Phenol-Croton Oil Peel

What is a phenol-croton oil peel?

A phenol-croton oil peel (also known as a Hetter peel) is a simple, non-surgical way to improve the appearance and texture of facial skin. The peel is a liquid that is applied to the face and works by removing the outer, damaged layers of skin. After the outer layers of skin have come away, a new skin layer is formed.

There are different types of chemical peels available and are categorised depending on how deeply they penetrate the skin;

Light peels

These exfoliate the outer layer (epidermis) of skin and can help improve fine wrinkles, acne and dry skin. Light peels may contain an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which are naturally occurring acids derived from certain plants and fruits. Glycolic acid is a commonly used alpha hydroxy acid used in peels.

Medium peels

These have a deeper action than light peels and act upon the epidermis and dermis. They can help improve acne scars, deeper wrinkles and uneven pigmentation. Medium peels often use trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and glycolic acid. Trichloroacetic acid peels come in different strengths and Mr Karri will discuss with you which TCA peel is best for you.

Deep peels

Phenol-croton oil peel is the deepest chemical peel that can penetrate to the lower layer of the dermis. This peel is far more powerful than other peels and the recovery is slightly longer. Phenol-croton oil peels can greatly improve deep wrinkles, acne scars, uneven pigmentation, sun spots, sun-damaged skin and mild skin laxity.

Generally speaking, the deeper the peel, the greater the improvement one can expect.

History of phenol peel

Phenol peels have a long history and been performed for decades in the US and France. In the year 2000 Gregory Hetter published a series of landmark scientific papers in which he investigated the ingredients used in the traditional phenol peel, known as the Baker-Gordon peel. Interestingly, he found that the ingredient responsible for the peeling process was actually croton oil and not phenol. With this knowledge, Dr Hetter developed his own optimal phenol peel formulations, collectively known as the Hetter peel.

Mr Karri uses the Hetter peel and has further modified the treatment process to obtain the very best results for his patients.  He is the only plastic surgeon in the UK to combine a deep-plane facelift with his phenol-croton oil peel, to obtain a truly dramatic result.

Who would benefit from a phenol croton oil peel?

The result from a phenol-croton oil peel can be dramatic and rival those achieved with fractional laser or facelift.


Phenol-croton oil peel can be used to treat wrinkles around the eyes and mouth or the entire face. It is important to understand that the final results of a phenol peel will not be apparent for a few months.

The results of a phenol-croton oil peel are permanent but as you can appreciate, the skin will continue to age. Continued sun-exposure, smoking, poor nutrition and genetics can all contribute to premature ageing. It is therefore important you protect your skin with SPF 30+, avoid smoking or smoky environments.

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