemical peeling agent and in low doses, it is used as a topical numbing agent to reduce or eliminate the stinging/burning sensation during the application. This is why the VI Peel gained so much popularity because it does not sting/burn.  However, the European Union and Canada banned the use of phenol in cosmetic products due to safety concerns.  The Celebrity Skin Medium Depth Chemical Peel with phenol has less phenol than your standard VI Peel; it is just enough to take the stinging edge off. 

comprehensive aftercare

The Celebrity Skin Medium Depth Chemical Peel comes complete with after care products and simple yet detailed instructions to ensure you get great results and eliminate potential side effects. No complicated instructions or nightly peel pads either. I cannot stress enough the importance of strictly following after care instructions. Anyone can experience side effects but taking or avoiding specific actions can reduce unwanted side effects and increase results.

All chemical peels come with some sort of risk. The stronger the peel, the more risk. The darker the skin, the more risk. The lack of appropriate aftercare instructions and products, the more risk. The lack of compliance with aftercare, the more risk. The lack of chemical peel training and experience, the more risk. How a peel is formulated or lack of quality ingredients and formulation, the more risk. The lack of good health, the more risk. The lack of patience, the more risk. All of these factors contribute to successful results.

performed by a highly trained professional

Jennifer Swink, MAPC has attended multiple chemical peel trainings and certifications including medium depth peels, medical peels and peels for Skin of Color.

Some of these trainings include Obagi, SkinCeuticals, Skin Medica, Melanage, PCA, Jan Marini, Rhonda Allison, Perfect Peel and the Vi Peel, to name a few.  First trained and certified in 2000 in Medical Aesthetics and Ethnic Skin tones (eventually became an instructor for the institute) from the iconic Pamela Springer, founder of The Skin & Makeup Institute of Arizona.

This specific program trained all types of chemical peels (from superficial to deep) and types of acids (TCA, Jessner, Salicylic, Glycolic), for all types of conditions (acne, scarring, melasma, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles, rough texture, oily, dry, sensitive, rosacea), for all ages and genders (including individuals transitioning from one gender to another) as well as how to use these peels with darker skin tones. Mrs. Springer, a woman of color and mixed ancestry, was a pioneer and the only educational resource for aestheticians in the treatment of Skins of Color at that time.

vi peel

The VI Peel is considered a medium depth peel, and is one of the most popular types of medical-grade chemical peels. The VI Peel is suitable for all skin types, and improves the tone, texture, and clarity of your skin.

can i peel other areas of my body?

Yes, almost any part of the body can be peeled and rejuvenated! 

Although chemical peels are most popular for the face, almost any part of the body can be peeled and rejuvenated.

With a Body Chemical Peel, you can get rid of unsightly sun damage and improve the health of your skin everywhere! Our popular Works Facial includes hands and chest, so it’s a great option to tackle everything at once.

We can peel your arms, legs, back, and more with our body chemical peel treatment. Some of the more popular body parts, aka “the forgotten zones,” are the skin on the neck, chest and hands.

body chemical peel for back acne backne in scottsdale

are chemical peels good for acne?

Yes, chemical peels are a core component of our acne treatment facials that address clearing active acne breakouts as well as old acne scars. 

Celebrity Skin acne facials are custom treatments designed for you, and work alone or in conjunction with any prescription acne treatment products you may be currently using. For acne sufferers, we typically employ medium depth chemical peels to achieve our goals of clearing active acne and reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation and scarring from prior breakouts. Chemical peels can be very effective at treating acne and minimizing old acne scars on the face or any part of the body.

which services include chemical peels?

chemical peel express treatment

The Chemical Peel Express Treatment consists of cleansing, light/superficial chemical peel and topical vitamins. The treatment time is half of the “Clinical Facials” that often include chemical peels combined with additional services. Express Chemicals Peels can be combined with other express ala carte treatments such as dermaplaning, microdermabrasion and oxygenation.

clinical facials

Clinical Facials are designed to treat clients with problematic skin such as acne, fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots/hyperpigmentation/melasma, scarring and rough dry texture.

Clinical facials, sometimes known as medical facials, include cleansing, sometimes steam, enzymes, extractions, exfoliation of some type (microdermabrasion/dermaplaning/chemical peel) and hydration, at a much more intense level than a spa facial or classic European facial.

Celebrity Skin offers a variety of clinical facial treatments including:

what skincare products should i use at home?

A good home skin care regimen is essential for maintaining and improving the results of your peel. The “right” skincare regimen can help prevent future damage, help maintain healthy radiant skin and correct previous damage. Professional skin care products are not over the counter because they contain higher concentrations of active ingredients that actually work.

At Celebrity Skin, we recommend and utilize a wide variety of reputable clinical skincare lines such as: ViDermSkinCeuticalsJan Marini, and Rhonda Allison. These are the product lines we trust, use ourselves in all treatments, and sell to our clients for at home use.

skincare product no-nos

  • Do not seek advice from the gal at Macy’s. She is likely not qualified. Not the resort spa either! They may be aestheticians but they are probably not medically trained or equipped with treatments/products strong enough to cause measurable improvement.
  • Do not purchase skincare products on the internet or Amazon because they have great reviews!
  • Even if it says the product was designed for hyperpigmentation, acne and/or wrinkles do not buy it. The manufacturer has seen YOUR skin.
  • Don’t follow your girlfriend’s or a YouTuber’s advice on skincare. You do not have the same skin that they have. You are unique.
  • Even if you are seeing a Dermatologist, you need an Aesthetician to work in conjunction with your provider. In the end, not seeking professional advice can be costly and frustrating.

The products chosen for you and your peel treatment are customized based on your individual needs. Everyone’s product regimen is different for everyone. One person may be doing it for acne scarring, another one for brown spots, another one for fine lines and wrinkles and some may be doing it for everything! You may need different products if you travel or during various times of the year.

Proper clinical skincare products, following advice, and consistency are key to getting the results you desire. A good home skincare regimen can help prevent future damage, maintain healthy skin and correct previous scarring or skin conditions.

how do i prep for my chemical peel?

It’s important to review our chemical peel instructions to help maximize your results and minimize complications.

custom services for chemical peels

* All chemical peels can and will be customized for your specific needs

Everyone’s skin is different. The best thing is to do is book a New Client Consultation + Treatment to discuss and personalize your treatment with products to meet your individual needs.


Celebrity Skin Signature Chemical Peel Treatment + Light Therapy

celluma light therapy

medium-depth peel

look amazing. be confident.