Peeling (chemical, physical): diamond, crystal, phenol, homemade, Amazonian

To keep it looking beautiful or to correct imperfections, it is more and more common for people to have a skin care routine.

Whether due to excessive oiliness, acne , spots or wrinkles, there are plenty of creams and treatments options.

Among the various existing procedures is peeling. Crystal, diamond, laser or chemical, this can be an interesting option for those who want to invest in some beauty procedure that provides several benefits.


What is peeling?

Peeling, from English “to peel” = peeling, is an aesthetic procedure that causes cell renewal through peeling of the skin.

It is divided into two types: physical and chemical peels, the physical when performed mechanically in an abrasive way (smooth sanding of the skin) and chemical when induced through products based on acids capable of stimulating the destruction of the skin surface.

Depending on the depth of the affected skin and the purpose of the treatment, the treatment is done by dermatologists and under local anesthesia. But it is usually done by beauticians.

Although it is usually done on the skin of the face, the treatment can also be applied to other regions of the body, such as the hands, neck, neck and areas where there are stretch marks , such as the belly and legs.

It is a treatment that requires some care before and after being performed, being necessary, for example, that the person avoid sun exposure, as it leaves the skin very sensitive.

In general, it is a safe procedure, but when done improperly it can cause complications such as permanent stains and scars.

What is it for?

Through the peeling it causes, the peeling promotes cell renewal, stimulating the removal of dead cells and the stimulation of collagen production, which helps to improve the elasticity and firmness in the skin.

Read more: Does Collagen Work? Understand how absorption occurs

It is mainly used for:

Oily skin

For those who have this problem, peeling is important to help control the production of sebum made by the sebaceous glands.

In general, the most recommended for the problem are chemical peels based on:

  • Salicylic acid: regulates the oil produced by the sebaceous glands;
  • Retinoic acid: thins the skin and eliminates blackheads and acne;
  • Glycolic acid: thins the skin and reduces blemishes and scars.


Whoever has dry skin needs to invest in hydration. Through peeling, this can be done with the crystal or diamond technique associated with the use of cosmetics based on hyaluronic acid.

This acid helps to keep the skin hydrated by retaining water in the deeper layers, which also leaves the skin firmer and with a better texture.

In addition, peeling stimulates the production of collagen, which helps in healthy appearance and tissue elasticity.


Acneic skin needs constant care to prevent the appearance or worsening of the pimples and prevent blemishes or scars.

In such cases, a combination of procedures such as peeling with retinoic or salicylic acid and cleaning the skin can be done , which helps to remove the blackheads , which are best extracted manually.


For people who have spots on their skin, whether on the most superficial or deepest layers of the skin (melasmas), the peeling options are varied.

In the case of melasmas, chemical peels, through the use of daily bleaching acids or the laser, present good options. For the more superficial stains, diamond or crystal peeling can help in this lightening.

Both promote the peeling of the surface and accelerate cell renewal, making the surface clearer and free of spots of sun or acne, for example.

Scar marks

To help reduce scarring, the peeling needs to be of a deeper type, which can act on the dermis (intermediate layer of the skin). For this, chemical peeling with phenol or 30% trichloroacetic acid may be indicated.

It is worth remembering that peeling softens skin marks by stimulating collagen, but it is not always able to soothe large scars or stretch marks.


At first, all types of peeling help to treat sagging. This is because the peeling promoted by the procedure activates the production of collagen, which helps to give more firmness to the skin.

Signs of age

In the case of signs of age, such as wrinkles or aging caused by the sun (photoaging), the peeling action may be a little less expressive in relation to other conditions, but it still brings benefits.

As it stimulates collagen, the skin becomes firmer and suffers less with aging (which naturally causes a reduction in the elasticity and firmness of the tissue).

The most recommended is that, along with the peeling, other precautions are made, such as the daily use of sunscreen and cosmetics that help to minimize the expression lines.

What are the types of peeling?

Peels are classified according to the depth of the skin on which they act, and can be superficial, medium or deep. The recommendation depends on the problem to be addressed and the professional assessment. In addition to this classification, they are divided into physical (made mechanically or laser) and chemical (use of acids) types.

  • Superficial : it is the type of peeling that acts on the most superficial layer of the skin, the epidermis. It is recommended for clients who want to prevent acne and blackheads, and treat blemishes and melasmas (darker and deeper blemishes on the skin);
  • Medium : best indicated to reduce wrinkles and deeper skin marks;
  • Deep : this type is indicated for people with more wrinkled skin and deep signs of acne. It must be done with the use of anesthesia, monitoring of liver and cardiac functions, to ensure that the patient does not feel pain and that the chemical used does not reach the bloodstream.

