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What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is an aesthetic treatment which can be used on the face, neck, décolleté or hands for rejuvenation, anti-ageing or to treat a specific condition such as acne, fine line and wrinkles, pigmentation. A chemical solution is applied to the skin, causing a controlled injury, exfoliation and stimulation of new cells and stronger connective tissue.

Chemical peels may be either superficial medium or deep. The strength of the peel will determine the amount of downtime thereafter. With some there may be only mild flaking of the skin, in others more significant peeling which requires a longer healing time. The new skin is also temporarily more sensitive to the sun.

Effects of a chemical peel

The results may not appear for some time, and when they do appear, they may be minimal. Repeated peels are often needed to produce the effect the person wants.

A medium peel can be very effective in evening out pigment differences and in reducing fine wrinkles and signs of sun damage. Re treatment may be needed after a month to produce the best effect. A single deep peel eliminates wrinkles and may tighten the skin.

During the early healing period after a chemical peel (before the skin has finished peeling), you will need to avoid sun exposure.

After the early healing period has passed, you will need to wear sunscreen every day and limit sun exposure as much as possible. New skin is more susceptible to damage and discolouration from sunlight.

Related conditions:

Chemical peels are used to treat a number of conditions including:

  • Overall skin photo damage
  • Acne scaring
  • Lines and Wrinkle
  • Lightening/brightening
  • Dull skin
  • Melasma

What can I expect after a chemical peel?

All peels require some follow-up care:

Superficial peels require one to seven days to heal. Treated skin will initially be red and may scale. Lotion or cream should be applied until the skin heals, followed by daily use of sunscreen. Make-up can usually be worn the next day. 
Medium peels -Deep peels require 7- 14 days to heal*. Treated skin will initially be red and swollen. Swelling worsens for the first 48 hours. Eyelids may swell shut. Blisters may form and break. Skin crusts and peels off in seven to 14 days*. Skin must be soaked daily for a specified period, followed by ointment application. Mild lotion or cream may be applied. Avoid all sun exposure until healing is complete. A follow-up appointment may be necessary to monitor.

Cost and time:

A treatment duration is 20-30 min. The cost of a chemical varies. Generally it costs R 600 – R 1200. A chemical peel is done 3-4 weeks apart. A minimum of  3 treatments would be needed, all depending on the related condition of the skin.

Here are some of the different acids that we use in our treatments:

Glycolic acid:

Glycolic Acid (an AHA) is a fruit acid derived from sugar cane. It is the smallest molecule of the AHA family, and readily absorbs into the skin, exfoliating to enhance cell turnover, remove the dead, dull surface cells for a fresher appearance.
Due to the quick absorbance into the skin, stinging and burning sensations may be experienced by those individuals who are sensitive. This AHA also helps increase glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and connective tissue, for skin that appears firmer.

Glycolic Acid has proven anti-ageing benefits and has also been used to reduce the appearance of acne, pigmentation, melasma and other skin conditions. It improves the skin’s radiance and texture, and helps smooth the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for healthier, younger looking skin.

Citric acid:

Citric Acid, found naturally in citrus fruits, is a powerful Alpha/Beta Hydroxy Acid that has preventative antioxidant and corrective anti-ageing effects, helping to minimize the damaging effects of the sun and pollution and reverse signs of photo damage and solar elastosis.

Clinical studies show Citric Acid provides significant anti-ageing benefits including building the skin’s matrix to plump and firm skin. Citric Acid formulations help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increase skin firmness. Because it has both preventative antioxidant and corrective anti-ageing effects, it is often used as a booster to target specific skin concerns.


Gluconolactone, a Polyhydroxy Acid found naturally in the skin, contains water-attracting hydroxyl groups to condition and hydrate the skin. It provides full strength anti-ageing benefits without irritation, even for patients with clinically sensitive skin or rosacea, or those who have had cosmetic procedures. Gluconolactone strengthens skin’s barrier function, reducing sensitivity to irritants and skin redness over time.

As an antioxidant, Gluconolactone inhibits elastase to preserve healthy tissue and maintain skin’s youthful elasticity, resulting in smoother texture and a diminished appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Lactic acid:

Lactic Acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid that occurs naturally in milk, and is a component of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF).

Similar to Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid is an exfoliate and moisturizer that also provides anti-ageing benefits including smoother, softer, more even toned skin with a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Kojic acid:

A skin brightening agent that helps skin appear more evenly toned.

Lactobionic acid:

A patented non-irritating “Bionic” Polyhydroxy Acid derived from milk sugar, Lactobionic Acid helps prevent and reverse the appearance of photo ageing, including lines and wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, enlarged pores and roughness. A potent antioxidant used to prevent oxidative damage to transplant organs, Lactobionic Acid protects the skin against photo-aging by inhibiting the MMP enzymes that degrade the skin’s structure and strength. A natural humectant, it binds water to create a moisturizing barrier on skin, providing softness and a velvety smoothness. This ingredient is suitable for all skin types and can be used after procedures.

Salicylic acid:

Salicylic acid is a member of the hydroxy acid family, specifically the beta hydroxy subgroup. Sold both over-the-counter and as a prescription product, salicylic acid. Found naturally in willow bark, this beta hydroxy acid is used for treating skin conditions as well as aiding in the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of ageing.

TCA Peels:

TCA the acronym for trichloroacetic acid is more aggressive than a glycolic peel. This peel is applied at various strengths from 8-35% depending on your skin type.


All our photographs of before and after treatment results are examples only, and do not constitute an implied or any other kind of guarantee of the result of treatment procedures. Results can vary significantly between our clients. All our treatment results are subject to the individualities of each client.

Furthermore, all treatment procedures carry potential risks and complications which are described in detail in our treatment consents forms. These may include, but are not limited to, bleeding, infection, asymmetry, dissatisfaction with the result and the expense of further treatments to manage a complication (patient forms). If you have any questions regarding these potential risks and complications. Please discuss them with our doctors or aesthetic therapist prior to treatments.

Before undergoing a treatment, please be sure that you understand that YOUR actual results will likely VARY SIGNIFICANTLY from other patient’s results, including their BEFORE & AFTER photos.

This is quite important to understand — that EVEN when you feel that you look very similar to another client in their BEFORE images, your results will likely vary significantly — because you are a unique person.  Every individual has NOT only a completely unique physique, but also uniquely individualistic body healing capacities, scarring tendencies and recovery processes — some of which are unpredictable even in very-healthy patients who rest adequately and do ALL the other right things before and after their procedure.

Please be noted, our doctors and aesthetic therapists offer you our highest expertise in our aesthetic procedures.

Book your consultation now: complete form below or email us at info@fimc.co.za


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Contact Info

RandPark: 116 Kayburne Avenue Randpark Ext 3, Randburg  
Houghton: 65 Central Street, Houghton, Gauteng
Call us: 011 027 1600 | Romy: 0794944553

Family Integrative Medical Centre combines the best of complementary and alternative therapies with conventional or functional medicine to provide guidance in healthy living, illness prevention, and optimal healing for the whole family.


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