Fruit acid peeling

What is a fruit acid peel?

The fruit acid peeling is one of the chemical peelings for external use in aesthetic dermatology. Here, irritating fruit acids of various concentrations are applied to the skin and depending on their strength penetrate the top layers of the skin to different depths. The peeling is often used for age-related wrinkles, acne, pigment disorders, scars, stretch marks or other skin symptoms, but also for general refinement of the complexion.

The natural fruit acid can loosen old skin layers and the skin is stimulated to regenerate various components such as skin cells, collagen and elastin, so that the skin becomes more elastic and firmer. In addition, more moisture is bound, which ensures smooth and fresh skin.

In the case of fruit acid peeling, natural acids are used that are also found in a similar form in our food, such as malic acid, citric acid or glycolic acid from sugar cane, which are specially prepared for the treatment.

What can a fruit acid peel be used for?

The fruit acid peeling is basically used to improve the complexion of the skin.
This means the refinement of the pores, a slight smoothing of the skin, cleaner skin and the fading of age spots or scars.
The peeling is therefore used for:

  • large-pored skin
  • Acne, blackheads and blemished skin
  • Age or pigment spots
  • Stretch marks or stretch marks
  • small wrinkles

Do you suffer from blemished skin and would you like to improve it? Find out about your alternatives to fruit acid peeling: This is how impure skin is treated

Fruit acid peeling for acne

Fruit acid peels can also be used to treat acne.
A combination with professional skin cleansing to remove blackheads and comedones is recommended.

Would you like to do something about your acne? Read more about the alternatives to fruit acid peeling: Acne - This Is The Best Or How To Remove Acne Scars Best

Fruit acid peeling for scars

Fruit acid therapy can be used for scar reduction.
It is most commonly used to treat acne scars.

In scar treatment, the depth of the scars is decisive for how acidic a successful therapy must be.
If very deep scars have to be treated, an acid strength of 70% is necessary. This treatment should be done by a dermatologist.

Fruit acid peeling for pigment spots

Since pigment spots do not sit superficially on the skin, but have their origin in the deeper layers of the skin, high-dose peelings are more suitable for their treatment.
In this case, too, treatment should best be carried out by a dermatologist or an experienced beautician.

To find out about other options for treating pigment spots, please also read: Pigment Spots - How To Remove Them?

Where can it be used anywhere?

The fruit acid can be used on almost any part of the body.
Either it is only applied selectively or over a large area on an entire part of the body.

In no case should the fruit acid be applied to or come into contact with mucous membranes.
Fruit acid peeling should not be done in the intimate area either.

Fruit acid peeling on the face

On the face, especially the eye and lip area should be spared and protected.

It is advisable to apply petroleum jelly or a comparable fatty substance to protect the lips in order not to accidentally spread the acid onto the lips. Ideally, you should wear protective goggles during a high-dose fruit acid treatment so that no acid can get into your eyes.

Which percentage is right for me?

The different percentage values ​​indicate the concentration of the acid. With a professional fruit acid peel, the dose is increased gradually in order to get the skin used to the corrosive acid and not to damage the skin. However, if you want to try the fruit acid peeling at home and go shopping in the drugstore, you usually only get peelings of a few percent, because the damage caused by incorrect use can be devastating. However, there are also high-proof products available for laypeople. A beautician or dermatologist with a lot of experience can increase the concentration individually and in a controlled manner in order to achieve the treatment goal as well as possible. Overall, strengths of up to 70% or 80% can be used here.

  • 10% to 20%: This low dosage is suitable for beginners who want to reduce wrinkles or improve the complexion. Depending on the product, the peeling can be done about every 2 to 3 days.
  • 30% to 50%: Anyone who has experience with fruit acid peelings and has tolerated lower concentrations in the past can also try higher-percentage products. The strength can improve in wrinkles, pigmentation disorders, warts and skin damaged by sun exposure. However, it is important that the skin is attacked after a peeling and therefore should not be exposed to the sun too much.
  • 60% to 80%: These concentrations are also more suitable for professionals and should not be used by laypeople, as the exposure time should only be extremely short so that the skin is not damaged. It is advisable to have the treatment carried out by an experienced dermatologist or beautician. With this strength, wrinkles, pigment spots and impurities can be removed. But acne scars and other skin changes can also be treated well.

