The Lost Art of Chemical Peeling: A 13-Year Experience with Croton Oil Peels

Submited by doctormultimedia on December 23, 2015

Doctor Lawrence Kass MD, has been an regularly invited speaker to numerous teaching seminars, giving talks on cosmetic surgery topics such as eyelid surgery, facelift surgery, brow lifts, chemical peels, and all aspects of aging gracefully. Dr Kass, is pleased to be providing a seminar January 15, 2016 AACS meeting in Hollywood, FL to a group of his peers discussing the benefits of Chemical Peels. “The Lost Art of Chemical Peeling: A 13-Year Experience with Croton Oil Peels”

By the end of this session, the participant will be able to describe the appropriate use of croton oil peels as a means of performing facial resurfacing for a variety of cosmetic applications. The participant will be able to define the safe and effective use of varying croton oil concentrations to treat different facial areas across different patients and for different conditions.


In 1962, an easily mixed formulation of phenol, water, croton oil and septisol was published, and became known as the Baker formula (1). For almost 40 years, Baker’s formula was mistakenly known as a “phenol” peel. In 2000, Gregory Hetter M.D.(2,3) demonstrated that the peeling agent was the croton oil, not the phenol, within the Baker formula and that by varying the croton oil concentration, the surgeon could alter the strength of the peel for certain patients and facial areas.|For this research, applications of croton oil were applied to different patients and different facial areas to treat a variety of conditions in 1.1% [heavy], 0.7% [medium-heavy], 0.35% [medium-light], and 0.105% [very light] croton oil treatments. In addition to croton oil concentration, the author found that peel depth is controlled by how much pressure is used during application of the formula, and how many times an area of skin is reworked during the procedure.

After five years of experience using ablative CO2 and erbium lasers, and shortly after Hetter published his articles, this author began using croton oil peels in his cosmetic facial practice. Initially, he used croton oil peels in some patients and laser resurfacing in others, but now uses the croton oil peel as his exclusive resurfacing technique. The author will demonstrate the ease and utility of this procedure in treating a variety of patient conditions seen in a cosmetic facial practice.|Croton oil peels are a safe, effective, and most affordable means of facial resurfacing. In this author’s opinion, the results of croton oil peels are equal or superior to those which may be achieved with any laser procedure. In his opinion, compared to laser ablation, there is less redness, less inflammation, and a quicker recovery with the croton oil peel.|This research was conducted to determine the utility and practicability of croton oil peels. Experience gleaned from over 13 years of experience and hundreds of patients confirm Hetter’s conclusions that varying the croton oil concentration can result in varying the depth of the facial resurfacing. With a moderate degree of learning curve, any physician, but particularly those with experience with other resurfacing techniques, can easily learn to do safe and effective croton oil peels.

About Kass Center For Cosmetic Surgery:
The Kass Center is a state-of-the-art facility for those seeking quality results from cosmetic procedures, such as eyelid surgery and facelift, and all aspects of facial plastic surgery.