What peel do you recommend?

i would like a peel that causes the skin to peel off. Tried skinmedica peel 2 years ago and the skin was glowing and smooth after i peeled, but then i had the worst closed comedone breakout. Any other peel that can give similar results minus the breakouts?

Doctor Answers 6

ZO 3 Step Stimulation Peel, VI Peel, RevePeel= Medium Medical Grade Chemical Peels

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Hello Hopexo, 

Chemical peels are excellent for stimulating and rejuvenating the skin. The peels that are most requested at our office are the ZO 3 Step Stimulation Peel, VI Peel, and RevePeel. I would recommend avoiding aquaphor or vaseline after a chemical peel, while it can aide in soothing the skin, it can cause breakouts. The three peels I listed above have aftercare that is included with your peel to use at home during the healing. Hope this helps.

What peel do you recommend?

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Hi there. I actually like the Skin Medica peels. I use the Vitalize and Rejuvenize peels a lot in my own practice. The comedone breakouts that you experienced after the peels may not have been from the peel but actually from your hormones or your stress level. I find it difficult to blame one peel on a big breakout of any kind, unless you never ever have broken out besides that. That being said, you may want to use Vi peels which I also offer in my practice. They do cause your skin to peel off and are fabulous for most skin tones. 

Good luck, 

Dr. Downie

Jeanine B. Downie, MD
Montclair Dermatologic Surgeon


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There are three levels of skin Medica peels (Illuminize, Vitalize and Rejuvenize). Each of these peels will peel you at a different intensity. Therefore, you may want to consider going to the next level of the skin medica peels if you would like a deeper peel. It may be the post care ointments and creams that you used after your last peel that caused you to get clogged up as well. Deeper peels to consider would be a TCA or Jessner solution. It would be best to meet with your dermatologist to determine the peel that is best for you and the results you are trying to achieve. 

Lenore Sikorski, MD
Orange County Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Which peel to chose

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Hello, and thank you for your question! It is difficult to choose the perfect peel for you without a picture - since in our practice we choose our peels based on a patient's individual skin type and concerns (such as pigment vs acne, etc.). Generally speaking, the SkinMedica peels are modified Jessner's solution - which is a very nice peel for people who are more on the oily/acneis side, or for those who struggle with pigment. If your main concern is acne, a 30% salicylate peel can be a good choice. If you want a deeper peel, and are mainly interested in skin tone/quality, a 40% glycolic may be what you are looking for. Keep in mind, however, that acne flares after peels are common no matter what peel solution you chose. Discuss your goals with the provider who is going to preform your peel to help you pick the right one for you. Good luck, and I hope that helps!

Flora Waples, MD
Denver Physician

In-Office, Full Strength Salicylic Acid Peels Work Well For Acne Breakouts & Comedones

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Over the years, of all the superficial peeling agents available, I have found that salicylic acid in maximum concentrations is consistently the most effective form for treating active acne breakouts, especially combined with the proper, at-home use of topical prescription medications suited to this purpose . Full strength salicylic acid peels are also reasonably effective for treating postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (post acne skin stains) and for helping to improve the appearance of dilated pores. Salicylic acid, being lipophilic, also posseses the ability to penetrate the pores more efficiently, something that water attractive peels, like glycolic and lactic do not.Skin Medica's Vitalize peel is more like Jessner's solution (salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol) with the addition of retinol. The concentration of the salicylic acid is typically much less than in full strength.  
It would be wise to consult with a board certified aesthetic dermatologist who will be able to help you to tailor an anti-acne regimen to your specific needs and to provide you with in-office peels. Best of luck to you.

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Chemical peels

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Thank you for your question hopexo. Chemical peels are great for facial rejuvenation. The goal of a peel, or any treatment for that matter, is to get results. The goal is not to peel. Some people do not see visible peeling. For these people the peeling is microscopic. SkinMedica has three different peels: Illumunize, Vitalize, and Rejuvenize (from weakest to strongest). If a lighter peel was used as stronger peel can be used next. Other peels include TCA and Jessner Solution, or a combination of the two. For my patients I recommend acne care with topical products before and after chemical peels to reduce breakouts. For those with acne prone skin, aftercare products such as Aquaphor or Vaseline may induce breakouts so a very small amount should be used. Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!

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.