Acid Peels : Effects ? Improvements ? Clinic ? Cost ? Scar texture improvement if any?


There are some on this site who has undergone peels – mostly Glycolic peels of a high concentration. Does peels have any effects on slightly pitted acne scarring ? Or does it make the scars more prominent ? Does it make the skin too sensitive to the sun ? What about the recovery period and the cost of the treatment ? Can someone provide their experience ? I was looking for some 1st hand experience and advice regarding peels.

20 Answers


hi all acne treatments even chemical peeling makes skin sensitive so nothing a sunscreen cant in order to preserve the lightening by peeling,its required..i dont know about pitted scarring but mirco dermabrasion helps with that..
there is no recovery period and all..i used to get peeling done and head to college just few minutes procedure..
the peels start from around 800-1000 depending on the concentration and type of peeling agent used..
it definitely helped me in the past..i could see improvement in acne and scars..after few sittings my skin was clear..
even after that i used to get one peeling per month as maintenance..i really hate going to parlours so this is like a facial but only safer for acne prone skin..
actually i have been meaning get it done now by my previous doctor is relocated ..nonetheless cpp regimen is defintely making the difference…it just that chemical peeling if accelerate the results..



I also done chemical peelings through dermatologists in past and it really helps a lot. They know what would be good peal option (TCA, glycolic,etc) peel for your skin.

So better to consult with a doctor and try the peelings. Don’t try any peelings by yourself at home. ย Also i will also ย advise to try to avoid to go outside in sun as much as you can.

Take Care,

Ashu (Ashwin)


By the way i forgot to mention, i did chemical peeling through dermatologist in Jan 2013 and it cost me around 750 Rs per sitting. I did three sittings.




Thank you all… I saw some dramatic differences in before and after pictures ont he net therefore I was motivated…Tejupriya – Did you get it done at a parlour ? Cause I think a clinic might be authorised to do higher concentrations of peels and do it more safely you know. I dont trust beauticians all that much with acids of al things. Even if its a fruit acid. I have to find a time period where I can stay indoors for most of the daytime and get the peels done I think. I have mild scarring and mostly uneven skin texture which I`m tired of concealing with makeup and I just want to get it over and done with you know. Thank you all for the prompt response. I`ll look into the dermaroller treatment too – that promises results as well. But I think eventually I`ll have to go for peels. And yes you`re right , the results depend a lot on the post procedure care – staying indoors and applying sunscreen when required is extremely important.


oh parlour,no no no way..!!!!!!!!!!
my dermatologist did it..dont ever get anything related to skin in a parlour..some parlours offer it but they do not know how to do it safely..i said instead of getting facials in parlour,chemical peeling/microdermabrasion is much safer and effective..


read my first response properly..i said i hate going to parlour, peeling is a like a facial..


Right. But I didnt get that part where you said there`s no recovery period. I mean there has to be a recovery period right. Right after the peel one has to avoid the sun. Also the skin will look sunburnt if the concentration is higher and I`m sure one doesnt want to show up in public like that. ๐Ÿ˜›


hi keepcalm..there is no really no recovery period..this aint such a risky procedure..
here are pointers for chemical peeling..
1.before going to chemical peeling see that your skin is not peeling or dry cause of topical applications..if it is dry postpone the peeling for a day or two..the reason being chemical peeling causing dryness,could further be more dry..
2.after chemical peeling,sunscreen is a must..i used to wear hoodie jacket and helmet with scarf and ride to college on my bike after that..afternoon i used to re apply no issues there just resume your normal activities and try to avoid sun thats all.. not face your face with soap/facewash for 24 hours..if u must use just plain water.. not apply any other product/topical application except sunscreen for 24hours..
hope this helps..anything else u want to know?


Yes. So you said you reapplied sunscreen throughout the day , and that facewash shouldnt be used in between or within 24 hours – wont the sunscreen accumulate and clog the pores ? Or its okay I suppose to not completely remove sunscreen for one day ?

And what about the peeling ? How long does it take for the skin to completely peel off ? Did it improve skin texture ?I think that also depends on the concentration of the peel . What concentration of acid was used for you ?

Lastly , thank you for giving me the 1st hand experience. I`ll look for a clinic in my city which offers safe peeling. I`m based in Kolkata by the way. If anyone has any suggestions for the clinic to go to ย , I`ll be grateful.


yes i re-applied sunscreen..
the reason for not washing face for 24 hours is again,it could further render skin dry,thats all..
no no sunscreen wont clog pores if u use something like suncote..if u still feel so just wash using plain water..or perhaps mild cleanser like sebamed or cetaphil before retiring to bed..just once if and only if required..
normally 2 sittings are done in a month so that the skin will peel and return to normalcy..
after one sitting u can see some lightening ..
but after few more sittings the improvement is more significant..
initially lower concentrations were used,gradually the concentration was increased..i underwent pretty much all sorts of peeling a days u get peeling agents with soothing ingredients to minimize irritation.. i have tried all salicylic,lactic,glycolic,some fruit based ones,some combi of acids..nonetheless no compromise with the results..
kaya does peeling but they are very expensive..hunt for a good doctor and they will do it at a reasonable price..


