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Phenol Peel

Deep skin peel

Welcome to our Glasgow cosmetic clinic, where your skin health and beauty are our priority. One of our most transformative treatments is our Phenol Deep Peel. This procedure is designed to significantly reduce the appearance of wrinkles, sun damage, and uneven skin tone with long-lasting and dramatic results. However, it is important to know that this treatment is one of the most intensive and involves a moderate downtime period, and in the majority of cases, we find our patients achieve the desired results with our bespoke Medium-grade skin Peel, which is less invasive and has less downtime.  However, if you are considering a Phenol Deep Peel, we are here to guide you through all you need to know.

Phenol Deep Peel

What is a Phenol Deep Peel?

The Phenol Deep Peel is considered the gold standard of skin peels. It uses a combination of phenol and croton oil to exfoliate and deeply stimulate skin regeneration. This treatment reaches the deeper layers of the skin to repair more severe damage and intensively rejuvenate your complexion. However, due to its strength, it also involves more intensive side effects and requires a longer recovery period.

The Downtime

After a Phenol Deep Peel, you will require a moderate downtime – approximately 8-12 days, during which you’ll need to take particular care of your skin.

Immediately after the procedure, bismuth powder is applied on to your face and this is to be kept on for approximately 8-10 days.

During this period, your skin will be ‘raw’, red and swollen and will gradually start peeling. In the initial days post-treatment, it’s normal to experience some discomfort; however, our clinic can prescribe topical creams and pain medication if necessary.

After the first two weeks, your skin will begin to heal but it may remain pink for up to three months. During this healing period, it is essential to avoid sun exposure and follow a specific skincare routine, which we will provide. Following this routine will help smooth the healing process, optimise results, and minimise potential risks.

Phenol Peel

Potential Complications and Risks

Like all cosmetic procedures, Phenol Deep Peels come with potential risks and complications that you should be fully informed about:

Prolonged Redness: The strong nature of Phenol peels can result in prolonged skin redness that can last up to several months.

Change in Skin Colour: There might be noticeable changes in skin colour after a Phenol peel. In some cases, the skin might become lighter or darker.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: This occurs when your skin makes extra melanin (pigment) after it has been irritated or injured. While this can affect people of all ages and skin types, it is more common in people with darker skin. 

Scarring: While rare, there is a small risk of scarring, particularly if post-treatment care guidelines are not appropriately followed.

Heart Complications: See below for further information. Phenol peel is unfortunately not suitable for individuals with pre-existing heart problems.

The Benefits of Phenol Deep Peels

 Dramatic Improvement in Skin Appearance: A Phenol peel can visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, and uneven pigmentation, offering a more youthful and vibrant look.

 Long Lasting Results: Unlike other types of milder peels, the effects of a Phenol peel can last for many years with proper skin care.

Enhanced Skin Texture: Besides treating skin discolouration and ageing signs, a Phenol peel can also improve rough textures, leaving your skin smooth and inviting.

Cardiac Toxicity/Monitoring and Sedation During Procedure

The new generation Phenol peel we offer does NOT require sedation, intravenous fluid hydration or cardiac monitoring during the procedure.

A Phenol peel should ONLY be administered by a doctor with the necessary experience and expertise, in a clinic-based setting.

Historically, a Phenol peel requires intravenous sedation and cardiac monitoring due to the risk of its absorption through the skin and its ability to cause cardiac arrhythmias. Concentrations of phenol commonly used in medical skin peels vary from 30-90% in association with different substances such as croton or olive oil, cresol, sodium salicylate, and ethanol, among others. The total volume of phenol, application methods and types of post-procedural dressings are not standardised and can have an impact on the overall safety and efficacy. Crucially, studies have shown that the most potent strength Phenol solution, applied to only one or two facial cosmetic units – in which the body surface area is <1% – does not require cardiac monitoring.

This new generation Phenol peel we offer contains a modified combination of Phenol and croton oil. Dr Bong’s extensive experience in administering this peel and his acute understanding of the pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of Phenol enable him to combine different strengths of treatment solutions within one treatment. A ‘segmental’ and ‘sequential’ application technique is employed during the procedure and each localised area is peeled over 10-15 minutes. The most potent strength of Phenol is restricted to only a small and localised area such as above the top lip and around the eyes. It is because of the above that the Phenol peel we offer does NOT require IV fluid hydration, cardiac monitoring and sedation.


