facial-resurfacingThe skin peels and treatments that are performed today once upon a time were called “chemical peels”, as various chemicals were used to treat all manner of skin conditions. Not only have the ingredients that we use for skin peels changed over the past 40 years , but the strength of the peels have been greatly reduced.

Where once a skin peel was a one off treatment with varying results which often lead to scarring or resultant hyper-pigmentation. Today’s peels are more a low concentration /higher frequency protocol, gently encouraging the skin to change and renew.

What is a skin peel?

Skin peels or chemical peels are any treatment where layers of a chemical, most often naturally occurring are applied to the skin to:

  • reduce pigmentation
  • remove sun-damaged cells
  • increase hydration
  • improve collagen production
  • help improve the texture of the skin

Is a skin peel the same as a facial?

No. A facial is more fluff. It is relaxing and can help to hydrate the skin, but will not treat problems

Skin peels are designed to fix problems and get results.

Are all skin peels the same?
Very definitely “No”. Any Beauty Therapist can do a skin peel and many do low grade (20 and 30%) AHA Peels. However they are heavily regulated to ensure they do not use high percentage or medical grade products as in inexperienced hands, these can still cause damage and resultant scarring.
Under the guidance of a medical practitioner, much stronger and more efficacious products can be utilised.

Our Dermal Therapists have many years of experience and training using the dozens of different medical-grade skin peeling solutions and regularly teach their trainers a thing or two !
If you are thinking of doing a course of skin peels, talk to our Dermal Therapists. They will give you honest advice about the results that can be achieved and what it will take to get there.

What conditions can be improved by skin peels?

  • Sun-damaged skin with scaly solar keratosis (early sun spots)
  • Rosacea
  • Hyperpigmentation (brown coloured spots) and Melasma
  • Dry skin
  • Thickened skin
  • Premature ageing with lines and wrinkles
  • Acne

How Many skin peels will I need to have?

  • The number of peels you may require will depend on the problem you have and the severity of that problem.
  • It will also depend on how much down-time you are willing to live with.
  • The deeper the peel, the more down-time and the better the result.
  • However some people don’t want any down-time.
  • All of these factors will be discussed with you and taken into consideration when deciding how strong a skin peel you are happy to undergo

Do I have to prepare my skin prior to a skin peel?

  • Some of our stronger peels definitely require skin preparation with medical grade products before your peel to achieve the desired result. They can be performed without, but the results will be inferior.
  • There are many peels however that do not require any preparation and can be performed at the same time as your consultation.
  • We recommend making an appointment for consultation with our Dermal Therapists to discuss your skin concerns and aspirations

What is “layering” of skin peels?

Layering is as it sounds, where your therapist will layer different ingredients onto the skin to:

  • treat different problems at the same time eg pigmentation, dryness and an increase in collagen production
  • achieve a deeper peel eg Jessner Solution, which takes any peel to a deeper level for better and quicker results. This is only performed by a trained Therapist under the auspices of a medical practitioner.

Will my skin peel after a skin peel?

  • Your skin does not necessarily have to peel after a skin peel for it to be effective.
  • If your peel is for pigmentation or heavily sun-damaged skin, then you need pretty heavy-duty peels to shift this and to give you results. This can be achieved slowly with no peeling, but you would need a lot of treatments!
  • If you choose less and you are prepared for a little down-time, then you will experience some peeling of the skin. This can be anywhere from 3 – 7 days in duration, depending on the type of peel.

Are skin peels painful?
No, skin peels these days are completely different to the TCA and Phenol peels of days gone by that were extremely painful. If you have a peel that is painful, you should be very worried.
You should experience heat, but not pain.

Are light therapy, skin needling or other treatments better than skin peels?

  • Every treatment modality has its place (though IPL is being phased out as there have been so many permanent scarring’s caused by this treatment).
  • Skin peeling is a gentle, and often a cheaper alternative than the many machine based treatments available today.
  • Machines- whether skin needling, lasers, microdermabrasion etc are expensive or have expensive disposable parts that increase the cost of your treatment.
  • Some other modalities, such as LED treatments are actually very synergistic with skin peels and we would recommend them done as part of the same treatment.

If you have any skin concerns and would like to learn more about how skin peels can help your skin, call our friendly team for a consultation with one of experience Dermal Therapist and say hello to better looking skin !

