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The main difference between a professional chemical peel and a home chemical peel is the available level of intensity. There are three basic levels of intensity in chemical peels for the skin: light, medium, and deep. Light chemical peels are made up of alphahydroxy acids such as glycolic, salicylic, lactic, or fruit acids. Medium chemical peels are made up of trichloroacetic acid, and deep chemical peels are typically made with phenol acid. The intensity of these different acids vary widely and the most intense levels must be administered by a skin care professional.
There are many skin care companies that offer light chemical peels for home use. It is certainly possible to get a professional chemical peel at a light intensity, but some people prefer to save money by simply doing this sort of procedure at home. Others, however, prefer for a professional to administer even a light chemical peel so that they can have a consultation before the peel and make sure to get instructions on proper aftercare. A consultation, even with a light chemical peel, can be helpful in choosing the best type of peel for one's skin type.
When it comes to medium chemical peels, there is some debate as to whether or not these should be done at home or these should only be performed in a professional setting. With a professional chemical peel, the dermatologist or physician can make sure that the peel is properly administered and can make minute-by-minute analysis of the progression of the peel and the skin's reaction. This sort of service just is not available at home. Furthermore, a professional chemical peel involves appropriate after care. Even a medium chemical peel can have negative results if the skin is not cared for properly after the treatment such as undesired pigmentation changes.
A deep chemical peel should never be performed at home. This sort of professional chemical peel can have serious results in reducing wrinkles and making the skin look younger. However, it also involves the peeling away of many layers of the skin, leaving the newly revealed skin quite exposed and vulnerable. After care for a professional chemical peel of this level may last for many months. Many people say, however, that the results are worth the recovery time. In conclusion, the key differences between a home chemical peel and a professional chemical peel are the intensity of the peel and the results.