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Chemical Peels

We offer chemical peels in Gig Harbor, WA, including the ZO® Controlled Depth Peel (also known as the Obagi Blue Peel) & the lighter ZO® 3-Step Peel (epidermal exfoliating).


We are all interested in looking and feeling our very best, and that includes having healthy skin. To that end, Judith Rubin MD and Kathleen Polo MD have tried dozens of different skin care systems designed to enhance the health and quality of your skin. By far, the best system is the ZO Skin Health line by world-renowned dermatologist Zein Obagi MD.

Through years of experience in medicine and medical aesthetics, we have found that the most effective way to improve your skin health and appearance is with a comprehensive plan that promotes the long-term goal of beautiful, healthy skin. When it comes to chemical peels, this includes getting your skin ready with appropriate cleansers, toners, and corrective agents to ensure optimal results. Then, we choose the right peel solution and depth for your skin, depending on your individual needs and goals.

At Nouveau Medspas, we provide two main chemical peels: The ZO Controlled Depth Peel, also known as the Obagi Blue Peel, which treats more severe problems like wrinkles, laxity, dermal melasma and hyperpigmentation, and the ZO 3-Step Peel, which provides lighter epidermal exfoliation to improve the overall tone, texture and appearance of your complexion.




What it Does: Tightens the skin; improves overall appearance; increases collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production in the dermis
Solution: 20%-28% TCA | Depth: Superficial to mid dermis | Downtime: 5-9 days

The Blue Peel is an advanced, controlled depth peel that is only performed in-office by experienced physicians. It uses a 20%-28% trichloroacetic acid (TCA) solution in a mixture of blue base to allow the physician to know exactly where they are in the skin and to ensure even application and penetration into the dermis. Modifying the concentration of solution and amount of blue base can result in a peel with varying strengths, including 20%, 26% or 28% TCA. This allows us to perform precise, safe treatments suitable for a wide range of conditions.

TCA has been used for years in mid to deep chemical peels, but Dr. Obagi has made the treatment process safer and more effective than ever by adding a blue dye into the solution, creating a mechanism that allows us to know exactly where the TCA has penetrated into the skin. When using the ZO Controlled Depth Peel, there are specific signs that tell us when we’ve reached the depth that is appropriate for the patient we are treating.

The Blue Peel works by creating a controlled injury in the dermis, which stimulates the production of elastin for skin tightening, collagen for skin thickness, and hyaluronic acid that pulls water into the skin for hydration. For skin rejuvenation, chemical peels are an excellent choice because they improve dermal melasma, pigmentation, actinic keratosis, stretchable wrinkles and scars, general skin laxity, sun damage and enlarged pores. The result is smoother, younger and healthier-looking skin with fewer lines, pigment, wrinkles and blemishes than before.

At Nouveau Medspas, we use various strengths and number of applications of the Blue Peel to treat either the superficial top layer of skin or penetrate deeper into the reticular dermis. It is ultimately important to understand the clinical signs accompanied by reaching these different levels to ensure a safe and effective treatment, which is achieved through observation of changes in the skin that occur as it absorbs the product.


  • Deep dermal hyperpigmentation
  • Loose skin
  • Moderate to severe wrinkles
  • Melasma (irregular, deep pigment; usually hormonal)
  • Uneven texture, tone, and color of the skin
  • Enlarged pores
  • Dry skin
  • Superficial actinic and solar keratosis
  • Thin skin, skin laxity
  • Stretchable scars
  • Rosacea


At your initial consultation, our physicians will evaluate your skin to determine if a controlled-depth chemical peel is right for you. If you’re a good candidate for treatment, we will recommend a specific skin care regimen to follow for approximately five to six weeks before your chemical peel appointment — this will make your peel safer and more effective.

The ZO Controlled Depth Peel is applied in-office by our physicians. Depending on the strength and depth of your treatment, nitrous oxide may or may not be used. During your appointment, the TCA solution and blue base will be “painted” onto the skin with even strokes for uniform application. Some problem areas may require additional layers for deeper penetration. The blue coloring and changes in the skin help indicate the depth and effectiveness of the peel for optimal results. The entire process can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how many coats of solution are added. TCA is self-neutralizing, so no additional neutralizing steps are required. Afterward, you can return home immediately.


Following your peel, your skin will have a blue tint. We’ll ask you to remove the blue dye by washing your face with a gentle cleanser, which may take up to 20 minutes. You might also experience some swelling, skin tightness, redness and irritation in the treated area, but this is normal and should gradually subside.

Your skin will begin peeling after a couple of days and continue for a week or more, depending on your treatment. To avoid scarring, it’s important to allow the skin to peel on its own without picking at it. While not necessary, some people prefer to take time off from work and social activities during this time.

