Have you always felt perfect skin is out of reach? It doesn’t have to be. With a series of expertly applied peels, we can address and control common problems such as acne, discolouration, texture, and even lines and wrinkles, to reveal the radiance you always knew was there.


A superficial peel will revitalise and renew your skin. Regular applications will even out your complexion, reduce blemishes and keep acne under control, as well as decrease fine lines and wrinkles.

There’s little to no downtime and you’ll immediately look more glowing, dewy and refreshed. We may use a product such as Radiance Peel by Alumier to lightly exfoliate your skin, removing dead cells from the surface and stimulating production of collagen for a more youthful, healthier-looking complexion. We usually recommend a course of six peels, delivered over a four to six week period.


For deeper results and longer-lasting skin beauty, a medium-depth peel will regenerate your skin on multiple levels. Penetrating deep into the dermis, it can remove years of damage, decrease discolouration from acne, melasma and hyperpigmentation, and brighten up your complexion.

We use products such as Perfect Peel by Medica Forte, which can be performed once a month for specific skin complaints, or at six to twelve month intervals for ongoing maintenance. You can normally expect around seven days of social downtime.


If you have significant pigmentation or very damaged skin, we may recommend a product like ZO® Blue Peel with homecare. This is a deeper peel that has been proven to transform even the most challenging skin conditions.

Skin Peel Treatments


How long have chemical peels been used for?

Chemical peels have been used for many years and their use dates back to the ancient Egyptians who would use sour milk (containing lactic acid). Poultices containing mustard, sulphur and limestone were used by the Greeks and Romans.

What types of chemical peel are there?

Peels are classified by their depth of action into three types – superficial, medium and deep.

  • What is a superficial chemical peel?
    These work on the upper and lower epidermis, and epidermal regeneration is achieved within 3-5 days. They work by breaking bonds between cells, like removing the cement between bricks. Common acids include alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid, and the beta hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid. Glycolic acid has been shown to reduce acne and lighten the skin. Salicylic acid is better tolerated than glycolic acid, and is good for reducing acne. It can produce a skin lightening effect too, so is good for darker skin types where this is desired. It’s oil soluble, which allows it to penetrate into pores. Beta lipohydroxyacid (LHA) is a newer superficial peel. It has less penetration into the skin than glycolic or salicylic; it’s very water loving and gets inside the sebaceous glands more than salicylic acid. Skin is known to be much smoother after an LHA peel than glycolic or salicylic, and results are faster.
  • What is a medium chemical peel?
    This works on the middle to lower papillary dermis. Medium chemical peels are an effective way to correct acne scars, address uneven pigmentation, improve the texture and tone of the skin, smooth out fine lines, and more. Medium chemical peels, also known as TCA (trichloroacetic acid) chemical peels, provide more dramatic results than light chemical peels, and they don’t require the extended recovery time of deep (phenol) peels. A medium chemical peel can be used to treat any area of the body and take only minutes to complete. Trichloroacetic acid is used in various percentages of 15-50%, and lower percentages are commonly used today, mixed with other ingredients to improve safety. The Jessner Solution is a peeling agent that uses 14% resorcinol, 14% salicyclic acid and 14% lactic acid in an alcohol base. It is a highly effective medium to deep strength peel that can be customised depending on the number of layers that are applied.
  • What is a deep chemical peel?
    This works on the reticular dermis. Deep chemical peels involve a longer procedure and longer recovery time that lasts up to several months in some cases. Patients who want to correct blotches caused by sun exposure or age, minimize coarse wrinkles, or remove a pre-cancerous growth may benefit from a deep peel. There are certain factors which must be taken into consideration when contemplating a deep chemical peel. Darker-skinned patients and individuals with heart problems are not ideal candidates. Potential chemical peel candidates should be aware that the treatment may take an hour or more and may require sedation. Anyone who decides on this procedure should be prepared for a long, slow recovery period, and should wear sunscreen whenever exposed to sun.

Which specific peels do you use?

At TLC, we use the following peels:

