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Chemical Peels & ZO Peel

At Philosophy of Beauty in Vaughan On, we have the medical expertise to offer a variety of chemical peel options to our clients. One of the most popular, non-surgical skin transformation tools we have is the chemical peel. 

As we age, the natural exfoliation process of our skin slows down as does the production of collagen. Chemical peels work wonders for our skin to kick start the healthy regeneration, hydration, and firming process. Whether a light, “lunchtime” peel, or a more intensive and corrective treatment, it is one of the most effective ways to naturally reveal fresh, radiant skin.

What Is a Chemical Peel?

The chemical peel acquired its name because it effectively exfoliates one or more surface layers of skin with naturally sourced acids. The result is gentle peeling of the dull surface layers. This process can be subtle with mild peels or work through deeper layers so that thin sheets of dry skin, peel for 3-7 days post-treatment. 

The outcome is smoother skin texture and even skin tone. Additionally, numerous skin benefits are possible with peels which makes them extremely versatile anti-aging and rejuvenating treatments.

Chemical Peels Are a Safe, Natural Solution to Target:

  • The fine lines and wrinkles caused by loss of collagen and age
  • Acne and acne scars
  • Skin laxity and sagging
  • Blotchiness and uneven skin tone
  • Hyperpigmentation and freckles caused by sun exposure
  • Enlarged pores
  • Melasma due to medication or pregnancy
  • Dead cells and debris build up in pores

Dr. Zein Obagi invented the original Obagi Blue Peel, and the Controlled Depth Peel, both used in clinical settings. ZO Controlled Depth Peel provides epidermal and deeper, dermal stimulation combined with stabilization technology for a fast recovery and impressive results.  

This peel is formulated with a concentration of trichloroacetic acid buffered for a variety of skin types, which means we can precisely tailor your treatment for your exact skin needs. This peel allows the practitioner to customise the strength of the TCA to individual needs, and to correct specific skin conditions, according to a standardised guideline. In this way, the practitioner can predict the outcome and success of the procedure to correct specific skin defects or to obtain a specific desired transformation. This procedure works to remove the thin layers of damaged surface skin. The treatment takes about 40 minutes to execute, depending on the number of coats of active peel solution to be applied to determine the necessary planned outcome. With a healing time of 7-11 days, the ZO Controlled Depth Peel treatment offers a safe method of achieving radical skin restoration results, with comparable recovery time equal to alternative deep ablative and non-ablative laser treatments.

Once the redness has subsided, you can expect new skin to show a dramatic reduction of previous fine lines, pigmentation issues, and other blemishes. The complexion is smoother and firmer with evened tone and a glow.

ZO Controlled Depth Peel can help improve: 

  • Brown spots, age spots, and uneven pigment
  • Melasma
  • sun-damaged skin
  • Acne scarring
  • Acne and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Fine lines and wrinkles

There is a protocol recommended for the ZO peel which is designed to strengthen and prepare skin for maximum benefits. 4-6 weeks prior, the ZO Hydroquinone or Non-Hydroquinone system can be used by the client at home to prep for dramatic results. 

It is not uncommon for our skin to require healing and repair after a summer of sun exposure or a vacation away. The ZO® Skin Brightening Treatment is customized to specifically target uneven, sun-damaged and discoloured complexions with a 60-minute facial. Our faces suffer the damaging effects of frequent sun exposure and this can not only lead to the development of fine lines and wrinkles, but hyperpigmentation caused by the sun will also leave the complexion appearing dull and aged. Microdermabrasion, StimulatorPeel® and an exclusive ZO brightening mask work in harmony to remove excess and uneven pigment, leaving a smooth, even-toned glow and rejuvenated appearance. This treatment is essential for many of us to start fresh as we change seasons.

ZO® Ultimate Regeneration Treatment

Who doesn’t want an ultimate, all-in- one facial treatment? Dr. Obagi’s luxurious formulas are combined based on your, specific needs and a combination of factors such as sun damage, dehydration and acne. During this 1-hour medical facial, Bio-Hydroderm™ is used with the best ZO products to improve the nature and appearance of your skin. When you can’t decide what your skin needs- don’t worry, this one’s for you.



