Chemical Peels: The Differences Between Facial Peels and Body Peels

Written by Jamie Cantu, LA, Licensed Aesthetician on February 6, 2024 No Comments

chemical peel woman

Chemical peels have become a cornerstone in the realm of skincare, offering transformative results by exfoliating the skin and revealing a fresh, rejuvenated complexion. These non-surgical, minimally invasive treatments offer an effective treatment to a host of skin issues without the pain or downtime inherit in alternatives like laser treatments or dermabrasion.

While both facial chemical peels and body chemical peels use the same principle of chemical exfoliation, each differs greatly in their application, targeted areas, strength, and treatment goals. Here is a basic rundown of the differences between facial peels and body peels:

What is a face chemical peel?

A face chemical peel, as the name suggests, is a treatment that focuses on the skin of the face. This type of peel is specifically formulated to address facial concerns, such as acne, uneven skin tone, sun damage, and signs of aging like dullness, lines, or wrinkles. Face chemical peels typically use milder concentrations of acids compared to body peels, as the skin on the face is more delicate and sensitive.

What is a body chemical peel?

A body chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure that involves the application of a chemical solution to the skin on larger areas of the body, such as the neck, chest, or back. This type of peel is designed to target specific concerns like body acne, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, scarring, stretch marks, or rough skin texture. Body peels typically use stronger concentrations of acids compared to face peels, as the skin on the body is generally thicker and less sensitive than facial skin.

Treatment Areas

Facial Chemical Peels

Facial chemical peels are primarily designed for the face, although some formulations are suitable for the neck and décolletage areas. These treatments are tailored for the intricacies of facial skin, addressing specific concerns related to fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and uneven texture. Facial peel treatments require more accuracy in application due to the smaller and more delicate areas they cover, catering to the complexities of the contours and thinner skin inherit of the face.

Body Peels

In contrast, body peels are formulated for more expansive areas of the body, including the back, chest, arms, legs, hands, and feet. These treatments cover broader surfaces, targeting concerns such as body acne, rough texture, keratosis pilaris, sun damage, stretch marks, uneven pigmentation, or dryness. The thicker skin found on the body requires peels with different formulations, often containing higher concentrations of active ingredients or variations in acid types to effectively exfoliate and address specific body-related skin issues.

Strength and Formulation

Facial Chemical Peels

Facial peels come in various strengths, ranging from superficial to medium and deep peels. Formulations can be tailored to suit the sensitivity and requirements of facial skin. Face peels can contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid or lactic acid, beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid, or other ingredients depending on the unique needs of each patient.

Body Peels

Body peels, on the other hand, are formulated to be stronger than facial peels to penetrate the thicker skin effectively. These formulations might feature higher concentrations of acids or a combination of ingredients suitable for tougher body skin. The goal is to deliver an exfoliating effect that addresses the specific concerns prevalent in body areas.

Purpose and Treatment Goals

Facial Chemical Peels

Facial peels primarily focus on addressing facial skin concerns. These treatments aim to improve acne, skin tone, brightness, texture, and overall complexion. They are adept at reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation, providing a rejuvenated and refreshed look to the face.

Body Peels

Conversely, body peels are targeted treatments aimed at resolving issues specific to the body. These peels work towards improving skin texture, reducing discoloration, tackling body acne, and addressing conditions unique to larger body areas. The objectives revolve around enhancing the appearance and health of the skin on the arms, legs, torso, and other body regions.

Application Technique

Facial Chemical Peels

Facial peels require a precise and meticulous application due to the intricate nature of facial structures and the sensitivity of facial skin. Skincare professionals apply these peels carefully to ensure uniform coverage while avoiding contact with sensitive areas such as the eyes, lips, and nostrils.

Body Peels

Body peels involve broader application techniques as they cover larger areas. While attention is given to ensuring even application and proper coverage, the application process is less detailed compared to facial peels due to the vast surface area that needs treatment.

Recovery and Aftercare

Facial Chemical Peels

Facial peels typically entail a shorter recovery than body peels time due to the thinner nature of facial skin. Post-treatment care routines are vital to both aiding healing and achieving the best possible results of the peel. Aftercare typically consists of moisturization, sun protection, and the use of gentle products to support the skin’s recovery process.

Body Peels

Body peel treatments tend to require longer recovery period than face peels since the skin on the body is thicker and may take more time to regenerate. Like facial peels, post-treatment care involves moisturizing the skin and protecting it from sun exposure. A focus on gentle care and refraining from picking or scratching at peeling skin is also essential.

Jamie Cantu, LA

Jamie Cantu is a licensed medical aesthetician who is focused on proper skin care techniques to improve the appearance of skin. Jamie specializes in microblading, laser hair removal, microneedling, chemical peels, eye lash extensions, Hydrafacial MD, dermaplaning, and microdermabrasion.

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