  • Alumier Radiant 20/10 containing lactic and salicylic acid. This is good for acne, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, congestion, open pore and oiliness.
  • Alumier Radiant 30 lactic acid. This works well for hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, dull skin tone, lines and wrinkles.
  • Alumier Glow Peel lactic acid, salicylic acid, resorcinol. This is used for acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, open pores, oiliness, and congestion.
  • The Perfect Peel. This contains trichloroacetic acid (TCA), salicylic acid, retinoic acid, glutathione, kojic acid, phenol, vitamin C, and other minerals. This peel is performed in-clinic and continued at home with a retinol wipe and homecare vitamin C cream for an additional two days. This peel requires no pre-procedure prep for most skin types, and can be used to improve the tone and texture of the skin, lighten the skin, reduce sun damage and age spots, reduce pore size, soften fine lines and wrinkles, reduce hyperpigmentation and acne scars, improve acne and melasma, and stimulate collagen production. This medium depth chemical peel will in most cases cause shedding of the skin from days 3-7 post procedure. The glutathione in the peel is a potent antioxidant which is depleted due to sun exposure, pollution, environmental stress and ageing. The process takes less than 15 minutes and is almost pain free.
  • Obagi ZO 3-Step Stimulation Peel. This contains retinol, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid and lactic acid. The peel is performed in-clinic and there is one night of homecare to perform after your appointment. The process takes under 15 minutes and is almost pain-free. This peel improves acne, melasma, sun damage, fine lines, surface texture, roughness, large pores, and dullness – and it can be used on all skin types, although more reactive skin types may require some home care preparation prior to peeling.
  • Obagi Controlled Depth Peel. This uses trichloroacetic acid (TCA), which slows down the penetration of TCA for a more controlled peel and reduces skin irritation typically associated with the use of TCA. It also improves the texture of leathery and sun damaged skin, minimises the appearance of melasma, brown spots, age spots and pigmentation, treats acne, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, works for skin tightening, and is suitable for all skin types after a suitable period of homecare has been completed.

How does a chemical peel work?

A product is applied to the skin with the aim of stimulating new skin growth, as well as improving surface texture and appearance. It also reduces pore size, acne, hyperpigmentation, age spots, and fine lines and wrinkles.

Are chemical peels vegan?

Many chemical peels are vegan however it depends on the specific brand as to whether they contain any animal products or not.

Can this treatment be used on men?

Sure! At TLC we see many men who enjoy the benefits of chemical peels alongside their regular skincare routine! As well as all the other benefits, they’re a great way of minimising in-growing hairs in the shaving area of the face.

Why are chemical peels used?

To give our skin a boost. The superficial peels are great for giving a glow to the skin (there is even a peel called The Glow Peel), improving acne, pigmentation and generally improving the texture and tone. Medium depth peels are great for areas of hyperpigmentation, such as those caused by acne scarring, or if you have a number of areas of brown spots and pigmentation due to sun damage. They can even help to smooth out the skin slightly in the case of mild scarring on the face, and sometimes on the body too.

Can chemical peels be preventative?

Yes absolutely! The rate of skin turnover begins to dramatically slow in our late 20s and by having superficial peels such as glycolic and lactic acid this will help to stimulate new cell turnover and exfoliate dead cells.

Can I just use a cream to get the same result?

This is a great question, because now you can use potent topicals at home which can also give a very good result if used consistently. In the clinic, we’re able to go that step further. For example, we can peel to lower levels of the skin than you would ever be able to do at home. However, using a peel should always be secondary to great home care. These creams and lotions are a great adjunct to use alongside a professional peel system as they will maintain the condition of your skin in between professional treatments. It’s advisable to exercise caution if applying a professional strength peel at home as it can cause irreparable damage to the skin such as scarring or hypo or hyperpigmentation, and of course misses out the essential pre and post case stages from the procedure.

Which areas of the body can be treated with a chemical peel?

You can pretty much peel anywhere on the body. The most common area to treat is the face, however many people peel their back to improve acne, chest to improve acne or sun damage, hands or neck for sun damage. Some people peel their feet to reduce rough texture or elbows and knees to reduce pigmentation. There are special types of peels which are suitable for use in the genital or anal area to lighten the skin colour.

Is there anything which cannot be treated?

A peel will have no effect on removing red blood vessels from the face or reduce the size of enlarged pores. It also won’t really do much for scars. Chemical peels are versatile, yet they can’t replace your skincare routine at home. Melasma in particular is a difficult-to-treat condition, and it may be more appropriate to use homecare rather than a chemical peel. Acne may also require more intervention than a chemical peel.

How does the appointment work?

First, we decide what peel is right for you depending on your skin concerns. For example, if you have acne, we might use one containing salicylic acid, or if pigmentation is a concern then we may use mandelic acid. Some people may benefit from a medium depth chemical peel rather than a superficial one, especially if they have a lot of brown superficial pigmentation. It’s important that you also use the correct skincare before you use a chemical peel, in order to maximise results. Not using the right skincare is like only brushing your teeth when you see the hygienist, and doing nothing more than this at home… The product is painted on to clean skin. Some peels need to be neutralised, some don’t. It’s better not to wear makeup after the peel, and, in some cases, you’ll be asked not to wash your face until the next day. You can apply some surgical foundation the same day as the peel, but you may not be able to wash it off until the following day. Some peels come with specific skincare which you take home with you, and it’s important to follow these instructions to maximise the outcome.

How can I get ready for the procedure?

