Surely you have heard of exfoliation, its advantages and disadvantages. Exfoliation itself is the natural process by which our skin removes dead cells from the epidermis. When this process does not work properly, the epidermis thickens and appears scaly.

To avoid this type of problem, it is possible to exfoliate the skin using cosmetic methods that help in the epidermis renewal process. In general, we can distinguish different types of exfoliation depending on the type and depth of it.

Types of peeling


It is used for the rapid regeneration of the skin, removal of spots. In addition, it stimulates the regeneration of elastin and collagen fibers, thus improving the appearance of wrinkles.Superficial peeling removes the superficial cells of the stratum corneum of the epidermis by causing necrosis of the granulosa to basal layers of the epidermis [1].


It is recommended for skin damaged by solar radiation. This type of exfoliation penetrates the middle layers of the skin and can cause redness and flaking.


This type of exfoliation is more aggressive and must be performed under the supervision of medical personnel. Dermabrasion techniques and lasers that penetrate the deepest layers of the skin are used.Deep exfoliation is recommended in cases of keratosis or to remove acne scars. On the other hand, it can cause hypopigmentation and whitening of the skin.

Image of the depth of different types of peeling

Cosmetic ingredients used in chemical peeling

Superficial peels use cosmetic ingredients such as glycolic acid that help improve skin tone and texture. Another hydroxy acid, such as glycolic acid, that is used in superficial peeling is beta hydroxy acid, which stimulates fibroblasts and glycosamines and removes the stratum corneum of the epidermis [2].

Salicylic acid, which will surely sound familiar to you because one of its derivatives is used as an ingredient in aspirin, is used to treat acne marks and helps prevent clogged skin pores [3, 4].

Finally, in superficial exfoliations we find 10% trichloracetic acid that helps prevent and control cases of severe acne. In addition, it improves skin texture and eliminates signs of photoaging such as skin blemishes [5].

Trichloracetic acid at higher concentrations (10-35%) is used for medium peels and, at 35-50% concentrations, for deep peels. In both cases, both the texture and discoloration of the skin is also improved as it causes necrosis in the epidermis [1].

Jessner’s solution combines resorcinol, salicylic acid, and lactic acid with 95% ethanol [2]. It is used in superficial exfoliations to reduce blemishes and improve skin texture.

Phenol is used in deep exfoliation since it is quickly absorbed by the skin and has a high penetrating power. It is often used in combination with septisol, croton oil, and water [2]. By penetrating deeper layers of the skin, it is used under medical supervision to reduce acne scars and fine lines

After peeling

After a peel, and especially in medium and deep peels, it is important to pay attention to skin care after the procedure. To do this, the skin must be hydrated with creams with moisturizing ingredients and protected from solar radiation, applying creams with a protection factor of 50.

In addition, exfoliation can cause discomfort and itching, so it is important to use products with ingredients that improve the sensation of the skin, such as Calmapsin; active ingredient developed by AntalGenics that, with its 360º action, improves the quality of the skin:

    • Improves barrier function
    • Its antioxydant activity protects the skin
    • Calms itch


  2. VanBuren, C. A., & Everts, H. B. (2022). Vitamin A in Skin and Hair: An Update. Nutrients14(14), 2952. 
  3. Grajqevci-Kotori, M., & Kocinaj, A. (2015). Exfoliative Skin-peeling, Benefits from This Procedure and Our Experience. Medical archives (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), 69(6), 414–416.
  4. Truchuelo, M., Cerdá, P., & Fernández, L. F. (2017). Chemical Peeling: A Useful Tool in the Office. Peeling químico, una herramienta útil en la consulta. Actas dermo-sifiliograficas, 108(4), 315–322.
  5. Rubin MG. In: Manual of chemical peels; Superficial and Medium depth. Philadelphia: Lippincott William-Wilkins; 1995. Salicylic acid peels; p. 19.
  7. Dinner ML, Artz JS. The art of the trichloroacetic acid chemical peel. Clin Plast Surgery. 1998;25(1):53

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