Chemical Peels

Learn about the best chemical peels available

Chemical Peels Overview

The chemical peel was first introduced in the mid 1880’s by an Austrian dermatologist by the name of Ferdinand Hobra. The most advanced and popular peels of those days were quite caustic and induced extreme skin irritation. Chemical peels Toronto were mainly used in a clandestine manner on wealthy socialites and early Hollywood stars up until the mid 20th century.

In the 1950’s, famed dermatologists Thomas Baker and Howard Gordon used aggressive croton-phenol-based peels that became more mainstream and widely used, as they were very successful at treating disfiguring acne scars and deep wrinkles. At the time, that particular peel was revolutionary for the treatment of scarring on the face.

During the 1970’s, more plastic surgeons and dermatologist started implementing peels into their practises. Those peels did not require heavy sedation or general anesthesia. Ingredients like TCA (trichloroacetic acid), which has now been banned in Canada due to health concerns, and modified (Jessner) acid peels became the norm of the day, as they were much safer and highly effective!

Nowadays, chemical peels are making a major resurgence, as they can be easily done during the lunch hour, and they have little to no downtime. These treatments are offered at most medical clinics specializing in beauty treatments, such as Sovereign Skin. Chemical peels work by causing a deep exfoliation of the skin. This controlled skin injury peels and flakes off, revealing a smooth, clearer, younger-looking complexion! Chemical peels Toronto can target pigmentation concerns, irregularities on the skin, acne-prone skin, as well as a variety of other skin problems, helping clear the skin and refreshing its overall look and appearance.

To prepare for a chemical peels Toronto treatment, the skin should be cleaned. Treatments work most effectively when the patient is on a good skincare routine. Patients are asked not to use any exfoliants such as tretinoin or other skin irritants for a couple of days before their chemical peel treatment. They are also asked to avoid the sun or tanning beds for a week before treatment and for some weeks after treatment.

Patients can expect to have mild to moderate redness following a peel. Depending on the depth and strength of the chemical peel, most people will experience peeling and slight crusting at the 3-day to 5-day mark. Skin will repair itself over the next 2 to 4 weeks. It is very important to use sunscreen daily during this sensitive healing time (this will usually be included in a post care kit recommended by Sovereign Skin to the patient).

A classic chemical peel Toronto, which can address most major skin concerns, currently costs around $300 plus HST (although this is subject to change without notice). More advanced chemical peels Toronto can run upwards of $500. Chemical peel packages are sold at a discount and are highly recommended with multiple treatments usually spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart.

Before & After Photos

Skin Conditions & Effective Peels

Glycolic Acid Oily & Congested Skin

This ongoing condition can plague teenagers and baby boomers alike. Fluctuating hormones and genetics predominately contribute to acne, but with the continued use of exfoliants like glycolic acid and oil-loving salicylic acid, skin can remain clear for years to come.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and has a very small molecular structure that can easily penetrate the top layers of the skin. This acid causes exfoliation and effectively clears the pores of hardened oils, cell debris, and trapped bacteria. It is excellent for clearing whiteheads and lightening post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from previous breakouts. Glycolic peels are usually recommended 2 to 3 weeks apart, and noticeable results will be seen around the 1-month mark. Continued use is best to maintain clear, smooth skin!

Salicylic Acid

This beta hydroxy acid is derived from the willow tree and has naturally occurring anti-inflammatory properties. This is especially useful when combating red, inflamed pimples and papules. Salicylic acid is great for dehydrated, sensitive skin, psoriasis, ingrown hairs, and seborrheic dermatitis. People who suffer from aspirin allergies should avoid this treatment, however.

Aging/Pigmented Skin/Textural Issues

Most individuals turn to chemical peels Toronto as they start to notice their skin is showing signs of premature aging. This is due to many factors such as overexposure to the sun, smoking, alcohol consumption, and in general, an unhealthy lifestyle. Chemical peels Toronto are a convenient and fast way to bring skin back to its youthful glory!

