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Cosmelan Peel

Our Mission

Our mission is to offer the most effective, innovative, and minimally invasive rejuvenation services to our patients. Our team of highly trained medical and aesthetic providers utilize their expertise to achieve our objective to create safe and natural looking results without ever looking “done”.


A Cosmelan peel is a revolutionary, exclusive facial treatment that helps diminish the appearance of hyperpigmentation. It reduces melanin levels, lightens skin tone, and evens out discoloration due to sun damage, age spots, melasma, freckles, and other blemishes.

The unique formulation contains powerful active ingredients that inhibit melanin production, reduce inflammation, and promote skin rejuvenation. These ingredients include:

  • Azelaic acid
  • Kojic acid
  • Phytic acid
  • Retinol
  • Vitamin C
  • Hydroquinone
  • Arbutin

These ingredients work together to create a potent cocktail that has skin-lightening, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory actions. At Artful Aesthetics in Oakland, CA, the Cosmelan peel is administered in-office by a licensed medical aesthetician.

Treatment consists of applying a Cosmelan facial mask, which is left on for a set amount of time. Although typically applied as a facial mask, a Cosmelan peel can be used on almost any part of the body.

Artful Aesthetics is a boutique medical spa

Artful Aesthetics Helps You Look Your Very Best Naturally

Welcome to Artful Aesthetics, the Bay Area’s boutique refuge for aesthetic skin and body care. Supervised by board-certified plastic surgeon Douglas H. Chin M.D., our Medical Director, we offer extraordinary cosmetic results using cutting edge technology in the relaxing atmosphere of a spa.

As a Platinum Provider of Allergan Products, we offer natural–looking and effective results using the latest injection techniques and advanced products.

We use — BOTOX® Cosmetic, Juvederm XC, Voluma XC, Vollure XC, Volbella XC, Dysport, Restylane Products, IPL/Photofacials, Thermage CPT with a Total Body Tip, Clear and Brilliant, Permea, Vivace Microneedling with RF, laser hair reduction, HydraFacialMD anti-aging facial treatments designed by Irina Akkerman FNP-C, MSN, chemical peels and cosmeceutical skin care products. At Artful Aesthetics, we love to make you look and feel beautiful.


A Cosmelan peel is a safe and effective solution for treating various skin blemishes.

The following are the primary benefits of the peel:

  • Reduction of skin pigmentation: The Cosmelan peel includes kojic acid, an ingredient that consists of several types of beneficial fungi. Kojic acid inhibits the formation of tyrosine in the skin, which is the key enzyme required for melanin production. Melanin is a natural pigment responsible for the skin’s color, and high levels of melanin can lead to dark spots. By inhibiting melanin production, kojic acid helps lighten skin blemishes and reduce skin pigmentation. Kojic acid also helps fight against post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). PIH is a common side effect of acne and melasma, which is a form of discoloration caused by hormonal changes.
  • Provides even skin tone: Cosmelan peels contain several ingredients that help to improve skin tone by lightening patches of discoloration and other blemishes. These ingredients include vitamin C (an antioxidant that helps even out the skin tone), arbutin (a skin-brightening agent), and hydroquinone (a powerful skin-lightening agent). Other ingredients, such as azelaic acid and retinol, contribute to a more even skin tone as well.
  • Inhibits the formation of melanin: Melanin is formed through a process called melanogenesis, where tyrosinase (an enzyme) converts the amino acid tyrosine into pigment. The ingredients in a Cosmelan peel inhibit the tyrosinase enzyme, which helps reduce melanin production and leads to a more even skin tone.
  • Increases the production of collagen: Collagen is a protein found in the skin that helps keep it firm and supple. Ingredients such as retinol (a vitamin A derivative) and phytic acid help stimulate the production of collagen, which can lead to a more youthful-looking complexion by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.


Not only can the Cosmelan peel help improve the appearance of your skin safely and effectively, it can also treat any number of skin conditions, including the following:


Melasma is a condition that can most commonly cause brown (most common) or gray-brown (less frequent) patches to form on the skin, usually on the forehead, cheeks, nose, and upper lip. They look similar to skin blemishes like sunspots, age spots, and liver spots, but they aren’t the same.

