Chemical Peels FAQ

VI Peel

What are the VI Peel ingredients?
The VI Peel is a combination of several of the most effective medical peel agents: 

  • TCA – Trichloroacetic Acid for penetration, deep scar healing, and collagen stimulation 
  • Retin-A – acid derived from vitamin A to combat wrinkles
  • Salicylic Acid – this beta hydroxy acid (BHA) is an exfoliant;
  • Phenol – has antiseptic and anesthetic properties; aids in skin penetration;
  • itamin C – ascorbic acid has antioxidant and mild exfoliation properties

Why is this peel better than laser treatments?
Any laser or IPL requires multiple sessions to achieve what the VI Peel achieves in one session, with much less discomfort and less expense.

How many peels can you do and how far apart should they be done?
For most patients, peels should be done 3-4 times a year starting at puberty to repair sun damage that is already present, and to avoid permanent scarring for those affected by acne. The frequency of the peel depends on various factors, and will be determined by your doctor. For extremely damaged skin, the VI Peel can initially be done once a month to get quicker desired results.

How is the VI Peel different from other peels?
Without exception, obsolete peels of the past epitomize the "no pain, no gain" approach to skin care. Before the VI Peel, the deeper the peel, the more painful, the more downtime, the better the results. The VI Peel is the first peel to combine the strongest and most effective acids, yet it's virtually painless with little downtime.

How many treatments are required to show an improved look?
A single VI Peel will achieve significant repair and add a healthy glow to the skin. Ideally, though, 3-4 peels a year are recommended.  Some conditions like acne scars, pore enlargement and hyper pigmentation might require multiple applications. It is a restorative and painless repair of damaged skin, including sun damage and acne. The VI Peel's results will last as long as skin is maintained with an appropriate skin care regimen. 

What types of skin respond well to the VI Peel? 
ALL skin types can enjoy the benefits of the VI Peel. For the first time, African-American and darker skin types such as Asian and Latin patients can experience anti-aging and restorative skin repair that was previously unavailable.

Does it burn?
Not really. You will feel a slight stinging sensation for a few seconds which subsides almost immediately. The peel is applied topically, and numbing of the skin takes place after the first pass of the VI Peel solution. Some patients may feel more comfortable using a fan.

How much will I peel?
The skin peeling associated with the VI Peel is a light, fluffy peel that generally starts on day three and generally be finished by the end of day seven. The peeling is easily hidden by moisturizer. In some cases, the peel is virtually invisible. Patients using Tretinoin may experience heavier peeling. The peel can be modulated by your skin care provider to produce a deeper, more aggressive peel, if necessary, depending on your skin condition

What will I look like right after the VI Peel and during the next few days?
The skin will look slightly tan, yellow or red immediately after the peel. On days one and two the skin will feel slightly tighter, with no visible signs of having had a peel. Any pigmented areas might appear slightly darker. On approximately day three, you will begin to peel. The first signs of peeling usually begin around the mouth area and continue for a day or two. With the use of the VI Derm™ Post Care Moisturizer (provided in your post peel kit) , you may go about your usual daily routine. By day six or day seven you will be done peeling and the results are dramatic! If a more aggressive peel, such as the VI Peel with Precision, was performed, a secondary peel might occur around day seven.

What about normal activities after the VI Peel?
There are no restrictions. We recommend avoiding heavy sweating for the first few days after the peel. Normal activities can be resumed immediately after the peel.

What will the VI Peel do for my skin?
It tackles skin problems at the cellular level. Thanks to the concerted actions of its many acids and vitamins, it will reduce fine lines and wrinkles, help enlarged pores and build collagen and elastin which help tighten skin. It is extremely effective in reducing or eliminating hyper pigmentation including melasma, the most difficult pigmentation issue to correct. The VI Peel also provides excellent results for acne.

How many peels are needed?
The VI Peel may be repeated as often as every four to six weeks initially, if necessary, for damaged skin and problematic skin. Our recommendation for maintenance of average skin would be once every three months to prevent damage and aging of the skin. Your doctor or skin care professional will evaluate your skin, as well as your goals and expectations and make an appropriate recommendation for ongoing skin care

Can I wear makeup after the VI Peel?
While the long term goal is to eliminate the need for makeup, it may be worn at any time after the peel solution has dried completely (two hours or more post peel).

What about the hands or chest?
The VI Peel is incredibly effective in removing sunspots from the hands, arms and chest and eliminating the wrinkles associated with sun damage on the décolletage. The peeling process is different and longer than for the face. Please ask your provider for more information.

How long will the VI Peel take?
Your appointment will take about 20-25 minutes.

What kind of final results will I see after a single VI Peel?
It takes about four days after you finish peeling for the skin to return to its normal PH and to see the final effects. The skin will look luminous and glowing. Hyper pigmentation will be improved or eliminated, depending on the amount of damage. Tone and texture will be improved for a more youthful, radiant appearance.

Does the VI Peel make the skin thinner?
No. By sloughing off the old skin and forcing the body to recreate new skin at a faster rate in a sequence faster than its own rate, the skin actually thickens, stimulating the underlying structure to make more collagen and elastin.

