Doctor tells all on chemical peels

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Need a beauty treatment? Thinking of a chemical peel but don't know enough about all the options out there? Dr Yeak Hwee Lee, Medical Director of the Singapore Aesthetic Centre gives us the lowdown on all you need to know about chemical peels before trying it out.

The term “chemical peel” is a procedure whereby a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the topmost layer, reveal the fresher looking skin behind.

There are many types of peels available and each peel addresses difference concerns.

#1 Alpha-Hydroxy (AHA) Peel

Takes off a very fine, thin layer of skin using the same ingredient found in sour milk (lactic acid), sugar cane (glycolic acid), almonds (mandalic acid) and more.

PROS: Good for people with mild to moderate acne. Considered one of the easiest and safest peels around because it is so light.

CONS: Has more side effects and doesn’t last as long as beta-hydroxy acid peels (see below).

#2 Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA) Peel

Found to be highly effective for acne-prone people. Derived from salicin, related to the same ingredient found in aspirin. Stronger than AHA peels.

PROS: Less redness and peeling of the facial skin as compared to AHA peels.

CONS: Not good for those who have aspirin allergies, due to slight risk of Reye’s syndrome.

#3 Jessner’s Peel

A mild peel that helps deal with signs of aging and also skin that is damaged by the sun or is showing signs of hyperpigmentation. Also helps with clogged pores and mild acne.

PROS: Can help naturalise areas that are very affected by sun damage.

CONS: Usually contains some salicylic acid, thus not good for those with aspirin sensitivity (like the BHA peel).


Read on to find out about two more types of chemical peels.

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