Most Commonly Asked Questions about Chemical Peels


Q. How much downtime is expected with a peel?

A. There is little to no downtime whatsoever with PCA chemical peels. You can actually receive a peel on your lunch hour and return to work.


Q.When will I start "peelings", for how long and how much?

A. Everyone’s experience will be different. However, on an average, you will see flaking by day two or three following the treatment. It is possible to see flaking for up to five or six days. With all PCA peels, only light to medium exfoliation will be experienced.


Q. How irritating is a peel?

A. PCA peels are only slightly irritating. You may experience mild burning or stinging, which is transient.


Q. What is the difference between the three formulas of the PCA Peel®?

A. The PCA Peel® HQ Free is for sensitive skin types, ethnic skin, those allergic to hydroquinone or not looking to lighten the skin. The PCA Peel® w/HQ has a stronger lightening ability; it will help even out the skin tone. The PCA Peel® w/ HQ and Resorcinol is for most resilient and oily skin types and will provide more exfolitation. This formula is great for someone who has reached a plateau with monthly treatments and needs a more aggressive treatment.


Q. What is the difference between the PCA Peel® versus the Ultra Peel™

A. The Ultra Peel™ is less sensitizing than the PCA Peel® due to the complexity of the formula. The PCA Peel® has more of a drying effect and the Ultra Peel™ has a more moisturizing effect. The PCA Peel® formulas have more instant lightening ability, whereas, the Ultra Peel™ lightening process is more gradual.


Q. Why would Ultra Peel™ II be applied, and when?

A. Ultra Peel™ II will ensure more flaking and peeling post-treatment. It can be applied after any treatment or it can be very mild treatment used alone.


Q. What is resorcinol? Why use the PCA Peel® w/HQ & Resorcinol and who is an appropriate candidate?

A. Resorcinol is an antiseptic, antifungal, astrigent and flaking agent. The PCA Peel® w/HQ and Resorcinol is excellent on active acne, smoker’s skin, oily, thick, resilient skin and hand and arm treatments.


Q. What peels are recommended for use with microdermabrasion?

A. There are different ways to enhance your results by using PCA chemical peels with microdermabrasion. For an advanced treatment or for very resilient skin we perform microdermabrasion followed by any TCA peel, one of our Retinol treatments or any one of our non-chemical peeling treatments. Treatment options are determined by your skin type, condition and professional recommendation of your esthetician.


Q. What skin type or condition will benefit most from the Pumpkin Peel; what results are expected?

A. The Pumpkin Peel is best used for asphyxiated skin or acne. It provides nutrient input and will brighten the skin. It’s also great on ethnic skin or very sun damaged skin that has lumps and bumps.


Q. Which peels can be used with the Oxy Trio?

A. The PCA Peel®, Ultra Peel™ I and II, or Sensi Peel™ can all be used in conjunction with the Oxy Trio, however, not all at the same time.


Q. Can a person who is in the sun a lot receive a peel?

A. Yes, only if they are compliant with using sunscreen protection and avoiding the sun 48 hours after a peel. If you are getting peels to lighten the skin, Profecting Protection (SPF 30+) is ideal to reduce any chance of further hyperpigmentation due to its enhanced lightening ingredients of Bearberry, Licorice Root Extract, Kojic Acid, Mulberry Root and Lactic Acid.


Q. What peels can be used on someone who frequently works out?

A. Someone who frequently works out can have any peel but must wait 48 hours after the treatment to exercise. If you don’t want to wait, any non-chemical or retinol peel is a great choice. The Esthetique or our Ultra Peel™ II which is an acid-free, time-released retinol cream are great choices. They have a delayed flaking action that creates no irritation or downtime and leaves the skin glowing and hydrated.


Q. My skin is very thin. Why would I want to peel? Wouldn’t that make my skin thinner?

A. If your skin is dry and thin, often there is a buildup of dead cells that actually keeps your home care products from penetrating. Having a retinol treatment will remove the surface buildup, hydrate the skin and give it a more plump, "thicker" appearance. The use of Vitamin C products in the treatment, as well as in your home care program, will help to build the collagen in your skin, thus making it stronger and more durable.


Q. Can pregnant or lactating women receive a peel?

A. No. We recommend only the Oxygenating Facial Trio for pregnant or lactating women. But alway ask your doctor to make sure.


Q. Are there any treatments that are good for rosacea?

A. We have a treatment designed specifically for rosacea that incorporates products from from our Pumpkin Peel, Oxgenating Trio and Sensi Peel™. It helps to unclog the pores, smooth the surface of the skin and promote healing. This treatment could be done as often as every four weeks.


Q. Can someone using Retin-A® or Accutane® have any PCA Peel treatments?

A. We generally recommend that Retin-A® use be stopped five days prior to a peel and five days post treatment because of potential irritation and uneven peel penetration. Accutane® users tend to have very dry and sensitive skin and need to be treated only with peels that are appropriate for their skin type. We have found that the PCA non-peel solutions are Accutane® friendly. However, your skin care specialist should always be made aware of any Retin-A® or Accutane® use and my recommend you postpone treatment if skin is too reactive.


Q. I thought TCA was very aggressive and required a week at home for recovery. Why is this not true of your Ultra Peel™ that is 10% TCA?

A. Ultra Peel™ is effective because of its formulation, but works in a way that does not traumatize the skin like traditional, straight TCA peels. As with all other peels, there is no downtime. Following an Ultra Peel™, the skin is glowing and hydrated; exfoliation occurs more as flaking.


Q. What is the difference between PCA and glycolic peels?

A. Glycolic acid will dehydrate skin and make pores larger after extended use. PCA uses lactic and citric acids which are skin-friendly because they are natural constituents of your skin. PCA peels are unique because they are moisturizing and hydrating and leave your skin fresh, soft and supple, the way it wants to be!