Our deep phenol chemical skin peel before and after pictures are taken with no special lighting or touch-ups to show true before and after impact. The client below has kindly agreed to show their results, which they are immensely pleased with. 

Consultation and Suitability for Phenol Peel

Assessment is complex as only some patients are suitable for this treatment. The first step is a face-to-face consultation with our cosmetic doctor, Dr Kieren Bong. It is at this appointment that Dr Bong will examine your skin, skin type, skin concerns, as well as your previous treatment history and your expectations. If you are clinically suitable for Phenol peel, Dr Bong will then formulate the strength of the peel solution which it turn dictates the depth of peeling.

Remote Video or Photo Consultations

Unfortunately, we do not offer remote consultations due to their limitations compared to in-person visits. Accurate assessment of facial features, your skin texture and elasticity, requires your physical presence, as cameras may not capture these details accurately. Additionally, lighting and camera quality in video calls can alter the appearance of skin tone and fine details, potentially affecting treatment planning. We value direct interaction for building rapport and trust between you and our doctor, and this is essential for understanding your needs and explaining procedural details.

Recovery & After Care

Post-procedure, your skin will undergo an intensive healing process that typically involves a period of downtime. We will provide comprehensive aftercare instructions and support, ensuring you have the best experience and overall outcome.

We believe that informed patients make the best decisions. Thus, we are committed to educating you about all aspects of our treatments and procedures. We deliver our treatment with exceptional care, advanced techniques, and the utmost commitment to your satisfaction and safety.

Please contact us for any queries or a consultation for the Phenol Deep Peel in Glasgow. We are here to help you on your journey to beautiful, rejuvenated skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

The new generation phenol chemical skin peel no longer requires sedation. No anaesthetics are necessary because the phenol solution itself works as an anaesthetics. Unlike previous phenol chemical skin peel, there is no risk of toxicity associated with the new formulation of phenol solution.

The entire procedure takes about an hour to complete. First, your skin will be thoroughly cleansed. The acid is then painted onto the face and monitored. If burning or stinging is a problem, a cold pack or cold air may be applied.

Phenol peels differ from your average chemical peel in that this is the deepest chemical peel available. This type of treatment works very well for fair-skinned individuals. Another advantage is that phenol peels’ effects last longer than the regular peel. Results are dramatic, and most patients are very pleased.

Phenol peels are not for everyone. Discuss with our cosmetic doctor to see if this procedure is correct for you: it is only suitable for use on the face and neck and is not recommended for dark-skinned individuals or people with heart disease.

A phenol peel works like any peel by removing the outer layers of skin where the discolouration and wrinkles lie. The difference is that since a phenol peel goes so much deeper, it is more effective at removing deep wrinkles and dark discolourations that a regular peel would not touch.

This is the deepest chemical peel available, and the effects last longer than regular peels. Results are dramatic, and most patients are very pleased.

Our cosmetic doctor will coat the treated area with protective gel and powder. You will be given postoperative instructions before sending you home.

The skin will go red and swollen over the next 24 hours. However, discomfort is minimal, requiring only paracetamols, and there may be a throbbing sensation on the face lasting around 6 hours.

Once the initial burning has worn off, it is not painful but feels tight. Over the next few days, the skin dries and looks like brownish leather. The skin will begin to peel between 5 and 7 days later and must be left to come off at its own pace.

As soon as the skin has healed, make-up may be applied over the new, pink skin. Sunscreen is mandatory for at least three months, and moisturisers are helpful.

Most phenol peel patients experience incredible results and minimal side effects, and total recovery is usually reached within ten days to two weeks.

Complications are rare with this new generation of phenol chemical peel.
Scarring can occur with strong acids but is unusual with weaker ones. The most common causes of scarring are infection and pulling off the skin before it is ready to peel off. Both of these are avoidable.

