How to Neutralize a TCA Peel

Written by shannon moudry
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How to Neutralize a TCA Peel
TCA peels are used to reduce scars and wrinkles. (facial mask image by sasha from

TCA, also known as trichloracetic acid, is a chemical that is used on the skin to reduce scars, acne, sun damage, age spots and wrinkles. Trichloracetic acid is very strong and should be used with extreme caution. When applied to the skin, TCA peels can create a white frost on the surface of the skin indicating the depth of the peel-- the more frost that appears the deeper the peel. Once the peel has frosted it is important to neutralised the TCA peel to stop the action of the trichloracetic acid.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 cup water
  • Small bowl
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • Facial sponge
  • Towel
  • Oil-free moisturiser

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  1. 1

    Pour 1 cup of tepid water into a small bowl. Measure out 2 tbsp of household baking soda and add it to the bowl of tepid water.

  2. 2

    Dampen a clean facial sponge by dipping it into the solution of water and baking soda. Squeeze the sponge gently to remove excess wetness.

  3. 3

    Apply 1 to 2 millilitres of TCA peel solution to a small gauze pad. Apply the TCA peel to clean skin by gently wiping the gauze pad over the surface of the skin, using a buffing motion while avoiding the eyes, nostrils and lips. Gently buff the skin for approximately 30 to 90 seconds.

  4. 4

    Rinse the skin thoroughly with the water and baking soda solution by using the damp facial sponge to gently wipe over the surface of the skin.

  5. 5

    Use a clean, dry towel to gently pat the skin and remove any access moisture. Apply an oil-free moisturiser to help protect and heal the skin by gently patting, not rubbing, it onto the skin.

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