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How Long Do Chemical Peel Results (Really) Last?

Exactly How Long You Can Expect That Chemical Peel to Last

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Searches for chemical peels are on the up in 2023, with more and more people becoming aware of the benefits when it comes to rejuvenating the skin, dealing with signs of ageing and addressing skin concerns like sun damage, hyperpigmentation or uneven texture.

We’re shedding light on this treatment so you can find out if it might be right for you and how long the results last.

We’ve spoken to three skincare experts who’ve shared their insights on professional chemical peels: Lilian Alishaev, a cosmetic nurse injector at Manhattan Laser Spa; Akis Ntonos, an injectable expert; and Ian Michael Crumm, a celebrity aesthetician, beauty expert and co-host of the BeautyCurious podcast.

 


How long does a chemical peel last: The short answer

Looking for the short answer? Well, it does depend on which type you get and how deep the peel goes. 

We’ll go into a little more detail about the different types of peel in a sec, but in general superficial peel results might last several weeks to a few months, medium peels can give results that last for six months to a year and deep peels can benefit the skin for years.

 

How Long Do Chemical Peel Results (Really) Last?

Image – Jacoblund/Adobe

 


What are the different types of peels?

There are three main types of chemical peels, each varying in depth and intensity. Your dermatologist or skin professional will guide you on which one’s right for you and your skin.

The NHS says that “a chemical peel is solution applied to the face to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of new cells. The aim is to improve the appearance of the skin – for example, by reducing age spots and evening out skin tone.

“There are 3 types of peels, called superficial, medium and deep.”

Here’s an overview of the main types of chemical peels on offer:

 

  • Superficial Peel: This mild peel involves applying a gentle acid solution to the outermost layer of the skin. It’s suitable for addressing minor skin issues and achieving a fresher look.

 

  • Medium Peel: Targeting deeper skin layers, a medium peel can effectively treat moderate skin problems, such as deeper wrinkles and pigmentation issues.

 

  • Deep Peel: This aggressive peel penetrates several layers of the skin and is reserved for more severe skin concerns, like deep scars and extensive sun damage.

 

Akis Ntonos, a Dermatology Nurse Practitioner, and co-founder of Aion Aesthetics in New York said: “Chemical peel outcomes vary based on the type of peel, its depth, the qualities of the patient’s skin and skin concerns. While medium to deep peels with stronger acids can offer more significant and long-lasting effects for several months to a year or more.”

The process of receiving a chemical peel involves thorough cleansing, application of the appropriate chemical solution and neutralisation. The aim is to remove the top layers of skin so that the skin that grows back is rejuvenated and renewed. 

The main difference between the three types of peel are the strengths of chemicals used, the layers of skin removed and the recovery time. Because of the chemicals that are used, and the healing process involved, a chemical peel needs to be done under the supervision of a professional.

 

How Long Do Chemical Peel Results (Really) Last?

Image – Facereader/Adobe

 


Will I see results after just one chemical peel?

With light and medium peels, you might need to get more than one peel over time to get the results you’re looking for, but they’re usually less invasive than a deep peel. A single medium peel can usually give you pretty significant improvements. 

When it comes to a deep peel, you usually only need one treatment for dramatic results, but you’ll usually have a longer recovery time and it’ll feel a bit more intense.

“Superficial and medium peels are usually safe, as long as they’re done correctly. These type of peels are not permanent and they need to be repeated,” says the NHS.

“Deeper peels are more risky. They’re longer-lasting and do not usually need to be repeated,” it adds.

 

How Long Do Chemical Peel Results (Really) Last?

Image – Adobe

 

Cosmetic nurse injector at the Manhattan Laser Spa, Lilian Alishaev said: “The duration of results from a chemical peel can vary depending on the type and depth of the peel, individual skin characteristics and the specific concerns being addressed.

“Generally, superficial peels, like those using alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or mild acids, may provide temporary results that last for a few weeks to a couple of months.

“Deeper peels, such as those utilising trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or phenol, can yield longer-lasting results. These peels can address more significant skin concerns and may provide benefits that last several months to a year or more.”

 


What results will I get?

Wondering what skin concerns can be addressed with a chemical peel? It’s a pretty long list:

 

  • Acne and acne scars
  • Dull and dry skin
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Uneven skin tone and texture
  • Rough skin and scaly patches
  • Rosacea

 

It’s worth noting as well, that while chemical peels can be seriously effective, they can’t remove really deep scars or wrinkles, and if your skin’s sagging, a chemical peel won’t tighten loose skin.

In general, you’re a good candidate for a chemical peel if your skin’s generally healthy and you have mild scarring or superficial skin tone. It’s also worth noting that some chemical peels aren’t suitable for darker skin tones. 

If you have a deeper complexion it’s even more important to do your research and make sure an experienced professional is working on your skin. Make sure they’re familiar with carrying out chemical peels on a range of skin types and tones, including skin that looks like yours.