Mode of action

Fruit acid peelings are mild chemical peelings.
Compared to mechanical peelings, they not only work externally, but also penetrate deeper layers of the skin.

So-called AHA (Alpha-Hydroxy-Acid) peelings are mainly used, more precisely the so-called glycolic acid.
Glycolic acid is an acid obtained from sugar cane that is further processed for dermatological treatment.

The acid penetrates the skin so that dead skin cells are removed. As a result of the treatment, the skin begins to peel.
One therefore speaks of a “skin therapy by peeling the skin”. This peeling effect occurs in the first few days after the peeling and can last for a while.

In addition, the acid stimulates the subsequent regeneration of the skin. The skin appears fresher and healthier because the superficial horny layer has been removed. The higher the acidity of the peeling used, the deeper the acid penetrates the skin.
Therefore, the effect is logically more pronounced with increasing acid strength. In any case, the acid strength should be increased slowly in order to give the skin time to regenerate and not to damage it.

side effect

In general, fruit acid peelings are a milder form of peeling among chemical peelings. Nevertheless, the aggressiveness of the acids should not be underestimated.
Products with a very low acidity of 5-10% can usually be used at home by laypeople without any problems.
With these acid strengths, however, the desired effects can usually not be achieved.

If you experiment with very high acid strengths of up to 70% without experience, permanent skin damage can occur and scars remain.
If the peeling is left on the skin for too long or if the acid strength is too high, redness, irritation and pain can occur during the treatment.
After treatment, this irritation may develop into scabs, grinds, or crusts.
In the worst case, severe burns and subsequent scarring occur.

To avoid this, treatment should only be carried out by a dermatologist or an experienced beautician.
In exceptional cases, fruit acid therapy can trigger a herpes infection of the lips or face.

The structure of your lips has changed after the fruit acid therapy and you want to get to the bottom of the cause? To do this, read our article: Chapped lips - is it because of herpes?

Skin burns

If used improperly, the fruit acid peeling can burn the skin.
Depending on how severe the burns are, the skin regenerates itself or scars or pigment disorders remain.

Find out from us what you can do against pigment disorders: Pigmentation disorders therapy - how to remove them

When should a fruit acid peel not be used?

The fruit acid peeling should never be used on severely damaged skin.
These include, for example:

  • fresh scars or wounds
  • acute herpes simplex infections
  • Neurodermatitis or acute eczema
  • severe sunburn
  • Psoriasis
  • Skin cancer
  • inflammatory skin processes
  • increased sensitivity of the skin to light

If there is a known allergy to one of the ingredients, the peeling should not be carried out.
Fruit acid peelings are also not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding.


The fruit acid therapy consists of 6-8 peeling treatments, whereby the acid content is slowly increased.
There must be 2-4 weeks between the individual sessions so that the skin can recover a little.

Before the first therapy session, the skin should generally be prepared for the fruit acid peeling for two weeks.
For this purpose, a fruit acid cream is prescribed by the attending physician or beautician.
This cream usually has an acid content between 10-15% and should be applied at home to get the skin used to the acidity.

This cream should continue to be used between sessions, with a strong moisturizer or oil cream instead being used for the first few days after the exfoliation.

In a therapy session, the skin is first cleaned and degreased. Then the fruit acid is applied to the skin in the form of a gel, leaving out the lip and eye area.
In the best case, the lips are protected with the help of Vaseline and protective goggles are put on for the eyes.

Depending on the skin type, the reaction to the acid and the degree of pain, the fruit acid remains on the skin for 2-10 minutes and is then neutralized and removed.
This treatment can be slightly uncomfortable as the acid attacks the skin. If there is too much burning and pain, the acid must be removed.

Then the skin is cooled and given soothing creams.
Direct sunlight should be avoided after treatment.

Does this have to be done by a dermatologist or can you do it yourself?

