Is Phenol Chemical Peel Safe to Use?

Phenol Chemical Peel

With advancements in technology and further research and studies conducted, treatments or even general maintenance of the skin have become easier than ever. It comes as no surprise that with these developments, the profession of dermatologists has risen a lot. 

One of the most common and effective methods of maintenance of skin is the use of chemical peels. There are various types of peels that are available, each with its own respective purposes. 

Some are just strong enough for general maintenance, while some are strong enough to cure minor problems.

One of the strongest chemical peels available in the market is Phenol chemical peel. In this blog, I will give you an overview of what these are and whether you should try them or not. So, without further ado, let’s begin and get to know more about it.

About Phenol Peel

A phenol peel is one of the most powerful and effective peels used by people. This peel is capable of reaching into the skin deeper than other commonly used peels. As you may be able to see from the name, the main ingredient of this peel is a chemical called phenol, a deep peel agent.

Woman's face before and after applying the chemical peel

Another main ingredient in the peel is croton oil. This peel rips off the outermost layer of the skin and, as a result, replaces it with a new layer of skin. This, in case, increases collagen production, which helps in getting rid of wrinkles

With its effectiveness, phenol peel treatment has been used to treat age spots, wrinkles, sun damage, blackheads, and various other skin problems. It is also used to treat deep acne scars as well. 

The Process

As this peel is very strong, the process is done under mild sedation. In fact, most dermatologists apply a tape mask in the process so that there is no strong reaction on the skin. Despite being one of the stronger chemical peels, the whole process is completed in a single sitting. 

The final process, aka the peeling process, is also fairly quick. Application on the full face phenol peel generally takes about 2 hours. About 7 to 10 days after application, the peel is removed. 

In the process of application to peeling off, it is important to keep the face moist, and a good quality cream or petroleum jelly is recommended to apply on the area.

One of the best advantages of opting for phenol chemical peel is that only one sitting is required for the whole treatment. This gives it a significant advantage over laser treatments which require multiple sittings. 

Once the peel is removed, you will feel a little discomfort which is to be expected as these acid peels are strong. There may be redness on the area applied, which will gradually turn pink. The whole integration to your normal skin tone may take up to eight weeks. 

This may seem a lot, but I can assure you that it is totally worth it as the results are highly effective. You are even able to apply light makeup to the applied area just a couple of weeks after application.

This peel works when the phenol is absorbed by the skin. Once absorbed, it targets the damaged skin tissues in the epidermis and the lower dermis layer. This, in turn, rejuvenates the skin and boosts the repair process. 

Is this Deep Chemical Peel Suitable For You?

As mentioned above, phenol peels are much stronger than the usual chemical peels. With that in mind, it is necessary to know whether this peel is suitable for you or not. 

According to various studies, people with dark skin tones should avoid going for it. This is due to the increased amount of melanin produced at the surface level. According to these studies, using phenol chemical peel increases the risk of unwanted reactions.

People with sensitive skin should also avoid this deep chemical peel as the strong chemical may cause extreme reactions and even burns. 

Phenol peels are especially recommended for people with extreme sun damage, uneven skin pigmentations, Crow’s feet, wrinkles, and acne scars. 

Although there are plenty of studies that show that phenol peels are good for these, I would recommend consulting a dermatologist before you decide to opt for this. As this peel is very strong, it is better to get a consultation to make sure you are not taking any unnecessary risks.

Now that I have given a brief explanation regarding the process let’s look at some pros and cons of these peels. 


1. Effectiveness

As already mentioned above, phenol peels are stronger than the usual acidic peels. This is possible due to the carbolic acid present in the peel. This acid makes it one of the most effective, if not the most effective, peels on the market. 

With this, you can expect to get highly effective results. You can easily remove 

2. Less Time-Consuming

One of the main reasons people ignore skin care is the lack of time in their busy lives. Well, with peels, you can rest assured of saving time while getting amazing skin care. As I mentioned above, this peel only takes one session to give proper results. 

In a world where time is literally money, this makes phenol chemical peel treatment highly effective and a popular choice for proper skin care and minor treatments. 