Will my skin be more sensitive after the VI Peel?
The skin will be more sensitive during the peeling process itself. You may experience up to four days of sensitivity until PH of the skin is replenish

Will the VI Peel tighten neck skin?
The skin on the neck responds well. The VI Peel has proven to help improve texture and quality with gradual softening of the lines and some tightening effects. The peeling process and results are different from the face.

What other areas can the VI Peel be performed on?
The neck, arms, hands and chest all respond well to a VI Peel. For additional areas you are considering, please contact your physician.

Can I go in the sun after the VI Peel?
Sun exposure should be limited and Sunscreen should be used liberally. However, the VI Peel was created to be practical. The only days where exposure to the sun should be seriously avoided are days three and four, when the skin is peeling, to avoid uneven exposure. After that, you can enjoy moderate sun exposure, continuing regular skin care maintenance and daily sun protection.

What about exercise after the VI Peel?
Again, the VI Peel was created to be practical. The solution must be left on the skin for four hours prior to exercising, washing it off immediately before commencing exercise. Its best to avoid heavy sweating for the first few days after the peel.

Can cold sore sufferers have a VI Peel?
Of course. In some cases, the physician may recommend pre-medication prior to the peel. If you break out with a sudden cold sore the day of the peel, often the VI Peel will eliminate the sore and medication may be started concomitantly.

Are teenage acne sufferers too young for the VI Peel and would it help their acne?
Dr. Kalil originally formulated the VI Peel for his fifteen year old daughter, an acne sufferer. The peel is excellent for both adult and adolescent acne. We have effectively peeled acne patients as young as twelve years old. Results are quick and very impressive. Combined with a daily skin regimen, almost all acne cases can be successfully managed. Your provider has access to advanced protocols. Please note that treating acne scars will require a series of the VI Peel.

Does the VI Peel help with precancerous cells?
Yes, the VI Peel, like many other peels, helps to remove precancerous cells. Of course, those with a history of skin cancer should always see their dermatologist or surgeon on a regular basis. The VI Peel is not designed to treat cancer but offers a comprehensive way to prevent it.

Who will perform the VI Peel?
Doctors can perform the VI Peel, as well as a licensed nurse or certified esthetician.

I just had a peel and I love my results! What can I do to make sure my skin stays beautiful?
Maintenance is essential. Just like we brush our teeth in between dentist visits, we must care for our skin in between peels! Using the an appropriate skin care regimen recommended by your doctor or esthetician will  guarantee that you will not only keep your VI Peel results, but that you will also improve the texture, suppleness, and clarity of your skin. If you do not maintain with a good skin care regimen, then you can expect the results to diminish more quickly.

SkinMedica Vitalize & Rejuvenize Peels

What is the difference between the SkinMedica Vitalize and Rejuvenize Peels?
The Rejuvenize and Vitalize Peels are very similar in composition. The Rejuvenize Peel is deeper and is recommended for more severe skin conditions. Both peels contain alpha and beta hydroxyl acids; for example, the lactic acid, which is derived from sour milk, salicylic acid, which is a synthesized acid, and retinoic acid, which is derived from retinol, or vitamin A. All of these acids work to remove dead skin from the surface of the face, while the retinoic acid also works to boost cell turnover so that new skin cells grow faster. The SkinMedica Rejuvenize Peel also contains panthenol, which is also known as vitamin B5. This ingredient soothes the new skin that forms as the peel works on destroying the old cells, which means that the discomfort you feel once the peel begins working is not as severe as other medical-grade chemical peels. 

Who can benefit from the Vitalize/Rejuvenize Peels?
Indications for both peels include photodamaged skin, fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentary abnormalities, superficial scarring and acne. Upper epidermal defects, such as, melasma can also be improved.

What will my skin feel like during and after my Vitalize/Rejuvenize Peel?
During your peel you will experience a warm, tingling sensation. This procedure is quite tolerable and requires no pre-medication. After your peel, you may continue to experience mild tingling for a few hours.

How long after the peel may I return to normal activities?
You may return to normal activities immediately following your peel. You may experience slight redness or tingling following your peel. One to three days following your procedure you will notice mild to moderate peeling of the skin that can be concealed with the use of a moisturizer.

How long does the treatment take?
The actual treatment takes about 20-25 min.

Is there any downtime?
Everyone reacts differently. You may be a little pink right afterwards.  A few days later there may be some moderate peeling. Make up may be applied.

What is the mechanism of skin rejuvenation from a Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels produce a partial thickness injury to the skin, the depth of which is determined by the chemical agents. Following the trauma to the skin, the wound healing process reorients the new skin connective tissue. Collagen remodeling is the main reason chemical peels decrease sun damage and reduce wrinkles. Dermal regeneration can take weeks to months. The epidermis, however, heals in a few days giving the skin an improved appearance, more even skin color, smoother texture and a healthier glow.

How long will the effects of the chemical peel last?
Aging of the skin is a chronic natural phenomenon. A single peel can reverse some of the clinical and histological signs of aging, but once the skin has healed from the peel, the aging process starts again. Therefore, a daily program of specifically designed products that reverse the signs of aging is necessary to maintain long-term improvement.

