What Can a Chemical Peel Do for You?

Are you considering getting a chemical peel but aren’t sure if it’s worth the benefits?

Let’s dive into exactly what a chemical peel can do for your skin.

What is a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels are a standard treatment typically performed in spas or salons, used to remove damaged skin cells. Your aesthetician applies the peel to the face, hands, or neck. The goal is to improve the appearance of the skin.

During the procedure, your aesthetician applies the chemical solution to the treatment areas. This process causes the skin to exfoliate and eventually peel off. After the procedure, the skin revealed is typically smoother, has fewer wrinkles, and is less damaged.

Why Get a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels can address several skin issues, such as:

  • hyperpigmentation
  • sun damage
  • wrinkles and fine lines
  • melasma
  • scars
  • uneven skin tone or redness

Types of Chemical Peels

There are three different kinds of chemical peels you can have done. These include:

  • Superficial peels: These use mild acids, such as alpha-hydroxy acid, to exfoliate. It just penetrates the outermost layer of skin.
  • Medium peels: These use trichloroacetic or glycolic acid to get to the middle and outer layer of skills—this aids in removing damaged skin cells.
  • Deep peels: These completely penetrate the middle layer of the skin to eliminate damaged skin cells; these peels often use phenol or trichloroacetic acid.

The Process

Superficial and medium peels are typically done in a spa or salon setting. Outpatient surgical facilities often perform deep peels.

Before you get started, your aesthetician will have you tie your hair back. They will gently clean your face, and possibly apply eye protection, depending on the peel. A topical anesthetic may be used to numb the area–particularly if you’re getting a deep peel.

During deep peels, a doctor may use a regional anesthetic to numb larger areas. If you are getting your neck done as well as your face, they use regional anesthetics. You may have an IV, and the doctor will closely monitor your heart rate during the procedure.

Light Peels

The aesthetician may use a cotton ball, gauze, or brush to apply chemicals, such as salicylic acid, during a light peel. During the process, the skin whitens and may have a slight sting. After the treatment, the aesthetician will remove the chemical solution or add a neutralizing solution.

Medium Peels

The aesthetician uses a gauze, sponge, or cotton-tipped applicator to apply a chemical solution to your face during medium peels. These chemicals might contain glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid. A blue color, or blue peel, may be added to the trichloroacetic acid.

Your skin will whiten, and your doctor will apply a cold compress to the skin. If you receive the blue peel, a blue coloring may remain on your face several days after the procedure.

Deep Peels

The doctor sedates you during deep peels. The doctor uses a cotton-tipped applicator to apply phenol to your skin. The phenol turns your skin white or gray. The procedure includes 15-minute portions. These short periods limit your skin’s exposure to the acid.


Prior to the procedure, you will attend a consultation with a skincare professional. Together you determine the best option for your skin. The professional will go over the process, and you’ll answer questions about anything that would contraindicate with the peel. Some of these answers might include acne medications and how easily your skin scars.

Before a chemical peel, you must:

  • not have used Accutane for at least six months
  • avoid using any retinol for at least 48 hours
  • tell your skincare specialist about any medications you take

Your aesthetician may also recommend that you:

  • stop using facial scrubs and exfoliants a week before the peel.
  • take an antiviral medication, if there is a history of fever blisters or cold sores to avoid breakouts around the mouth
  • stop epilating, waxing, using depilatory hair removal products the week before the peel. It would help if you also avoided hair bleaching.
  • apply certain lotions to improve treatment, such as a glycolic acid lotion
  • apply a retinoid cream to prevent skin darkening
  • Schedule a ride home, especially for deep chemical peels, which will require sedation.

Cost of Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are cosmetic procedures, making them rarely covered by insurance providers. You’ll likely be paying for the process out-of-pocket. However, your insurance provider might cover your initial consultation for a deep peel.

The price of the procedure differentiates depending on where you live and the spa you are going to. The peel you receive is also going to affect the price. Light peels often average around $150. Deep peels can cost at least $3,000. The cost increases based on the need for anesthesia and in-patient stays.

Check Us Out

That youthful-looking skin you’ve been wanting for so long is just a simple appointment away with chemical peels available from Dulce Lash and Skin.

From basic skin care and elegant, beautiful lashes to MedSpa procedures and gentle body waxing, Dulce Lash and Skin keeps your skin glowing from head to toe. With three convenient locations in Seattle, Bellevue, and Mercer Island and a full bevvy of skincare services, our highly skilled master aestheticians will guide you through a personalized plan to address all your skincare needs. Drop us a line for more information or to call and book your appointment today!