It’s helpful if you don’t wear any makeup when you come in for the procedure – but don’t worry, we can take it off for you if needs be. Make sure that you have the appropriate skincare at home for use after the procedure. If you have an important event coming up, you should schedule your treatment to make sure you have an appropriate amount of time between the procedure and your event. Please also bear in mind that you may need to carry out weeks or months of homecare in order to get the best results from your peel – so please plan ahead!

Do I need to use specific skin care before the procedure?

This depends on many factors, including your pre-existing skin condition and your skin type. For those with more reactive skins, which are more prone to hyperpigmentation and melasma, it will be necessary to undergo a period of 6-18 weeks of pre-peel homecare to ensure there’s less risk of developing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation as a consequence of the procedure. For all skin types, the peel will penetrate in a more even fashion if pre-procedure care is carried out using retinol and vitamin C. The post-procedure care depends on the exact peel used, as some will come with specific home care. Written instructions will be provided after treatment, so you know how to optimally take care of your skin.

Do I need a check-up?

Usually no check-up is necessary with chemical peels, although for the best results you would have regular appointments in order to maintain your results.

Does it hurt?

Sensation depends on the type of peel used. Some peels give a mild tingling feeling on the skin which lasts for a few moments; in other cases, it can be more intense – but in all cases this feeling subsides quickly. Medium depth chemical peels are often thought to be more painful, but some of the medium depth peels we use contain a small amount of phenol which anaesthetises the surface of the skin and makes it an extremely comfortable procedure.

Do you use anaesthetic?

For the most invasive chemical peels, such as the Obagi Controlled Depth Peel, we sometimes use a local anaesthetic; however, this peel is not one of our favourite peels due to the length of downtime and nature of the treatment.

Can I put makeup on?

You can wear sterile surgical makeup following your peel, but please be aware that you may not be able to remove it until the next day, as you may be asked to leave the peel on your skin overnight. It’s fine to sleep in this makeup.

When does it start to work?

With a superficial peel you will quickly see an improvement in the texture of the skin over the next day or so but remember you will need a course of these treatments for the best results. A medium depth peel will take around seven to ten days to show the best results.

Will my skin swell up?

Occasionally after a chemical peel, there can be some swelling, particularly with medium depth peels.

Can I go to work afterwards?

Many people like to return straight to work after a superficial chemical peel; however, in most cases, you won’t be able to apply your regular makeup until the following day. For a deeper peel due to the colour of the peel it is better not to return to work afterwards.

Will my skin come off?

Definitely with a medium depth peel! You should expect five to seven days of shedding and peeling on the face, and the skin can be sensitive for a week or so after shedding has completed. This normally starts at around day three and immediately before that the face will feel tight. There may be a small amount of shedding and flaking with a superficial peel, but this all depends on the product used, the pre-existing quality of the skin, and the skincare regime.

Can I do this treatment whilst pregnant or breastfeeding?

This treatment is not recommended during pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding.

How often can I have a peel?

For superficial peels, you can have them as often as every two weeks if treating a specific skin concern. Medium depth peels can be used as often as every month, again if treating a specific skin concern. The actual frequency will depend on the reason for treatment, and other factors such as homecare – and how frequently you’d be able to have treatment.

How long does it last?

This depends on many factors. Generally with a superficial peel, if you are doing this for a specific indication, you would do one every two to four weeks for six applications. However, you can do one at longer intervals than this – for example, if you wish to combine it with another treatment. Following the course, you can do one every three to six months to keep on top of things, depending on your skin’s response. For medium depth peels, you can do these as often as every month if you are treating a specific issue, such as hyperpigmentation after acne scarring on the back, for example, but it’s more common to use them less frequently, say around every six to twelve months.

What can go wrong?

Whilst complications are rare, they can and do happen. This can range from more shedding than anticipated from a superficial peel, to in the worst case scenario, hyper- or hypo- pigmentation.

How old do I need to be?

We don’t treat anyone under the age of 18.

Which peel should I have?

A superficial peel will slightly reduce the signs of ageing, and results are minimal unless used in cycles. This is safer as there’s less downtime, and more peels can be use in a shorter amount of time. It typically takes a few sessions to start noticing a difference. Medium depth peels are good at reducing signs of sun damage and fine lines, but have more risk and more downtime. These peels can also be layered to make the peel penetrate more deeply into the skin. The best approach is to start with a lower strength peel, and be consistent with applications.

Should I have a chemical peel or just skincare?

It’s important that your skincare regimen is up to scratch before having a peel, as this will help the peel to penetrate more evenly into the skin. Peeling is no substitute for good skincare, and this should always be optimised prior to peeling.

Anything else I need to know?

Please note that you are paying for the treatment only and no guarantee is made of any outcome. Refunds cannot be given under any circumstances, as the product has been used and the service has been delivered.


TLC The Lovely Clinic, Chelsea DR Sarah Tonks