Everything You Need To Know About Chemical Peels: Procedure, Types, Benefits & Recovery

Published on: Apr 15, 2023 / Last Updated on: Dec 22, 2023 / SKINCARE
Everything You Need To Know About Chemical Peels: Procedure, Types, Benefits & Recovery

One of the best procedures to go in conjunction with other beauty treatments is the chemical peel. This treatment is popular for its ability to rejuvenate the skin and help you look your best. In this blog, we'll cover everything you need to know about chemical peels, including what the different types are, how they all work, and what to expect during and after treatment.

What Are Chemical Peels?

A chemical peel is a cosmetic treatment that uses a chemical solution to remove the outer layers of the skin. This process helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, acne scars, and other skin imperfections, improving the overall texture and tone of the skin.

Chemical peel treatments are available in a variety of strengths, from mild to deep, and can be customized to meet the unique needs of each patient. Chemical peels are one of the most cost-effective skin treatments to get fast improvement and see immediate results. They also work great as a supplementary treatment with other procedures such as botox injectables and dermal fillers.

How Do Chemical Peels Work?

During a chemical peel, a special solution is applied to the skin, which works to dissolve the outer layers of dead skin cells. The chemical solutions allow for increased cell proliferation on the outer layer of the epidermis, while also removing stratum corneum and plugs within the pores of the skin.

The solution may contain a variety of ingredients, such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or trichloroacetic acid (TCA), depending on the desired strength of the peel. Keep reading to see more about these types of chemical peels and their specific properties.

After the solution is applied, the skin will begin to peel and flake off over the course of several days. This process allows fresh, new skin to emerge, revealing a smoother, more youthful-looking complexion.

What Are the Benefits of Chemical Peels?

Chemical peels offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Smoother, more even skin tone

  • Reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

  • Improvement in the texture and clarity of the skin

  • Reduction in the appearance of acne scars and other skin imperfections

  • Increased production of collagen, which helps to firm and tighten the skin

What Are the Different Types of Chemical Peels?

Before and after chemical peel treatment

1. Glycolic acid peels

These peels are mild and work well for patients with sensitive skin. They can help to improve skin tone and texture, minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and even reduce hyperpigmentation. Research indicates that consistent and repeated use of glycolic acid peels effectively removes acne scars and cystic lesions from the skin. One special quality of glycolic peels is their small molecular structure which allows them to reach into the deeper layers of the skin where dead skin cells can be hard to reach. Glycolic acid is considered an alpha hydroxy acid chemical exfoliant.

2. Salicylic acid peels

Salicylic acid peels have been popular in many skin treatments for over two millennia. This ancient approach has been used to treat various skin conditions and is still widely utilised today. These peels are ideal for patients with oily or acne-prone skin. They help to unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and improve skin texture. Salicylic acid peels are best for those looking for a chemical solution for acne. They can even treat fungal infections such as fungal acne. Salicylic acid is considered a beta hydroxy acid chemical exfoliant.

3. TCA peels

TCA (trichloroacetic) peels are stronger and work well for patients with more severe skin concerns, such as deep wrinkles or sun damage. They can help to improve skin texture and tone, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and minimize the appearance of acne scars and other skin imperfections. TCA peels can vary from light to very deep treatment depending on the percentage of the chemical solution. Typically, deeper peels with 40%-50% are only performed by professional dermatologists. Research indicates that TCA peeling can improve the appearance of photoaged facial skin. A low concentration of TCA is effective for superficial sun damage, while medium-depth peels using a higher TCA or combination therapy can reduce wrinkles.

What to Expect During a Chemical Peel Treatment

Before your chemical peel treatment, it’s important to meet with an experienced skincare professional to discuss your goals and determine which type of peel is best for you. You will also need to receive instructions on how to prepare your skin for the treatment.

During the treatment, the solution will be applied to your skin and left on for a set amount of time. You may feel a slight tingling or burning sensation during this time, but this is normal and will subside quickly.

After the solution is removed, your skin may appear red or irritated, but this is also normal and will subside within a few days. You will be given instructions on how to care for your skin during the healing process, including avoiding sun exposure and using gentle skincare products.

What to Expect After a Chemical Peel Treatment

After your chemical peel treatment, your skin will begin to peel and flake off over the course of several days. You may experience some mild discomfort during this time, but this is normal and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.

Typically, patients will feel redness and dryness as their skin starts to peel. It’s also common for the skin to feel slightly tighter than normal during this process. But after 5-7 days, the skin will peel completely off leaving you with a fresh, glowing new layer of skin.

Discover everything you need to know about caring for your skin after a chemical peel in our blog, "Post-Peel Skincare."

Finding a Provider Near You

M Health and Beauty offers two variations of the chemical peel: VI Peel and Cosmelan Peel. More information about these treatments can be found on the chemical peel service page. Visit M Health and Beauty or call today to schedule an appointment.