Is chemical peels effective?

Botox, hyaluronic fillers, chemical peels, laser treatments: they promise to rejuvenate you for years, but are they really the modern elixir of youth? You can judge for yourself…


Chloe Barton, 29, single, paralegal, lives in North London. She said:

Chloe Barton

Before the procedure

"I have rosacea, but I didn't want to treat it with Botox so I decided to try chemical peels.""I have rosacea that very easily manifests with redness and causes my capillaries to burst. When I was younger, I would constantly get a bright red rash on my face resembling the shape of a cartoon character's mask, which earned me the name "Batman. "Two years ago, I had a course of laser treatments and used a skin serum called ReLuma to treat my rosacea. I still have uneven pigmentation on the lower part of my face and dull, dry skin and now 1 or 2 horizontal lines on my forehead.I wasn't ready for Botox yet so I became interested in chemical peels which have been used for over 50 years. They work by loosening the adhesive bonds between cells from the surface levels of the thickened outermost layer of the epidermis. This speeds up cell renewal and promotes fresh, youthful skin. I was advised by a friend to have a chemical peel with trichloroacetic acid."

Chloe Barton 1

After 1 day

"I was informed that I would have an itchy face. The procedure with the dermatologist took about 10 minutes.My face was cleansed first, then the peel was applied and left to work, after which the acid was neutralised.After the procedure, for the first hour, I had a tickling sensation, like a slight prickling. After about four hours, the skin on my cheekbones and nose became slightly red and warm, like after exposure to the sun.After about 15-16 hours, my face started to itch and looked slightly swollen.I found this really worrying, especially as I was warned not to touch my face to avoid scarring.I rang the clinic and was told that this was not a normal reaction and after the doctor saw me again, he prescribed hydrocortisone, which calmed my skin after application."

Chloe Barton 2

A week later

"My face was peeling off in small pieces and a new layer of skin was showing underneath.""Four days after the procedure, my skin started peeling off in small pieces, starting from my forehead down and from my chin up, and the freckles and brown spots became almost black.Despite the fact that my face was peeling off in pieces, I went to work and even on a date. I'm a very individual person and took the situation very lightly, but I think a more shy and self-conscious person would have been horrified.My face was still slightly swollen and after it almost peeled off, it showed fresh and pink skin underneath. The moisturiser I use pinches so I only used water to wash my face."

Chloe Barton 3

A month later

"I'm really pleased with the results, my skin is brighter and less dry.""My face stopped peeling about a week ago, although it was worst in the last few days. After that, the results really impressed me. I now have less pigmentation and my skin has lightened and is not as dry. The horizontal lines on my forehead are gone. My friends told me that I glow and look fresher. The peel erased several years of sun damage from my face.Having problem skin, I probably see more imperfections than other people. Some would consider these to be expensive treatments, but I feel that I can delay the signs of aging this way."

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