What is the ruling on facial peeling, i.e., removing the external layer of facial skin?.
Facial peeling is a kind of cosmetic surgery that is done by some people with the aim of looking younger, i.e., to remove signs of aging.
This kind of surgery is not essential, and the patient will not suffer any hardship if he or she does not do it. Rather the aim is to change the creation of Allaah and to play about with it according to people’s whims and desires. Thus it is haraam and it is not permissible to do it, for the following reasons:
1 – Allaah tells us that Iblees (may Allaah curse him) said:
“and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allaah”
This verse indicates that changing the creation of Allaah is one of the haraam things that the Shaytaan tempts the sinners among the sons of Adam to do.
2 – Al-Bukhaari (5931) and Muslim (2125) narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “May Allaah curse the women who do tattoos and those who have them done, those who have their eyebrows plucked, and those who file their teeth for the purpose of beautification and change the creation of Allaah.” Then ‘Abd-Allaah said: “Why should I not curse those whom the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed.” See question no. 21119
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed those who do these things and he gave the reason for that as being that they change the creation of Allaah. He made a connection between changing the creation of Allaah and seeking to beautify oneself. These two factors are both to be found in the case of facial peeling, because it is changing the creation of Allaah with the intention of making oneself more beautiful, so it is to be regarded as being included in this stern warning – i.e., the curse of Allaah – so it is not permissible to do that.
Some people make excuses and try to come up with a reason to make such operations permissible – that the person suffers psychologically and cannot achieve his aims and goals in this world because his beauty is imperfect. The way to deal with such fanciful notions is to instill faith in people’s hearts and teach them to accept whatever share of physical beauty Allaah has decreed for them. Outward appearance is not the means to achieve noble aims and goals. Rather they may be achieved by the help of Allaah, then by following His laws and having a good attitude and decent manners.
See Ahkaam al-Jaraahah al-Tibbiyyah by Shaykh Dr. Muhammad al-Mukhtaar al-Shanqeeti, p. 191-198.