Good or Excellent Response
31%
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
1
2
3
4
5
Moderate Response
59%
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
1
2
3
4
5
How to Get It
Have a dermatologist or plastic surgeon? Make an appointment to get this procedure done.

Don't have a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon? See The American Academy of Dermatology Physician Database to find a dermatologist or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to find a plastic surgeon.
Read All About Chemical Peels (Light / Superficial Peels)
5
25.8%
4
30.3%
3
25.8%
2
12.1%
1
6.1%

Used Chemical Peels (Light / Superficial Peels)? Rate It:

Choose from 1 to 5 stars
March 16, 2017
Chemical Peels to Treat Acne Scars
Chemical peels have been a lifesaver! I used them to treat hyperpigmentation leftover from pimples and small icepick scars. I don't think this would get rid of acne. I went to a esthetician to do mine. Please please please don't buy your own and do it yourself! You are giving yourself a controlled chemical burn and if you don't know what you're doing (which you don't) you can burn your face! It's not worth saving some money. The at home peels don't work as well either so you're wasting money. You need a trained esthetician to evaluate your skin and reccomend the best strength peel for your scars and to perform it correctly. Google chemical peel burns! You get them done once a month and for me it took 3 peels to fade the majority of my scars. It costs $150 each peel which is expensive but it really is worth it! I'd rather pay a lot of for a professional to do this correctly rather than save some money but potentially burn my skin. For really dark scars I used some scar fading creams along with the peels and my scars are now all faded. I don't need to use concealer anymore! I swear by peels, they are a god send!!!
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June 12, 2017
What type of peel? Light, medium, or deep?
August 7, 2017
Which scar fading cream u r using??
September 14, 2015
Not a significant effect
I have had some acne scarring and a lot of hyper pigmented blemishes over the past few years. I have had four glycolic acid peels over the past 8 weeks but I don't see a significant improvement even as far as the blemishes are concerned. I have also been religiously doing the home care regimen my aestheticism recommended which include cleansing, messaging, exfoliation and applying 5% glycolic acid at night. I don't see a significant improvement in my skin. Has anyone else had similar experience? I am wondering if it is even worth to get the remaining two peels as I have heard people usually get a series of 6.
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August 8, 2016
try increasing your glycolic acid to 30% you will see better results since your skin has already tolerated 5% be careful and follow the directions and always have a neutralizer handy it makes the peels tolerable. good luck
June 13, 2015
Helped a little
I got 5 pretty expensive treatments of glycolic acid peel, I think that it helped a little for my scarring but I'm not sure if that's due to the glycolic acid bc they've been there for a long time so they would also have faded with time. I think it actually did prevent my skin from forme new pimples, because I didn't get any serious ones on my cheeks (my main problem area) since starting te treatment. (This could also be because I started Yasmin birth control pill) BUT my face would look really red and way worse than it was for at least 2 days after i had a treatment and the scabs stay sometimes up to a week. At first it also makes it worse due to the purging.
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June 17, 2014
Very little effect for stubborn skin
I have some minor acne scarring, ice picks (very minor) and a few holes (again very minor) but always noticeable to yourself. Persistent redness left over from spots is a huge problem for me, still going strong after a year and a half. I have combination oily skin. I bought this as it is a light peel, you start light and work your way up. This sadly had very very little effect on me. It did burn a little yes but not to an unbearable extent. You are recommended to do this peel once a week, I bought from Bravura (I recommend highly), I however used this peel 5 days in a row purely out of frustration due to seeing no change. This still did nothing to my skin - I didn't even react badly to it! I even did a 30% and a 50% peel at the same time, one after one another, layered etc, my point being, I never ever reacted to it. meaning it just was not strong enough for my skin. It is a superficial peel, I should imagine it to work well for skin that is not badly damaged and which has not been scarred for a long time. This is my own personal recommendation. If you want to do TCA (medium depth peel) in the future I highly recommend that you do these peels for several weeks in the future. I think you need to examine how damaged your skin is before purchasing this, my skin is evidently made out of steel after the amount of crap ive put on it haha, it did not break me out however and helped with redness ever so slightly.
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June 14, 2013
Indifferent. Expected a lot more.

Pros:

Improved appearence
Improved texture
Pore reduction

Cons:

Slightly faded scars
Not worth the amount of money

Quick background: 27 female, acne sufferer for 8yrs. Acne has moderately cleared up from stopping birth control, yet I still have awful scarring. I went to an esthetician for a series of chemical peels consisting of 2 lactic acid, and 6 glycolic acid peels. In total I spent over 800 dollars (Including gratuity). For the money I spent I am not satisfied with the results. I have seen an improvement in texture, redness, pore size and overall appearance. However, my scarring (which is what bothers me most) is still quite apparent. It has reduced, but not 800 dollars worth. I honestly feel that using lemon as an exfoliant and scar reducer on a daily basis would give me the same results. A few things that helped me: Cut out dairy and red meat! Drink more water - seriously it helps! And for me the source of my acne was hormones so birth control seemed to make it worse.
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July 15, 2015
To Kazuri, for BC I just know that it helps to have BC that has both progesterone and oestrogen rather than BC that has only oestrogen. To MzManda, lemon is acidic and I don't think that's a good thing in this case. I wouldn't recommend using on the face at all or even hair.. topical products used at home with acids like glycolic in them etc would be better.. There's this moisturiser I love by an Aussie brand called 'Alpha H'.. the product name is 'balancing moisturiser and gentle exfoliant' but you have to use it with a sunscreen on top.. As for the scar indentation I'd recommend looking into dermal needling.. I haven't tried it yet but so far it seems to be more effective and safer than what I consider to be very risky 'fraxel laser' treatment.. We're still learning about dermal needling at the moment.. the one I think would be most worth the money (if you're going to pay a professional) is the Max RF.. which is dermal stamping but it shoots radio frequency into the follicles?? at the same time.. I think the RF kills the bacteria or something like that.. You can also use a dermal roller at home but you have to do your research so you don't do more damage.. I think anything less than 5mm just means your skin will absorb products more but its .5mm minimum to make any difference to scarring and sanitation is essential.. If you read about it you'll see why..
Zilla
August 11, 2012

