Aesthetic Plastic Surgery National Databank. Statistics 2020. 2020. (accessed 16 July 2021)

The science of chemical peels. 2019. (accessed 13 July 2021)

Arif T. Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: a comprehensive review. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015; 8:455-461

British Association of Dermatologists. Keratosis pilaris. 2017. (accessed 17 July 2021)

Brody HJ. Solid carbon dioxide: usage in slush or block form as therapeutic agent in dermatology. In: Abramovits W, Graham G, Har-Shai Y, Strumia R (eds). London: Springer; 2016

Cortez EA, Fedok FG, Mangat DS. Chemical peels: panel discussion. Medicine. 2014; 22:(1)1-23

Dayal S, Sahu P, Jain VK, Khetri S. Clinical efficacy and safety of 20% glycolic peel, 15% lactic peel, and topical 20% vitamin C in constitutional type of periorbital melanosis: a comparative study. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2016; 15:(4)367-373

Fabbrocini G, De Padova MP, Tosti A. Chemical peels: what's new and what isn't new but still works well. Facial Plast Surg. 2009; 25:(5)329-336

Garg VK, Sinha S, Sarkar R. Glycolic acid peels versus salicylic–mandelic acid peels in active acne vulgaris and post-acne scarring and hyperpigmentation: a comparative study. Dermatol Surg. 2009; 35:(1)59-65

Jackson A. Chemical peels. Facial Plast Surg. 2014; 30:(1)26-34

Khoo YT, Halim AS. Treatment modalities for hyperpigmented skin lesions: a brief overview. J Surgical Dermatol. 2016; 1:(2)71-79

Landau M. Chemical peels. Clin Dermatol. 2008; 26:(2)200-208

Lee KC, Wambier CG, Soon SL, Sterling JB, Landau M, Rullen P, Brody MD. Basic chemical peeling: superficial and medium-depth peels. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019; 81:(2)313-324

Nofal E, Nofal A, Gharib K, Nasr M, Abdelshafy A, Elsaid E. Combination chemical peels are more effective than single chemical peel in treatment of mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris: a split face comparative clinical trial. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2018; 17:(5)802-810

Procedures in cosmetic dermatology: chemical peels. 2020. (accessed 15 July 2021)

O'Connor AA, Lowe PM, Shumack S, Lim AC. Chemical peels: a review of current practice. Australas J Dermatol. 2018; 59:(3)171-181

Rathnavelu V, Alitheen NB, Sohila S, Kanagesan S, Ramesh R. Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications. Biomed Rep. 2016; 5:(3)283-288

Rendon MI, Berson DS, Cohen JL, Roberts WE, Starker I, Wang B. Evidence and considerations in the application of chemical peels in skin disorders and aesthetic resurfacing. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010; 3:(7)32-43

Sharad J. Glycolic acid peel therapy—a current review. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2013; 6:281-288

A practical guide to chemical peels, microdermabrasion and topical products. 2012. (accessed 12 July 2021)

Steeb T, Koch EA, Wessely A, Wiest LG, Schmitz L, Berking C, Heppt MV. Chemical peelings for the treatment of actinic keratosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Eur Academy Dermatol Venereol. 2021; 35:(3)641-649

Swinehart JM. Salicylic acid ointment peeling of the hands and forearms: effective nonsurgical removal of pigmented lesions and actinic damage. J Dermatol Surg Oncology. 1992; 18:(6)495-498

Trivedi MK, Yang FC, Cho BK. A review of laser and light therapy in melasma. Int J Women's Dermatol. 2017; 3:(1)11-20

Truchuelo M, Cerdá P, Fernández LF. Chemical peeling: a useful tool in the office. Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2017; 108:(4)315-322

Zakopoulou N, Kontochristopoulos G. Superficial chemical peels. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2006; 5:(3)246-253

An introduction to chemical peels for the body

02 December 2021
Volume 10 · Issue 10


This article has been written for medical practitioners who wish to incorporate chemical peels for the body within their daily practice. It will provide the reader with a sound knowledge of what a chemical peel is and why they are useful, and their key ingredients will be identified. Their clinical indications and contraindications will be discussed, as well as what the patient can expect post-procedure. The author concludes that a chemical peel on the body is ideal for combatting moderate problematic acne, reducing hyperpigmentation and treating keratosis. Used appropriately, skin peels can effectively treat these conditions. During the consultation process, the clinician can offer a broader range of treatments, rather than focusing exclusively on the face. In the long term, this will increase profit margins and build good practitioner/patient relationships.

Chemical peels are cost-effective and one of the most commonly used cosmetic treatments in clinical practice. Not only do they carry historical significance that dates back to ancient times, but they are also continuing to evolve and work well in conjunction with other in-clinic aesthetic treatments (Lee et al, 2019). Recent data, published by the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Databank (2020), stated that over one million skin treatments, including chemical peels, were performed in 2020. Today, a plethora of peeling agents are available; however, for this article, the author will primarily refer to AlumierMD peels, as these are used in her clinical practice. Their peeling agents contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) (which are lipid-soluble) and retinol. AHAs include glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid and mandelic acid. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid. Not every acid treats the same condition. Certain ingredients are more effective at treating acne on the back, while others benefit other conditions on the body (AlumierMD, 2019).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting Journal of Aesthetic Nurses and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for aesthetic nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month