Should You Try Chemical Peels & The Right One For You


Lately, you have come across people raving about chemical peels and the fantastic results that the treatment offers. You are excited and even feel like trying it. There’s no way you would want to let go of an opportunity that can give you glowing skin. It seems perfect, but are you still a little sceptical if you should try it or not? 

Rejoice as this blog is only for you. Continue reading to understand the meaning of chemical peels, benefits, essential instructions, tips and risks. It will give you clarity if you should try chemical peels or drop the idea. 

When to Think About Chemical Peels?

If you are dealing with the following skin issues, do try a chemical peel treatment. 

  • You have uneven skin tone
  • You are noticing wrinkles or fine lines 
  • Presence of brown spots or skin discolouration
  • Your skin is sun-damaged 
  • You have acne scars

What are Chemical Peels?

It is a cosmetic treatment that includes applying an acid solution on the face, hands or neck to enhance the feel and appearance of your skin. The solution penetrates deep into your skin, causing exfoliation and finally peels off. Resulting in radiant and smooth skin along with reduction in wrinkles.

What Results Can You Expect After Chemical Peels?

The results will not necessarily be the same for everyone and may vary from person to person. It would depend on the type of chemical peel used as well. 

  • Clear & glowing skin
  • Reduction in dark spots and pigmentation
  • It removes dead skin cells
  • Prevents acne
  • Softens and Moisturises Skin
  • Reduces Signs of Ageing
  • Improves and smoothens skin texture 
  • It helps skincare products to penetrate deeper

Different Types of Chemical Peels

Deep Peels

In this form of chemical peel treatment, trichloroacetic acid or phenol are used in stronger concentrations to create dramatic results. It is an intensive form of treatment that goes far beyond the middle skin layer to remove damaged skin cells and reduce deep acne scarring, wrinkles and freckles.  

Superficial Peels

It is a gentle kind of chemical peel that brightens skin. It also helps deal with issues like acne and hyperpigmentation. A lactic peel is an example of a superficial or light peel. It generates new collagen and is perfect for sensitive or dry skin.

Medium Peels

This chemical peel uses trichloroacetic or glycolic acid. In comparison to light peels, they penetrate at a deeper level and eliminate dead skin cells. This treatment involves the combination of retinol, and/or exfoliants to enhance skin health. It helps reduce freckles, fine lines, age spots, wrinkles and reduces signs of premature skin ageing.

How to Prepare for Chemical Peels?

The first step is to connect with a dermatologist/skin specialist to share your skin issues and goals. Your doctor will examine your skin and determine which type of chemical peel would suit you and give you desirable results. They will enquire about things such as allergies, medical conditions, previous surgeries and medications.

i. Pre Procedure Instructions

  • You should avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin and some herbal medications as it may increase chances of bleeding. 
  • Do not use any retinol or Retin-A topical medication for at least 48 hours.
  • Stop smoking at least six weeks before chemical peel to help you heal better.
  • You should not have been on Accutane (Isotretinoin) for at least six months.
  • It is crucial to stay hydrated before and after the treatment for a quick and safe recovery.
  • Before your treatment, avoid exfoliating, scrubbing or using any peeling products. The only exception being, if your doctor asks you to do so. 
  • Two weeks before your treatment, do not get botox treatment or facial fillers.
  • Avoid any heat or laser treatment for at least one week before undergoing peeling.
  • Best to avoid chemical peels if your skin is acutely inflamed, irritated or bruised.

ii. During Your Procedure

You may feel a slight itching or stinging sensation during your treatment. It is a common thing that a lot of people experience. Once the sensation subsides, your doctor will neutralise using sodium bicarbonate or water. It makes your skin feel cold to reduce the itching.

iii. After Your Procedure

Post-treatment, your surgeon/dermatologist will share information regarding the usual symptoms and certain complications that can happen. If you have undergone treatment around the eye area, do not forget to wear sunglasses. Some of the chemical peels may require you to be cautious of chlorinated water.

Medium Peels

There are chances of redness and swelling after medium peels. It may take around 7-14 days to heal. Your skin may start peeling and crusting during this period. In some cases, you can feel blistering skin. Do not panic, as these after-effects are common. Your doctor may ask you to soak your skin every day along with applying a medicated ointment. Avoid complete sun exposure till you are healed. Do follow up with your doctor to help her/him monitor your progress.

Superficial Peels

It may take about 1-7 days to heal. The skin initially turns red, and there could be scaling as well. Keep your skin moisturised, and do not forget to apply sunscreen.

Deep Peels 

It takes about 14 to 21 days for deep peel treatment to heal. Your doctor will bandage the area(treated) to ensure there is no foreign particle contact. Along with applying ointments, you will have to soak skin around 4-6 times every day. For three weeks, apply a thick coating/layer of moisturiser after the treatment. Avoid sun exposure for 3-6 months to protect your skin.

Side Effects & Risks Associated With Chemical Peels

  • If your skin type is sensitive, you can face slight discolouration that gets fine with time.
  • Deep peels may lead to permanently losing the ability to tan.
  • If done inaccurately, there are chances of permanent scarring.
  • Those who have herpes simplex can experience flares. 
  • Phenols used in deep peels may harm your heart, liver and kidneys.
  • If you have a darker skin tone, you could have to deal with darkening or lightening skin colour.

It’s a Wrap

Chemical peels are an excellent choice to attain radiant, supple and younger-looking skin. Based on your concern and skin type, a dermatologist can recommend the chemical peel suitable for you. However, every peel has some risks and side effects that you may come across. Follow the safety guidelines and be patient. With time and care, it will heal completely. If you feel any discomfort, have doubts or are facing any other issues, talk to your dermatologist.


1. What exactly does a chemical peel do?

Chemical peels are a form of cosmetic procedure that uses a type of acid to exfoliate and remove  damaged and dead skin cells to reveal healthy and smooth skin.

2. Which is the best chemical peel?

The best chemical peel will depend on your skin concern and type. A dermatologist can suggest the correct chemical peel after examining your skin and skin needs. 

3. Can you see results after 1 peel?

The results will vary for each person as well as different types of chemical peels. You can consult your doctor as she/he would be the right person to tell you if you can see the results after 1 peel or not.   

4. Can you try chemical peels at home?

You can find a lot of at-home chemical peels available these days. However, these are not recommended. It is safer and better to get it done by a dermatologist or a professional who can explain the procedure and suggest the right type, risks, and safety measures.



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Chaitali Nayak

A writer and a skincare fanatic, Chaitali believes that words and kindness can transform the world. She has a master’s degree in Advertising & Public Relations and has worked for various advertising agencies and digital marketing firms. With the help of expert dermatologists at CureSkin, she works towards creating content that helps eliminate misinformation related to skincare. The aim is to educate yet bring something exciting and new every time for the readers. When not busy writing, you can find her talking to her plants, eating, drawing or watching movies.