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Chemical Peels

A chemical peel removes multiple layers of dead cells from the surface of the skin, revealing the healthy new cells underneath, resulting in a smoother, more youthful looking complexion. A professional peel produces far more dramatic results than regular at home exfoliation and they can be used to effectively treat a variety of conditions such as:

  • Sun damaged skin
  • Acne
  • Acne scarring
  • Pigmentation
  • Lines & wrinkles

Chemical peels are one of the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedures performed to rejuvenate the appearance of the skin and give the complexion a boost and can be used on the face, neck and hands. Peels can be a simple, fast and highly effective way to achieve radiant skin for a special event or occasion and can also be used to dramatically lessen the effects of more serious skin conditions.

There are varying degrees of peel – from a mild glycolic with no down time to a Co2 laser that takes two weeks to get over – and also a lot of confusion about which peel would be right for your complexion and that’s why we always carry out a face-to-face consultation in order to recommend the best treatment for you.

What do they do?

A chemical peel simply removes a layer of damaged skin from the face by a chemical reaction to reveal a newer, healthier layer. The chemical solution applied causes mild trauma to the epidermis of the skin, which causes the outer layers to peel away. When the skin begins to heal, increased cell growth produces new, healthier skin layers that give the face a more youthful, rejuvenated appearance.

At the Harley Street Skin Clinic we offer six different types of chemical peel, we will recommend the right one for you during your consultation.

Types of chemical peel:    

Glycolic Peel(Mild Peel)

Glycolic Acid is a natural substance derived from sugar cane that gently dissolves the glue like substance that holds dead skin cells onto the surface of the skin. Glycolic peels come in a variety of strengths from an at home 5% peel to a salon strength of 20 or 40% up to a medical strength of 70 – 90% that should only be performed by a doctor or nurse. You may feel a slight stinging or warming sensation during the procedure but any significant pain is unlikely and no anaesthetic is needed for a mild peel.

Recomended for:

Freshening up dull, tired, and worn out looking ‘city skin’. Suitable for all skin types including sensitive.


Skin is left glowing, revitalised and visibly smoother

How Often:

A course of six is recommend for maximum visible results, once a week for six weeks and then once a month for maintenance.

Recovery Time:

No down time required. Some redness may be experienced immediately afterwards and as the healing process takes place some peeling or flaking of the skin. Your skin will be more sensitive to the sun as it heals so it is extremely important that you protect your skin with SPF30.

Salicylic acid is also known as Beta Hydroxy Acid and is derived from willow tree bark. It is anti-inflammatory and is similar to the substance that aspirin is made from.

Salicylic acid is a highly effective skin exfoliator and is often used in acne products and in a stronger version as a skin peel.

Salicylic Peels

Salicylic Peels are usually at a strength of 20% or 30% and regular peels with salicylic acid will remove blackheads and whiteheads, diminish fine lines and wrinkles and improve acne resulting in smoother and more even toned skin.

Beta hydroxy acids work in a similar way to AHAs – allowing dead skin cells to be detached from the skin’s surface. The main benefit of salicylic acid is that as it has similar properties to aspirin, it helps prevent any post-treatment irritation or inflammation and helps to prevent excess oil making it highly effective in the treatment of acne skin.

Recomended for:

Acne, oily skin, fine lines and wrinkles, sensitive skin. Good for those undergoing acne treatment, as this will accelerate any skincare program you are using.


The skin will be less oily and spots, blackheads and whiteheads will clear up. Fine lines and wrinkles will lessen and the skin will look much fresher and even in tone. If used as part of an acne skincare treatment routine most people can achieve the same results in eight weeks, compared with approximately six months if you were just using active skincare.

How Often:

Depending on the condition of your skin, you may need several treatments, for a noticeable result most people need 6 – 10 sessions.

Recovery Time:

Your skin may be shiny and red for a few hours after treatment. Flaking and itchiness are also possible in the first few days. It’s important to use high SPF creams every time you go out, because sun sensitivity increases after Salicylic peels.

TCA Peel

TCA stands for Trichloroacetic Acid, which is derived from the acid that gives vinegar its pungent smell and taste. It is a medium to
deep peeling agent that is normally used in 10 to 35% concentrations.
This can be a painful peel where the skin blanches (frosts and turns
white), but works well for specific skin conditions. A topical anaesthetic or pain relief will be administered to help you stay comfortable during the treatment.

The peel works by causing trauma to the skin’s layers and the top layer of the epidermis may be removed, where stronger solutions are used the treatment may extend deeper into the dermis. The damaged layers of skin will peel away and the healing process encourages increased cell growth as well as collagen production and reorganization in the dermis that produces new, healthier skin layers, giving the face a more youthful, rejuvenated appearance.

Recomended for:

Removing acne scars, uneven pigmentation, treating fine lines and wrinkles and on some occasions, TCA peels have been used to remove and prevent the growth of pre-cancerous lesions. However, this treatment is not recommended for dark skins, fine or sensitive skin.


Skin texture will improve, fine lines will disappear and acne scars and uneven pigmentation will be visibly reduced after a course of treatment.

How Often:

One to three treatments, a month apart.

Recovery time:

Allow up to a week to recover. A protective layer of petroleum jelly may be applied following the procedure to keep the area moist and protected. You will most likely notice the outer layers of skin peeling away within a few days of treatment and new skin will begin to appear in one to two weeks. As the skin will be more sensitive to sun exposure it is extremely important to protect the skin with SPF30.

Multi Mask Peel

A Multi Mask Peel uses a form of Kojic Acid that is found in Japanese Sake and shitake mushrooms, to re-new the surface of the skin in a way that eliminates pigmentation problems.

Recomended for:

This is an excellent peeling system specifically for skins with pigmentation problems and is particularly effective for pigmentation that has occurred due to hormonal factors – especially after pregnancy. This peel is also highly effective for Melasma or Chloasma and for those skins showing signs of pigmentation due to environmental or sun damage.


Pigmentation problems are eliminated as the surface of the skin is re-newed.  It also rejuvenates the skin, helping to refine pores, clear up sebaceous secretions and soften lines and wrinkles. The skin looks clear, smooth and revitalised after this peeling process is completed and you should expect a 95% improvement in abnormal pigmentation.

How Often:

One peel is applied, which is followed by a 28-day course of skin creams that work to suppress the melanin.

Recovery time:

Allow a day to recover.

Modified Jessner Peel

A fantastic skin peel for Acne and Acne Scarring and Pigmentation

What are the benefits of modified jessner peels?

  • Prevents acne breakouts, blackheads and milia
  • Reduces large and blocked pores
  • Controls oil secretion
  • Dissolves the top layer of dead skin cells to allow skincare to be absorbed
  • Smoothes rough texture and helps lighten and diminish pigmentation
  • Prevents and removes razor bumps
  • Improves fine lines and wrinkles and hydrated skin

How many treatments?

One treatment may be sufficient to clear blocked pores and improve skin clarity, however, if you have active acne a course of 3 treatments, 3-4 weeks apart may be required.

Do they Hurt?

Most people experience a hot stinging sensation for a short time.

Can i go out and work?

You will have some redness and swelling and your skin may feel tight, usually for 2 days after the treatment. Your skin will begin to peel at around the third day after the treatment, it varies from person to person. The peeling can last from three to seven days. Remember it is very important that you do not pick or pull the skin from your face as this will cause scaring.

How long does treatment take?

The treatment takes 30 minutes.