“Honey. I’ve had a little something done.”

Samantha makes a routine visit to her dermatologist and comes out looking like beef carpaccio.

This one Sex in the City episode has scared countless women away from the benefits of peels. They can be a fantastic way to brighten the complexion, clear congested skin and help minimise the signs of wrinkles.

The problem with this episode is that it is ridiculously misleading. There are different levels of peels that are suited to different skin concerns and require varying degrees of downtime.

Light– These peels are generally called light resurfacing peels. They are used to brighten the complexion and require virtually no down time. You will feel a slight tingling sensation and may lightly flush for 30 minutes after, but that is the extent of it.

Medium– If you are looking to address slightly more serious concerns, these medium strength peels are for you. They are generally used to treat acne scarring and pigmentation as well as addressing fine lines and wrinkles. As these peels penetrate deeper than light peels, they cause more temporary damage. This means that your face will be shedding and peeling (a bit like a snake) for approximately one week.

Deep– Deep peels must be performed by a doctor. You have to apply anaesthetic cream first. They actually cause the skin to frost over. All of the skin on your face will be raw for roughly two weeks. These peels are ideal for serious concerns and are the only peel that shows dramatic results after only one treatment.


Having a look at Samantha from this episode, it is quite clear that she had a deep chemical peel. Although highly beneficial and I’m sure she looked amazing once she was completely healed, it was completely inappropriate for her to have one before a big social event.

If you want to look your best, it is important to talk to your practitioner about possible down time or side effects before you have any treatment.