TCA peels, trichloroacetic acid peels, are medium strength chemical peels that rejuvenate and repair your skin. They improve skin discoloration, reduce fine lines, and even out skin texture. They also cause your skin to physically peel, so they will require around a week of downtime. However, the results are usually well worth the wait.
This section explains what happens during the various stages of the TCA peeling process and what you can expect from a TCA peel, whether you get one professionally done or give yourself one at-home.
TCA peels are medium depth peels, ranging from 8% to 30% strengths. Though their concentrations might not be as high as other chemical peels, TCA peels are considered much deeper peels than lactic acid and glycolic acid peels. For instance, a 75% glycolic acid peel never made me peel, but a 12.5% TCA peel had my skin peeling for days.
TCA peels brighten and even out your skin tone by reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation (dark spots, acne marks, sun spots, freckles) and skin discoloration. They revitalize dull-looking skin, helping skin look soft and smooth. Because of their deep exfoliating effects, TCA peels can clean out congested pores to refine the surface of your skin. Unfortunately, they don’t work as well for acne scars or moles, but they can minimize the appearance of skin tags. TCA peels are also great for erasing fine wrinkles and treating sun damage.
TCA peels can be used on the face, neck, or back of the hands. They can also be used all over the face or just as a spot peel. One TCA peel will give better results than one glycolic acid peel, but more than one TCA peel is still necessary for the best results. Results generally last around 6 months, but they can last even longer when supplemented with glycolic or lactic acid peels every two weeks.