In fact, melasma usually results in larger “spots” than other types of hyperpigmentation-usually the size of nickel or larger. Melasma spots are harmless, but while some fade away after a while, others may never go away no matter how hard you try.

The cause of melasma is still largely unknown, but it is thought to be related to changes in hormones during pregnancy or while taking birth control pills. As such, women (especially those with darker or tanner skin) tend to be more prone to this condition.

Certain medications can also increase the risk of melasma, including some antibiotics and antifungal medications. Additionally, UV light exposure can trigger the condition or make melasma worse.

The Cosmelan peel helps to significantly reduce the appearance of melasma spots by inhibiting melanin production and lightening any existing discoloration.


Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is frequently referred to as “acne scarring”, however it is not scarring at all. Rather, it is just a temporary form of skin darkening or discoloration that is easily treatable. However, if left on treated, it will not go away. 

PIH occurs when the skin cells produce extra melanin. This happens as a reaction to damage or irritation caused by acne, eczema, burns, bug bites, rashes, allergic reactions, psoriasis, and more. As a result, the skin may produce brown, dark brown, tan, or bluish-gray spots or patches.

The Cosmelan peel eliminates PIH by lightening existing discoloration, inhibiting melanin production, and increasing cell turnover. Additionally, it uses natural exfoliants, such as azelaic acid, to shed dead skin cells and stimulate new cell growth.

It also includes ingredients such as retinol and phytic acid, which help reduce inflammation and promote collagen production, thereby helping to plump up the skin and minimize the appearance of acne scars.

Freckles are a form of sun damage that are small skin spots and can range in color, from light brown to dark brown. They can occur almost anywhere but are most commonly found on the face, shoulders, arms, and hands. They result from an overproduction of melanin and can be caused by sun exposure or genetics.

Ingredients such as kojic acid and vitamin C found in the Cosmelan peel help to lighten existing freckles and reduce their appearance. These ingredients also help to inhibit melanin production, which leads to a more even complexion.


Unlike other peels, the Cosmelan peel requires one in-clinic treatment and then, 21-30 days later, a second application of the intensive peel. Before the actual peel, you will receive a consultation with your clinician to assess your skin and determine the best course of action.

During the consultation, your clinician will outline any risks and side effects associated with the peel and answer any questions you may have. As for the actual treatment itself, the following is the process that you can expect:


The first stage of the Cosmelan peel is intensive depigmentation. During this stage, a Cosmelan peel mask is applied and left on for 8-12 hours. During this time, the cream will absorb into your skin and help to reduce discoloration.

Other chemical peels are usually removed after 2-5 minutes. The Cosmelan peel is much less intense with the initial application than other chemical peels, so it’s left on for longer. Additionally, unlike other chemical peels, Cosmelan peels aren’t painful.

After 8-12 hours, the mask is removed in a gentle, circular motion with a damp cloth and lukewarm water. Your face may feel slightly sensitive and will appear reddish.


After the intensive depigmentation mask is removed, you will be asked to continue your treatment regimen at home. You’ll wait two to three days after you’ve removed your Cosmelan peel mask before beginning to apply a Cosmelan cream.

This cream contains a milder version of the depigmenting ingredients used in the in-office intensive mask, which helps to lighten dark spots and promote an even complexion.

Your face may feel itchy or irritated during this stage. Additionally, you will likely begin experiencing peeling as the Cosmelan cream gets rid of dead skin cells from your face.


Once continuous depigmentation is complete, you will begin regulating the hyperpigmentation process. This involves applying a topical cream 1-3 times a day , which will help control residual discoloration and protect your skin from the sun. You should begin to see results as you continue to apply the cream on a daily basis.


At this point, depigmentation should be complete, and your skin should appear even-toned and healthy. However, to ensure that your results are long-lasting, you’ll want to control the reappearance of hyperpigmentation. This involves applying the special Cosmelan cream at night for 3-6 months.

Delivering the results

cosmelan peel before and after
cosmelan peel before and after