Best Chemical Peel for African Americans?

I have acne and pimples all over my face. Will a chemical peel get rid of them? Is the Jessners peel a good choice? Or the Sensi peel?

Doctor Answers (6)

African american skin chemical peels

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I find African American skin responds well to both glycolic and salicylic acid peels. One peel unfortunately is not enough to see optimal results. It takes about 4-6 peels to achieve best results and can even out discoloration and give a healthy glow to skin.


Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Chemical peels for darker skin

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For darker skin types, glycolic acid and salicylic acid peels are particularly nice, and Jessner's is quite good too. Have your dermatologist assess your skin type (as there are different shades of African American skin) and skin condition, and you might do well to add some topical treatments as well.

Benjamin Barankin, MD
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Best chemical peels in African Americans with acne prone skin

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In the right hands, there are many great chemical peels to treat acne in African Americans.  My favorite is a simple salicyclic acid peel.  Salicyclic acid is more lipophilic (meaning it is attracted to the oil in the hair follicles where acne occurs) so it targets acne lesions.  It helps with hyperpigmentation (dark marks) which is a common complication of acne in people with dark skin.  One does not generallly peel dramatically with a salicylic acid peel.  Just be sure to go to someone who knows how to perform and manage the complications of peels in patients with ethnic skin. 

Dina D. Strachan, MD
New York Dermatologist
3.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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Jessner's Peel is a Great peel for African-Americans.

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Jessner's chemical peel does great for african-american skin but usually needs to be done several times to make a difference.  It is not uncommon to do 6 peels at 2 week intervals to look fabulous. Of course you will also need the topical creams and washes prescribed by your derm doc to supplement the peels results. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Good Chemical Peels for Acne Prone African American Skin

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I do a lot of chemical peeling in my office and have gotten very nice results on all skin types with different types of skin conditions.  I find that glycolic acid peels and/or Jessners peels work nicely on African American skin and can improve acne.  Salicylic acid peels as well may improve acne. Most importantly, you should have all your treatments done by a physician who is experienced in peeling as unwanted side effects including pigmentation and scarring can result when peeling is done inappropriately.

Channing R. Barnett, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Chemical peel for African Americans

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I have been performing chemical peels on African American skin for over 10 years and with my technique using Jessner I have gotten fantastic results.

Afshin Farzadmehr, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.