Physical peeling

The physical peeling is done with the use of sandpaper, microdermabrasion devices (of crystals or diamonds) and abrasive creams. Among these methods, the microdermabrasion method is one of the most used in aesthetic clinics.

It can be done by a beautician if the concentration of chemicals is low and when it has action only on the most superficial layer of the skin. Deep peeling should be performed by a dermatologist.

Examples of physical peeling are:

Dermoabrasion and microdermabrasion

Dermabrasion is a type of peeling done with a kind of sandpaper that causes microlesions on the skin.

It is usually performed to treat scars left by acne and can also be indicated for the treatment of rhinophyma, a condition in which the skin of the nose is very thick.

Depending on the type of treatment, it is performed with the use of local anesthesia.

Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, despite having the same function as dermabrasion, is a more delicate procedure that mainly uses equipment with crystal or diamond microparticles to cause skin wear and tear.


In this technique, skin renewal is stimulated through the application of a laser. As with chemical peels, the laser can also be used to reach different depths.

Generally, the greater the depth the greater the cell regeneration.

Laser peeling is not recommended for brown and black skin, as the stains caused by the procedure take a longer time to disappear.

Chemical peel

It is done with the application of acids such as phenol, acetylsalicylic acid, glycolic trichloroacetic acid and retinoic acid, which in general cause partial destruction of the epidermis or dermis to promote skin renewal and reduce wrinkles, scars, blemishes and other imperfections.

Through a previous evaluation, the beautician or dermatologist must identify which is the best chemist according to the type of skin and the problem to be treated.

To make it possible to have good results with the chemical procedure, a minimum of 4 weeks prior preparation is ideal. During this period, the person should avoid the use of other acids, other peels, artificial tanning or severe exposure to the sun.

It is also important to avoid using depilatory cream or waxing in the area where the peeling will be applied on dates very close to the procedure.

How does it work?

Cell renewal is a natural cycle of the organism, in which we change old cells for new ones every day.

Over time and for other factors, this renewal ends up slowing down or becoming slower. Therefore, the skin is more susceptible to the appearance of blemishes, dryness, wrinkles and expression lines.

Without the necessary care and with advancing age, the fabric ends up looking more flaccid, wrinkled and dehydrated.

To reverse this process, it is necessary to stimulate cell renewal. Peeling, through an exfoliation of the outermost layers of the skin, increases the production of collagen (which participates in the support and elasticity of the skin) and removes dead cells.

The way in which this stimulus occurs, however, depends on the type of peel performed. In the case of the chemist, for example, the peeling of the skin is stimulated through the use of acids, such as phenol, salicylic and retinoic.

In physical peeling, the treatment is mechanical, done through devices that work through dermabrasion and microdermabrasion. In general, they are like sandpaper suitable for the skin, which slide and exfoliate the surface.

Depending on how deep the skin is reached by peeling, the care and results are also different. In deep peeling, for example, the reduction of wrinkles and deeper acne scars are better treated, but the care time is also longer.


One of the benefits of peeling is the fact that it is a simple and quick procedure, which can bring good results in the first session.

Peeling helps to make the skin more beautiful in general by improving texture, appearance and reducing oiliness.

Helps in skin rejuvenation

By stimulating the production of collagen and helping in the treatment of wrinkles and expression lines, peeling is a beauty procedure that helps anyone who wants to minimize the signs of skin aging.

Improves sun damage

Exposure to ultraviolet rays is a major cause of premature skin aging.

In this sense, peeling can help by removing the layer of skin most damaged by the sun, both on the face and on the hands, neck and chest, areas of the body normally most exposed.

Enhances the effects of skin products

By promoting a more superficial peeling of the skin, the peeling also contributes to a better absorption of cosmetics and dermocosmetics, improving the action of the products and obtaining better results.

Reduces acne

Peeling can help prevent acne by reducing the oiliness of the skin, but it is usually indicated to help treat the spots and scars caused by pimples.

Helps in the treatment of stretch marks

It is common for people to be bothered by stretch marks, a type of scar that forms on the skin when the elastic and collagen fibers in the tissue break.

By promoting skin renewal, chemical or microdermabrasion peels stimulate collagen production and help to improve the appearance of these skin lesions.

Read more: Stretch Marks in Pregnancy: types (red), best cream, how to avoid?

Softens spots and melasmas

Through the application of acids in the middle and deep layers of the skin, peeling helps to treat and lighten skin spots, whether caused by the sun, acne or melasmas, the darkest spots common in pregnancy.

Read more: Review Active C10 La Roche-Posay: is it good? Lightens the skin?