 

How Long Do Chemical Peel Results (Really) Last?

Image – JMaaspeopleimages.com/Adobe

 


How long does the peeling process last?

The length of the peeling process does depend on the type of peel you had as well as your skin and how your body heals in general, here’s what to expect:

 

  • Superficial Peel: Peeling may last for 2 to 7 days, and the skin generally appears refreshed afterwards.

 

  • Medium Peel: Peeling typically occurs for about 7 to 14 days, with noticeable improvements in skin texture and tone.

 

  • Deep Peel: Peeling’s more intense and may last for up to 3 weeks. However, the results can be transformative, addressing more significant skin issues.

 

If you feel that the peeling process isn’t going how you expected, or it’s taking a lot longer, don’t be scared to get in touch with your beauty pro.

 

How Long Do Chemical Peel Results (Really) Last?

Image – Drobotdean/Adobe

 


How do I get the best results from my chemical peel?

When it comes to getting the best results from your chemical peel, you’re going to have to do some prep and aftercare. You also need to remember there’s a little recovery time, so don’t book your peel close to a big event

Your skin specialist should give you advice on both of these areas – if you have any concerns or questions, always ask your dermatologist or aesthetician – but here’s some general guidance:

 

  • Don’t exfoliate for a week or so before your chemical peel – this includes waxing, laser hair removal, dermaplaning, retinol and skincare that includes exfoliating ingredients.

 

  • Avoid the sun as much as possible.

 

  • Stay hydrated.

 

 

  • Steer clear of exfoliating or potentially inflammatory ingredients after your feel.

 

  • Be careful and gentle with your skin and follow the aftercare instructions and recommendations you’ve been given.

 

  • Don’t rub, peel or scratch your skin after your peel.

 

Celebrity aesthetician, beauty expert and host of BeautyCurious, Ian Michael Crumm added: “The duration of the results from a chemical peel can vary depending on the type of peel, the individual’s skin condition, and their skincare routine. It’s essential to follow proper skin care practices and use sunscreen regularly to maintain the results of a chemical peel!”

 

How Long Do Chemical Peel Results (Really) Last?

Image – Lightfieldstudios/Adobe

 

Need some guidance on whether you can wash your face right after a chemical peel? Don’t worry, we’ve got you.

If you struggle with abnormal skin scarring (such as keloid scars), have sagging skin, experience regular cold sores, you’re pregnant or you have a compromised immune system – either from medication, medical treatments or healthcare conditions – then a chemical peel might not be right for you.

Your skincare professional or dermatologist should go through all of this with you ahead of your treatment.

 


When should I book my next peel, then?

The frequency of chemical peels varies according to the peel’s depth, the results and what you want to achieve. Your dermatologist or skin professional will advise you on this, but in general, these are the guidelines for peel frequency:

 

  • Superficial Peel: It is safe to repeat this peel every 2 to 5 weeks until the desired results are achieved.

 

  • Medium Peel: Wait at least 6 to 12 months before considering another treatment.

 

  • Deep Peel: Due to its intensity, a deep peel may provide long-lasting results, potentially making extra treatments unnecessary for years.

 

If you get great results, it can be tempting to overdo your chemical peel schedule, but this can lead to skin damage and a compromised skin barrier. Less is more when it comes to chemical peels, though you should get a treatment plan and some recommendations on frequency.

 


The takeaway

Chemical peels can be a game-changer in achieving smoother, refined and rejuvenated skin. The results – and how long they last – depend on the type of peel you have and the results you’re trying to achieve. Prep and aftercare also make a big difference to the results of your skin peel, as does following the treatment plan you’ve been given by your skin pro.

If you’re going for a medium or deep peel, you should always consult with, and have your treatment carried out by, a professional.

This ensures that your skin concerns are handled and your skin care goals are achieved safely, without causing damage to your skin. Always follow their advice to get the best chemical peel results for your skin.

 

 

Meet the experts

 

Akis Ntonos, FNP-C, is a Dermatology Nurse Practitioner and Injectable Specialist, (a.k.a. Facial Architect) and co-founder of Aion Aesthetics, New York’s premier injectables clinic.

 

Lilian Alishaev is a cosmetic nurse injector at the Manhattan Laser Spa, specialising in treatments like treatments such as Botox, dermal fillers, platelet-rich plasma, RADIESSE®, and Kybella®.

 

Akis Ntonos, FNP-C, is a Dermatology Nurse Practitioner, Injectable Specialist, (a.k.a. Facial Architect) and the co-founder of Aion Aesthetics, New York’s premier injectables clinic.

 

 

 

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Freelance Beauty Writer

Lucy is a beauty writer from the UK who writes about everything from skincare to beauty trends and all the good stuff in between. A trained beauty therapist, she regularly writes for the likes of Refinery29 and PopSugar.

Expertise: Skincare, makeup
Education: The Open University
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