Chemical Peels

Answers to Your Burning Questions About Chemical Peels

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A chemical peel is one of the best ways to get smooth, baby-soft skin if you’ve really put your skin through the wringer recently with stress, environmental damage, or lax skincare habits. Peels can even help with scarring and uneven skin tone. Chemical peels work by providing deep exfoliation that stimulates cell regrowth and collagen production. They essentially help to bring new, fresh skin to the surface. Here’s a look at what to expect if you book a chemical peel.

What Is a Chemical Peel?

Your experience with a chemical peel will vary based on whether you select a light or medium peel. Your esthetician will help you determine which option is best for you based on factors that include your skin goals, desired recovery time, and skin type. They’ll also provide you with all of the information you need to prepare your skin for a peel in the weeks, days, and hours leading up to your appointment to create the safest, best results. Here’s a step-by-step glance at what
you can expect for each type of peel.

Light Chemical Peel

Also known as a superficial chemical peel, this treatment only removes the outer layer of the skin known as the epidermis. Light peels are ideal for treating dryness, uneven skin tone, fine lines, and some types of acne. In general, the gentle nature of light peels makes them appropriate once every two to five weeks. Here’s what to expect when you show up for your appointment:

  • A light chemical solution will be applied to your skin using a brush or sponge. Expect some light tingling!
  • The peel will be left on the skin.
  • Finally, a wash or neutralizing agent will be used to remove the peel solution from your skin.

Medium Chemical Peel

A medium chemical peel goes further than a light peel by removing skin cells from both the epidermis and a middle layer called the dermis. Medium peels are commonly used to treat wrinkles and acne scarring. In general, they can be done safely every four to six months. Here’s what to expect:

  • A chemical solution is applied to the skin. Cooling tools are often used to help reduce the discomfort of a medium peel.
  • As the peel stays on the skin during treatment, you may experience burning or stinging.
  • The peel solution is cleaned from the skin.


You’ll be sent home with detailed instructions for how to care for your skin following a chemical peel. It’s common for skin to be red, swollen, and slightly irritated following a peel. Ice packs and over-the-counter medication can be used to manage discomfort. You’ll be advised to avoid picking or rubbing your skin following your treatment. You’ll also be advised on using a special ointment to help soothe and moisturize skin. Following a light peel, it’s generally safe to begin wearing makeup the day after treatment. Makeup should not be used on the skin for five to seven days following a medium peel. It’s also important to keep skin out of direct sunlight following a peel.

What Skin Types Are Best for Chemical Peels?

Chemical peels provide the best results for people with fair or lighter skin tones. Due to risks for creating uneven skin tone for people with darker skin tones, other treatments are often recommended. The best way to determine if you’re a good candidate for a chemical peel is to book an appointment at a medical spa. In general, chemical peels are safe and appropriate for all healthy adults. However, peels are not recommended if you have an active skin disease, infection, broken skin, eczema, psoriasis, sunburn, or other conditions. Peels are also not recommended if you’re pregnant or nursing.

A chemical peel is considered a minimally invasive procedure. It’s important to know that chemical skin peels go much deeper into the skin than any exfoliation treatments that can be done at home. Due to the intensity of chemical skin peels, it’s essential that you only work with a licensed and qualified medical spa to ensure that all acids are handled properly without causing damage to the skin.

Answers to Your Burning Questions About Chemical Peels
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Answers to Your Burning Questions About Chemical Peels
Chemical peels work by providing deep exfoliation that stimulates cell regrowth and collagen production. Here's a look at what to expect if you book a chemical peel.
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April 26, 2024
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