How is done?

On the skin of the face or in another region of the body, the peeling is performed in sessions that vary from 15 to 30 minutes on average, this without considering the preparation time in case it is necessary to use anesthesia.

In the first session, the procedure is usually lighter to test the sensitivity of the skin, so acids in lower concentrations can be used.

Initially, the beautician or dermatologist prepares the client’s skin, which must be very clean and toned with specific products.

During the procedure, it is possible that the client feels a burning sensation in the skin and, in some types of peeling, even a little pain, which must be temporary.

The face is usually reddened after the session. Therefore, it is essential to avoid sun exposure, use sunscreen and follow the professional’s recommendations .

What is the best type of peeling?

The best type of peeling depends on the purpose and skin of the client. Thus, it is possible that people who seek to treat blemishes and have oily skin are recommended to a different type from those who have dry skin or want to soften scars. Who can determine is the esthetician or dermatologist responsible.

To get an idea of ​​the options and which may be the one that best fits your needs, we have listed some of the most popular techniques and their characteristics:

Crystal Peeling

The crystal peeling is done with the use of a suction device that releases and aspirates crystals through a small tip.

In this way, it exfoliates the most superficial layer of the skin, removing dead cells and impurities without the need for chemicals.

It is considered a painless procedure, which can only cause discomfort or a temporary burning sensation during the session. It promotes a lighter peeling than chemical peeling, and can be done from 1 to 2 sessions per week.

Diamond Peeling

Similar to crystal, diamond peeling also promotes a more superficial peeling of the skin. The difference is that in the equipment there is a tip with micro diamond particles that promote this sanding of the skin.

It is recommended for younger and more sensitive skin, which normally does not need a dermabrasion peel (more aggressive).

It is also considered a painless technique, which can only cause discomfort and redness during the session.

The number of sessions can vary according to the type of skin, but, depending on the purpose of the treatment, it is possible to have good results after 3 treatments.

Gold Peeling

Gold peeling is an option of superficial peeling that has antioxidant action and has in its formula substances that help in the control of oiliness, that stimulate the production of collagen and that are whitening.

During the application, the client remains with a golden mask on her face. The time that the product remains active should be guided by the dermatologist or esthetician in charge, but in general, it is 30 minutes.

The skin usually has a fine flaking after 1 to 2 days of the procedure. Between 7 to 10 days, the skin already has a smoother, smoother appearance, with more controlled oiliness and reduced stains.

In this type of peeling, the post-procedure care is the same. Sun exposure should be avoided for 10 to 15 days and the use of sunscreen is mandatory.

Amazonian Peeling

Amazonian peeling is based on the roots and leaves of plants from the Brazilian flora. These plants are mixed with enzymes from tropical fruits and organic acids.

It is considered a safe peeling with results from the first application, promoting chemical and mechanical action in a smooth way, and can be done at any time of the year.

Phenol peeling

The phenol peel has a deep action, considered more aggressive. To be performed, the patient needs to receive anesthesia and obtain follow-up from the doctor. In this case, it can only be done by dermatologists and plastic surgeons.

By acting on the deepest layers of the skin, it also provides more expressive results, such as significant improvement of wrinkles and reduction of blemishes.

Care after the session includes the use of antiviral medication to prevent herpes simplex, in addition to painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, which must be done according to the doctor’s prescription.

Attention should be given to sun exposure, care with hygiene and skin hydration.

Homemade Peeling

It is not done with any of the techniques mentioned above, but with alternative and homemade recipes that help promote the removal of dead cells, such as exfoliation with the use of sugar, coffee, passion fruit and oats.

Despite being just a more intense exfoliation, they are called peels because they remove dead cells.

The result obtained with these homemade recipes may be inferior when compared to chemical and physical peeling procedures, but it has the advantage of being less contraindicated, as soon as it uses products that are less aggressive to the skin.

For those who want to treat blemishes, scars or wrinkles, the most recommended is to talk to a dermatologist to find out what is the best treatment.

Care before and after peeling

For the person to have good results with the peeling, it is necessary that they follow some basic care before and after performing it.

It is important to avoid using creams that have acid in the composition for at least 2 days before the procedure. On the day, the ideal is to go only with the use of sunscreen, eliminating the need for other products and makeup.

