What to Expect with Chemical Peels


Should you have a chemical peel? Your skin feels ready for one, it may even be begging for it. How do you know? Look at your skin. Is it dry, wrinkled, dull, a collection of fine lines, etched with deep wrinkles, discolored or littered with age spots? Any of these skin conditions can be treated with chemical peels, a cheaper alternative to laser facials. And because it’s non-invasive and usually done in an outpatient setting, chemical peels may just be the expedient answer to healthier, plumper, fresher and smoother skin.

You’ve reservations? Most people do and here are some valuable information before you take the plunge (or progress) to boost skin health.

What is a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels use a chemical solution to “blister” the skin so it peels off to reveal a smoother, more youthful-looking skin. In short, it’s a skin-resurfacing procedure to slough off the layer of dead skin (together with its imperfections), so the newer and fresher layer of skin can grow in. When done correctly, chemical peels are effective skin savers, treating a variety of skin problems from fine wrinkles to acne to skin discoloration to scars.

Types of Chemical Peels

Basically, there are three different levels of chemical peel and they target different layer of the skin. A light chemical peel removes the outer layer of skin (or epidermis) and is often used to treat superficial skin problems such as fine wrinkles, uneven skin tones or dryness. The aesthetician may use a combination of alpha hydroxyl acid and skin bleaching agents to even out skin tone. The procedure takes about 10 minutes and it takes about 5 days to heal.

A medium chemical peel removes skin cells from the epidermis and the top layer of the dermis (middle layer of skin). It is slightly more involved and is often used to treat wrinkles, acne scars and uneven skin tone. Down time takes 5 to 10 days and you may need two or three treatments, spaced out over a period of several months.

Some people may need deep chemical peel. Skin with deeper wrinkles, scars or precancerous growths may warrant deep chemical peels as they go beyond the epidermis to the mid and lower sections of the dermis. This procedure often involves general anesthesia and a sterile technique. Recovery time is longer and you may need to stay out of the sun for at least 3 weeks to lessen any damaging effects of the sun on newly-scaled skin.

Using an expert aesthetician to do your chemical peel is important. In the hands of the less experienced or skilled aesthetician, the results may not be as promising. Contact us to discuss any questions you may have about chemical peels and, together, we can decide on what type of chemical peel is best for your skin.