Once it has peeled, your new skin will be a little pink and more sensitive to sun exposure — keep it protected and stay out of direct sunlight. For the best results, you’ll be given detailed aftercare instructions to make sure you get the most out of your Blue Peel. We’ll also recommend certain products to improve the recovery process and help your skin heal.

Days 1-4

  • Generalized swelling and darker appearance of the skin at the treatment site
  • Wash face twice daily with a gentle cleanser
  • 10% vinegar compresses every 4 times a day while awake
  • Thin layer of Aquaphor or another occlusive after each compress
  • Peeling may begin on day 4 and continue up to day 7-12; usually stops after days 7-8

Day 5 & Going Forward

  • Continue washing with a gentle cleanser twice a day
  • Continue 10% vinegar compresses as needed for itchiness
  • Stop Aquaphor and start ZO hydration cream
  • Peeling will usually continue until days 7-8 but may continue for up to 12 days
  • Skin may remain red and blotchy for up to 3-6 weeks
  • Acne and rosacea may flare up
  • Restart preconditioning treatment when the skin becomes tolerant after peeling ceases

The ZO Controlled Depth Peel is a great tool for improving the tone and overall quality of your skin. Our goal is to renew your complexion so that you glow, radiating health, youth, and beauty.


Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed
The Blue Peel steps




What it Does: Improves skin health and treats many common signs of aging
How it Works: 10% TCA, salicylic acid, lactic acid | Strength: Light | Downtime: Light peeling for 3-4 days

If you’re looking for a less aggressive treatment to improve the appearance of superficial lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, mild acne scarring or an uneven texture, we offer a milder option that can rejuvenate your skin with less discomfort and downtime: the ZO 3-Step Peel.

The ZO 3-Step Peel uses a 10% TCA, salicylic acid and lactic acid solution that can be safely performed in-office in monthly intervals. This peel treats the top, superficial layer of skin to slough off damaged cells and offers lighter exfoliation than deeper peels, but still effectively treats many common signs of aging with outstanding results. The ZO 3-Step Peel is also designed to provide ongoing benefits after your initial appointment that continue to strengthen and bolster the health of your skin with an at-home protocol.

At Nouveau Medspas, the ZO 3-Step Peel is performed by our RN for skin conditions that originate in the more superficial layer of the skin. Application is followed by a 6% retinol crème and a calming crème in the office, with continued at-home use to boost the results of treatment.


  • Superficial melasma
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Enlarged pores
  • Uneven texture and tone
  • Superficial acne scars
  • Pigmentation from sun damage
  • Aging skin with mild wrinkles and laxity
  • Post-procedural hyperpigmentation


During your appointment, first the peel solution will be applied to your skin, which deeply exfoliates the top layer of the epidermis. You may feel a mild warmth, stinging or burning sensation at this stage, but discomfort is easily managed with a cooling fan. These sensations will also decrease rapidly after the third step in the treatment process.

The application of the peel will be followed by a 6% retinol crème that stimulates the skin cells to improve the tone, texture, and firmness of your complexion. Thanks to the exfoliating action in step one, this crème will be able to penetrate deeply for maximum benefit. You’ll continue with this stimulating retinol crème as part of your at-home aftercare protocol.

The final step applies a hydrating and calming crème to treated areas. It works by relieving irritation, restoring moisture, and infusing the skin with powerful antioxidants to soothe and protect. Starting the morning after your peel, you’ll continue using the calming crème at home for the next week or so, applied as needed whenever your skin feels dry and tight.


After your ZO 3-Step Peel, you’ll be able to return home and resume your normal routine. Your skin will begin peeling within 48 to 72 hours and continue for about 5 days. Let your skin peel naturally and don’t pick or pull at the flakes to prevent scarring or other complications. Your aftercare will include a 6% retinol crème and a calming crème to be applied as directed following your appointment, providing your skin with ongoing benefits. While you’ll see a significant improvement with just one treatment, some skin conditions require a series of peels for optimal results — these can be safely performed in monthly intervals.

Days 1-2

  • Mild redness in treated areas
  • Feeling of increased skin tightness
  • Wash skin twice daily with a gentle cleanser
  • Follow treatment with retinol and calming crème as directed

Days 3-4

  • Peeling will begin on day 2 or 3 and end around day 5
  • Continue to wash skin twice a day with a gentle cleanser
  • Apply the calming crème as needed, up to 3 times a day
  • Once healed, you can resume your normal skin care regimen

The ZO 3-Step Peel is an effective tool for treating fine lines, sun damage, dull skin, acne and texture concerns. It is safe and effective for all skin types and provides long-lasting results.


Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed



At Nouveau Medspas, we’re dedicated to helping you achieve your aesthetic goals. Whether you’re new to chemical peels or have had treatments in the past, our experienced team can create a personalized skin care plan to suit your needs. To learn more about chemical peels or schedule a consultation, give us a call at (253) 358-3667 or book your appointment online.

*Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed

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(253) 358-3667