Chemical Peel For Acne Scars: 5 Best Bets

Many companies say that their over-the-counter (OTC) chemical peels can treat acne scars. Different products may work better on different skin types, and the chemical peel for acne scars may work better or worse depending on how deep the scars are.
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best chemical peel for acne scars
Chemical peel for acne scars may help reduce the appearance of scars, but this will depend on the type of scarring and the type of skin you have.

About chemical peels

A chemical peel is a type of treatment for the skin that can help with a variety of skin problems. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) lists the following as examples:

  • sun spots
  • freckles
  • melasma

Chemical peels can also make fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable and smooth out the texture of the skin.

Most chemical peels for acne scars have glycolic, lactic, or amino fruit acids in them. A chemical solution can be put on a person’s skin once every 2–3 weeks by a healthcare professional. Only for a few minutes does the acid stay on the skin.

A person could choose to use chemical peels for acne scars that don’t require a doctor’s prescription. People can use these on a regular basis, but over-the-counter peels may work slower than professional peels. Also, they might not treat acne scars as well or at all.

Preparation for a Chemical Peel For Acne Scars

If you have a routine for taking care of your skin, stick to it before the peel. If you use any new, active cosmetics that make you feel uncomfortable before your peel, it could cause even more discomfort, a longer recovery time, and uneven peeling, “says MacGregor.

She says, “When it comes to retinoids,” If you use them often, just tell your doctor and don’t do anything different before the peel. Some people don’t agree with this because retinoids are also peeling agents that thin out the dead cell layer on the skin’s surface. This makes the peel stronger, but retinoids also make the epidermis thicker.

When retinoids are used, the healthy cells on the skin’s surface get thicker, not thinner. Just don’t start any new retinoids a few weeks before, and don’t get a professional peel without telling the person doing it about your retinoids and how strong they are. “

Finally, “Do not wax your skin before a peel. If you use peeling pads or a peeling solution at home, start out very gently and work up to using them more often over time. ” “Always test a small area first if it’s a new product,” advises MacGregor.

What to Expect During a Chemical Peel

MacGregor says that because there isn’t just one kind of chemical peel for acne scars, “[expectations] vary so much depending on the treatment and formulation.” But, the American Academy of Dermatology says that when you come in for your peel, your skin will be thoroughly cleaned. Deep peels will put you to sleep with general anesthesia, so they must be done in a surgical setting. Once you are ready and have been cleaned up, your dermatologist will quickly and evenly put on the peel and then carefully take it off when it is done.

How soon you see results depends on a few different things, such as the type of chemical peel for acne scars you use, how often you use it, and your skin type. Shani Darden, a celebrity esthetician who works with people like Jessica Alba and Emmy Rossum, says, “In general, I suggest getting a peel every four to six weeks for the best results.”

At-Home vs. In-Clinic

In her studio, Darden does chemical peels with acids that are safe for the skin, such as glycolic, salicylic, and lactic. Doft says that a chemical peel for acne scars is great for getting rid of scars and acne in general. She says that both chemical peels done at home and in a clinic can help treat acne.

“Peels used by doctors are stronger than those you can buy at the store. When used, they take off the top layer of skin, which opens up pores and improves the texture of the skin by making the skin turn over more quickly. They can also help get rid of dark spots and hyperpigmentation caused by acne. In her office, she uses the VI Peel on people with acne or skin that is getting old. It is a medium-strength peel that is great for hyperpigmentation and light acne scars. “

Side Effects

Don’t worry if your skin gets a little red or even starts to peel. Based on what Doft says, “Peels are all different because they have different acid combinations that penetrate the skin in different ways. Peels that are just on the surface may leave you a little dry that night. When you get a medium-strength chemical peel for acne scars, your skin will peel and blister two to three days later.

Your skin may feel tight and dry during this time. Using things like Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($5) to keep your face moist is important. After you get through these stages, you’ll see the real results. “If you get cold sores often, you can prevent them with medicine,” says MacGregor. Just be sure to talk to your doctor about it.


After a chemical peel for acne scars, the new skin cells might be more likely to burn in the sun. MacGregor says, “In general, [aftercare] depends on the type, strength, and formulation of the peel. However, there are some things that all peels have in common: protecting the area from the sun with a hat or other physical cover and using a good zinc or titanium-based sunscreen. The sunscreen in your makeup is not enough. Also, don’t use any kind of retinol, retinoids, or benzoyl peroxide. The number of days you skip depends on how strong the

She suggests, if you decide to wash your face in the first 24 to 48 hours after a chemical peel for acne scars, “using a gentle cleanser like a cream or milk instead of one with foam. Also, don’t wax and stay away from things like abrasives, physical scrubbing (like loofah mitts or rough paste cleansers), and other ingredients that can irritate the skin.

