Chemical Peels: Everything You Need to Know

North Raleigh Plastic Surgery is excited to now offer chemical peels, including the sought-after VI peel. If you are considering a non-invasive, non-surgical skincare treatment, but you’re not sure if a chemical peel is right for you, our board-certified plastic surgeon in Raleigh, Dr. Ortiz, is sharing everything you need to know.

What Is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a non-surgical skin care treatment in which a chemical exfoliant is applied to the targeted area, usually the face, hands, neck, or chest. The exfoliant breaks down the top layers of skin, causing them to “peel” away, allowing fresh, smoother-looking skin to emerge.

There are several types of chemical peels available, depending on the condition you are seeking to treat.

Light Chemical Peels

A light chemical peel only removes the top layer of the epidermis, which is why it’s often called a superficial peel. This treatment relies on mild chemical exfoliants, such as lactic acid, citric acid, or salicylic acids to cleanse and reduce pores, treat acne, and smooth an uneven skin tone, and requires minimal healing.

Medium Chemical Peels

Medium chemical peels are a bit stronger, removing the epidermis, plus the top layer of the dermis. Using stronger or more concentrated chemical exfoliants, a medium peel minimizes the look of wrinkles and acne scars as well as skin discolorations and an uneven texture.

Deep Chemical Peels

Deep chemical peels penetrate well into the dermis, treating wrinkles, scars, and even precancerous growth. Using trichloroacetic acid, retinol, or glycolic acid, these options renew the skin in only one treatment, though a few days to a week of downtime is required to heal afterward.

The VI Peel, which we cover in more detail below, is considered a medium chemical peel.

What Conditions Do Chemical Peels Treat?

Chemical peels are used to treat a wide variety of skin concerns, including:


Chemical peels break down dead skin as well as the oil and sebum clogging pores. This can reduce oil production and inflammation, kill bacteria, and prevent breakouts in the future. It also reduces the size of pores, improving the look of your complexion.


If you struggle with acne scars, a chemical peel can break down the layer of skin in which collagen fibers have formed either raised or pitted scars leaving your skin smoother.

Lines and Wrinkles

While a chemical peel doesn’t tighten or firm your skin, as your skin heals, it produces more collagen and elastin which smooths and fills your skin, minimizing the look of lines and wrinkles.


If you have sun spots, age spots, melasma, or an uneven skin tone, a chemical peel improves these issues by breaking down the top layers of skin and allowing a brighter, more even tone to emerge.

What Is a VI Peel?

Developed by the Vitality Institute, the VI peel is a chemical peel that is designed to penetrate to a medium depth to treat lines, wrinkles, acne, scars, and hyperpigmentation as well as stimulate collagen production for smoother, younger-looking skin. In addition, the VI peel does this with less downtime and discomfort than similar medium-depth chemical peels.

What makes this such a comprehensive solution? The unique blend of ingredients all have specific benefits designed to rejuvenate and improve skin tone and prevent damage and when they work together those benefits are multiplied.

A VI peel contains the following:

  • Trichloroacetic acid
  • Retinoic acid
  • Salicylic acid
  • Phenol
  • Vitamin C
  • Hydroquinone
  • Proprietary mineral blend

While it peels away the old skin, it also infuses the skin with beneficial, nourishing ingredients, such as antioxidants.

Schedule a Chemical Peel in Raleigh Today

For smoother, healthier skin, schedule a chemical peel or VI peel at our plastic surgery center in Raleigh today! We’re dedicated to helping you look and feel your best and strive to offer the treatments and procedures to help you achieve this. Call us today at 919-532-2270 or fill out the form below to get started.