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Aesthetician Services

TCA Peel

The TCA peel is one of several chemical peel options used by the clinical aestheticians at California Skin Institute to help clients address a variety of problems associated with sun damage and aging skin. This procedure uses an ingredient called trichloracetic acid, a chemical that can be used in different concentrations to target damaged skin cells and stimulate the growth of healthy skin. If you are interested in what the TCA chemical peel can achieve for you, your aesthetician can help you make an assessment as to whether this peel is the best choice in your situation, or if another treatment may be more appropriate.

How the TCA Peel Works

At California Skin Institute we take great care when performing the TCA chemical peel, because the outcomes are tied directly to how much effort and attention is devoted to the procedure. For example, there are many companies out there that sell TCA peel solutions online for at-home application. However, what many consumers are not told is that the outcomes of the peel depend directly on how well the solution penetrates the skin, and whether the acid penetrates the skin evenly. This is just one problem with at-home peels, and why it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced professional.

We take many steps to keep your skin safe. For example, when you visit one of our aestheticians for a TCA chemical peel, your skin will be carefully analyzed to ensure that this treatment is the best option for you. Further, your aesthetician will discuss in detail the pros and cons of this treatment in your unique situation, and working together, you will arrive at a decision on the strength of the peel which will be most appropriate for you.

During the TCA peel procedure, your licensed aesthetician will first cleanse your skin with a variety of topical solutions that target oil and dirt buildup in the skin. This is essential because clean skin will help the trichloracetic acid penetrate more evenly; leading to outcomes that are more aesthetically pleasing in the long term.

After the cleansing, the TCA chemical peel solution will be applied to the skin. It is common to experience mild discomfort (such as stinging) during this part of the procedure. However, any discomfort is mild, without the need for pain medication.

Upon the completion of the procedure, you will be able to go home. Because there is no sedation, you will be able to drive yourself. However, please keep in mind that from the moment the procedure is complete, to the time you recover, it is important to stay out of the sun. Therefore, please make sure to follow all aftercare instructions given by your aesthetician.

Ingredients in TCA Peel

The active ingredient in the TCA chemical peel is trichloracetic acid, which was discovered in the 1800’s by the French chemist, Jean-Baptiste Dumas. This chemical is highly effective at targeting dead or damaged skin cells, and is often used to address pigmentation issues caused by sun damage.

What the TCA Peel Treats

California Skin Institute aestheticians may suggest the TCA peel for a variety of skin problems; however, this procedure is most commonly used to target issues like hyperpigmentation and melasma. In many cases, these issues are caused by sun damage, such as sun spots (also known as liver spots). However, other discoloration – like acne scars, for example – and rough skin texture can also be addressed by this peel, as it will target the damaged cells and stimulate the growth of healthy skin cells.

Recovery Time

The recovery time after a TCA chemical peel will depend on the sensitivity of your skin and the strength of the chemical solution. The latter is an absolutely vital consideration, because though the stronger peels will penetrate deeper and provide more dramatic effects, the recovery time will also be longer.

For peels with the lightest concentration, you can expect a recovery time of a week or more. During this time, your skin will blister and peel off, revealing a healthy layer of skin underneath. For stronger concentration peels, the recovery time may last several weeks, because the skin is targeted more aggressively.


Treatment results will vary, talk to a practitioner to see if this treatment or procedure is right for you.

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