3. Longer Results

Keeping in spirits with saving time, another impressive fact about Phenol peels is the longer results they provide. In most cases, these results can be seen for up to 10 years after the application.

This is very impressive as the general reputation of peels is that they have to be applied regularly to get decent results. That, however, is not the case with this type of peel.

4. Skin Lifting

Phenol peels are not only effective as a treatment for various skin problems, but they can also provide a lot of cosmetic benefits as well. Many people opt for botox treatments for skin-lifting purposes. 

Sure, Botox is necessary in some severe cases, but in minor cases, phenol peel treatment is also beneficial for skin lifting. Thus, choosing this option can help a person get fair skin without any cosmetic surgery or procedure. 

Woman removing phenol peel from her facial skin

5. Non Invasive

Another amazing benefit of phenol chemical peel treatment is that it is completely non-invasive. There are many among us (myself included) who do not prefer any treatments, including needles. 

Well, this Chemical peel is the best solution for minor treatments for people like us, are there is no invasion of the skin. That covers all the advantages of phenol peels, but like anything else in life, there are some of their disadvantages as well. 


1. Not Suitable for Heart Patients

As I mentioned before, this peel work when the carbolic acid in these peels is absorbed by our skin. While in normal cases, this is not an issue, if you have a history of heart problems or any other serious health issues, then you should avoid them. 

There is even a risk of kidney and liver issues that can be exaggerated with these chemical peels. So, if you have any history of heart, liver, or kidney diseases, stay away from these peels. 

2. Increased Downtime

As these acid peels are very strong, naturally, they have a longer downtime as compared to milder chemical peels. The patient is not able to go back to the workplace for about two to three weeks post-application. While the full integration to normal skin tone can take up to two months. 

Initially, the skin gets very red, and they may even look like burns. It can take up to 3 months for the whole redness to disappear completely. The whole ordeal till 3 weeks after the application is very uncomfortable and can be painful as well. 

Not to mention there needs to be a proper layer of moisturizer or petroleum jelly that needs to be applied regularly. 

3. Increased Aftercare

Even though the integration into normal skin can happen in 2 months, there are further risks involved. The risk of skin discoloration or extreme burns is increased, especially in the year following the process. 

You need to be extra cautious with sun exposure, as any extreme exposure can cause significant sun damage. 

Another drawback is the loss of the ability to tan. That’s right, once you have had the application of phenol chemical peel, you can no longer get a tan on the area of the skin the peel was applied to. While it may not seem like a big inconvenience, it does hamper your next beach vacation a bit. 

4. Damage from the Treatment

Phenol peel is very strong, and they need to be handled by an experienced professional. If you are not diligent in finding and choosing a good dermatologist, this can turn into a grave mistake. 

There is a risk of damage caused by the chemical peel itself if the dermatologist is not experienced. If not chosen carefully, this treatment can cause scars and pigmentation on your skin which is very hard to fix once done. 

How much does the treatment cost?

Now that I have given a brief overview of the process and the pros and cons of such peels let’s talk about how much they cost. While there is no fixed cost for these treatments, a phenol chemical peel would generally cost in the range of $850 to $6500

One thing that should be kept in mind is that every dermatologist will have their own prices. This varies on the number of years of experience the dermatologist has, their reputation, and even the location of their practice. 

While we humans generally want to go for the most cost-efficient solution, I would certainly recommend opting for the best available option. This can make sure that the risks involved are little to none. 

In the End

There are pros and cons to every choice we make in our lives. Similarly, deciding to opt or not opt for the phenol chemical peels also have its own advantages or disadvantages. They are generally known to provide very effective results following phenol peel recovery. And these are only required once every 8 to 10 years

However, there are risks attached to them as well. Making a decision without weighing up the pros and cons can be a serious mistake that can cause many serious medical issues. 

While in most ordinary cases, there is no serious damage or consequences, it is important to check in with your dermatologist before you opt for acid peels.

The purpose of this blog is to give an overview of the whole process, the pros and cons, and how much the whole process of getting this peel costs. Hopefully, this blog helps you in finding the best possible step ahead for you to have the best quality skin. 

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