Learn Why Chemical Peels Are Dangerous

Sheetal Rawal, Founder, Apsara Skin Care

Left: Sheetal Rawal, scientist (human genetics) & founder of Apsara Skin Care

By: Deeya J.

Edited by Marty S.

What if there was a way to get brand new skin, to be able to look into a mirror and discover soft, supple skin that hasn’t been touched by time? If you are unhappy with your skin currently, this may sound appealing to you. There is, in fact, a treatment that can do just this. A chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure where a chemical solution is applied to your skin to remove the topmost layers. The skin that grows back afterward will be smoother, more even, and more youthful.

This seems like an awesome way to get nicer looking skin, doesn’t it? However, it’s not as great as it sounds. There are many side effects to using a chemical peel, and some of them are not pleasant. While the strength of chemical peels ranges from light (superficial) to deep, even the mildest chemical peel can have undesirable side effects. These side effects also tend to be more common for those with darker skin tones. So before getting a chemical peel, make sure to be cognizant of the negatives that come along with it. Here are 4 top side effects of chemical peels that you should not miss, especially if you have an upcoming appointment.

1. Chemical Peels Can Cause Excess Redness

No matter the strength of the chemical peel you use, redness almost always follows. As your skin sheds its top layers, it becomes puffy and red. Even though this redness is a natural process of the chemical peel, your skin can develop a dark, bright redness that lasts for a long time, especially if your skin is sensitive. The severity of redness varies with the peel used. With a light (superficial) peel, redness might last for up to a week; with a medium or deep peel, the redness might last for months. Since chemical peels can also increase your skin’s sun sensitivity, they are not worth any of this unpleasant and unnecessary redness.

Instead, you should use brown sugar, a natural ingredient that can exfoliate your skin thanks to an alpha hydroxy acid known as glycolic acid. Glycolic acid can remove dead skin cells from your skin gently yet effectively. Glycolic acid peels are popular, but since brown sugar is so plentiful, it is so easy to exfoliate your skin without a chemical peel.

"I have been using Apsara for about 3 years now and I love it. I love it because my skin used to peel all the time and I think Apsara has calmed my skin down and made it beautiful. I love it!"

2. Chemical Peels Can Lead to More Scarring & Blemishes

Sometimes a chemical peel can cause scarring, especially on the lower parts of your face. This is more common in medium and deep chemical peels. Though these scars may fade

Side effects of chemical peels

over time, they could become permanent. Your skin may also develop blemishes that could last for a long time. The whole point of a chemical peel is to get a new layer of youthful, even skin. However, if a chemical peel can leave your skin scarred and with permanent blemishes, then it might be better to find natural ways to make the skin you currently have healthier and better looking.  

One natural alternative to a chemical peel is using a papaya on your skin to give it a healthy glow. After cutting the flesh of the fruit, rub the fleshy part of the papaya peel on your skin for a few minutes. This can remove dirt and dead cells because of the papain found in the papaya; papain is a compound that can slough off those dead cells. (Our Papaya & Sugar Mask combines the power of these two natural ingredients to exfoliate your skin in no time at all.)

3. Chemical Peels Can Cause Unevenness & Hyperpigmentation

One of the reasons why many people use a chemical peel is to even out their skin tone and improve their skin glow. However, in some cases, a chemical peel can change the color of your skin after using one, creating unevenness, hyperpigmentation, and/or hypopigmentation. Hyperpigmentation occurs when your skin becomes darker than normal while hypopigmentation occurs when your skin becomes lighter than normal. These changes in skin color could become permanent even if you use a light chemical peel. As a result, if you want to maintain an even skin tone, you should avoid using chemical peels.

If your skin is patchy and uneven, something that you can use instead of a chemical peel is licorice, though not the licorice candy that you may be thinking of. Licorice root extract has anti-inflammatory properties and can function as an exfoliant. In fact, licorice is one of the reasons why our ROOP Serum works so well.

If you would like to learn how to make a homemade acid peel at home, watch this video. Sheetal will show you how to make a dosa & jaggery home remedy for glowing skin. Enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

4. Chemical Peels May Damage Your Heart, Kidney, or Liver

One of the most shocking side effects of chemical peels is that there is a slight chance it may damage your heart muscles, kidneys, and liver. The reason behind this is that some chemical peels, particularly deep chemical peels, contain an acid called carbolic acid, or phenol. When used in large amounts, phenol is poisonous to humans, specifically targeting the body’s nervous system. Carbolic acid poisoning causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines as well as disables your respiratory system. If the carbolic acid chemical peel is not administered by someone who is licensed to apply it and an excess amount of carbolic acid is used, the effects it could have on your body are so appalling that it’s best to stay away from chemical peels in general.

Another natural alternative to a chemical peel is saffron. Saffron is a rare spice treasured in Ayurveda for its ability to exfoliate your skin and promote a youthful appearance without damaging your skin’s natural barrier.

The bottom line? Well, advertising and social media can make chemical peels seem like they have no downsides, but a chemical peel done is capable of doing more harm than good. There are plenty of natural ingredients and methods that can beautify your skin, and your skin will thank you for going natural in the long run. To find easy natural acid peels that you can apply at home, click here.

In need of more skin care advice? Fill out this form to get a speedy response from us.

Go natural. It is good karma!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.