What is a chemical peel?

In a facial chemical peel, the following chemicals are used for the peel as shown in the table with various characteristics:

  • The AHA stand for alpha hydroxyl acid.
    • This is a group of mildest acid used for the peel.
    • These are the:
      • glycolic acid,
      • lactic acid,
      • malic acid,
      • citric acid,
      • tartaric acid.
    • Most of these are used for superficial peel.
    • They do not pose much risk due to the superficial nature of peel.
  • The BHA stand for beta hydroxyl acid, is also a superficial peel, going slightly deeper than the AHA.
    • A common example is the salicylic acid.
    • salicylic acid is commonly used for medium peel
    • Instead of using a stronger AHA, it is better to use a weaker strength BHA to achieve a similar result.
  • The Jessner’s peel is a combination formula consisting of 3 major ingredients:
    • salicylic acid,
    • lactic acid, and
    • resorcinol in an alcohol base.
    • All the component is make up of 14% strength.
    • This is a proprietary peel to be commonly followed by retinoic acid peel.
  • The other group is the phenol acid.
    • The active ingredient is the Croton oil.
    • This is used for the deepest peel.
    • It will encounter more complication unless used by a very experienced hand.

Dr David Ling and his team in the clinic deal with this challenges on a regular basis through its treatment procedures and cosmetic surgery, chemical peel, PRP hair regrowth, or hair transplant and also arranged tour to Korea or other hot destinations.


Another peel benefit is it brings abut blemish removal to create a fairer snow-white, silky smooth skin.



Chemical Peel for a Silky-smooth Snow-white Texture & Complexion.

Chemical Peel for a Silky-smooth Snow-white Texture & Complexion.


Structure of skin layer peeled

Superficial peel Medium peel Deep peel
Only reach the stratum corneum of epidermis Reach upper dermis only Reach the deepest part of dermis
·         Use AHA (eg glycolic acid has the smallest molecule of AHA, it penetrate the best)

·         Or weaker strength BHA

·         Use Trichloroacetic acid, TCA

·         Or glycolic acid

·         Or TCA with glycolic acid combination

·         Use phenol (Croton oil is active ingredient)

·         Or use higher strength TCA

AHA decrease cohesiveness of keratinocyte of stratum corneum

Types of Substance/compound used

AHA, Alpha hydroxyl acid BHA, beta hydroxyl acid Jessner’s Peel

(Coombe’s formula)

Phenol peel
5 types:

1.       Glycolic acid (Sugar cane juice, smallest molecule of all AHA)

2.       Lactic Acid (Sour milk, tomato juice)

3.       Malic acid (Apple)

4.       Citric acid (Citric fruit)

5.       Tartaric acid Grape wine)

Salicylic acid of low concentration – light peel


Salicylic acid, Stronger % for  medium peel

Combination of:

1.       Salicylic acid 14 %

2.       Lactic acid 14%

3.       Resorcinol 14%

In ethanol base

Active ingredient:

Croton oil



Is a skin whitening/ lightening/ bleaching agent


·         Surface peel

·         Mildest of all

·         Natural

·         Preferred instead of using a stronger AHA peel ·         Breaks inter-cellular bridges between  keratinocytes

·         No over-peeling is possible

·         Not penetrate very deeply

·         Deepest peel of all

·         Reach lowest part of dermis

·         Intense peel

·         Regenerate dermal architecture

·         It brings about prolonged skin lightening. Lost ability to produce pigment

Indication: Peel benefits

·         Fin line

·         Prepare for skin care

·         Control sebum production

·         Acne

·         Remove dead skin

Preparing face for retinoic acid peel For deeper scar

Deeper pigmentary disorder

  Retinoic acid peel
  ·         Used after Jessner’s

·         Goes deeper

·         Leave solution on & go home

·         Peel starts on 3rd day

·         Need multiple Rx