Chemical Peels: Types, Benefits and Risks

by | Dec 29, 2022 | Chemical Peels

Chemical Peels: Types, Benefits, and Risks

What if you could shed your skin and reveal a glowing, radiant, younger-looking you? It’s possible with chemical peels, also known as chemexfoliation or derma-peeling. A chemical peel may be the answer if you want to reduce the signs of aging on your face, chest, hands, and neck. At Complexions Med Spa by Northern Oklahoma Dermatology, we have a variety of chemical peels to choose from, depending on your skin type and goals. So, let’s look at how a chemical peel works, the benefits, the types of peels you can choose from, and more.

What is a chemical peel? 

A chemical peel is a cosmetic treatment that applies a chemical solution to your skin. This solution causes layers of skin to eventually peel off, leaving you with a brighter, smoother face with fewer fine lines and wrinkles. 

Typically, you get this treatment in a medical spa, a doctor’s office, or an outpatient surgery center, depending on the type of chemical peel you select. 

Chemical peels can treat various skin conditions, such as:

  • Acne (some types)
  • Age spots
  • Dull complexion
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Freckles
  • Melasma
  • Rough-feeling skin
  • Sun-damage skin
  • Uneven skin tone

Benefits of Chemical peels

What are the different types of chemical peels?

Chemical peels use various chemical solutions such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or carbolic acid (phenol). These chemicals cause a controlled injury or trauma to the skin. Once the skin peels, it reveals a new layer of skin.

A licensed professional will determine what will work based on your skin and goals. But generally, there are three types or rather depths of chemical peels.

Light Peel

A light or superficial chemical peel is the mildest of the three options. It removes the epidermis, the outer layer of your skin, and treats fine lines, wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone, etc. Because this is a surface-level peel, recovery time is shorter, ranging from a few hours to days, depending on your skin type. Ultimately, this type of peel has little to no downtime.

Medium Peel

A medium chemical peel removes the outermost layer and the upper part of the middle of one’s skin. This treatment is excellent for uneven discoloring, pigmentation, age or sun spots, acne scarring, fine lines, and wrinkles. However, because this chemical goes deeper into the skin, recovery takes a bit longer. Downtime may take a week or more, depending on your skin.

Deep Peel

The third type is called a deep chemical peel. This peel goes through the epidermis as well as the dermis. A deep chemical peel may be an option if you have moderate to extensive wrinkles, sun damage, acne scars, and blotchy skin. There are many pre-treatments dos and don’ts with this chemical peel and more significant downtime. Because this treatment is more intense, a qualified professional will perform this procedure at a doctor’s office or outpatient surgery center.

Chemical peels for men

What are the chemical peel benefits?

Chemical peels are a skin resurfacing treatment that can combat many signs of aging and improve specific skin conditions. For example, it can benefit the following:

  • Acne and scarring
  • Age spots
  • Crepey skin
  • Fine lines
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Mild to moderate wrinkles
  • Pore size
  • Sun damage
  • Skin texture

That means after the appropriate amount of healing time. After that, your new skin will be:

  • Brighter
  • Glowing
  • Firmer
  • Radiant
  • Softer
  • Smoother
  • Tighter
  • Younger/Youthful-looking

Which chemical peels are available at Complexions Med Spa?

At Complexions Med Spa by Northern Oklahoma Dermatology, we only offer light to medium-depth chemical peels at this time. 

Obagi Blue Radiance Peel

This Obagi peel is a superficial or light chemical peel that uses salicylic acid peel that provides instant glowing results with tighter, smoother, and brighter-looking skin. You’ll notice beautiful results after one peel and even more radiant skin after three peels. Little to no downtime. NOTE: No sun exposure for five days after treatment.

iS Clinical Prodigy Peel (P2)

The iS Clinical Prodigy Peel (P2) is a superficial or light chemical peel that is smoothing, rejuvenating, and preventative. It targets mild acne, visible signs of aging, pigmentation irregularities, and uneven skin tone. The Prodigy peel reveals a revitalized and radiant complexion that leaves you with healthy, firmer and more youthful skin. This peel is suitable for most skin types. NOTE: No sun exposure for one week after treatment. 

iS Clinical Prodigy Peel (P3)

The Prodigy Peel (P3) is a medium-depth chemical peel that resurfaces, clarifies, and brightens one’s skin. It improves skin laxity (sagging), fine lines, and wrinkles. In addition, it treats acne, hyperpigmentation, and age spots, which enhances cellular renewal and gives you a noticeably brighter and more youthful complexion. This peel is suitable for most skin types. NOTE: No sun exposure for one week after treatment.

