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Ultimate Guide to non-neutralized TCA Trichloroacetic acid. 

Most already know of glycolic or salicylic chemical peels and products but TCA is the new acid you want to get better acquainted with because it is growing in popularity. Dermatologist have been using this next-level acid for decades and say it is better than the beloved glycolic.

Not sure what TCA is? Don't worry we have the ultimate guide to TCA for you, plus dermatologist formulated TCA Advanced Peel Solution available so you can get started with your at-home peel in no-time. Here is what you need to know to get started with a TCA peel. 

TCA or Trichloroacetic acid is a medical-grade chemical peel treatment which helps reverse sun damage, wrinkles, and acne in the skin.

TCA Trichloroacetic acid solution


What is Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)?

TCA is a strong medical-grade peel. A time-tested ingredient for dermatologists, a TCA peel is a cosmetic treatment that uses trichloroacetic acid (TCA) to improve the skin’s appearance. TCA is naturally derived from acetic acid (like vinegar). TCA is the next-level above glycolic acid and FDA approved Retin-A.

A TCA peel works by breaking bonds of the top layer of skin for natural exfoliation and the removal of dead skin cells over a few days. It also stimulates new skin cell and collagen growth for smoother, more attractive new layers of skin. TCA is used to achieve younger looking skin and to improve the appearance of certain skin conditions like melasma and acne scarring. TCA is mostly suitable for all skin types.

TCA peels are a medium-depth peel that penetrates deeper than glycolic, salicylic, and most of the other acids available over the counter without going to a dermatologist. TCA is a medical-grade acid and until Dermatologist’s Choice TCA Advanced Peel, TCA has mainly been applied in a dermatologist office or medical spa. TCA is an ideal choice for those with fine lines, scarring, acne, wrinkles, and pigmentation concerns. A TCA peel can help be the quick and simple solution for minimizing fine lines, sun damage, and acne scars to name a few. TCA is highly effective and can produce exceptional results, similar to visiting the dermatologist. These are influencers and models favorite chemical peel.

What can a TCA peel do to improve my skin?
  • Minimize fine lines
  • Reverse sun damage
  • Treat acne scars
  • Effective against melasma
  • Reduces pigmentation
  • Minimizes age spots
  • Suitable for most skin types

Who is this peel for? 

TCA is suitable for most people at a concentration of 15% or less. Concentrations 15% or more are best applied at a dermatologist. Our dermatologist recommends the TCA Advanced Peel Solution for those who enjoy and have experience with non-neutralized glycolic acid. Those who have deep skin concerns can benefits from a TCA peel, compared to a lactic, salicylic, or even glycolic acid peel. Pregnant women should ask their doctors before using TCA. People with clinically irritated or dry skin should apply TCA with caution as TCA can cause dry skin after application and during skin purging. TCA is ideal for those with deep fine lines and cystic acne. Multiple sessions or applications may be required to get desired results. The Dermatologist's Choice TCA Advanced Peel Solution may be applied to the face, back, arms, shoulders, and legs. For areas where the skin is naturally thinner, (neck, eyes, hands, feet, chest) apply a thin layer of solution.

Is the Dermatologist’s Choice TCA Advanced Peel Solution safe?

Quick answer, yes. 

Keep in mind that TCA should not be used on those who have severely sensitive skin or those who have never used non-neutralized glycolic acid. 

Our Dermatologist recommends starting with a thin TCA application once a month. For those who have sensitive skin or never used non-neutralized glycolic before, our dermatologist recommends the use of Dermatologist’s Choice Facial Enhancement Cream or Ultra Anti-Aging Cream to build the skin’s tolerance to non-neutralized acids.

If the TCA or other acid is applied too heavily, skin may become red. Slight burning or stinging may occur. This is normal.  Our dermatologist has never seen a burn scar from it. It penetrates deep into the skin and will actually help achieve better results by lifting irritation and congestion in the deeper layers of the skin. To soothe redness or stinging apply lotion or oil on skin immediately. Several days after applying a TCA peel skin may flake, peel, or become dry or red. In a week, once the downtime has concluded, skin is typically looking its best – brighter, clearer, and smoother.

How do I know if the TCA is the best chemical peel for me?

There are several strengths of TCA peels, keep in mind allowing various formulations to work at different depths in the skin. The TCA formulation that will work best for your needs will depend on factors such as what you’re seeking treatment for and the extent of improvement possible in the treatment area. 

Dr. B. explains how to apply Dermatologist's Choice TCA peel.

Our Dermatologist’s Choice TCA Advanced Peel Solution is the best strength for at home use. This strength is commonly used in a derm office.  The other stronger strengths should be used only in an office setting. Refer to our website for further information. The Dermatologist’s Choice TCA Advanced Solution is the only TCA on the market that is not neutralized or mixed with other buffers or acids. Our TCA Advanced Peel Solution is in the purest form.

Here’s the best way to begin, purchase the TCA Advanced Peel Solution and apply to a test area of skin before applying to the full face. For best results, target wrinkled skin and acne breakout with more frequent applications to desired area. Apply sunscreen enhanced moisturizer immediately after and avoid direct sunlight.

Skincare certifications and features

SHOP NOW: Dermatologist's Choice Skincare TCA Advanced Peel Solution, $199 

TCA Trichloroacetic acid solution
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