Okay thank you so much. I really do need a peel. To improve the texture of my skin…its the only thing that depresses me about my looks. sighs.


sweetheart u are doing well so far with your treatment from what u have told(i have read ur comments) matter what,dont let acne take over your life..
U have a good heart and U are Sweet and Beautiful.. ๐Ÿ™‚
u have a super sense of humour(remember DD-ZZ cream),so keep that smile on your face ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰


Hi Keep calm, ok so , here is my take on peels. This is a long report so hold on patiently ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve done 8 peels in the past 1.5 years, 4 Glycolic Acid Peels ( 30%) , 1 TCA peel for my back, 2 salycilic acid peels, 1 lactic acid & salicylic acid peel.

All the peels were done based on advice from 3 different dermatologists in their office only.

TCA ( Tri Chloro Acetic Acid) peel – This is the strongest peel & I did for my back acne , effectiveness – excellent but takes 4 -6 weeks for the peeling/shedding of skin to subside so you can’t wear deep blouses, dresses etc. plus you should avoid sun exposure absolutely for at least 24 hours after the peel. High SPF sunscreen a must & at all costs avoid sun between 12 pm to 4 pm. The skin starts peeling after 2 weeks & moisturization is the key to healing it. My doc advised me to use cetaphil lotion regularly for 2 weeks so that the dry skin is softened & encourages the skin to shed fast. I did see very good improvement in the skin, felt the skin become soft & acne was reduced to almost zero (almost) scars were lightened but not so much. I was more bothered about the acne so was quite happy with the reduction in that. Again remember this is a very strong peel & is safe to use for the back as the skin there is more thick but if used on the face, must be done with utmost caution & only by reputed or good doctors themselves & not assistants at the clinic. You have to give a space of at least 8 weeks between 2 peels.

Salicylic Acid Peel – frankly I am not a big fan of Sal peels, did not find any improvement at all in face though the doc kept telling me my face has cleared & looks bright etc, but I knew it did not do any thing for me. I also feel for cystic acne, salicylic acid does nothing, and actually creates more acne. I may be wrong but I’ve seen the trend & believe that it is quite true.

Glycolic Acid Peels – 50 – 50 improvement. Face looks smooth & clear after 48 hours but this does not last long. I did 4 peels spaced 2 weeks apart but did not really find any enhanced improvement or marked lightening of the face. it did nothing to reduce my acne or scars. I did not see any lightening of the scars so much that I can write about it here. ON the contrary , after finishing all my peels, I only sensed my face became so sensitive that it actually prohibited me from doing things I really enjoy like running, dancing, almost any heavy duty activity would make me break out whereas this was not the case before. Glycolic Acid will absolutely not help with pitted scarring.

Procedure for all peels will last 25 to 30 minutes end to end. so can be done during lunchtime but best time to do it is in the evening after 6 pm so that you can go home & rest for the day & night without any exposure. Do not do anything to your face for 12 hours after the peel, not even wash your face. just let it be & wash with cetaphil the next day morning or with sebamed gentle foam. Costs will range from 800 to 1800 per sitting depending on the city you live & the peel & the clinic you go to. The branded ones will charge you more but it is worth it as they take all the precautions necessary for the same.

Contrary to what many people have written here, I feel doing peels are like opening the Pandora’s Box, you see improvement for the 1st week, but you are actually letting yourself into many problems, coz your skin becomes super sensitive to anything, 1 hour in the sun & you will look so tanned despite the sunscreen & if you are into gymming or exercising where you sweat in the sun / gym, your acne will get worse & your skin will burn. Any small breakout, whitehead , acne will leave you with a scar. You will find that everything will break you out , even stuff that did not break you out before. It is impossible for us to remain without the sun exposure for a long time & you will notice that sudden exposure to prolonged periods in the sun will make you break out like crazy. Plus you can’t enjoy the beach, sun & sand! These are all my personal experiences & I could be totally wrong, but I did find that I had stopped swimming , stopped enjoying my holiday vacations & would forever be worried about sun sensitivity & always on the look out for good sunblocks, creams & forever fussing about my face!!

On the other hand, if you do want to experience the good effects of peels without the side effects, I would advice you to try with lower concentrations of Glycolic Acid (AHA) peels at home starting with a 10% concentration initially for once a week. You can find these online at many sites & instructions are quite simple as these are low conc ones. I did find this more useful for my skin as I use the 10% AHA liquid for my face once a week. I do find my skin very smooth, looks bright & scars – may have lightened but am not sure it is because of the peel. But an overall smoothness of the skin can be achieved at lower concentrations as well. Paula’s choice has some good exfoliants but am sure you will find other brands as well.

The other thing to try for scars & acne – ARET HC prescribed by one of the docs, was excellent for my back, removed my acne & scars to a very great extent it contains hydroquinone so can be used say for a max period of 3 months only. It is basically Retinol & hydroquinone. But i couldn’t use it for my face so much as I was on other medication that time but I found it very useful for my back surely.