Vivier Peel

The Vivier peel is a unique combination of pharmaceutical-grade ingredients providing gentle exfoliation while tightening and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, resulting in a radiant, glowing, and brilliant you with little to no downtime. NOTE: No sun exposure after four days.

Are chemical peels safe?

Chemical peels are generally safe when done in a professional environment. However, if you are still determining how this treatment could impact your skin or have any concerns, we recommend consulting your dermatologist before booking any appointments. Complexions Med Spa also has free consultations where we discuss your medical history, goals, and any questions you may have on chemical peels or other services.

When you have a consultation, be as thorough and detailed as possible. This information can make a difference in the results you see from any aesthetic or cosmetic procedure.

To get you started, here are a few things to mention.

  • Mention if you take isotretinoin (past or present), a medicine for severe acne. 
  • Bring a list of all medications, both prescription and over-the-counter. Be sure to mention antibiotics, acne medicines, supplements, pain medication (even aspirin), etc. 
  • Discuss if you frequently get or have had cold sores in the past.
  • Point out any skin issues, for example, if your skin bruises or scars easily.
  • Write down all skincare products you currently or recently used.
  • Review all herbs, vitamins, essential oils, and minerals you take, internally or topically. 
  • Explain all surgeries and cosmetic treatments you have had. While some patients feel embarrassed talking about this, the information you share can make a difference in the results you see. Don’t omit anything — even if it seems unimportant.

What happens before, during, and after a chemical peel? 

Are you wondering, what to expect? It all depends on the type of chemical peel you select. With some chemical peels, you may need to prepare your skin weeks in advance to avoid any interactions. Advanced preparation could include stopping certain skin care products or medications. Your licensed professional will provide you with any pre-treatment instructions as needed.

On the day of your procedure, the aesthetician will prepare your skin for the treatment, which includes cleansing your skin thoroughly. Next, they will apply the peel quickly and observe your skin before removing it. Immediately after the chemical peel, the aesthetician will treat your skin, which could include a cold compress or even a lotion or cream to soothe the skin as needed.

It’s crucial to follow all the instructions provided by your licensed professional. In addition, make sure to adhere strictly to all the pre-and post-care instructions.

Side effects of chemical peels

What are the side effects of a chemical peel? 

Side effects vary depending on the type, depth, and solution used in a chemical peel. However, below are some general guidelines so you know what to expect. Of course, everyone is different. Depending on your skin, you may have more or less of these common side effects.

Typically, you will notice the following side effects after a chemical peel:

  • Redness
  • Mild to moderate swelling
  • Mild to moderate peeling
  • Mild to moderate flaking of the skin
  • Heat and light sensitivity
  • Tightness
  • Itchy skin

Other side effects could include blistering, scarring, and more. That’s why you must follow the pre-and post instructions.

Regardless of the chemical peel, you will need to avoid all sun exposure, tanning beds, etc., for several days or weeks after your appointment. So you will need to plan accordingly.

As previously stated, it’s crucial to follow all after-care instructions. Your aesthetician or dermatologist will provide more details on when to begin using products, when to apply makeup, when to resume certain activities, and more.

When will I see the results?

Results will vary depending on the type of chemical peel and the solution used. Also, multiple sessions may be required to reach your desired outcome depending on your skin goals.

After your skin heals, you will see visible results. The healing time will vary from person to person; however, it may take as little as one day to recover from a light peel and up to fourteen days or longer for a deep peel. Ultimately, this depends on the chemicals used during your procedure.

Results of chemical peels

What is the cost of a chemical peel?

The cost of a chemical peel varies depending on where you go. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average price is $519 for one chemical peel.

There are many factors when determining the price. For example, the expertise required, the type of chemical solution, and the location of the procedure.

Ultimately, Complexions Med Spa falls below the national average, which means you save money! The price ranges from $100 – $225 per session, depending on the chemical peel you select. Click here to visit our spa menu for more details.

Next Step in Your Chemical Peel Journey 

Chemical peels are a skin resurfacing treatment where you, quite literally, shed your skin to reveal a brighter, firmer, and more radiant complexion. Although this aesthetic procedure may sound intimidating, it can provide more bang for your buck in terms of results. It could be worth the pesky side effect if you are willing to put in the effort, planning, and adhere to all the pre-and post-care instructions. We recommend scheduling a free consultation to see if this will work for you. So give us a call at 918-214-8686 to get the process started.







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