Skincare-Acid Glossary—Your Guide to Common Acids

If you remember the episode of sex and the city where Samantha gets a peel at the office and Carrie says her face looks like beef carpaccio, you might be hesitant about a chemical peel. However, there is no need to worry – office chemical peels are safe and effective.

“The main difference between home acid treatment and professional treatment is the concentration of the acid itself,” says Zeichner. “The higher the concentration, the more powerful the treatment. Professional in-office acid treatments penetrate deeper into the skin, resulting in a more robust peel. These peels work well, but given their deeper penetration, they may also be more risky. This is why it is important to have them done by a health professional.

Home and in-office treatments also vary depending on how often you want to perform them. “Ideally, acids incorporated into your daily skincare routine are effective in gently exfoliating the skin, yet gentle enough to use daily or a few times a week,” says Libby Rhee, DO, MS, FAAD , resident dermatologist of Ro. “In-office peels are great for a more intense skin peel to really jump-start or intensify your skin rejuvenation goals. I like to think of in-office treatments like high performance workouts with a trainer and home skincare routine like your regular workouts to keep boosting your gains.


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