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The Science Behind Chemical Peels: How They Transform Your Skin

Chemical Peels | Laser Aesthetics of Cape Cod

Maintaining healthy skin requires occasional treatments that go beyond regular exfoliation. Chemical peels offer a powerful way to revitalize skin that has become tired and dull due to sun exposure, pollution, and the rigors of daily life. At Laser Aesthetics of Cape Cod in Hyannis, MA, we have perfected our methods to provide the best chemical peels for our patients. Our carefully selected peels are designed to meet the specific desires of each patient and offer optimal results for rejuvenated skin.

What Are Chemical Peels? 

Chemical peels are treatments that use a chemical solution to exfoliate the outer layers of the skin. This process helps remove dead skin cells to reveal the healthier skin underneath. Chemical peels can treat skin concerns such as fine lines, acne scars, and uneven pigmentation. By promoting cell turnover, these treatments can leave your skin looking refreshed and rejuvenated.

What Chemical Peels Can Treat

Acne and Acne Scars

Chemical peels for acne scars reduce the appearance of both active acne and the scars left behind. These treatments help to unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and promote the growth of new skin cells, resulting in a clearer complexion.


One chemical peel benefit is its ability to address hyperpigmentation. By exfoliating the top layers of skin, chemical peels can lighten dark spots and even out the color of the skin in patients of all different skin tones.

Sun Damage

Chemical peels are a great solution for sun-damaged skin. They can help reduce the appearance of sunspots, fine lines, rough skin, and other signs of photoaging. Many patients use chemical peels seasonally to help refresh their skin after a summer filled with heat and sun. 

Fine Lines and Wrinkles

A chemical peel treatment can be an excellent option for those looking to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. By stimulating collagen production and promoting skin renewal, chemical peels can smooth out these signs of aging.

Enlarged Pores

Another chemical peel benefit is its ability to minimize the appearance of enlarged pores. By deeply exfoliating the skin, chemical peels can help to unclog pores while improving the elasticity and volume of the surrounding skin. As collagen is produced as a result of the treatment, pores become less noticeable.

Active Ingredients in Chemical Peels and How They Affect the Skin

  • Salicylic Acid: Often used in light chemical peels, salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that penetrates deep into the pores to exfoliate and clear out impurities. It is particularly effective for treating acne and oily skin and helps reduce inflammation.
  • Lactic Acid: Known for its gentle exfoliating properties, lactic acid is ideal for sensitive skin. It helps to improve chemical peel results by moisturizing and brightening the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and pigmentation.
  • Resorcinol: Resorcinol is a powerful antiseptic and exfoliant used in medium to deep peels. It helps treat acne, eczema, and psoriasis by breaking down rough, scaly skin and can also brighten the skin.
  • Retinoic Acid: Commonly used in chemical peels, retinoic acid promotes cell turnover and collagen production. It effectively treats acne, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation.
  • Phytic Acid: Phytic acid is a gentle exfoliant that helps brighten the skin and reduce pigmentation. It works by inhibiting melanin formation, making it ideal for treating dark spots and uneven skin tone.
  • Mandelic Acid: Derived from almonds, mandelic acid is suitable for light chemical peels. It has antibacterial properties and is effective in treating acne, hyperpigmentation, and signs of aging.
  • Malic Acid: Found in apples, malic acid is used in light chemical peels to gently exfoliate and hydrate the skin. It helps improve skin texture and tone while providing antioxidant benefits.
  • Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA): TCA is a strong peeling agent used in medium to deep peels. It treats a variety of skin issues, including wrinkles, acne scars, and sun damage, by promoting collagen production and skin regeneration.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is used to enhance the penetration of other peeling agents. It has antiseptic properties and helps to lighten pigmentation and improve skin clarity.
  • Kojic Acid: Kojic acid is a natural skin lightener used to treat hyperpigmentation and melasma. It works by inhibiting the production of melanin, resulting in a more even skin tone.
  • Phenol: Phenol is a powerful ingredient used in deeper chemical peels. It is effective in treating deep wrinkles, severe sun damage, and precancerous skin lesions by deeply penetrating the skin layers.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps brighten the skin and reduce signs of aging. It is often used in chemical peels to promote collagen production and protect against free radical damage.

Chemical Peel Options for Every Concern


SkinMedica offers three distinct chemical peels designed to address various skin concerns:

  • Vitalize Peel®: This peel targets mild to moderate skin imperfections, such as fine lines and uneven skin tone. It uses a blend of resorcinol, lactic acid, salicylic acid, and retinoic acid to promote cell turnover and reveal healthier skin.
  • Illuminize Peel®: Ideal for first-time patients or those with sensitive skin, the Illuminize Peel provides a gentle yet effective treatment. It brightens the overall appearance of the skin and improves clarity and texture.
  • Rejuvenize Peel™: This peel is the strongest of the three and is designed for more severe skin conditions. It effectively treats deeper lines, wrinkles, and rough texture, delivering noticeable improvement with minimal downtime.

PRX Derm Perfexion Peels

Chemical peels like PRX Derm Perfexion Peels are innovative treatments that combine the benefits of a peel with the advantages of a facial. These peels can deeply hydrate the skin while promoting cell renewal and collagen production. They are particularly effective for treating sun damage, scars, and hyperpigmentation, and they come with the added bonus of little to no peeling after the treatment. It can also be a good option for those who don’t want to have any photosensitivity after their treatment. 

VI Peels

This range of peels is formulated to be suitable for all skin types and can be a good chemical peel for dark skin. VI Peels can address a variety of skin concerns such as acne, acne scars, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation. By stimulating collagen production and promoting cell turnover, VI Peels help achieve smoother, clearer, and more even-toned skin.

Proper Aftercare for Chemical Peels

After a chemical peel, protect your skin by avoiding sun exposure and wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Keep your skin hydrated with a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer, and avoid picking or peeling flaking skin. Use a mild, non-abrasive cleanser and avoid products with active ingredients like retinol or AHAs until fully healed. 

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and, if possible, avoid wearing makeup for the first few days. Always follow the specific aftercare instructions provided by your treatment provider to promote optimal results and skin health.

Transform Your Skin With Chemical Peels in Hyannis 

Chemical peels can enhance your skin’s appearance by addressing various concerns like acne, hyperpigmentation, and signs of aging. At Laser Aesthetics of Cape Cod, we offer expertly designed treatments to meet your unique skin needs. To learn more or schedule a consultation, contact us through our online form or call (508) 778-6363.