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What is the recovery time for a chemical peel

A chemical peel is a procedure that uses chemicals to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells and to revitalize the skin. The results are improved texture, clarity, and tone. A chemical peel can be performed in a doctor’s office or at a spa. It is done by applying a thin layer of chemical solution to the face and letting it sit for a few minutes before removing it with water. The solution may contain fruits or vegetables such as lemon juice, strawberries, cucumber or aloe vera gel. It may also contain ingredients such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid or lactic acid.

After the peel is applied, you will be asked to avoid sun exposure for several days while your skin heals from the procedure. After about 48 hours, your skin will start to peel off in small pieces. This peeling process will take about 2-3 weeks in total before your new skin appears underneath all of this dead skin that has been removed from your face!

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on What is the recovery time for a chemical peel, best chemical peel for hyperpigmentation on black skin. Read on to learn more. We at cosmeticsurgerytips have all the information that you need about strongest at home chemical peel. Read on to learn more.

What is the recovery time for a chemical peel

how long does it take to recover from a chemical peel

For those who desire an individualized, effective treatment for skin issues, at Bentley Skincare and Wellness in Springfield, MO, we offer customized chemical peels targeted to your particular skincare need. So, how long does it take to recover from a chemical peel? There are a whole host of skincare issues that people commonly deal with, so the peel that is recommended for you will be based on your specific skin type.

Your skin may be dry, oily, normal, or sensitive. You may struggle with issues such as scarring, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, or aging skin. Whatever your issue, there is a peel that will work for you, and your recovery time will depend on the type of peel you choose. No matter the regimen that is prescribed, however, your treatment will consist of a pre-peel plan, the peel itself, and a post-treatment plan to promote your skin’s healthy recovery.

What Is a Chemical Peel?

In simple terms, a chemical peel consists of applying a peeling agent to your skin. Although the peeling agent may be left on for as few as three to five minutes or as long as up to an hour, depending on the type of peel, it encourages your skin to shed its outer layer over a period of days.

As a result, new skin growth is promoted over a period of days. The skin will now appear more even in texture, and improvements in pigmentation, scarring, fine lines, and wrinkles will be seen. Skin impurities will be drawn out, and overall, you will notice a brighter, fresher, more rejuvenated appearance.

Types of Peels

Since everyone’s skin is different, the type of peel that is recommended for you will vary depending on your skin type and any issues you may be having. There are several types of peels available, some of which contain Jessner’s solution, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), or retinol.

There are also peel alternatives, or masks, that help facilitate the peeling and rejuvenation process as well. While most peels are applied to the face, they can also be used to promote better skin texture on the back, chest, neck, shoulders, and upper arms.

Peels Containing Jessner’s Solution

Formulated decades ago by German-American dermatologist Dr. Max Jessner, peels containing Jessner’s solution have been shown to improve the appearance of all skin types. Peels with Jessner’s solution can reduce dark patches, age spots, scarring, and discoloration as they promote a bright, even skin tone. Overall, the skin will appear refreshed and revitalized.

If your skin is oily or sensitive, a PCA Peel® (Physicians Care Alliance) that is hydroquinone-free may be ideal for you. It has been found to even skin tone while improving skin that is prone to breakouts. For those patients with normal skin, a PCA Peel® with hydroquinone will brighten and rejuvenate skin while removing discoloration.

If your skin is in need of more potent treatment, a PCA Peel® with hydroquinone and resorcinol can improve the skin’s appearance, as it reduces damage due to the sun or scarring due to acne.

Peels Containing TCA

Many peels nowadays contain TCA. Designed for all skin types, including highly sensitive skin, Sensi Peel® is a gentle treatment that promotes improved skin texture and a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. For those with mature skin, Ultra Peel® I will also provide brighter, more youthful-looking skin as it minimized lines and wrinkles.

If your skin is rather resilient, the Ultra Peel Forte® may be ideal for you. This potent product brightens and restores while it promotes a younger-looking appearance. Finally, the Smoothing Body Peel® is designed to improve the texture and tone of the thicker skin of your body.

Retinoid Treatments

There are two types of treatments available that contain retinol. The 4% Pure Retinol Peel revitalizes skin as it smooths and brightens by increasing new cell growth.

The Advanced Treatment Booster is designed to promote an increase in exfoliation, all the while soothing and reducing redness in the skin of all types. This particular peel will also restore keratinization, which helps protect skin and acts as a barrier.

