Chemical Peel Benefits for Your Skin

Chemical Peel Benefits for Your Skin

Treating yourself to a medical-grade chemical peel can be great for rejuvenating your skin and your confidence.

What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a process using acids to remove dead skin cells from the skin. This can help reveal the appearance of new, rejuvenated skin underneath. 

Don’t be scared of words like “chemical,” “acids,” and “peel.”  A chemical peel is a common, relatively inexpensive, and safe method of treating some skin concerns.1

Now, why is chemical peel good for your skin? 

A chemical peel can not only help address skin concerns, but it can also help your skin receive the benefits of your skincare products.2

Everyone’s skin is different though, so let’s explore the types of chemical peels and the types of skin they work best on.

Is a Chemical Peel Good for Your Skin?

There are three types of chemical peels3:

  • Light or superficial chemical peel – A light peel is used to treat mild skin concerns on the outer layer of the skin. It’s also called a “lunchtime peel” because of its convenience and short recovery time.
  • Medium chemical peel – A medium peel is used to treat moderate skin concerns at the medium layers of the skin.
  • Deep chemical peel – A deep peel is a one-time procedure that deeply penetrates the skin and treats more severe or long-lasting skin concerns.

Each of these peels uses different concentrations of acids. So, a chemical peel benefits a wide variety of skin types.

Oily or Acne-Prone Skin

You may have a bit of a love-hate relationship with your skin if it's oily. On one hand, you have a built-in hydration mechanism, but on the other hand, acne might be living on your skin like it pays rent.

The best kind of peels for oily skin and acne often contain beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) or lipohydroxy acid (LHA). Superficial peels that utilize these acids have been shown in studies to reduce mild acne through regular sessions.4

Here’s why: BHA and LHA are both lipophilic, which means they are attracted to oil. Acne is caused by the buildup of oil (a.k.a. sebum) and dead skin cells in the skin.5 So, peels containing BHA or LHA can dissolve built-up oil and reduce acne.

Glycolic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), has also been shown to help diminish acne, but not as effectively as BHA or LHA.

Acne Scarring

If you have mild to moderate acne scarring that has overstayed its welcome, superficial salicylic acid (which is a BHA), glycolic acid, LHA, and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels can be used alongside a retinoid or an AHA product as treatment.

If your acne scarring is more severe, a medium or deep phenol peel can be used as treatment. 

Sun Damage

Sun damage, also known as photodamage, is caused by prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays. You’re susceptible to this kind of skin damage if you’re regularly exposed to the sun without sunscreen.

Photodamage can cause irregular pigmentation, loss of elasticity, wrinkling, and rough skin. A wide range of chemical peels can be used to treat this including AHA, salicylic acid, and TCA, depending on the severity of the damage.

LHA appears to be especially effective at reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation, according to clinical studies. Another bonus to using an LHA peel is that while AHA increases sensitivity to UV rays, LHA may actually increase resistance to UV rays.6

Peel or no peel, always wear sunscreen, 365 days a year until the sun goes down. 


Melasma is caused by an overproduction of melanin (the skin’s natural pigment), and it shows up on the skin as irregular dark or gray patches. It commonly happens on the chin, forehead, cheeks, bridge of the nose, and above the upper lip.

The challenge with treating melasma is that the overproduction of melanin could be happening at various levels of the skin’s surface. Your dermatologist can determine the depth of your melasma and treat you accordingly. Most superficial melasma responds well to peels.

Glycolic acid is currently the most popular kind of peel for treating melasma. For deeper melasma, medium depth glycolic acid peels, alongside other prescribed topical treatments are the most effective combination.7


Chemical peels are all about revealing new, rejuvenated skin, which makes it an attractive option for people who’d rather look as young as they feel. This is usually a job for medium or deep peels, depending on the depth of the wrinkles. TCA and glycolic acid are commonly used.8

Dull Skin

Aging and the buildup of dead skin cells can cause your skin to get gradually duller. This is typically a superficial issue that only needs a superficial peel. Don’t underestimate the power of a “lunchtime peel” to help treat run-of-the-mill dullness.

Dry and Sensitive Skin

Lactic acid peels are generally well-tolerated. If you know you have dry or sensitive skin, or if you’re new to chemical peels, lactic acid is a gentler option than other AHAs.9

Darker Skin

If you have a darker skin tone, be cautious about medium and deep peels because of the risk of hyperpigmentation.10 Your skin professional should be able to tell you what’s best for you.

What to Expect

There are some things you should know about how a chemical peel will affect your skin and skincare routine.

Preparing for a Peel

Before a peel, you’ll want to pamper your skin with a quality skincare routine. If you didn’t have a regular skincare routine before, now is a great time to build one.

Gently remove excess build up on your skin with our non-irritating Gentle Cleanser to support the penetration of the peel.

