These are all the facial peels you can do in Singapore

Published on Aug 08, 2018

Plagued with dull skin, deep acne scars, age spots and wrinkles that make you feel less confident about yourself?

There are various kinds of facials that can help you alleviate these skin issues but one of the most popular facial treatments are facial peels. As its name suggests, facial peels improve the skin's appearance by applying a chemical or herb to small areas of your face to create a controlled wound that encourages exfoliation of dead skin, which will then eventually peel off to reveal newer and more youthful skin. The effect of facial peels, however, depends on the type of facial peel you decide to choose. Read on below to find out more about the types of facial peels you can find in Singapore. 


Alpha Hydroxy Acid Peels

Alpha hydroxy acids, also known as AHAs, are one of the most popular ingredients in a mild chemical peel. Glycolic acid is the most common AHA used for this purpose. AHA peels rarely need any sort of anaesthetic to perform, and the discomfort during and after the procedure is minimal. This peel is typically used to reduce the appearance of fine lines, smooth rough skin and produce a more even skin tone. Since this is a mild chemical peel, a series of treatments may be required to achieve desired results.

Glycolic Peel with Microcurrent at SONA Japanese Skin Studio

Glycolic Peel can also be combined with other technologies such as microcurrent to enhance the skin renewal and rejuvenation process, like what SONA Japanese Skin Studio offers for customers. We love how quick this procedure is; this consists of only a peeling treatment and is best for ladies who don't have time to do an entire facial but want to quickly get rid of congestion, dead skin cell or dullness/tired look for a quick perk me up... as the result is visible after just 1 session.

Beta Hydroxy Acid Peels

The most common beta hydroxy acid used in chemical peels is salicylic acid. This substance is also frequently used in acne products, which is why salicylic chemical peels are often used to treat acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid is more potent than glycolic acid, so it provides a slightly deeper chemical peel with longer lasting results. Because beta hydroxy acid chemical peels are also considered mild resurfacing treatments, no anaesthesia is needed and the recovery time after the procedure is relatively short. However, it may take more than one treatment session to achieve desired results, and the procedure will need to be repeated periodically to maintain softer, smoother skin.

Of course, you don't always have to go to the dermatologist or a salon to get a peel. Another way you can make use of the benefits of glycolic acid is to look for homecare products which contain salicylic acid. While the concentration is much lower than what you get at the aesthetic doctor, it is a less harsh treatment that is often more cost-effective as well. Do however remember to moisturize well afterwards as it can dry out your skin. 

TCA Peels

TCA is a medium facial peel that affects the epidermis and the upper layer of the dermis, causing the skin on these layers of your body to peel off. It penetrates your skin deeper than a superficial peel and requires some time off work for healing. 

This substance can successfully treat a host of skin imperfections, including sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles, and acne scarring. TCA chemical peels usually take about 7 to 14 days to recover from, and the results are much more dramatic than lighter peels can offer. However, some ladies have also reported side effects such as bumps and cysts after doing a TCA, possibly due to allergies. So do consult your doctor and avoid the sun to reduce such occurrences.

Jessner Peel

The Jessner peel is a combination of ingredients mixed into a single formula. It is considered a light chemical peel that is slightly stronger than both the alpha and beta hydroxy formulas. Jessner's peel uses lactic acid, salicylic acid and resorcinol, which is also sometimes used as a disinfectant or acne medication. It is applied to skin that is too damaged to respond well to an AHA peel, but does not require deep treatment. Jessner's peels are often applied without the use of anaesthetic and complete recovery after the treatment takes about a week.

We found a milder version of a Jessner peel which uses a 5% lactic acid solution together with glycolic acid, Salicylic Acid and TCA. As the solution is pretty mild, it is suitable even for those with sensitive skin and will not make you look red afterwards. Accountant SS tried it out and loved how it gave her visibly brighter skin within a few months.

Phenol Peels

Phenol is the substance of choice for deep chemical peels that provide the greatest and most dramatic results. In addition to treating skin imperfections, this type of chemical peel may be used to remove precancerous growths or completely diminish deep wrinkles. Because the formula works more deeply than other types of chemical peels, most phenol peels require an hour or two in the doctor's office and usually involve a local anaesthesia during the procedure and pain medication afterwards. Phenol peels can take up to a month to recover from completely, but the result is impressively smoother skin that will last much longer than that treated with other types of peels.

Unfortunately, they also have a greater risk of complications and cannot be used on darker skin types due to the risk of hypopigmentation or bleaching. Deep facial peels are used to treat deep facial wrinkles, severe sun damage, severe skin discolouration and deep acne scars.


No matter how mild the peels are, a chemical peel is still considered a rather harsh and a rather inorganic treatment which carries the following risks:

  • A risk of developing post peel colour change, a deep brown colour. This is more common in darker skinned individuals. Hormone treatments may darken this more. The colour may take 3 to 4 months to fade. The skin may burn and darken if you are on oral isotretinoin capsules, so do not use peels.
  • A low risk of scars can form after peels. 
  • You may be allergic to the solution and develop redness, blisters and eczema/rash.

An alternative to chemical peels is a more naturally derived herbal peel. We first came to know about a specific herbal peel from Organics Beauty, Agent G's favourite organic facial salon. Instead of using harsh chemicals to exfoliate the skin, this herbal peel uses a naturally occurring substance in nature that contained many microneedles within. By rubbing into the skin, the microneedles exert the effect similar to microdermabrasion. 

The abrasion encourages the skin to reject dead cells together with the microneedles at deeper levels of the skin. In the process, cellular metabolism is reactivated while wrinkles and fine lines are bolstered with improved production of collagen naturally by the skin. 

After seeing the effect on Agent MI and hearing all the good things about the facial, Agent G couldn't help but try it. The facial process was slightly uncomfortable as you can feel the microneedles being massaged onto your face. It is also pretty interesting to note that the microneedles stay on your face for the next few days; you can actually feel them when you touch your face! Agent G felt that her face was super dry in the next 3 days as the microneedles work to encourage skin renewal. Hence, adequate moisturization is essential. Her face was visibly brightened after a week when the peeling was complete, similar to Agent MI.

We used to think that herbal peels may not be as effective but after trying this out, we're glad to finally have a paraben-free, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone et urea by-products free facial treatment that works!

If you are keen to renew dull skin, reduce fine lines and appearance of acne scars, you will probably find peels are generally effective facial treatments to pursue. The actual peel you choose would, however, have to depend on your current skin condition, the result you are hoping to achieve, as well as your preference for chemical vs herbal. Regardless of the type of peel you go for though, do remember to limit the amount of sun exposure because your skin will be very sensitive after the peel. Sun exposure will simply affect the recovery process.

Related Articles