Peel Alternatives/Masks

There are several alternative peels or masks from which to choose, and each targets a different skin type. For patients with dry skin, the Therapeutic Oat Milk Mask Treatment is designed to hydrate and soothe dull, dry skin. If your skin tends to stay in the normal range, the Therapeutic Papaya Mask can brighten skin tone, rejuvenate, and refresh.

In addition, several treatments are available for oily skin, all of which detoxify, purify, and calm the skin. The Detox Gel Deep Pore Treatment, the Therapeutic Salicylic Acid Mask, and the Therapeutic Charcoal Mask are all offered by our office.

Before the Peel


Prior to undergoing any sort of chemical treatment, it is imperative that our doctors determine if the peel is right for you. In order to determine eligibility, we need to make sure that you are not breastfeeding or pregnant and have no skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea.

In addition, if you have an outdoor job, a peel might not be appropriate for you, just as those with a history of poor wound healing should probably not undergo such treatment. Finally, if you are receiving treatment for acne, you should avoid a peel while undergoing this treatment.

A Pre-Peel Plan

Once we have taken your medical history and determined that a peel is appropriate for you, we will provide you with a skincare regimen to follow for approximately two to four weeks prior to your peel. This is designed to make your peel more effective.

You may be asked to use retinol or a product containing Retin-A in order to stimulate cell turnover and increase the peel’s ability to penetrate into the skin. Typically, this pre-peel care would stop at least several days before your treatment. Sometimes, no preparation is necessary prior to having a peel: it depends upon the needs of your skin and the peel.

The Peel

After you arrive for your designated appointment, our staff will begin by thoroughly cleaning your skin in order to remove any oil or products that may interfere with the chemicals in the peel. If your face is being treated, your eyes may be covered with gauze or goggles to protect your eyes, and your hair may be pulled back from your face.

Depending on the type of peel that has been recommended for you, our skin care specialist will then apply the peel with gauze, a brush, or a cotton-tipped applicator. At this time, your skin will look frosted and white, and you may notice a tightness or a tingling sensation.

Many peels are removed within three to five minutes after application, and cool compresses or lotion may be applied to help soothe the skin. Other peels are self-neutralizing and may remain on the skin for up to an hour. Because each peel varies, our team will review the specifics of your peel prior to performing any sort of treatment.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Chemical Peel?

The First Day

For the first 24 hours or so after your chemical peel, you will notice that your skin may appear red. This is typical; however, moisturizer can be liberally applied in order to help soothe your skin. Usually, if you have had a medium peel, the shedding begins after those first 24 hours.

The Days After

Your skin will soon begin to appear dry and flaky, but it is best to let this procedure occur naturally and not pick or peel the skin before it is ready to be shed. Peeling skin before it is ready to come off can be counter-productive. After three to four days, most of the peeling should be complete, but it may take anywhere from five to seven days before your fresh, new skin has developed.

Within seven to fourteen days, your skin should be completely healed. If you work in an office or indoor setting, you should require no time off from work after your peel. If you are pleased with the results of your peel, you may even be able to reschedule another one in three to nine months, depending on your skincare condition and goals for your skin.

Peel Aftercare


In order to promote better healing and improve your comfort following a chemical peel, there are several steps that you can take. Immediately after your peel, you may find that ice packs or cool air provide you with a cooler, more comfortable feeling. It is, however, important that you not allow your skin to dry out.

To that end, frequent use of a moisturizer is imperative, and you may find yourself moisturizing ten to twenty times per day. This will allow your skin to continue to peel but will reduce the more obvious flaking that occurs. A moisturizing cleanser may also be recommended by your specialist as well. As previously mentioned, you should also restrict yourself from picking, pulling, or peeling your shedding skin.

Avoid Sun and Heat

Of course, avoiding sun exposure is critical. You should completely avoid the damaging effects of the sun until your skin is entirely healed, and even once it has healed, you should wear a sunscreen at all times in order to protect the new layer of skin.

Extremely hot showers or excessive sweating may also rush the peeling process along too quickly and should be avoided. Since your new skin will be fresh and new, it is important to baby it, especially in the early going.

A Quality Complexion

Since there are so many skincare products and treatments available today, it is important to begin with a visit to the dermatologist to determine the treatment that is best for you. Because skin types will vary, just as skincare issues differ from person to person, only a qualified professional can assess your skin and determine the best plan for your skin.

