Keeping your skin clear of debris and dead cells is key to keeping away acne and signs of aging. At Cope Cosmetic Dermatology, we offer physician-grade peels and exfoliators to incorporate into your regular skincare regimen.

What are Peels and Exfoliators?

Your skin is continually sloughing off dead or damaged skin cells from its surface. Underneath this surface layer is healthy new cells waiting to emerge. Exfoliants and peels use active ingredients like acids and enzymes to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin without damaging the healthy cells underneath. Sometimes called “chemical exfoliation,” this process is safer and much more precise than manual exfoliation like scrubs or devices. Exfoliators are generally useable at home as part of your regular regimen. Peels, on the other hand, are much stronger versions of the same ingredients and need to be administered by a board-certified dermatologist.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are naturally occurring acids that can exfoliate the skin while also boosting skin cell turnover. They’re more commonly used for anti-aging purposes and come in forms like citric acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid.

Beta Hydroxy Acids

Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are another type of naturally occurring exfoliant that provides many of the same benefits as AHAs but with less irritation. The most common BHA is salicylic acid which is an effective acne treatment.

What Are the Benefits of Peels and Exfoliators?

One contributor to signs of aging is a buildup of dead or damaged skin cells. This can cause the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as an overall dull and dry look. Additionally, this layer of dead or damaged skin cells can make it more difficult for skincare products to penetrate the skin and provide benefits. By getting rid of this layer of dead and damaged cells, you can uncover healthy new cells for a brighter, smoother look.

Another key benefit of peels and exfoliators is that they can help prevent breakouts for patients with acne-prone skin. For many acne patients, manual exfoliation can be too damaging to the skin. Exfoliants like salicylic or glycolic acid can remove dead skin cells and debris from the pores to clear the skin and prevent congestion.

How Should I Use Peels and Exfoliators?

Peels and exfoliators should be used sparingly since your skin can become irritated with too much use. Some types of AHAs and BHAs can also make your skin photosensitive and should not be used in the morning or without accompanying sunscreen. Our skincare team can help you develop a schedule based on your skin’s needs.

Chemical peels can be a great way to deeply exfoliate the skin on a regular schedule to tackle tougher skin concerns. Peels can be customized to a specific depth or formulation based on your skin’s unique needs. It’s recommended to undergo a professional peel at least monthly to maintain healthy, radiant results.


Dr. Cope can help you achieve a new level of confidence with aesthetic experience and a laid-back approach. To learn more, contact us through our online form or give us a call.

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Dr. Austin Cope is a Utah native as well as a highly educated and well-trained cosmetic dermatologist. At Cope Cosmetic Dermatology, our team is here to help you look and feel your best.