Basically, many products with fruit acid are offered primarily online, but also in pharmacies or other shops - including fruit acid peelings.
These over-the-counter products often have a lower acid concentration than medicinal products.
As a result, they are not as aggressive and gentler on the skin, but also by far not as effective as the medical products at the dermatologist or beautician.

Fruit acid peelings with a high acid content of up to 70% should not be used by laypeople - but they are available online, for example.
If used incorrectly, severe burns and scarring can occur.

In order to avoid application errors and permanent skin damage, it is advisable to seek professional therapy from a dermatologist or beautician.

Can you do a fruit acid peel yourself?

In principle, you can also do a fruit acid peel yourself. It's also very easy with the juice of a lemon, sugar or salt and a cotton ball. The squeezed lemon juice should be applied to the skin previously cleaned with water using a cotton pad. Then apply salt or sugar to the skin treated with the juice in circular movements so that the flakes of skin can be gently removed. Then everything can be washed off with lukewarm water.

If the skin starts to burn or itch, the treatment should be stopped as soon as possible, as otherwise the fruit acid can cause burns. To do this, wash off the acid and salt or sugar and cool the skin with a lotion or cream. Quark is also very beneficial as it can soothe irritated skin. In this case, the acid content is too strong for the sensitive facial skin and can cause chemical burns.

If you have very sensitive skin, you can first try the treatment on an inconspicuous area or, if in doubt, consult a professional practitioner.


A single session usually lasts about 30 minutes.

The entire treatment takes several months - depending on how many sessions there are and how long you wait between the individual treatments. Basically, between 5 and 10 sessions are recommended with an interval of approx. 2 weeks between the individual treatments. The number of sessions depends on the goals of the treatment and how well it is tolerated by the skin. Since the skin should get used to the increasing concentrations, tolerance can also decrease.

How often can you repeat this?

Fruit acid therapy should usually consist of 6-8 peels.
The effects of this fruit acid therapy last different lengths of time depending on the skin type, but in the best case up to 2 years.

If the complexion worsens again, another therapy can be carried out.

Cost of a fruit acid peel

The cost of a fruit acid peel can vary widely. Often you pay between 50 and 150 euros per session, with around 5-10 sessions being recommended in order to achieve a dose that is high enough. Therefore it is very dependent on the price of the practitioner and the number of sessions. So the price can be between 250-1500 euros, which is a very wide range. Often a flat-rate complete package with 10 sessions is offered for 300-700 euros.

Since fruit acid therapy is one of the aesthetic treatments, it is not covered by statutory health insurance. Private health insurances do not normally bear the costs either, but in exceptional cases it is possible that the costs are covered by those with private health insurance. For example, if there is severe acne, which means that the therapy can be considered medically necessary.

If you want to buy a set for fruit acid therapy privately, the costs are usually around 30-150 €.
Here, too, the prices vary greatly - depending on what should be included in the set, what compositions the products have and what brand the products are from. In order to avoid side effects such as scarring, the treatment should, in the best case, be carried out by an experienced expert.

In the drugstore, fruit acid peelings can be bought for a few euros, but their concentration is not particularly high, so that the results cannot be as clear as with professional treatment.

Alternatives to a fruit acid peel

The possible alternatives to fruit acid peeling depend on the underlying cause of the treatment.
In general, you should consider a few points for an improved skin appearance.
These include:

  • a balanced and healthy diet
  • not too much stress
  • a sufficient amount of water to drink throughout the day
  • a healthy sleep rhythm and about 7-8 hours of sleep a day
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure and use sun protection factor
  • it is best not to smoke or drink a lot of alcohol

As an alternative to pure peeling, fruit acid creams can be used either as an additive to the peeling or as a sole treatment.
However, the possibilities for treating blemishes or bumps are almost unlimited.

In order to find the right treatment, one should deal with the possible causes of the skin problem. A conversation with a dermatologist (dermatologist) can help.

General information on the subject of fruit acid treatment can be found here: Fruit acid treatment

Can it be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Fruit acid peelings are not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Animal experiments have shown a connection between the glycolic acid most commonly used in fruit acid peels and malformations.
Detailed clinical studies are not yet available.

In exceptional cases, a single, low-dose treatment may be used.
In individual cases, advice from the responsible doctor is urgently recommended.

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