Your Ultimate Guide to Chemical Peels

Chemical peels have skyrocketed in popularity over the past several years – and for good reason. These minimally invasive cosmetic treatments allow our patients to gently resurface their skin to reveal a bright and glowing complexion. That being said, many of our patients are still curious about the different types of chemical peels, what they do, and which one is right for them. Let’s go over each type of chemical peel and what you can expect during each healing process, so you can better determine which peel may be best for you.

What is a Light Chemical Peel?

Light chemical peels are the least invasive types of peels, as they provide a very mild and gentle exfoliation and healing process. Most light chemical peels are made with alpha-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids. These are great for treating mild fine lines and acne-prone skin.

What Can I Expect from my Light Chemical Peel?

Light chemical peels typically take about one to seven days to recover from. The first day or two, you may notice your skin is red and sensitive to the touch, similar to the feeling of a sunburn. The following three to five days, your skin will start to flake and slough. Most patients report their skin feeling refreshed and renewed after about a week.

What is a Medium-Depth Chemical Peel?

Medium-depth chemical peels are slightly more intense than light chemical peels, and provide a more intense exfoliation than their milder counterpart. Medium-depth peels are typically made with trichloroacetic acid. Also known as a TCA peel, medium-depth peels are great for more advanced fine lines, wrinkles, skin irregularities, sun damage and hyperpigmentation.

What Can I Expect from my Medium-Depth Chemical Peel?

Recovering from a medium-depth chemical peel will be slightly more extensive than recovering from a light peel. Many patients report their skin feeling more sensitive following a medium-depth peel. After about two to three days, patients report their dead skin starting to peel and slough away. Peeling may last for up to 10 days following a medium-depth peel.

What is a Deep Chemical Peel?

A deep chemical peel is typically made with phenol or carbolic acid. These peels are much more aggressive and are often recommended to treat advanced skin irregularities including acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, sun damage and signs of aging. Deep chemical peels are only recommended once a year for experienced patients.

What Can I Expect from my Deep Chemical Peel?

Recovering from a deep chemical peel may take up to two weeks, as the skin will take about 10 to 14 days to completely scab over and slough away revealing a bright and glowing complexion. You’ll likely be advised to treat your skin with medical-grade skincare products to help speed up your healing process.

Which Chemical Peel is Right for me?

When it comes down to it, the right chemical peel for you depends on how intense you’d like your recovery to be and how often you wish to receive your chemical peel treatments. For a more casual and beginner chemical peel experience, we often recommend a light peel. That being said, if you’re looking to take the next step in your skincare routine, a medium-depth or deep chemical peel may be right for you. The best way to find out which chemical peel is right for you and your skin concerns is to come in for a one-on-one consultation with one of our expert staff members.

Want to learn more about our chemical peels? Contact us to set up your free one-on-one consultation with one of our expert staff members. In light of recent events, we are also happy to offer our patients free virtual consultations, so you can get your questions answered in the comfort of your very own home.

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