What can be expected after the Vitalize/Rejuvenize Peel?
Most patients leave the office looking healthy and fresh. Any redness or discoloration can easily be covered with makeup and most activities con be resumed right away. Within 48 hours a mild flaking will occur, and peeling will continue for 2-3 days

Is it safe to have these Peels on a regular basis?
Yes. Generally multiple treatments are required to achieve desired results. Subsequent peels may be repeated every 3 to 4 weeks. There is no limit to the number of peels a person can receive as long as improvement continues. The effect is cumulative with time.

What makes the SkinMedica Vitalize/Rejuvenize Peels helpful in management of acne?
One of the active ingredients in these Peels is salicylic acid, which has been used for several decades to treat acne. Salicylic acid is a comedolytic agent. This agent is lipid soluble and therefore penetrates through the sebum of acne-prone skin better than water-soluble acids. Also, salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties since it is related to aspirin. In addition, Retinoic acid inhibits sebum production and reduces hyperkeratinization. It helps to unclog the pores and prevent the formation of new papules.

How long after receiving a peel can one be exposed to the sun?
Sun avoidance during the recovery period is critical. After the peeling is complete, one can resume regular activities, but daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) is imperative for maintaining healthy skin.

How many peels will it take to get a great result?
The number of treatments needed depends upon the problem being addressed but usually ranges from three to six treatments spaced two to four weeks apart. Results are generally seen after just one treatment, but a series of treatments is required for optimal results. Depending on the concern being addressed, your provider may recommend other treatments in conjunction with your Vitalize or Rejuvenize Peel.

What results should I expect?
Realistic expectations include:  Correct sun damaged skin, improve acne, smooth fine wrinkles, reduce mild scarring, improve irregular discoloration and rough texture.
Unrealistic expectations include:  Cannot remove or reduce broken blood vessels, cannot improve deep wrinkles. It is also impossible to truly change pore diameter, however, after the procedure, the pores appear less pronounced. This is not a procedure to remove atrophic or hypertrophic scars.


What is the Skinceutical MicroPeel?
The SkinCeutical MiroPeel (originally known as the BioMedic MicroPeel) is a three-step clinical procedure combining dermaplaning (physical exfoliation), chemical exfoliation, and if needed cryogenic therapy to reduce signs of photoaging including fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, and visible skin imperfections, congestion,  in a series of 4-6 procedures.

What happens during the MicroPeel procedure?
The first step in the MicroPeel process is a physical or manual exfoliation. This results in an immediate change in skin texture and is done through a process called dermaplaning ( exfoliation with a blade)  If dermaplaning is not right for you, exfoliation can be done using an enzyme. Then a chemical exfoliation is performed using either a lactic or glycolic acid. A slight stinging sensation may occur when the acid solution is applied to the skin, but it is only momentary. At this point extractions will be done to free your pores of impacted debris.

What will the downtime be after the MicroPeel procedure?
There is usually no downtime associated with the MicroPeel. Your skin may be a little red and slightly inflamed (if extractions were performed) the day of and the day following the treatment. Use of sunscreen is a must.

What must I know prior to having this procedure done?
Before receiving he MicroPeel you must discontinue the use of any retinol products (RetinA®, Tretinoic acid, etc.) or medical exfoliants for at 4-5 days prior to the procedure. If taking Accutane orally, you must be off it for at least 6 months prior to any procedures. Avoid prolonged sun-exposure or tanning for 10 days prior to your procedure.

What is the post procedure regimen?
For the 48 hours following the procedure, you will use only a gentle cleanser, moisturizer and sun-protection. Makeup, if needed, can be applied immediately after the procedure.

MicroPeel Plus

What is the Skinceutical MicroPeel Plus?
The Skinceutical MicroPeel Plus (originally known as the Biomedic® MicroPeel Plus) is a chemical peel formulated in two solutions:

  • MicroPeel Plus 20 - Consists of 20% Salicylic acid and 3% Glycolic Acid
  • MicroPeel Plus 30 - Consists of 30% Salicylic acid and 3% Glycolic Acid

What does the MicroPeel Plus do for the skin?
The MicroPeel Plus is designed to treat all skin types and skin colors and is especially effective for acne, pigmentation, and is even safe for sensitive skin types. It is a unique treatment of chemical exfoliation designed to help refine skin texture, smooth fine lines and regulate skin discoloration while reducing the appearance of acne scars and environmental damage to the skin.

How long is the procedure?
The MicroPeel Plus is an in-office procedure that can be performed in a matter of 15-20 minutes.

What is the downtime?
The skin will be red and tight for a few days. There may be some light brown crusting which will begin to peel and flake off during the week after your peel.

What are the MicroPeel Plus ingredients?

  1. Salicylic Acid (20% or 30% depending on the strength of the peel), which dissolves sebum and cellular debris in pores, exfoliates, encourages cell renewal and Improves collagen synthesis.
  2. Glycolic Acid which works synergistically with salicylic acid in formula to improve efficacy and enhance stability.
  3. Alcohol, an anhydrous solution to enhance activity of salicylic acid and increase penetration.