Jessner Peel – Uses, Procedure, Cost & Results

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    Chemical peels are one of the most popular and effective treatments for treating many skin anomalies. Jessner peel is one such chemical peel used to undo hyperpigmentation, age spots and other skin conditions, without scarring. These may become pronounced or darker when the skin is further exposed to sun.

    What Is A Jessner Peel?

    Jessner Peel is essentially a solution which is used to remove the outer layer of the skin thereby treating the multiple signs of hyperpigmentation. It works effectively on both men and women. This medium-depth peel works as a great solution to reverse pigmentation as well as reduce shallow scarring and moderate wrinkles. Jessner solution is used for making Jessner peel and it was originally formulated by the dermatologist named Dr Max Jessner and so its name. This jessner peel has been in use for over 100 years.

    Also Read: Chemical Skin Peeling Treatments In India

    Ingredients Of Jessner Peel

    Jessner peel has been used successfully for over 100 years for its safe and effective ingredients used to cure hyperpigmentation. Three main ingredients that compose the Jessner peel solution are –

    • Lactic Acid (14%)
    • Salicylic Acid (14%) and
    • Resorcinol (14%)

    Jessner peel composition can be summed up here –

    • The lactic acid is derived from sour milk to facilitate thorough exfoliation of the skin. It is absorbed by the skin easily and results in smooth and flexible skin. It is also an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) so it prevents the thickening of the skin’s outer layer and leaves it smooth-looking.
    • The salicylic acid aids in exfoliation by penetrating deeper into the skin. It is usually derived from the willow tree and helps in removing excess oil, treating acne and improving the signs of aging. It is also a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) and assists in softening the keratin present in the skin.
    • Resorcinol is primarily used in the treatment of acne for its antibacterial properties. It is also a powerful antiseptic astringent and helps in regulating the production of sebum on the skin.

    Also Read: What Is Salicylic Peel?

    Benefits Of Using Jessner Peel

    Jessner peel is still one of the most preferred methods for treating hyperpigmentation, thanks to its ability to offer so many skin benefits. Amongst the many benefits of Jessner peel, some of the key benefits are –

    • It is very effective in treating the skin condition called melasma (skin discoloration) occurred due to various reasons
    • It helps to even out the skin tone and reverse hyperpigmentation. Also, it helps lighten the skin tone.
    • It is an effective treatment in reducing acne as well as acne scars.
    • It works as a great solution to reduce dark patches on the skin or age spots.
    • It helps to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles effectively and shows results instantly.
    • It is beneficial in improving the overall complexion of the skin.
    • It completely rejuvenates the skin and restores its lost glow.
    • It aids in reducing visibly large pores and gives smooth-looking skin.
    • It is helpful in treating various other skin conditions such as pigment imperfection, darkening of the skin, regulation of excess oil or sebum etc.

    Also Read: Benefits Of Hyaluronic Acid Peel

    Jessner Peel vs Modified Jessner Peel vs TCA

    The Jessner peel is available in fixed concentrations of its ingredients, unlike the modified Jessner peel. Modified Jessner peel is a medium-depth peel which is ideal for dull, wrinkled and sensitive skin. The composition of modified Jessner peel includes –

    • 14% lactic acid
    • 14% salicylic acid
    • 8% citric acid

    Modified Jessner peel is designed to dry out active acne, reduce hyperpigmentation, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, dislodge blackheads and improve the overall texture of sun-damaged skin. However, modified Jessner peel is not recommended for darker skin tones, unlike Jessner peel.

    A TCA peel is a medium-depth peel which uses trichloroacetic acid in various concentrations depending on the type of peel you want. Different concentrations of acid results in different type of peel –

    • 10-15% – for the superficial peel
    • 40-50% – for the medium peel
    • Greater than 50% – for the deep peel

    Jessner peels are particularly effective in treating acne scars and blotchiness whereas TCA peel can also treat hyperpigmentation, actinic keratosis and melasma when used in higher concentrations. The results of Jessner peel can be seen earlier than TCA peels. Also, the downtime of TCA peel varies with the strength used whereas that of Jessner peel is less. Jessner peel is safe for sensitive skin whereas TCA peel is not recommended to be used on dark skin tones or sensitive skin types.

    Also Read: What Is TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid) Peel

    Process Of Applying Jessner Peel

    It is important to schedule an appointment with your doctor before you get Jessner peel session. The doctor will ask you several questions about your medical history, skin condition etc. to make sure that it works for you. Here is step by step procedure for Jessner peel –

    • How to prepare for the peel

    The first step is to prep the skin for the peel. Your doctor will guide you through pre-peel skin care plan. Generally, the doctor will ask you to follow a set skin care plan two weeks prior to the session to make Jessner peel more effective for you and minimize side effects. This usually includes using retinol cream or gel to increase cell turnover and help the peel gets absorbed deeper into the skin.