Deeper peels are more aggressive to the skin and require more downtime, so it’s best if your skin’s barrier is prepared for the procedure. Our Regenerating Skin Nectar with TriHex Technology® is excellent for this purpose.

You will also want to include a calming moisturizer, like our Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer with TriHex Technology® to make your skin as receptive to the peel as possible. 

During a Peel

Your clinician will first cleanse your face of any oil, sunscreen, or makeup11

For a medium peel, you may need a cold compress followed by a cream or lotion to soothe your skin.

A deep peel will require anesthetic during the procedure and bandaging after the procedure. 

After a Peel

After a peel, your clinician will give you advice on how to treat your skin, but you will want to preserve your vibrant results with a good routine. Our Restorative Skin Complex is formulated with TriHex Technology® to help maintain a youthful elasticity and even skin tone.

  • Superficial peel – It takes 1 to 7 days to heal after a superficial peel. You may experience redness. After the redness, your skin will be scaly for 3 to 7 days. You can wear makeup the next day.
  • Medium peel – It takes 7 to 14 days to heal from a medium peel. You may experience redness, blistering, and swelling, including eyelid swelling. Your skin crusts and peels off in 7 to 14 days. Try not to schedule any hot dates during this time. You should avoid the sun until you are fully healed and you can wear makeup after 5 to 7 days. Your dermatologist may want to set up a follow-up visit after the procedure.
  • Deep peel – It takes 14 to 21 days to heal from a deep peel and your skin will be bandaged after the procedure. You should also avoid the sun while healing and you can wear makeup after about 2 weeks. Your dermatologist may want to set up several follow-up visits.12

Along with the general chemical peel aftercare your clinician advises, our Regenerating Skin Nectar is especially formulated for strengthening your skin after an aggressive deep peel and can enhance the results.

It’s worth noting that once you’ve had a highly concentrated acid dissolve a layer of your skin, you’re going to look—well, like a highly concentrated acid has dissolved a layer of your skin. 

To hide pinkness and protect yourself from sun damage at the same time, try a lightweight tinted sunscreen.

When Will You See Results?

You will see results once your skin has healed. However, for most skin concerns, change is gradual and you may need to have several peels to get your desired result. This is especially true for superficial peels.

How Often Should You Get Chemical Peels?

Board certified dermatologist M. Laurin Council says it is safe to get another superficial peel after 1 to 2 weeks until you get your desired result.

For medium peels, she recommends waiting 4 to 6 weeks between peels.

Deep peels are a different story. The effects of deep peels are strong and long-lasting and only require one treatment.13

How Long Does a Chemical Peel Last?

Most results are not permanent as your skin continues to age, breakout, and scar. So, superficial and medium peels are certainly procedures you can maintain as part of your skin’s upkeep.

ALASTIN: Advanced Skincare Made Simple

There are plenty of benefits of a chemical peel for your skin. But after your beautification in the treatment room, the skin care (and the self-care) shouldn’t stop when you walk out the door.

Trust the brand that nourishes your skin before and after the appointment—ALASTIN. Clinically proven to help extend the effects of facial treatments, our cutting edge skincare products can help you reveal your best skin yet. Start your treatment of self-love through our daily or procedure skincare today.


  1. Marta I. Rendon, Beatrice Wang. "Evidence And Considerations In The Application Of Chemical Peels In Skin Disorders And Aesthetic Resurfacing". Pubmed Central (PMC), 2010,

  2. Ibid

  3. "Skin Experts". Asds.Net,

  4. Marta I. Rendon, Beatrice Wang. "Evidence And Considerations In The Application Of Chemical Peels In Skin Disorders And Aesthetic Resurfacing". Pubmed Central (PMC), 2010,

  5. "Acne - Causes". Nhs.Uk,

  6. Marta I. Rendon, Beatrice Wang. "Evidence And Considerations In The Application Of Chemical Peels In Skin Disorders And Aesthetic Resurfacing". Pubmed Central (PMC), 2010,

  7. Ibid

  8. Grajqevci-Kotori, Merita, and Allma Kocinaj. "Exfoliative Skin-peeling, Benefits from This Procedure and Our Experience." PubMed Central (PMC),

  9. Cherney, Kristeen. "Lactic Acid Peel: Benefits, Side Effects, Products, and More." Healthline, 7 Mar. 2019,

  10. Marta I. Rendon, Beatrice Wang. "Evidence And Considerations In The Application Of Chemical Peels In Skin Disorders And Aesthetic Resurfacing". Pubmed Central (PMC), 2010,

  11. Brucculieri, Julia. "This Is What Actually Happens To Your Skin During A Chemical Peel." HuffPost, 1 May 2018,

  12. Chemical Peels: FAQs." American Academy of Dermatology,

  13. "Ask a Dermatologist: How Often Can I Have Chemical Peels?" American Academy of Dermatology,


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