How to Dilute a TCA Peel

Written by holly smith
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How to Dilute a TCA Peel
TCA peels can be used to lighten tattoos. (tatoo image by Augenblicke from

Trichloroacetic acid peel, also known as a TCA peel, is a medium-strength peel that can diminish fine lines, wrinkles, age marks and acne scarring. The peel also stimulates collagen production and skin elasticity. The side effects of this treatment are peeling, flaking, swelling, redness, irritation and inflammation. Consult with a skincare professional prior to applying the peel. TCA peels should be customised by a professional to fit a person's skin type, sensitivity level and medical history. Prior to applying the TCA peel, you will need to dilute the acid unless you have purchased TCA that was pre-diluted.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 TCA chemical peel kit and instructions
  • 1 pair protective gloves
  • 532ml. bottle purified water

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  1. 1

    Consult with a professional to find out what percentage of TCA peel is right for your skin type.

  2. 2

    Examine the label on your bottle of TCA. To achieve the desired solution, you need to know what percentage of TCA you are starting with.

  3. 3

    Put on your protective gloves.

  4. 4

    Dilute the product by mixing purified water with the 100 per cent TCA. For a 50 per cent mixture, combine one part 100 per cent TCA and one part water. For a 25 per cent solution, combine one part 50 per cent TCA and one part water. For a 12 per cent solution, combine one part 25 per cent TCA with one part water. If you need a mixture that is weaker than 12 per cent, simply add more water.

Tips and warnings

  • When diluting the TCA do not mix the TCA and the water in a metal container. Use the items provided in the purchased TCA kit.
  • Check with a physician or dermatologist prior to trying a TCA peel, especially if you have a history of sun allergies, have used Accutane, have keloid scarring or facial warts, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. TCA peels are not to be used on children. You should abstain from exfoliating the face for at least one month prior to the TCA peel. Also refrain from waxing or removing hair from the face. Two weeks prior to the peel, apply a mild cream containing alpha hydroxy acids once a day. This will prepare the skin for the peel. Prior to performing the peel, conduct a patch test on a small area of skin to see how you will react.

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