These are all just my suggestions & opinions & of course this could just be my experience. The only thing that has worked for me for face is Triacneal for the acne. I do find a significant improvement in my acne & the kaya pigmentation reducer gel also has helped my scars in lightening them.

Hope this feedback helps!





hi keepcalm,


i too have undergone chemical peeling, and as Teju and Ashu said, there is no recovery period, its just for few minutes that you feel slight redness. it cost me around 800 for each setting. but you have to get in done only with a dermatologist, never try anything at home as these are of high concentrations. it definitely made my dark marks much lighter but it will not help with the pitted scars.


Awwwww Tejuuuu *runs through mustard fields ddlj like to hug you * ย ๐Ÿ˜› What will I do without you. You are too. You help so many everyday with accurate information and personal recommendations. I`ll remember you said these words whever I feel down. ^_^


Lalitha ! Thank you so much ! Yours should actually be made into a post. Seriously. A blog post about 1st hand experiences regarding peels – I hope AM takes notice of this post and makes it a blog post ย – it`ll help many. You pretty much cleared out all my doubts. You gave me the side effects part – which is extremely important – and many dont know about it…

I`m into gymming and dancing ,I have left swimming recently because of the skin darkening effects and also it was ruining my hair – the excessive chlorine. Modern lifestyle , I tell you , can be such a Satan`s minion. Dont we all wish we can just get back what we were born with ? ๐Ÿ˜› Sighs.

Anyway , now that I know what comes with the good things peels have to offer , I`ll be more careful about going for it – maybe start with lower concentrations at 1st. Since you said it doesnt help pitted scarring it wont be much use to me as my skin texture is slightly uneven on the cheeks and I need to do something to even it out. I thought going for peels would peel the skin and make it smoother. Your metaphor of ‘pandora`s box ‘ was extremely apt in this case.

Also I believe as you said , the effects depend on the severity of the scars and the sensitivity of the skin as well. For some it has worked , for others , it has done nothing. for most there is a slight improvement.

Thank you for giving me the details of your personal experience – if I had wise people like you to guide me form earlier on , it wouldve been amazing. But we learn from our mistakes and eventually find the right path before its too late I suppose. ๐Ÿ˜› Cheers. ๐Ÿ˜€



Saisandhya , Your opinion has definitely given me some hope.Thank you so much for responsing to my question… I`ll keep all this in mind if I do go for a peel. Till then maybe I`ll try and make the skin level by topical ointments and exfoliation but I think it wouldnt give as dramatic results as a peel can.


keep calm hugs from me too.. ๐Ÿ™‚
i just wanted to tell u i am volleyball player..i love swimming and gymming..My day starts at 6 and ends at 12,so u can imagine my day..I am classical dancer so u know how much make up is required..i did all this despite after chemical peeling..there is no major side effect for u to worry..i got chemical peeling done for 2 years even after my acne cleared for maintenance sake..sun damage yes but nothing a sunscreen cant fix,so i cant really put a number on the peels ..i just wanted to clarify your definitely helped with my acne and i got peeling done on my hands too for tanning problem..i have seen people get peeling done on back,legs,neck et all..i have never experienced any side effects..
regarding your pit scarring microdermabrasion can help with that..
overtime it levels the pit of course along with topical applications..i underwent that too but i preferred chemical peeling..
pandora’s box is a bit too much,seriously it isnt that bad..
and please dont ever do it self even though peeling agents are easily available..
moral of the story be it acne or acne treatment or any of these procedures dont put your life on halt for that..Enjoy what u love dancing,swimming etc..just go ahead and paint the town red.. ๐Ÿ™‚


Hey no offence to anyone, I ย clearly mentioned these are just my experiences & opinions! Let’s try & not get personal in this. I assume anyone is welcome to voice their experiences.

I am sure Keep Calm would take everyone’s inputs & act accordingly, all the best to you in whatever decision you take.



Tejupriya , your situation`s so like mine ๐Ÿ˜› I`m also into Bharatnatyam you know from a very young age ๐Ÿ˜› And yes all that makeup – they use paint not even actual makeup – clogged my pores and gave me acne – I wish I knew then how to use baby oil and remove it properly – but I didnt – I just washed , and I was extremely harsh on my skin -I used to scrub and everything because I hated the feel of the gunky makeup. ๐Ÿ˜› I`ll consider microdermabrasion first though – as pitted scarring and uneven texture is my main problem. Then I`ll try peels.

@Lalitha , honey , None of us took offence infact we are glad that you told us honestly what could be the side effects and how bad the scenario can get in case there`s someone who might not have the time or luxury to stay indoors or protect their face after the peel. I for once would suggest wearing a burqa for sometime – no stares and you can protect your skin. ๐Ÿ˜› I think I`ll try that. ๐Ÿ˜› Burqa sales will shoot through the roof and I`ve always found muslim girls very beautiful. ๐Ÿ˜› okay ,that was extreme , but I suppose a face covering can help.Like Tejupriya uses a face scarf when biking through ,like a boss. ๐Ÿ˜› ย Please do not hesitate in giving your opinion – it helps a person make a sound decision . You spoke according to your own experiences and that definitely is a huge plus point in a balanced discussion.

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