AdvancedMD Aesthetics


What is the best chemical peel for wrinkles?

Chemical peels are one of the best tools in a skincare expert’s toolbox. Chemical peels, which range in strength from light to deep, can address various skin concerns, especially wrinkles. Different peels work differently, and each targets skin issues, but the best chemical peels for wrinkles are the ones that stimulate collagen below the skin’s surface. Wrinkles are a common reason for wanting a chemical peel, so people often ask what is the best chemical peel for wrinkles?

One reason skincare experts and patients love chemical peels for removing wrinkles is that the solution improves the appearance of wrinkled skin by breaking up the ‘glue’ that holds dead skin to the surface. Then, as the new skin emerges to the surface, it’s smoother and less laden with wrinkles with a healthy, natural, youthful glow. 

Want to know the best chemical peels for wrinkles that will work wonders for your skin? Keep reading because we have all the information here. 


What is a chemical peel for wrinkles?

A chemical peel for wrinkles is a treatment that uses a specifically formulated acid or a pairing of skin-safe acids. In the world of aesthetics and skin care, chemical peels are used for treating wrinkles and correcting signs of sun damage, softening fine lines, lightening up pigmentation and discoloration, and erasing signs of acne.

The depth and severity of your wrinkles determine which acid is best to treat them. The best chemical peels for wrinkles are always customizable and can be dialed up or down depending on what your skin needs and best responds to. 

The three main types of chemical peels are:

  • Superficial peels: These are the lightest chemical peels for wrinkles and exfoliate only the top layer of rough skin to reveal smoother skin underneath. Superficial peels, which utilize mild peeling acids and agents, come with the least visible peeling, so there is minimal downtime.
  • Medium peels: A step up from superficial peels are medium peels, which penetrate deeper to improve the look of wrinkles, age spots, and more stubborn hyperpigmentation. Because medium peels are more potent, the amount of skin shed is substantially more. Medium peels also take about one to two weeks for the skin to heal fully.
  • Deep peels: The most potent chemical peel for diminishing the look of wrinkles, deep peels penetrate down to the middle layer of the skin and deeper to dramatically improve the skin’s texture. Deep peels are done under anesthesia and are so strong that they can only be done once. Once the skin is fully healed, after a few weeks, it emerges dramatically smoother with next to no wrinkles. 


How do the best chemical peels for wrinkles work?

All chemical peels work the same way. They employ a chemical solution that exfoliates dead skin cells from the upper layers of dead skin cells so that the healthier skin underneath emerges. Releasing the dead skin cells that can clog and dull the surface also leaves the skin looking and feeling smoother so that wrinkles are less visible. The acid acts as a chemical exfoliator (hence the name of a chemical peel) to create a safe and controlled skin injury that gives the skin a healthy glow while smoothing and evening out the skin’s texture and tone. All around, chemical peels for wrinkles are a win-win. 

Using chemical peels for deep wrinkles is nothing new. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons have been treating wrinkles and other signs of aging this way for decades. However, the chemical peels used today are more advanced than ever and individualized for more targeted and predictable results. 

Chemical peels for wrinkles vary in depth and intensity—some go deeper than others. The best way to determine the best chemical peel for wrinkles that will produce noticeable benefits is to schedule a consultation with our team, who can explain the nuances of the different peels and devise a custom skin care plan. Choosing the right chemical peel for your skin type and tone is essential to reap the benefits. 


What type of chemical peel is best for wrinkles?

The best professional chemical peels incorporate various exfoliating acids to improve the skin’s texture and lessen the appearance of wrinkles. The most commonly used acids used in chemical peels are:

Alpha hydroxy acid peels: Falling under the light or superficial peel category are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) which are some of the gentlest peels that improve the look of wrinkles. These acids, which can consist of glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids, can buff away the appearance of more minimal skin wrinkling. AHA peels are also helpful for improving dry skin—a common by-product of wrinkles—and uneven skin tone. Glycolic acid, derived from sugar cane, is the most popular AHA chemical peel. It works wonders for improving wrinkles while stimulating collagen production.

Jessners peels: For skin and wrinkles that need a little more help, a Jessners Peel is one to consider. These multi-acid peels, which vary in concentration, often incorporate a perfectly titrated mix of lactic and salicylic acid along with resorcinol to reach the deeper layers of skin and stimulate collagen, which helps plump the skin for fewer wrinkles. Other acids that can also be part of Jessners Peels include mandelic, lactic, and phytic acids. Incorporating retinol into a Jessners peel is also beneficial since the vitamin A-derived ingredient helps stimulate new collagen and the production of fresh, new skin cells. 

TCA peels: Like Jessners Peels, TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peels have various strengths. These peels, which work well for damaged skin that bears wrinkling, can be mixed and matched to find the best combination. TCA peels help improve the skin’s tone and texture so that sun-related damage, such as wrinkles, is evened out, and the skin is rejuvenated and left feeling smoother.

Phenol peels: The strongest option of all the chemical peels are phenol peels, which a doctor must administer. Phenol peels rely on carbolic acid to deeply exfoliate and peel the skin, giving way to super smooth skin and dramatic results. However, because of the intense nature of these chemical peels, which some plastic surgeons call the best chemical peel for deep wrinkles, they can only be done once in your lifetime. They also come with downtime, and avoiding sun exposure is imperative to maximize the results. 


Will a chemical peel really remove my wrinkles?

Yes, a chemical peel can remove wrinkles as long as the right one is used. It’s important to consider skin type and tone as well as your budget and lifestyle. Some chemical peels require patients to avoid the sun and take a few days off to let the skin heal. But if that’s not realistic for you, then that treatment isn’t right—and doing something that isn’t a good fit can cause more problems than you may expect.  


Remember that, like all aesthetic treatments, chemical peels to remove wrinkles also come with rules. Proper post-peel skin care is crucial, especially since you may experience mild yet temporary dryness, redness, skin flaking, and swelling. You’ll need to treat your skin with bland, hydrating creams to keep it moist and on the road to recovery. Also, it’s imperative to avoid sun exposure and use sunscreen daily. Some chemical peels result in extreme skin flaking, while others are milder. Regardless, it’s critical not to pick or peel the flaking skin and let it fall off on its own. Otherwise, hyperpigmented skin can be the result. 


How soon after a chemical peel can I use retinol?

Each chemical peel has its own set of post-treatment rules. For example, some require you to steer clear of using retinol for a few days, while others may have you skip it for a few weeks. That’s because retinol is an exfoliating acid, and chemical peels utilize exfoliating acids, so using retinol too soon on just-treated skin can lead to increased peeling and dryness. 


When is the right time to get a chemical peel for wrinkles?

There’s no right or wrong time to start getting chemical peels, and the best way to determine if they are right for you is to schedule a consultation with our staff. During a consultation, we can assess your skin and determine which chemical peel is best for treating your wrinkles based on your skin type, tone, condition, and concerns.