This powerful, 1-hour peel is a rare combination of highly concentrated acids which smooth and regenerate the skin, while remaining gentle. Consequently, the Stimulator Peel requires no downtime, which we think is amazing given its dramatic results. Revealing smooth, healthy skin is this peel’s specialty.


Acne remains the most common skin disease and a big problem for our clients of all ages. Acne treatment products which are sold in drugstores can be a source of frustration as they strip the skin’s delicate oil balance and irritate already sensitive skin. In 60 minutes, the ZO® Acne Clarifying Treatment delivers painless extractions, a Sulfur Masque to target bacteria and cooling, skin calming products to soothe inflammation and encourage healing. The ZO® acne treatment is a great way to achieve and maintain clear skin.


For many of our clients, the back can be a problem area for breakouts as well and due to it’s difficult-to- reach location, regular exfoliation, application of sunscreen and quality skin care products in this area can be difficult. The back can be shown off with confidence when you’ve treated yourself to a relaxing, 1 hour back cleanse, exfoliation and mask using the best of medical grade ZO skin care products.


For those of us who are short on time- the Lunchtime Stimulator Peel is a fast, easy skin changer. During this 20-minute power peel, and thorough exfoliation targets aging skin, damaged skin cells and uneven skin tone. Return to your daily activities with no downtime. Our clients see visible improvement in just one treatment and make up glides on smooth right after, though you may not need any.


Another fast and easy favorite, at 20 minutes, this caring combination of products and treatment are designed to heal, soften and revitalize the look of your hands. Our hands work hard and just like the face, they are often exposed to damaging sunlight as well as harsh cleansers and products. The specially fomulated ZO Oraser® combines with Microderm Hand Renewal and a deep massage in this all-in- one hand fix. Your hands will thank you for the Nourishing Oraser® Hand Treatment to soften, hydrate and even skin tone.

Salicylic Acid is part of the beta-hydroxyl acid family. It is a natural product that is known for its acne-fighting properties. This option is useful for chest and back areas as well. These multi-tasking chemical peels also reduce fine lines and wrinkles to balance the skin’s natural ph. level while reducing excess oil. Salicylic acid is effective to resolve acne breakouts and to clear blackheads and whiteheads out of the pores. Minor redness or irritation from this treatment may last 2-3 days and some peeling may occur.

Glycolic Acid is an AHA peel derived from sugar cane. When applied to the skin in a thin layer, it helps to remove the “glue” that holds older, rough, and dry surface skin. When the superficial cells and debris are removed, the new layer of cells underneath is visible. 

There is only minimal downtime associated with a glycolic peel. Depending on the strength used, minor irritation and redness may last 2-3 days, and the skin may feel tight for 3-5 days and then begin to peel. The recovery process will require 3-7 days for all the old skin to be gently exfoliated. 

Glycolic peels help to boost your skin’s collagen and elastin, strengthen the lipid layer, and ensure optimal hydration and suppleness of the skin. This acceleration of skin cell turnover and increased collagen plumps and firms the skin- smoothing lines. Pigmentation issues are also minimized as the damaged, surface skin is removed. Smooth, even-toned, and glowing skin is the goal of a glycolic peel. 

Glycolic acid peels can be repeated anywhere from 3-6 months depending on the strength and results desired.

Lactic Acid peels are one of the gentlest chemical peels available. Lactic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid, AHA, and is derived from milk. This is a great option for someone who has never had a peel, or who wants to reveal fresh, dewy skin and ensure that their skincare products are absorbed well. 

These peels help you avoid redness and discomfort during recovery time. This treatment is extremely gentle and suitable for even the most sensitive skin. It is usually the best chemical peel option for people who have very sensitive skin and might not be able to tolerate the slightly more intense recovery processes. Lactic acid doesn’t usually cause actual peeling.

We offer customizable peel options with various strengths. The most intense variety (50%) is best suited for mature skin and helps to reduce the look of wrinkles. A 40% concentration Lactic Acid peel is best suited for normal skin that needs some toning or is dehydrated. This is the ideal concentration for bringing moisture back to the skin.

A 30% peel is perfect for very sensitive skin that is prone to acne and is excessively oily. Despite the lower concentration, this type of peel still provides numerous benefits to the skin. Most people report no side effects with lactic AHA peels and they can be part of your regular skin care program.

