What is a Chemical or Enzyme Facial Peel?


Are you considering having a chemical or enzyme peel?

Do you know what they are?

I can imagine how confusing it must be for many of you trying to work your way round the crazy skincare jungle! So many products and treatments to choose from and the constantly changing jargon is confusing to say the least. Q10, peptides, retinol….…aghhh!

You may recognize some of these titles “The Red Carpet Facial,” the latest fashion title for a facial peel, a brightening, illuminating or resurfacing facial. Many celebrities are renowned to use these treatments prior to an appearance hence the fashionable title!

These facials have been named so due to the instant results and the healthy glow it immediately gives to the skin. It does this by peeling the top layer of dead skin cells off in varying degrees, to reveal a smooth glowing skin from beneath.

You have probably conjured up the classic image from sex and the city when Samantha had her facial peel!

Marie Claire Publication

 Chemical or Enzyme Peel?

There are two main categories of peels and I believe they both have their place in skincare and rejuvenation. An enzyme peel differs from a chemical peel in that it removes only dead skin cells without harming any living tissue with no soreness and no downtime.  A chemical peel is a much harsher and deeper treatment that is in effect wounding your skin to stimulate cell renewal and removes far more layers of your skin. You will need intensive moisturizers to protect your skin whilst the old skin peels away over the next couple of days to a week. Chemical peels are ideal for severe skin conditions and problematic skin and preferably administered by the medical profession in my opinion. Unfortunately, therapists with little qualifications and experience are licensed to administer these potentially harmful substances.

The skins natural renewal process takes approximately 4 weeks. The new cells at the bottom layer will have reached the top but could take up to 2 weeks to be sloughed off. This renewal process becomes sluggish as we age, giving the appearance of lifeless and dull skin.You are probably familiar with the term exfoliation. The skin is made up of many layers, the upper layer mostly being dead skin cells containing keratin protein.


The natural enzymes that I prefer to use in an Illuminating facial are powerful natural fruit enzymes derived from processing fruit.  The actual concentration of the fruit acid determines how strong the product is. They illuminate the skin by gently dissolving away the surface of the skin by breaking down the keratin protein by causing a reaction in your skin that actually mimics the skin’s natural exfoliation process. The outermost layers of dull skin are lifted and the skin renewal process is accelerated, revealing glowing, more youthful skin beneath. This in turn creates the perfect pH balance for your skin and leaves the surface of your skin ready to absorb active ingredients  such as Vitamin C to treat specific problems such as; dryness, pigmentation, acne etc.

Who can benefit from an enzyme peel?

A single facial would give the skin an instant glow and is ideal for brides to be or before an important event. To treat specific problems, a course of 3 fortnightly treatments working with the skins natural renewal process is usually advised and then re- assessed accordingly. There is no downtime and recovery process to a natural enzyme peel. I would recommend an enzyme facial peel for

  • deep exfoliation
  • anti-ageing
  • acne and oil control
  • dry lack lustre skin

A professional enzyme peel to remove the superficial dead skin cells is more than adequate for the vast majority of clients. In my opinion, many people are having harsher chemical peels that are removing too much of the skins surface unnecessarily. This leaves the skin unnaturally unprotected and open to damage if the correct aftercare is not carefully carried out.

 Instead of going with the trend, stop and think for a moment “Do I really have a skin condition that requires more than the top layers of my skin to be totally removed with chemicals, or do I need a natural enzyme peel that in effect is mimicking the skins natural process?”


Gillian Demirdoven

Lilyann Beauty at Acklam Hall



A full list of available treatments can be found on my website


Illuminating Facial   £38

A course of 4 treatments £138


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