Carbon Peel: All You Need to Know

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on June 10, 2024

Gain valuable insights into the carbon peel experience! Before scheduling your appointment, learn about its mechanism, benefits, risks, and expected outcomes.

carbon peel laser treatment

Image source: Instagram @les_soeurs_beautystudio

The carbon peel, known as carbon laser toning or the Hollywood peel, is a cutting-edge skin treatment.

It involves applying a carbon solution followed by laser treatment to unclog pores and boost collagen production, resulting in a rejuvenated, radiant complexion.

This guide covers the procedure’s benefits, potential risks, aftercare practices, and costs. So, let’s start!

Table of contents - Skip to a specific paragraph

What Is a Laser Carbon Peel?

Carbon laser treatment is a non-invasive facial rejuvenation procedure known for its minimal downtime and immediate results.

A unique carbon solution is applied to the skin, followed by a laser that targets the carbon particles on the skin’s surface, destroying them and taking dead skin cells and pigment.

It’s less intense than traditional chemical peels and suitable for mild to moderate skin concerns. However, it may not suit everyone.

@skinbydrazi What’s this Laser Peel and who’s had it done? #carbonpeel #learnontiktok #powerwashing #tiktokdoc #laserskincare ♬ Inside Their Head – TT remix

Who Is Not Suitable For Carbon Laser Peel Treatment?

You may not be suitable for this treatment if you have certain skin conditions, such as:

  • Active acne
  • Infections
  • Open wounds

Consult with your dermatologist and your GP about other treatments that might benefit you, such as CO2 laser resurfacing, other laser treatments, microneedling, or other types of collagen induction therapy.

How Does the Laser Carbon Peeling Work?

The laser carbon peel process typically takes around 30 minutes. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:

  • An esthetician applies a liquid carbon layer to your pores to absorb oil, dirt, and dead skin cells.
  • After 10 minutes, eye shields protect your eyes from the laser.
  • The esthetician uses a low-energy laser to heat the carbon, stimulating collagen.
  • Optionally, sensitive skin or dark patches may skip heating. Laser may target fine lines.
  • The technician will use a pulsed laser to break down the carbon lotion in a higher-energy setting. A smoke evaporator attached to the laser removes carbon and impurities in a higher-energy setting.
  • Finish with hydrating moisturizer and sunscreen application.

NOTE – It’s a Gradual Process

They can’t happen overnight – you need to repeat microneedling sessions around 3 months according to schedule for several months before you can expect a change.

Is It the Same Thing as a CO2 Laser Procedure?

The carbon laser peel and CO2 laser peel are popular skin resurfacing treatments, but they differ significantly:

  • While the carbon peel involves applying a carbon solution before laser treatment, the CO2 peel relies solely on laser energy.
  • CO2 peels use carbon dioxide gas to deliver light wave energy, treating a more comprehensive range of skin conditions with deeper penetration. Studies affirm that fractional CO2 laser treatment is effective even for individuals with vitiligo, especially those with resistant cases.
  • Laser CO2 recovery lasts longer than carbon laser peels.

Does It Hurt?


There may be a slight pricking sensation when the laser contacts the carbon lotion on the skin, but it’s very mild.

Carbon Peel Benefits

Carbon peels benefit people with a wide range of cosmetic concerns, such as:

Face Treatments

It helps enhance the skin tone and is best for people with oily skin and enlarged pores.


The study Efficacy of Carbon Peel Laser in Acne Vulgaris in Skin of Color confirmed that Carbon Peel facials can eliminate acne-causing bacteria and reduce the size of oil-producing glands in the skin. This results in decreased oil production, which helps to improve acne effectively.

Acne Scars

A carbon peel facial can effectively reduce or even eliminate mild to moderate acne scars.

However, deeper and more severe forms, such as ice-pick scars, may require a different rejuvenation treatment, such as laser skin resurfacing.


Peeling gently removes excess pigment (freckles, dark spots, age spots, etc.) from skin cells to naturally leave your skin clearer and more even-toned.


The mild dermis heating promotes collagen production, further enhancing your skin’s overall appearance and health over time. Additionally, the technique allows the laser to more effectively target pigmented cells without damaging surrounding tissue.

Underarm Treatments

The process results in skin tightening and underarm lightening, making it an effective solution for those looking to whiten and rejuvenate their underarms.

How Many Sessions Will I Need?

To achieve the maximum effectiveness of carbon laser peels, experts often recommend 3 to 6 sessions spaced 2 to 3 weeks apart.

carbon peel laser treatmentImage Source: Instagram @ladresseb

Carbon Laser Facial Side Effects

Carbon peel is generally considered safe with minimal risks. However, if there are side effects, the most common is hypopigmentation, which causes the skin to lighten in color, especially in areas previously damaged by the sun.

The severity of the side effects may depend on the extent of sun damage before the laser treatment.

Can You Get Laser on Face During Pregnancy?

While studies confirm the safety of certain types of lasers for medical conditions during pregnancy, there isn’t direct confirmation regarding using carbon dioxide lasers for facials.

Therefore, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for advice on laser treatments during pregnancy.

Carbon Laser Facial Aftercare

After the carbon laser peel is complete, your technician may recommend applying a hydrating moisturizer and sunscreen to your skin. Additionally, you should avoid using exfoliants or exposing your skin to harsh chemical products for 2 to 3 weeks following your session.

When Can I Expect to See Results?

You may notice an immediate improvement in your skin’s appearance after your initial peel, but it will take several sessions to achieve optimal results. 

How much does it cost?

The cost of a carbon peeling treatment in the US is typically around $400 per session on average.

Carbon Peel – Main Takeaways

The treatment is gentle and non-invasive, requiring no downtime or healing period. Despite its name, it is a distinct procedure from CO2 laser facial. It is an excellent option for individuals with mild skin imperfections such as pigmentation issues, melasma, non-severe acne, shallow acne scars, fine lines, shallow wrinkles, or dark and lax underarm skin.



Exclusive insights into the PMU industry right in your inbox.

FREE newsletter. 100% good stuff.