Pros:

This product has really helped. I can already see a difference after three weeks.

Cons:

Burning, small amount of peeling with what I use.

I have been reading the reviews for chemical peels, and I see how much people are willing to pay, and people with light scarring usually aren't aware that you can do a light weekly peel for around $10 a bottle for at home use. I use a 20% SA peel that I got on amazon, and it is reccomended that you use it once a week MAXIMUM. For heavier SA peels (like 30%) you need to wait ten days in between, so on and so on. I canot speak for glycolic acid, or other acids for that matter, but SA has helped my scarring while also helping obliterate my acne (I( have a fair amount of scarring because I was a chronic picker). Do some research online, and you will find that many people are saving money by doing light peels at home. I DO NOT reccomend doing anything higher that 30% at home, and remember: SUNSCREEN, SUNCREEN, AND MOISTURE! If you dont keep your skin moisturized, it will take longer to recover and your skin may crack.
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July 15, 2015
Hi Zilla, thank you for sharing this. What does SA stand for? Salicylic Acid?
Kevin
April 17, 2012

Pros:

Helps Even and Brighten Skin Tone
Lessens appearance of acne scar pigment
Stuff Lasts Forever

Cons:

Initial Redness
If not careful can cause crusting skin which can be scary!

Overall a great product, I Used the 70% glycolic acid and would usually dilute it with a couple drops of water. Applied with a cotton ball kept on for 3 minutes at first and eventually upped to 7 minutes.
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April 11, 2012

Pros:

-helps clear blackheads, whiteheads
- helps scars and acne
- clears complextion

Cons:

-Stings alot on applications
-peeling for a few days

I bought this peel over ebay. Its a pretty reasonable price. I use to go to make-over salons and get these peels done for about $100.00 CDN now I do them at home myself with this product. I apply once every 2 weeks and leave on over night. My face has cleared up dramatically !
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October 24, 2011

Pros:

I love at home tca peels because it is affordable and the results are amazing!

Cons:

Some of them have downtime.

I have been using the Gorgeous peel from I'm Fabulous Cosmetics and I absolutely love this peel because it is safe, and there is no downtime. I got great results from it especially on my hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and acne scarring!
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November 12, 2016
Did it help your acne scarring? Like the intents?
Lily
August 14, 2011

Pros:

Barely lightened scars

Cons:

Break out of new pimples
Cyst pimples which I never had till after this

I'm Asian with sensitive skin so the TCA peel that I used was the 12.5% and I only did one layer. At first I could see some of my scars fade away a little but after all my dry skin flaked off, I had new pimples, a lot of them. Then a few weeks later, I started getting cyst pimples which I never had before in my life and eventually I kept getting cyst pimples on the same areas. This product works well for many but if you have sensitive skin like mines, please ask a professional its proper for you. Right now I drink Green Tea and it works amazing.
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Finding a Doctor

The right dermatologist can make a big difference to your patient experience and the success of your acne treatment plan. Here are the steps to find a dermatologist who is a good fit:

  1. Use the search feature on the American Academy of Dermatology website to look for board-certified dermatologists in your area, and filter the search results for doctors with a special interest in treating acne.
  2. Read online patient reviews of any dermatologists you are considering and ask people you know whether they have any experience with these dermatologists.
  3. Do your research and go to your first appointment with questions prepared.
  4. Listen to what your gut feeling tells you once you see a dermatologist in person. If you are not completely comfortable, try a different dermatologist.

Finding a Doctor

Only a select few plastic surgeons specialize in acne scar revision surgery. Be certain to find a provider who specializes in acne scar repair and who is passionate and experienced in this area.

Be sure to:

  • Look at before and after photos, the more the better, especially patients with similar scarring to your own.
  • Be realistic about results. Look for improvement, not a cure.

Questions to ask a potential scar revision specialist:

  • Are you board certified? Be certain that they are board certified.
  • How long have you been performing these procedures? Normally, the more experience the better, however, some younger surgeons may be more on top of the latest procedures.
  • Can I speak to some of your other patients? Ask for references for several patients who had similar scarring and speak to them about the process and their satisfaction with results.

Red flags:

  • Their story changes: As you discuss different treatment options, if they tend to change their mind easily, or agree with whatever you say, consider this a red flag. A confident, experienced surgeon will possess strong, unwavering opinions.
  • Your gut tells you "no": Trust your gut. If you just don't feel that the doctor is the right fit, trust that and move on. On the other hand, if you feel they are the perfect specialist for you, trust that feeling.