peels are a type of exfoliation used to treat wrinkles, improve dull skin and
reduce dark spots and sun damage. There
are three basic types of treatments: the refreshing or “lunchtime” peel and
medium or deep peels, which are performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Depending on your goals, all are effective
but there are major differences. Read more to discover what to expect—and to
choose the best chemical peel for you.
First, Who Should Get A Chemical Peel?
generally work best on people with fair skin and lighter hair. They can also be
very effective for people who are older or haven’t been exfoliating. However,
if your complexion is darker, be sure to discuss the treatment thoroughly with
your esthetician or dermatologist before scheduling. You could be more likely
to experience uneven skin tone.
addition, if you’re looking to correct severe wrinkles or sagging, don’t expect
miracles from a chemical peel. Other cosmetic treatments, such as laser
resurfacing or fillers, may be more effective.
How Chemical Peels Work
peels exfoliate your skin with an acid that dissolves and removes dead cells on
the surface, revealing younger cells below. Light peels only exfoliate the
outermost layer of skin, called the epidermis. Medium and deep peels go into the
skin’s dermis (living tissue) and require more healing time. How acidic the
peel is and how long it stays on your skin determines the strength.
to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, there are three types of chemical peels. Here’s what to
Light or Lunchtime Peel
refreshing peel is often called the lunchtime peel because beauty lovers can
have a peel at a day or medical spa on their lunch hour. There is little or no downtime
and an esthetician will typically perform the treatment. (Estheticians can only
work on your skin’s outer layer or epidermis.) You can expect to have smoother and
to have some redness and possibly light scaling for one to seven days.
lotion or a special cream daily until your skin heals. And be sure to use
It’s usually ok to start using makeup the same day of your peel.
may need a series of peels to get the results you want. Wait two to five weeks
medium chemical peel is just what it sounds like: not as intense as a deep peel
but usually more effective than a light peel. A dermatologist or plastic
surgeon at a medi-spa or medical office supervises this type of chemical peel.
skin will be red and swollen for one to two weeks. Swelling will be more
intense during the first 48 hours.
your skin to crust and peel off during this period.
doctor will recommend daily soaks and treatments with special ointments and
prescribe an antiviral medication.
Avoid the sun until you heal!
deep chemical peel is a serious
procedure for people looking for serious results. This type of peel penetrates
deep into the skin and must be performed by a licensed physician.
A deep peel takes 14 to 21 days to heal. Your doctor will bandage the area.
She will recommend four to six daily soaks while you heal. You will apply an ointment
after each soak.
not wear makeup for 14 days.
will take an antiviral medication.
doctor will schedule follow up visits during the first week.
the sun completely for three to six months.
What to Expect
medical experts at the American Academy of Dermatology Association note that
you may need to follow a skin care plan for two to to four weeks before your
chemical peel. Your dermatologist will let you know if this is necessary.
it’s time for your peel, first, the clinician or doctor will clean your skin.
you are planning a deep peel, you will be put to sleep with a general
The peel is applied quickly and evenly and removed at the time that’s best for
the peel, follow the recommended procedures (see above).
There is some downtime after a medium peel and a deep
chemical peel means recuperation
at home for two to three weeks.
a chemical peel is appealing (we couldn’t resist the pun), we suggest starting
with a light peel to see if you like the results. You can always work up to a
medium or deep peel, which are more serous procedures.
Find chemical peels near you.
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 WebMD, “Chemical Peels and Your Skin”
 TripSavvy, “What is a chemical peel and what does it do for your skin,” Anitra Brown, Updated May 2019