The authors explore components of skin ageing, discussing extrinsic as well as intrinsic factors, with the focus upon the process of photoageing. The anatomy of the epidermis is discussed, supported by diagrams, in relation to extrinsic factors inducing photodamage, in relation to the role of chemical peels in targeting such presentations as coarse skin texture, fine lines, visible and enlarged pores as well as hypo and hyperpigmentation. Emphasis is placed upon a detailed consultation which includes a history of previous skin peels, to ensure an appropriate agent and solution strength is selected. A referenced overview of current topical ingredients is provided, supported with discussion around the importance of an awareness of the significance of the pH in varied formulations. A detailed description of the mode of action and properties of alpha-hydroxy acids and beta hydroxyl acids, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid as well as salicylic acid is provided, along with indications for treatment. The authors consolidate the discussion of topical formulations with a detailed overview of chemical peel ingredients, including combination peels, underpinned by current studies.