The Obagi Blue Peel and TCA Demystified

Aug 13 10:37 2006 David Maillie Print This Article

This article will fully explain the hugely popular Obagi Blue Peel as featured on Oprah and The Swan, pure TCA alternatives, pre and post skin care treatments, what one can expect, and how to save big on a TCA peel and post treatment. A must for anyone who wants better, younger looking skin.

The Obagi Blue Peel has been featured on numerous talk shows,Guest Posting reality shows, and even on Oprah. So, what exactly is the infamous Obagi Blue Peel and what makes it so famous or desirable? Why do womens magazines rave about it and why do women wait in line to pay $500+ per peel? This article will fully explain the Obagi Blue Peel, pure TCA alternatives, pre and post skin care treatments, what one can expect, and how to save big on a TCA peel and post treatment.

The Obagi Blue Peel is really a blue green cream invented by Dr. Obagi with dyes that color the skin so doctors, dermatologists and plastic surgeons know where the skin peel has and hasn’t been applied. It actual doesn’t have any acid in it until it is added by the doctor. Obagi Blue Peels are used with trichloroacetic acid (TCA), the active ingredient, which must be obtained seperately and then added in various strengths to the Obagi cream. Many doctors have found that using the TCA by itself in strengths of 20-50% has had better and longer lasting results and quicker application times (this results in happier patients).

The purpose of any chemical skin peels is to remove the top most layers of the skin revealing fresh, younger looking skin. Chemical skin peels range in strength from light glycolic acid to deeper TCA and phenol skin peels (we won’t mention phenol peels as thay are highly toxic, can cause skin bleaching and most doctors will not even offer them). TCA peels, like the Obagi Blue Peel mixture are the most effective of the chemical peels and have been used by tens of thousands of dootors to treat acne, rosacea, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, aging and sun damaged skin, etc… TCA has also been found to increase the production of collagen which can result in younger, more elastic and plump skin.

The Obagi Blue Peel cream slows the activity of the TCA and also weakens it so pretreatment with alpha hydroxy solutions is necessary for best results. Pure TCA, on the other hand, is a very fast acting acid and requires no pretreatment other than removing excess oil with a good soap or cleanser. The Obagi Blue Peel is applied in layers, depending on the depth desired and skin problems being addressed. Pure TCA is applied in sections. The skin will turn red and/or whiten indicating it is done and needs to be neutralized. The pure TCA is then neutralized with a soothing mixture of water, ice and baking soda. The Obagi Blue Peel does not usually need to be neutralized as it is a much weaker solution and will self neutralize on the skin.

Post peel, for any chemical peel, solutions and creams to promote healing and prevent bacterial infections are necessary. There are many over priced solutions on the market, but none work better than Neosporin antibacterial crème or its generic equivalents. Neosporin costs at most $3 (compare this to the cost of some of the post treatment cremes available as they can cost up to $100 and aren’t any more effective). Obagi Blue Peel will usually cost $500+ and requires several applications and expensive pretreatments (the required pretreatment, Obagi Nu Derm, can cost $250+) as it is a weaker peel.

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David Maillie
David Maillie

David Maillie is a chemist with over 12 years experience in biochemical research and clynical analysis. For more information on TCA peels for in home use and great anti-aging products and ideas please visit

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