After peeling, it is recommended:

  • Use sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 30 and touch up the application throughout the day;
  • Use thermal water to help soothe the skin. It is optional, but it can be used several times throughout the day;
  • In addition to the sun, avoid other sources of heat, such as cooking, hot bath, air conditioning, etc;
  • Take care with the use of toothpaste and mouthwash, so that they do not come into contact with the skin in the first days;
  • Be careful with the use of medications, such as corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory drugs, for example, as they can affect recovery;
  • Place cold compresses in place;
  • Perform weekly hydration at the clinic where the procedure was performed, removing skin that may peel;
  • Do not tear off the layers of skin that are loosening on their own;
  • Use moisturizers recommended by the responsible professional as directed;
  • Perform a new consultation after one week of the procedure;
  • Use soothing soap to wash the area, according to the dermatologist’s guidance.


It is always important to consult a dermatologist to find out what type of peeling is most appropriate and if there is any specific contraindication, as the procedure may be contraindicated in some cases, such as:

  • Pregnant women;
  • Inflammatory processes in the skin;
  • Healing problems;
  • Diabetes;
  • Herpes labialis;
  • Allergy to products used in peeling, such as acids;
  • Immunodeficiency, such as cancer patients and HIV carriers;
  • Kidney disease;
  • Coagulation disorders;
  • Use of anticoagulants;
  • Dermatitis;
  • Psoriasis;
  • Active acne.


When the peeling is done by a low qualified professional or inappropriately, there are some risks of complications, such as scarring and infection. In addition, complications that can arise include:

  • Change in skin pigmentation;
  • Telangiectasias: small blood vessels appear on the skin, a condition known as “cobwebs”;
  • Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea);
  • Allergic reaction to products;
  • Changes in skin texture;
  • Persistent redness;
  • Acneiform rash (red lesions on the skin with yellow discharge in the center);
  • Hematomas (equimose).

Other complications associated with peeling are premature peeling and infections. As the peeling causes the peeling of the most superficial layer (which acts as a protective barrier of the organism), the deeper layers of the skin are exposed and susceptible to harmful agents.

Infections (usually caused by Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria ), persistent redness of the skin, scarring and hyperpigmentation (alteration of skin tone) can occur .

Where to do and prices

The peeling can be done in clinics, being performed by dermatologists and estheticians specialized in the technique. The price can vary widely, as there are several factors involved.

Depending on the location of the clinic (city or state), the type of procedure, skin depth and the region of the body where it will be done, the price can vary from R $ 300 to R $ 1500 per session.

Remembering that although some cases need only 1 session (as smoothing marks), others may need up to 6 or more (such as scars and severe acne).

Common questions

Can pregnant women peel?

Chemical peels, which use acids, should not be done during pregnancy. This is because these substances can be absorbed by the mother and, when entering the bloodstream, cause risks to the baby’s health.

In the case of physical peeling, there are clinics that do not use this type as a contraindication for pregnant women. However, what counts is the guidance of the obstetrician and the assessment of the risks of this type of procedure for the pregnant woman and the baby.

The most recommended is to make homemade exfoliations, with creams and cosmetics appropriate for pregnant women.

What parts of the body can I peel?

Although peeling done on the face is more common, it is not only in this region of the body that it can be done. It can also be indicated for the skin of the neck, legs, hands, neck and back.

In these regions, it is recommended that it be done only more superficially, with only the application of a medium and deep peeling on the face.

Who has black skin can peel?

It can . However, care for black skin must be doubled, as the risk of blemishes is even greater. Because of this, in chemical peels, the acid used must be well evaluated and the concentration must be reduced.

What is the best time of the year to do the peeling?

Peeling can be done at any time of the year, but it is common that the demand is greater during the winter, even at the suggestion of dermatologists.

Because it is necessary to avoid sun exposure, choosing to do the treatment in winter can be a more comfortable option for the client.

My skin didn’t come off. The peeling didn’t work?

This does not mean that the peeling did not work. There are people who have a skin more resistant to the techniques of the procedure and therefore do not peel. However, this does not interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment and the results.

What should be the interval between one session and another?

It depends . The number of peeling sessions and the interval between them may vary for each patient, depending on the purpose of the treatment. Typically, when multiple sessions are required, the interval is biweekly or monthly.

How long after the peeling can you sunbathe?

It depends . In superficial chemical peels the recommendation is that the sun should be avoided for 15 to 20 days. In the medium intensity procedures, which reach a deeper layer of the skin, exposure to the sun can be prohibited for up to 40 days.

In laser, crystal or diamond peeling, the time also depends on the depth of the skin.

By removing dead cells, the peeling promotes cell renewal. This helps to minimize sun damage, acne scars, stretch marks, wrinkles and blemishes. For these benefits and the variety of techniques applied, it is one of the most sought after beauty procedures.

If you are thinking of doing it, seek a qualified professional and follow all the recommended care. If you have already done so, feel free to share your experience and results! Thanks for reading.