    • Procedure

    The step by step procedure of Jessner peel instructions is given below –

    • The first step is to cleanse your face thoroughly with a glycolic cleanser. This will ensure that even the slightest traces or dirt or grime are removed from the face.
    • Next step is to make a mix of all the three ingredients – lactic acid, salicylic acid and resorcinol in a 95 percent ethanol solution. This mixture is then applied to the affected area.
    • The number of coats to be applied is decided by your doctor and it depends on the severity of skin condition. Generally, two coats of the mix are applied.
    • After the application of Jessner peel, you will notice a white frost appearing on the skin. This is the point when the peel is neutralized.
    • After some time, the peel is washed off using water.
    • Finally, a calming mask is applied to the skin which indicates the end of the treatment.

    Also Read: What Is Lactic Acid Peel

    How does it work?

    Jessner peel works by removing the top layer of the skin thereby reducing hyperpigmentation and other skin conditions such as age spots or acne scarring. The peel is typically a medium peel which means that it will work on the top layer of the skin – the epidermis and the upper portion of the middle layer of the skin – the dermis. It removes skin cells from both these layers revealing a smoother and clear skin.

    Using Jessner peel for hyperpigmentation gives great results. This is why it is a preferred method of reversing various signs of hyperpigmentation. How deep the peel penetrates depends on the type of peel used – superficial, medium or deep.

    Jessner peel can also be used as a superficial peel which has low downtime and the skin heals faster. Due to a range of Jessner peel benefits, it is also added to other peel solutions to increase their effectiveness.


    This article provides medical information about various procedures for awareness purposes only. We want to help you know about the various treatment options beyond the services available at Oliva Skin & Hair Clinic. We request you weigh the pros and cons of these aesthetic practices and make an informed decision about your skin and hair health.

    Cost of jessner peel

    The cost of Jessner peel ranges anywhere between INR 1,500 to 3,500 per session. The cost usually depends on various factors such as –

    • Depth or type of the peel – superficial, medium or deep
    • The type of clinic
    • The skill and experience of the dermatologist etc.

    Also Read: Cost Of Glycolic Peel

    Downtime for jessner peel

    There is no fixed downtime for this treatment due to the influence of a number of factors. The depth of the peel is a major factor is determining the downtime. Naturally, deeper penetration of the peel will increase the downtime. A Jessner peel’s downtime will also depend on the post-care of the skin. In case of proper care of the skin, it usually takes two to four days of downtime.

    Before & After Results

    After the peel is removed, your skin will be red, tight or slightly swollen for the first 24 hours or so. The next day, your skin might start to peel. It may take four to five days to develop new skin after a medium peel.

    Once the skin peel is off, you will notice a smooth and flawless skin with a healthy glow. Generally, it takes 10-12 days for the skin to heal completely.

    Post-care instructions

    To improve healing of the skin and enhance Jessner peel uses, here are the post-care instructions –

    • Follow the post-care skin regime prescribed by your dermatologist religiously to speed up the healing. It usually includes gentle cleansing and applying ointment (if any).
    • Apply ice packs to relieve the burning sensation.
    • It is important to moisturize your skin frequently especially when the skin feels itchy, dry or tight.
    • Do not rub, scratch or pick your skin. The new layer of skin is sensitive and prone to scarring. As Jessner peel works day by day by revealing the new and smooth skin, make sure to treat it with gentle care.
    • Take over-the-counter antibiotics or medications prescribed by the doctor.
    • Prevent exposure to sun’s harmful rays until the skin is fully healed.

    At-home vs. Administered by a doctor

    One can do Jessner peel at home as well. The peel bought from outside is usually the superficial peel and is less expensive than the professional peel. However, at-home peel is less effective than the professional one.

    At-home peels usually have less downtime and result in faster recovery of the skin as they do not penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. Also, they are not so effective at treating hyperpigmentation or other skin conditions. If not done correctly, they may irritate the skin.

    The Jessner peel from a certified doctor is more likely to give long-standing results. Especially, people with darker skin tone should always go to a professional to minimize the risks of pigmentation. Also, people with sensitive skin should refrain from doing at-home peel for its many side effects. When done by a professional, it is safe for all skin types and works effectively against melasma and hyperpigmentation as a patch test is conducted before the treatment begins.

    Also Read: Who Is A Dermatologist?

    Side Effects Of Jessner Peel

    Some of the minor side effects of Jessner peel are –

    • Mild redness
    • Itching or burning sensation
    • Cold sores
    • Premature peeling
    • Scarring or infection 

    Jessner peel is known to produce results effectively and safely regardless of the skin type. As compared to other chemical peels, it is a popular alternative to treat hyperpigmentation, melasma, acne scarring, age spots, wrinkles, fine lines etc. for a more flawless and even-toned skin. It is advised to talk to your dermatologist before deciding for Jessner peel and follow the instructions thoroughly for desired outcomes.

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    About The Author

    Kushneet Kukreja

    Kushneet Kukreja

    A postgraduate in Biotechnology from Kingston University and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, Kushneet Kukreja is a passionate writer who works in close association with the dermatologists at our head office to generate valuable and scientifically accurate content for our blog.

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