Chemical Peels & Contraindications: Here’s What You Need to Know

Chemical peels offer a powerful solution to various skincare concerns—from discoloration, acne scars, and age spots to reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Peel treatments may be the answer your clients are looking for; however, it’s important to remember that as effective as they can be, they are also not a one-size-fits-all solution. Before incorporating peel treatments into your clients' skincare regimen, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with some essential info from our Tuel Pros.


The Benefits of Chemical Peels

If your clients want to revitalize and rejuvenate their skin, chemical peels can be a highly effective approach. These treatments harness the properties of Alpha-hydroxy acids, derived from plants, to gently exfoliate the top layer of dead skin cells. This process can enhance skin tone and texture and can also help by stimulating collagen production. Clients may find peels help the skin become more responsive to their daily skincare products. In essence, chemical peels provide the skin with an opportunity to regenerate and unveil a fresh, new layer in a minimally invasive manner.

It is strongly recommended that clients prepare their skin for any professional peel treatment by using an at-home peel treatment that uses glycolic acid gel with alpha hydroxy acid to refine the skin’s surface and promote cell turnover combined with aloe vera to soothe the skin. Follow this by adding a hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid for at least two weeks before their salon peel treatment.


Contraindications for Chemical Peels

Always exercise caution when considering chemical peels for your clients, as certain contraindications may make the treatment unsuitable or risky. Here are some key contraindications to be aware of:


  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding—always have your client consult a doctor prior
  • Recent sun exposure, sunburn, or tanning bed use
  • Active skin infections or open wounds
  • Allergies to peel ingredients
  • Current use of certain medications, such as isotretinoin (Accutane), Retin-A, or other medications that exfoliate or thin the skin (within 6 months)
  • Recent cosmetic surgery, laser resurfacing, deep or medium depth chemical peels, or dermabrasion
  • History of keloid scarring
  • Uncontrolled diabetes or autoimmune disorders
  • Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis
  • Recent facial waxing or use of depilatory creams
  • High blood pressure or heart disease, or any medication that may cause skin irritation


Always perform a thorough consultation and skin assessment to determine the suitability of chemical peel treatments for each client, taking these contraindications into account. And remind them of proper pre-peel and post-peel care—especially regarding sun protection. They should always avoid unprotected sun exposure to their skin, but especially immediately following a peel treatment.