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How Often Can You Get a Chemical Peel To Keep Your Skin Healthy?

Last updated: June 2, 2022

Many men and women wonder how to achieve youthful-looking skin as they age. Chemical peeling is a popular skin rejuvenation technique that helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It also offers several other skin care benefits, like reducing acne scarring, brightening the complexion, and providing a more even skin tone.

Dermatologists and aestheticians often recommend chemical peels for individuals looking to correct skin texture and tone. However, there are a lot of questions surrounding this relatively new form of skin rejuvenation.

One of the most common questions about chemical peels is how often they can be done. Here, we look deeper into the various kinds of peels and the general guidelines regarding the frequency of treatment.

Chemical peeling is a popular skin rejuvenation technique that helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It also offers several other skin care benefits, like reducing acne scarring, brightening the complexion, and providing a more even skin tone.

What Is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a skincare procedure that involves applying a chemical solution to the skin -- typically the face. The solution removes the top layers of the skin, so new layers grow back smoother.

Chemical peels treat a variety of skin conditions and help reduce the signs of aging. There are different depths of chemical peels, including light peels, medium peels, and deep peels. Deep peels are the most aggressive, but they offer the best results.

Light Peels

Light peels are the most common, as they are the least aggressive and don't require much downtime. Light peels only remove the skin's surface layer, which tends to reveal a more radiant complexion. They help with mild concerns like fine lines or light wrinkles, minor acne scarring, dull complexion, or light hyperpigmentation.

Dermatologists recommend waiting four to six weeks between light chemical peel treatments.

Medium Peels

Medium peels are more intense than light peels because they remove the outer and middle layers of skin. This results in long-lasting and more significant results, including the treatment of breakouts and hyperpigmentation. Medium peels are also more effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, uneven skin tone, and other skin conditions.

A medium peel can be performed safely every four to six months.

Deep Peels

Deep peels are the most intense chemical peels, but they provide the longest-lasting results. These full-strength peels involve the use of phenol to reach the skin's dermal layer.

Deep peels cause skin tissues to regenerate from deep inside, so they're able to treat deep wrinkles and lines, skin sagging, sun damage, precancerous growths, hyperpigmentation, and more.

Results of a deep peel may take up to a few months to appear, but the effects can last up to 10 years. Dermatologists recommend only having one deep peel in your lifetime.

How to Prep for Chemical Peel

Knowing how to prep for a chemical peel is essential to getting the best results and avoiding complications like scarring or infection. The following are a few steps to take leading up to your peel.

Visit the Doctor for a Physical Exam

Your doctor or dermatologist should inspect the area of the skin you want to treat with the peel. They can explain the best peel for your skin type and what you can expect for results. Your doctor can also explain any potential risks and the rough number of treatments you'll need for the results you're seeking.

Avoid Sun Exposure

You want to avoid sun exposure as much as possible leading up to treatment. Too much sun before a chemical peel can result in irregular pigmentation in some areas.

Avoid Other Cosmetic/Hair Removal Treatments

Do not use hair removal treatments, like depilatories or electrolysis, for roughly one week before your chemical peel. Other treatments to avoid include facial masks, permanent hair-straightening methods, facial scrubs, and hair dying. You should not shave any area that will be treated for 24 hours before the peel.

Chemical Peel Aftercare

Skin usually feels tight, red, and irritated after a chemical peel. Your doctor will provide a variety of instructions for cleaning, protecting, and moisturizing the skin after treatment. It's essential to avoid scratching or rubbing the skin.

Aftercare is more intense for medium and deep peels, as the skin may be more swollen or painful. Doctors often require several follow-up visits for deep peels to monitor the healing process. New skin develops for about two weeks after a deep peel, but redness can remain for months.

How to Wash Face After Chemical Peel?

Keeping the skin clean after a chemical peel is one of the most critical parts of aftercare. Wash the skin with cool water and mild soap.


Is A Chemical Peel Right for Me?

Chemical peels are not ideal for all individuals and skin types. Doctors often recommend against chemical peels for individuals who have recently taken the acne medication isotretinoin. Peels are also not recommended for pregnant women, individuals with severe breakouts, or individuals with a family history of scar tissue overgrowth.

Can I Do a Chemical Peel at Home?

Some over-the-counter chemical peel products are available. These are extremely mild peels that are much less effective than light peels offered by dermatologists, aestheticians, and other chemical peel professionals. They are often safe to use at home but will not produce nearly the same results.

How to Treat Hyperpigmentation After Chemical Peel?

Hyperpigmentation after a chemical peel is temporary, but it can last months or even up to two years in some cases. Your doctor may suggest treating hyperpigmentation often with a skin-lightening agent like hydroquinone.

It is essential to follow your doctor's instructions regarding treating skin conditions like hyperpigmentation and others after a deep chemical peel or lighter chemical peel treatments.

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