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Peel Away the Mysteries of Acids

Rhonda Allison March 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
professional skin care client receives an acid peel

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Editor’s note: As always, Skin Inc. magazine recommends that skin care professionals obtain the proper training before offering any new treatments in their skin care facilities.

Beautiful skin doesn’t have to be expensive, and going under the knife is not the only way to capture that youthful appearance. As a matter of fact, skin peels provide an effective, less expensive and less invasive alternative.

Peels, when properly administered, are some of the most powerful nonsurgical skin improvements available. They remove cellular buildup, stimulate skin regeneration and reduce wrinkles, fine lines, large pores and oiliness. They also help clear blemishes, treat hyperpigmentation, and improve overall texture and tone.

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Peel Do’s and Don’ts

Skin peels can deliver considerable improvements, but the success of a peel depends on your professional knowledge and your ability to evaluate the skin; fresh, quality ingredients; and client compliance. As such, a few do’s and don’ts of chemical peels should be reviewed.


  • Undergo appropriate training—this is very important.
  • Complete a skin assessment and history on the client.
  • Perform a patch test at least 48 hours before the treatment.
  • Send clients home with care instructions and appropriate retail products.
  • Take before-and-after photos to track progress.
  • Manage expectations before starting a program.


  • Never do a peel on the first visit.
  • Never perform a peel on a client using tretinoin or taking isotretinoin.
  • Never conduct a peel if a client has received Botox or another injectable procedure that day.

Peel Consultation Questions

  1. Do you use sunscreen?
  2. Have you ever had a skin peel?
  3. Are you on any medications, or using tretinoin or isotretinoin?
  4. Are you pregnant or lactating?
  5. Do you have any allergies?
  6. Are you prone to cold sores?
  7. What skin care products are you currently using?
  8. Have you had any of the following: cosmetic surgery, Botox injections, laser resurfacing, skin cancer, dermatitis, hepatitis or keloid scarring?

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