Cold sores can be activated in those prone to this kind of condition. Anti-viral medication can prevent this. Increased pigmentation may occur and resolves with time. It can be largely prevented by the religious use of sunscreen for three months after the peel.

At Essence Medical Cosmetic Clinic, we take special pride in our excellent levels of support and aftercare. We will invite you back to the clinic for follow-up reviews with your doctor after your initial treatment.

When done correctly, results from phenol peels can be dramatic and rival, if not better, those achieved with a facelift or other facial surgery. Phenol peels can be used on the whole face or concentrated on the eyelid area or around the mouth. They are particularly suited to the lines around the mouth that are often referred to as ‘smoker’s lines’ or ‘lipstick lines’.

Surgery often stretches thin, ageing skin to become even thinner, but peels have the advantage that they can help to thicken the skin and stimulate its lower layers to prevent premature visible skin ageing and repair damage that has already occurred.

Peels, particularly deep peels, encourage your skin to produce collagen and elastin fibres giving a fuller but natural look and helping to improve your skin health.

In principle, the results of a phenol peel are permanent, but after the peel, the skin will continue to age, bringing about regular skin changes due to ageing. Sensible care and protection of your skin will, however, help perpetuate the peel’s benefits. Results are not immediate; it will take a few months to judge the final result.

One can resume normal daily activities with some restrictions, such as avoiding exposure to sunlight and preventing tanning with the recommended use of sunscreen or sunblock.

Patients who have received any chemical peels will be sensitive to the sun, so it is crucial to protect the skin adequately.

1 treatment for full face  is £2,500.  Deep peel treatment for smoker’s lines only is £1,500.

If you would like to learn more about whether phenol chemical skin peel treatment might work for you, please call and arrange an appointment for a consultation with our cosmetic doctor.

This peel is not a ‘quick-fix’ beauty procedure. On the contrary, it is a serious medical and invasive procedure, and you are embarking on a ‘treatment journey that will take time.

Your ‘treatment journey’ involves having consultations and visits to the clinic. The procedure is very technical and requires a lot of preparation by you, the patient and the doctor.

Your ‘treatment journey’ also involves important aftercare for several months. This is, of course, reflected in the price of this treatment, and you must decide and conclude that the benefits of undergoing the peel outweigh the risks, potential side effects and cost.

We accept cash or the following major credit and debit cards. We do not accept personal cheques.

If you are a new patient, a booking fee will be taken at the point of making your appointment.  Please read our full terms and conditions here.

We respect that your time is valuable, and we appreciate that you understand ours is too. Unfortunately, if appointments are cancelled or rescheduled at short notice, or if you do not attend an appointment, we cannot allocate your appointment slot to someone else; however, we still have overheads and staff salaries to pay. Please read our full terms and conditions here.

Please note for all patients, a £50 fee will be charged if you cancel or reschedule ANY appointment (including appointments which do not require an upfront deposit, such as a ‘check-up’ or review appointment) less than 48 hours before the appointment time. Patients who have pre-purchased a course of treatment will forfeit one of the treatments instead of paying this fee.

Late arrival to your appointment may result in reduced treatment time or the forfeiting of the appointment. We will endeavour to ensure that your appointment runs on time. However, for reasons beyond our control, we may need to cancel or postpone your appointment at short notice. In this unlikely event, we will try to contact you in advance. We do not offer compensation if we cancel or postpone your appointment.

Please read our full terms and conditions here.

To help our patients minimise the chance of losing their deposit or pre-paid treatments, we issue text reminders a minimum of 48 hours ahead of appointments. Patients should be aware that there may be reasons beyond our control, meaning that the text message does not reach them. Patients should diarise themselves when making follow-up appointments and not rely solely on the text message from the clinic as a reminder.

I was so concerned as I had heard awful stories about other clinics; however Dr Bong has been incredible! This treatment by far is the best thing I have ever done and has transformed the quality of my skin. I am so pleased. Thank you Dr Bong.

I honestly think I look ten years younger after the deep phenol peel. I was a smoker of 30 years. But now, my skin looks smooth, radiant and tight. I went to our school reunion party last month and people were amazed by how well I look. The deep chemical peel is not for the faint-hearted but it is absolutely worth it. I trust Dr Bong 100%.


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