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Phenol peel

The phenol peel is the deepest type of chemical peel available.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: June 26, 2012

Treatment Basics

Other names: Deep chemical peel, carbolic acid peel

A phenol peel is the deepest and most severe type of chemical peel available, using chemicals to remove the outer layers of skin. Wounding the skin cells has two effects: phenol peels can clear the way for a fresh layer of skin to grow back, and it can also stimulate collagen growth.

Phenol (also known as carbolic acid) may be used alone or modified by the addition of various ingredients, such as croton oil, water, olive oil, and septisol solution. These modified peels may have inventors names associated with them, like Stone Venner-Kellson, Baker-Gordon or Hetter formula.

What It's Good For

Phenol peels should only be used on the face. A phenol peel can reduce the appearance of deep or coarse wrinkles, sun damage, and severely aged skin.

Recommended Uses
Name Description Cost
Acne scars Phenol peels are used to treat boxcar acne scars. The phenol peel is one of the deepest and strongest peels available. Spot treatment of boxcar scars with a phenol peel costs about $150 per...more Spot treatment of boxcar scars with a phenol peel costs about $150 per scar.
Crow's feet For deep static crow's feet wrinkles, a phenol peel may be more effective. A phenol peel is the deepest chemical peel. It penetrates more deeply and is the most effective at skin...more Phenol peels cost between $500-$1,000.
Lip wrinkles ("smoker's mouth" or "lipstick lines") A phenol peel, the deepest kind of peel available, is a good method of resurfacing the skin and scouring away lipstick lines. Phenol peels targeted to the mouth area are called perioral. ...more A perioral phenol peel costs between $2,000-$3,000, while a full-face peel will run $3,000-$5,000.
Wrinkles A phenol peel is the strongest chemical peel, penetrating the skin deeply. It may be suitable for deep static crow's feet. However, phenol peels are painful and are performed under general...more Treatment costs approximately $1,000.

Who it works for: A phenol peel can remove old, damaged skin so that a new layer of cells can regenerate. It can remove wrinkles like crow's feet, forehead lines and undereye wrinkles, as well as pigmentation issues like age spots. A phenol peel is only suited for people with light skin. The treatment permanently lightens skin and will cause spotting and uneven pigmentation in tan to dark skin.

Recommended age range: There is no age limit associated with phenol peels, but see your doctor first. The treatment may be too strong for age-thinned skin.

When will I see results?: New skin begins to form seven to 10 days after the peel. A phenol peel prompts collagen growth beneath the skin, which continues to improve your skin's quality for up to six months. Redness and swelling can last up to four months.

How long it lasts: Phenol peels are noticeably more effective than other types of chemical peels, and the results tend to last much longer. Though the redness lasts for months, the results can last for years.

Key benefits of Phenol peel: Phenol peels increase your body's collagen production in the months that follow the procedure. Phenol peels have the longest lasting results of all the chemical peels.

Did you know?: Recent studies have suggested that croton oil, and not phenol itself, is responsible for the effects of the phenol peel.

Who's Done It?

Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and many other actresses and entertainers have been reported to have gotten phenol peels to keep their faces looking young and healthy.

Find experts who offer Phenol peel near you