Dr. Hoe YM: How I approach Chemical Peels


When I tell my patients to start their treatment with a chemical peel before their laser treatments, I commonly get the reaction ‘PEEL?? I don’t want my face to peel!’

The idea that your skin will peel like that of a moulting snake after a chemical peel is a common misconception.

In fact, many celebrities come for a chemical peel just before their photoshoots and filming.

Want your skin to glow? Start with a chemical peel.

Let me explain how a chemical peel works and why you should be getting one.

What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a form of chemical exfoliation using chemicals to improve the appearance of your skin. It can be done on your face, hands, neck, back, literally anywhere!

These chemicals when applied on the skin, remove the top layer of dirt, grime and dead skin cells. Pores are cleansed and your newer skin is smoother, glowy and pigmentation is reduced.

Benefits Of Chemical Peels:

  • Brighter and smoother skin
  • Reduction in pigmentation
  • Treatment of comedones (black and white heads)
  • Less wrinkles
  • Acne treatment

How is the Chemical Peel performed?

The face is first cleansed and a pre-peel solution is applied to prepare the skin for the application of the peel.

The chemical peel is then applied with a brush.

The doctor will monitor your skin for any skin changes and the peel is left on the skin for a duration decided by the doctor.

Is there downtime? Is it painful?

There is no downtime and is relatively comfortable. Some patients may experience mild stinging during the duration that the peel is applied on the face.

Post care:

After a chemical peel, minimize sun exposure and use your sunblock.

Stop physical scrubs, AHAs and BHAs.

You can resume the use of make up on the same day.

My Personal Experience:

I personally love the effects of the chemical peel for the effectiveness, zero downtime and comfort. I have found that chemical peels are extremely helpful for dull skin, acne, comedones and pigmentation. My patients often note that their skin becomes two shades fairer immediately after the peel and they don’t have to remove their blackheads via painful extractions anymore.

I love to combine the chemical peel with other modalities of treatment for the synergistic results ie. chemical peel before the Picosure laser treatment. The chemical peel gently peels off the top layer of the skin, pigmentation is lightened and skin is brighter. By removing all the grime and dead skin cells, the laser is also unhindered and penetrates more efficiently to the deep layers of the skin to stimulate fibroblast and collagen production.

I perform a chemical peel and Picosure laser treatment monthly for myself and my clinic staff to treat pigmentation and for general maintenance and we can attest that this combination is amazing!

Have a question?

If you have any other questions, please leave us a message anytime and we will be happy to answer them!


  1. Lee, K. C., Wambier, C. G., Soon, S. L., Sterling, J. B., Landau, M., Rullan, P., Brody, H. J., & International Peeling Society (2019). Basic chemical peeling: Superficial and medium-depth peels. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 81(2), 313–324. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2018.10.079
  2. Kontochristopoulos, G., & Platsidaki, E. (2017). Chemical peels in active acne and acne scars. Clinics in dermatology, 35(2), 179–182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2016.10.011

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