Instead, use a gentle cleanser, a physical sunscreen, and a bland, plumping, soothing moisturizer like Skinmedica TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream ($72) or Cerave Moisturizing Cream ($15) to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Some mildly active topicals might be okay the day after, but they should first be tested on skin that has been cut or burned. ” “Skinbetter Alto Defense Serum, which costs $160, and Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, which costs $169, are two examples.”

Strong peeling may require ointments until the outer layer of cells heals (epithelialization) and has a whole other list of after-care needs. Again, you should talk to your doctor.

Types Of Chemical Peels For Acne Scars

Superficial peels

Most superficial chemical peels are made with acids like AHA, which are milder and help with gentle exfoliation. Since superficial chemical peels only reach the top layer of skin, they can be used to treat acne caused by things like oily skin, dirt, and other things in the environment that get on your face.

Medium peels

Medium chemical peels get to the skin’s top and middle layers. Your pores can be cleaned with a medium peel. This gets rid of the oils and dirt that can get stuck in your pores and cause acne. Medium peels have 10%, 20%, or 30% concentrations of glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid, depending on how strong you want your chemical peel for acne scars to be.

Deep peels

Deep peels are a game changer for people with dull skin because they reach the middle layer and get rid of the dead skin cells that can cause dullness, fine lines, and uneven skin tone. Most of the time, these peels have trichloroacetic acid or phenol in them. When you go to buy a chemical peel for acne scars, you need to think about a few things. Here is a segment about how to choose the right chemical peel for your skin.

The Best Chemical Peels For Acne Scars

1. Divine Professional Skincare Alpha Hydroxy Acid Skin Rejuvenation Therapy Glycolic Acid Peel

The Divine over-the-counter chemical peel for acne scars that you can do at home is the holy grail you need if your skin is always acting up. It has 40% glycolic acid, which gets rid of acne scars, reduces fine lines and pores, and tightens the skin to make it look young again.

If you don’t have the time or energy for beauty treatments, you just need to find 5 minutes in your busy day. It works for all skin types, so you don’t have to worry about finding something that doesn’t make your face feel too dry or too oily.

2. Yeouth Glycolic Acid 30% Gel Peel

The 30% glycolic acid, green tea, and retinol in the Yeouth glycolic acid gel peel make it work. These powerful ingredients work their magic to increase the skin’s production of collagen and protect you from early signs of aging.

With regular use, this chemical peel for acne scars pulls out blackheads and whiteheads, leaving behind cleaner skin. If you have hyperpigmentation or sun damage, this gel peel will help get rid of them over time. You can learn more about the Yeouth Glycolic Acid 30% Gel Peel by watching this video on YouTube.

3. QRxLabs Glycolic Acid 50% Gel Peel

If you really want to fade acne scars, you need a glycolic acid gel peel with a high concentration, like this one. This peel is one of the best chemical peels for scars and acne because it contains 50% glycolic acid. It deep cleans pores, reduces active acne, and fades acne marks. It also evens out the skin tone because it gets rid of hyperpigmentation.

Extra ingredients like chamomile and green tea extracts add antioxidants to the peel. This protects the skin cells from free radicals, which cause them to age faster. Put it on a clean face, let it sit for a few minutes, and then peel it off to reveal healthy, well-hydrated skin. Your skin will look great after you use the QRxLabs Glycolic Acid 50% Gel Peel.

4. Voibella Beauty Advanced Anti-Aging Glycolic Acid Peel

The Voibella Beauty chemical peel for acne scars does more than just get rid of acne scars. It also has anti-aging benefits. This triple action peel is a mix of glycolic acid, pyruvic acid, and lactic acid, which are some of the best AHAs for the skin.

This peel comes off in small pieces so that it doesn’t pull on the skin and cause irritation. It uses a chemical exfoliant that is gentle on acne and also works on wrinkles and dull skin caused by a buildup of dead skin cells. This is the best chemical peel for acne scars if you need a peeling gel that doesn’t have parabens or sulfates.

5. Chemical Peel with 10% Glycolic Acid with ASDM Beverly Hills

Hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, and dead skin cells are all skin problems that this deep chemical peel for acne scars will fix. It has 10% glycolic acid, which helps break up the bonds between dead skin cells so they can be easily peeled off. If you have sensitive skin, you can trust this peel because it has a low pH level and a pure, unbuffered formula.

The ingredients in this at-home chemical peel for acne scars come from sugar cane, which makes it a good choice if you want to switch to natural skin care. For best results, leave this peel on for 5 minutes and then use a moisturizer.

In Conclusion

Different over-the-counter (OTC) chemical peels claim to get rid of acne scars. These peels can be bought online or in stores like pharmacies.

But the chemicals in these products aren’t as strong as the ones a professional uses, so depending on how bad the scarring is, they may not work.

Anyone who wants to buy an over-the-counter chemical peel for acne scars should think about what kind of skin they have and check the ingredients carefully. A doctor or nurse can give advice and tell you if an over-the-counter product is likely to work.


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