Mandelic Acid peels are a type of alpha hydroxy, (AHA) peel, like Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid peels. Due to their larger molecules, Mandelic peels are minimally penetrating and not irritating but still very effective for skin rejuvenation. This type of peel is another good choice for a first-time patient. 

Due to its antibacterial qualities, it is also useful for acne-prone skin. Because they have a gentle composition, Mandelic Acid peels are also safe to treat Rosacea or darker skin tones. Mandelic acid peels balance skin tone, reduce fine lines, fade dark marks on the skin, suppress skin pigmentation, treat blackheads, repair sun damage, and treat non-cystic acne.

It is worth noting that when using a Mandelic Acid peel to treat acne, you may experience a temporary worsening of the condition, post-peel. As the acid exfoliates surface cells, it can bring bacteria and pore blockages to the surface, which may erupt as active pimples. However, the redness and irritation are expected to resolve in 2-3 days.

A TCA peel is a medium-strength option used to treat the face as well as other body areas including the back of the hands. Because our face, neck, and hands will often show the most sun damage or wear and tear, accelerating the exfoliation process in these areas can take years off the skin’s appearance. TCA is a non-toxic chemical, (trichloroacetic acid), which is a relative of vinegar, (acetic acid.)

When TCA is applied to the skin, it targets deeper layers of the skin to provide significant exfoliation and reveal new, undamaged skin cells. Because of the deeper peel, the results obtained from TCA can be more dramatic and include acne scar fading and lightening of melasma or other textural improvements. 

TCA peels can feel uncomfortable during the application, described as mild stinging, and the recovery process involves 5-7 days of redness and peeling. The treated area may continue to be slightly red for several weeks as fresh, healthy skin is revealed.

When it comes to light peels which involve minimal or no downtime, you will simply be advised to avoid tanning beforehand and protect your skin well with a full-spectrum sunscreen after your treatment. However, deeper peels are more intensive and may require some preparation to ensure the best results.

In some cases, depending on your skin type, we might advise using ZO Obagi products to condition your skin 90-180 days beforehand. This extra care helps to balance your sebum and melanin production which will reduce the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and encourage healing.    

Before a TCA or ZO peel, you’ll be asked to avoid sun exposure, and discontinue all hydroquinone treatments at least 4 weeks prior. Certain medications like doxycycline and minocycline must be paused 3 days before your treatment with CO2 laser, and Accutane must be stopped 6 months before, so let us know about medications you take before planning your peel. 

If you have a history of herpes outbreaks, (mouth or genital) or you’ve had shingles, you might be advised to take an antiviral medication (such as Valtrex) 2 days before your chemical peel, and a few days after to reduce your chance of an outbreak. 

It’s always a great idea to eat a nutritious diet and stay hydrated before your peel so that your skin is in optimal condition.   

During the first days after a chemical peel, your skin may appear reddened, like a sunburn, and it may feel tight. The use of a gentle moisturizer and protection with sunscreen is important after all peels because the skin will be particularly sensitive and vulnerable to UV rays, post-peel. 

After stronger peels, the skin may temporarily darken and appear brownish while the surface layer becomes ready to slough off and from day 3-7, a thin layer of dry skin will gradually be removed. It is essential to be patient and not “help” your skin peel by pulling at it. 

Chemical peel results can be maintained as often as every 4-6 weeks for very light strengths, or 1-2 times per year for stronger peels. The advantages of chemical peels for skin hydration, smoothing, and anti-aging remain unparalleled in the cosmetic industry, so it is one of the most popular Greater Toronto Area natural anti-aging skin treatments.

Conveniently located in Vaughan, Philosophy of Beauty proudly services clients in the Thornhill and Toronto areas. If you think you may be a good candidate for a chemical peel, we welcome you to call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our beauty specialists.

We know skincare and our team is pleased to offer an incredibly diverse variety of anti-ageing treatments suited to all skin types and needs. Whatever your beauty goals are, we will take time to discuss them with you during a complimentary skin consultation, then we’ll customize a plan for you offering one or more treatments that can help you see the complexion you want, whatever your budget. 

We provide extensive skin care advice and carry some of the best at-home skin care products in the world, so we can set you up for glowing success in the long run too.

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