Kojic Acid

This unique acid is a by-product of the fermenting process during the production of Japanese sake. It is known for its intense lightening impact on the skin as it inhibits the overproduction of melanin. Vitamin C is usually incorporated in this peel to decrease the occurrence of free radical production and help heal and repair skin damaged caused by environmental factors.

Mandelic Acid

Mandelic acid is an aromatic AHA extracted from bitter almond. This acid possesses a larger molecule then lactic or glycolic acid, making it gentler but still effective at treating fine lines. It also has been documented to reduce melasma by at least 50% in as little as 4 weeks.

Mandelic acid is usually combined with kojic and salicylic acids to efficaciously treat both acne vulgaris and hyperpigmentation.

Retinoic Acid

This acid is an active form of vitamin A, also known as tretinoin. This acid can renew aging skin cells to reveal fresh “baby” skin and produce collagen and elastin in the deeper layers. Constant cell turnover leads to the normalization of the keratin cells, a decrease in atypical cells, and a strong antioxidant and brightening effect. Over time, skin looks younger and is more resilient to damage. Retinoic acid peels last approximately 4 months and are usually combined with other peels for an added skin-clearing boost!

Sensitive & Fragile Skin

With the rise of pollution in our air, there have been increasing cases of people complaining of sensitive skin issues such as rosacea. The acids mentioned below are scientifically proven to help reduce skin irregularities, even on the fussiest of skin types.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid derived from dairy. It has multiple skin benefits. One benefit is that lactic acid is very suitable and effective for treating more sensitive skin types. Lactic acid can be used in very low concentrations over longer periods of time or can be used at a higher percentage for stronger exfoliation of the skin. Lactic acid is a favourite for eradicating freckles and superficial acne scars. In particular, this acid works well at resolving keratosis pilaris, which is generally found on the back of the arms.

Azelaic Acid/Azelan Peel

This acid is derived from a compound from barley, wheat, and rye. It has been gaining popularity over the years due to its soothing and reparative nature. Azelaic acid offers little to no side effects and is excellent for treating darker skins that tend to pigment more easily. It is known to regulate the sebaceous glands and has an incredible anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory impact on the skin. This acid can drastically reduce bumps and swelling caused by rosacea and is also thought to help kill the skin mite that causes rosacea flare-ups. Azelaic acid cause no peeling or flaking of the skin and can be performed before a special event. That makes this peel a rare gem of the aesthetic world!

With increasing new technology in our world, many people are still gravitating to what is tried and tested. The lactic acid in milk baths favoured by ancient Egyptian ruler Cleopatra helped evolve what the chemical peel is today – a cosmetic favourite that’s is here to stay!

Chemical peel specialists have been developing and looking into new formulations and ingredients to give their patients the most effective peeling treatments. A knowledgeable medical aesthetician will be able to accurately assess your skin and customize a peel treatment that will target and clear most skin issues that may concern you.

When making a decision that involves the skin and well-being, it is important to always choose a reputable clinic, such as Sovereign Skin, headed or overseen by a medical doctor. This is because some of the risk and complications increase when an inexperienced provider is chosen. The possible side effects can range from chemical burns (scarring), post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (darker skin tones) or hypopigmentation (very pale skin tones), redness that may last for several months if a deep peel was used, infection, and possible herpes outbreaks. It is advisable to ensure that only a trained medical aesthetician is performing the treatment to avoid these possible complications. At Sovereign Skin, we are careful to ensure that all of our medical aestheticians are well-qualified and expertly trained to provide treatments to our clients.

If you are interested in booking a free consultation for a chemical peel, please email or call our Sovereign Skin office. We would be happy to schedule you in at your convenience!


Quality – Aesthetics – Professionalism

If you would like to further learn about what this incredible team of beauty advisors and medical professionals can offer you, please contact Sovereign Skin today to start your journey towards the very best Canada has to offer!

Sovereign Skin

(647) 343-0801

59 Hayden Street, Suite 701 Toronto, ON M4Y 0E7