We will give you complete instruction on how to prepare for your peel treatment. Often, Stieva A (a prescription medication also marketed as Retin A and derived from Vitamin A ) is used to pre-treat the skin. This thins out the skin’s surface layer, allowing the peel solution to penetrate more deeply and evenly. An AHA maintenance cream will be used in addition. Hydroquinone, a bleaching agent, is sometimes used in conjunction with Retin-A or AHA pre-treatment, especially if you have blotchy skin areas or pigmentation problems. You may have to spend a month in the pre-treatment phase before the doctor will schedule your TCA peel.


Australian laws permit non-physicians to administer certain peel solutions, but regulate the strengths which they are permitted to apply. Beauticians may offer AHA or fruit acid peels, but may only use low and generally less effective strengths of AHA. Plastic Surgeons commonly use strengths up to 70%. Your surgeon and his staff currently offer a revolutionary type of AHA peel called Refinity. This very powerful 70% AHA peel causes little discomfort due to a proprietary strontium salt included in the formulation, which acts like a local anaesthetic. Other 70% AHA peels cause considerable pain, and many less concentrated peels are first required , slowly building up to the 70% strength.

Your skin will be cleansed to remove all trace of oil and then the AHA applied, a process that usually takes no more than 10 – 15 minutes. You will be given a moisturiser to use for the following 48 hours and you may need to alter your skin care programme in this time. Periodic treatments will be necessary until the desired effects are achieved. Typically, a course of 3 to 6 peels are employed.

A maintenance home programme of an AHA facial cleanser and moisturiser twice a day can help to keep your skin looking its best. Your surgeon may recommend the addition of Stieva-A or Cellex-C to your skin care regime to help reverse the effects of environmental damage, and prevent further damage . After several months of use of this skin care , your doctor will examine your skin to determine if your regimen needs adjustment. See Skin Care in the main menu for more information.

AHA peels are performed in the Sunshine Coast Plastic Surgery Centre.

No anesthesia is needed for AHA peels since they cause only a slight to moderate stinging sensation during application.

With an AHA peel, the temporary redness, flaking and dryness that you experience will not prevent you from working or engaging in your normal activities. A fresher and improved skin texture will result with continued AHA treatments. Remember, protecting your skin from the sun is also important following these mild acid peels. Ask your surgeon to recommend a sunblock with adequate UVA and UVB protection and use it everyday.

Improvements from AHA peels may be subtle at first. You may detect a healthier glow to your skin. With continued treatments, you will notice a general improvement in the texture of your skin.


It is very important that you find a plastic surgeon who has adequate training and experience in skin resurfacing, with all available modalities. your surgeon can offer you a choice of peel techniques or may suggest other resurfacing treatments such as dermabrasion or laser resurfacing to help you achieve your desired outcome.

During your initial consultation, it is important that you discuss your expectations. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions or express any concerns that you may have.

your surgeon will explain the planned procedure in detail, including its risks and benefits, the recovery period and the costs. If you have a history of herpes (cold sores), inform him prior to the procedure. Remember, chemical peel treatments are usually not covered by medical insurance unless they are performed for medically related problems.

Initially,the skin is thoroughly cleansed to remove all trace of oils.Then the TCA solution is applied, this is left in place until the desired level of “frosting” has occured, the peel is then neutralised with water and a thick moisturiser applied. A full-face TCA peel usually takes no more than 30 minutes. Two or more TCA peels may be needed to obtain the desired result, and these may be spaced out over several months.

You will require time off work after TCA peel, a few days to a week is sufficient. If you are having your TCA peel in a hospital setting, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home and help you out for a day or two.

TCA peels can be performed in an outpatient surgical centre, or in our rooms, depending upon the strength of the peel. Your surgeon may want you to stay overnight in a hospital if other cosmetic procedures are performed simultaneously.

TCA peels performed in our rooms at Sunshine Coast Plastic Surgery require no anaesthesia at all.

If a high strength TCA peel is required, your peel will be performed in an outpatient setting in a hospital. General anesthesia isn’t required for TCA peels, however, sedation will be used during the procedure to relax you and keep you comfortable.

With a TCA peel, the moderate discomfort and mild swelling you may experience will subside within the first week. In about a week to ten days, your new skin will be apparent and you should be healed sufficiently to return to your normal activities. It is best to avoid sun exposure for some months, even if you are adequately protected. If you wish to use them, specialist camouflage cosmetic kits are available. Simply ask our friendly staff.

The results of a TCA peel are reasonably long lasting and your skin will be noticeably smoother and fresher-looking.