Rachel Zoe’s Facialist On Everything You Need To Know About Chemical Peels

Adam Katz Sinding

Are you curious about a chemical peel but a little freaked out by the sound of it? Sure, it involves sloughing off the top layer of your skin, but you’re left with a youthful, healthy glow. That’s worth it, right? Before you book your appointment, there are some things you need to know. We tapped sought-after LA facialist Biba de Sousa (RZ’s fave) for her expert tips.

The Prep

“A chemical peel exfoliates the skin using either acid or enzyme formulas. Prior to treatment, we need to determine your skin type, skin condition, sensitivity and lifestyle. Depending on your concerns, we may choose from an array of acids such as retinoic, glycolic, lactic, beta hydroxy or rice bran.”

Who It Works For

“Anyone with fine lines, acne scarring, dehydration, pigmentation and microcirculation is a good candidate for a peel.”

Who It Doesn’t Work For

“Pregnant clients should wait, as well as nursing moms. Clients with eczema should not get peels, and those with darker skin tones must be handled with utmost caution, because disturbing reactive melanocytes can cause pigmented lesions. Retinoid and AHA users must refrain from the use of those active products for at least a week prior to the peel.”


When To Start

"The only reason for a young patient to have a chemical peel is acne. A good age to start for anti-aging purposes is your late 20s, to treat pigmentation and fine lines."

Get Results At Home

"You can use a variety of cleansers, exfoliating toners, skin serums and masks with active ingredients to simulate the treatment yourself. For example, if you want to improve the clarity and texture of your skin, you can use an AHA toner and follow up with a combination of lactic acid and vitamin A or C to produce amazing results."

Keep Your Glow

"Maintain your results by using sunscreen and a home-care regimen prescribed by your skincare professional. Lifestyle factors such as stress, tobacco, alcohol and processed foods affect the skin's clarity. Plenty of exercise, sleep and hydration are epic self-tonics."

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