Answered[ Edited ]
Chemical peels work with a variety of ingredients with various acidity levels and enzymes that break down dry skin, uneven texture, and also work below the surface on a cellular level to promote healthy skin cell regeneration.
This results in everything from the softening of fine lines/wrinkles, improvement in clarity and skin tone, as well as the lightening or overall brightening effect on age spots/sun spots/hyperpigmentation/post acne marks, and smoother skin all around.
Chemical peels, masks, and treatments are designed to be used on various skin tones and skin types, from fair to deep, to dry to oily.
Chemical peels often rely on ingredients that fall into:
-Glycolic Acid, fruit sugars (not sugar granuals) and acids such as grapefruit, sugar cane, lemon, orange, also categorized as an alpha hydroxy acid. Glycolic acids are also rich in vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which promote the evening of skin tone, aids in providing protection against oxidative damage, and boosts the natural production of collagen in skin
-Lactic acid, milk sugars/proteins/enzymes, a more gentle approach in the chemical world, lactic acid assist in brightening, calming and soothing inflammation and sensitivities, and is also great for sensitive skin, it's also another type of alpha hydroxy acid
-Salicylic acid, also a beta hydroxy acid, commonly used and found in acne treatment products or lines, salicylic acid not only helps break down dead/dry skin at the surface, but also deep cleans pores and rid skin of bacteria and unneeded oils
-Mandelic acid, also an AHA, mandelic acid has anti-bacterial properties like salicylic acid, and is dervived from bitter almonds
There are literally dozens of acids used in the beauty and skin care world in chemical peels, but they're made safe and balanced for use on different skin tones as they don't block or inhibit the production of melanin in skin, nor do they counteract the process. In other words, chemical peels aren't designed to bleach or halt the process of skin from ever developing color. They're meant as a more intensive, specialty treatment to work alongside skin care regiments to boost results and improve the overall look and feel of skin.
Though the skin are world isn't required to list the full percentage of their ingredient listings, most over the counter chemical peels and products are safe enough to use in a time frame of anywhere from weekly usage to maybe 1-2x a month depending on individual product instructions and specifications.