Remember that even among chemical peels, there are a wide variety of treatment options. Whether you have dry, oily, sensitive, or normal skin, there is a peel available to treat your skin, and within a matter of days, your skin will be on the path to improvement. Once our dermatologists have met with you, examined your skin, and determined your skincare needs, we can then proceed with the peel that is just right for you.

Best chemical peel for hyperpigmentation on black skin

chemical peels for dark skin

Can people with dark skin even get chemical peels?

A friend, family member, or even your dermatologist may recommend a chemical peel to clear up a troublesome skin condition. Chemical peels are cosmetic treatments that are applied to the face and neck to remove damaged skin cells. Your board-certified dermatologist will combine different acids to create a solution suitable for your skin concern. The solution is then applied in a simple procedure. The result is smooth, blemish-free skin, based on the type of peels used.

Chemical peels slough off dead surface skin, so there needs to be care when using the treatment. There’s a common misconception that people with dark skin cannot get chemical peels. It’s understandable since there are some cases of damaged skin and a condition called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark spots). However, these are the exception and not the norm. In a study, only 4% of African American patients received some unwanted side effects.

It all boils down to the type of peel and your doctor’s experience in dealing with dark skin. At Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics, we perform hundreds of chemical peels every year, particularly on dark skin. So in this article, we’ll cover the type of chemical peels available and how they can impact Skin Of Color. We’ll also give you some tips to make the process as smooth as possible.

Key uses of peels

Why would you use a chemical peel anyway? There are hundreds, if not thousands of skincare products on the market to deal with almost every skincare concern. So is a peel really necessary? Most skincare products send ingredients to the surface level of your skin. These can work over a long period, but the results may not be as expected. That said, chemical peels treat several conditions, which include:

  • Acne and Acne Scars: Some skin care products can clear our acne but is powerless to stop some of the scars left behind. A chemical peel can help break up and remove acne scarring.
  • Wrinkles and fine lines: Over time, our skin stops producing collagen, which helps with elasticity. That lack of elasticity creates wrinkles and fine lines on the top layer of our skin when we frown. Chemical peels can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, by stimulating new collagen formation.
  • Uneven skin tones, also called Hyperpigmentation: Our skin is exposed to external and internal stressors like pollution, sun damage, hormones, or a skin injury. These changes can impact different parts of our face, giving the appearance of an uneven skin tone. A chemical peel can produce smooth, even skin.
  • Melasma: Melasma is a skin condition that causes dark patches on the cheeks, forehead, or chin. People with dark skin tones are more likely to have melasma. It is also sometimes a result of pregnancy, stress, or thyroid conditions. Chemical peels can even skin tones while you work on the underlying cause of melasma.

A chemical peel gives your skin a reset by removing the outermost layer of your skin. Think of a snake shedding its skin, revealing a new, beautiful layer.

Why there’s a major concern with dark skin

People of color, dark skin or the many beautiful shades of brown make up roughly 1/3 of our population. While skin looks different on the outside, the genetic makeup of skin is about the same on the inside.

We all have the same melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin.

However, people of color produce far more melanin at the surface level. Melanin is the compound that determines hair color and skin color. But it also protects the skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

One significant advantage is that darker skin tones are far more protected from ultraviolet light than lighter skin tones (which could be the reason why many POCs believe that sunscreen is not necessary. Hint, it is.)

On the flip side, dark skin is more likely to react negatively to skin damage with conditions like melasma, hyperpigmentation, textural changes, and much more. In addition, since chemical peels essentially damage and remove layers of skin, there is a belief that you could get an unwanted reaction.

There is also a concern that people of color are not properly represented in the dermatology space. So many would choose to avoid certain procedures due to a lack of experience, taking the ‘better safe than sorry approach.’ There have been significant strides to address this issue. Today, more and more doctors and aestheticians understand how to help darker skin tones. Furthermore, there is a growing contingent of dermatologists of color. Now, your dermatologist would be able to choose the right peel for your skin concern.

Types of chemical peels

Before you get a chemical peel, it’s essential to understand both the types of peels and what’s in your peels. This knowledge will help you to understand what’s happening during your peel and if what your provider is suggesting is right for you. Chemical peels are classified as superficial peels, medium-depth peels, and deep peels.

  • Superficial peels target the uppermost layer of your skin called the stratum corneum or epidermis. These peels can go all the way to the top of an area called the papillary dermis.
  • Medium-depth peels impact the middle layer of your skin, called the dermis. This layer starts at the papillary dermis and goes to the middle of the reticular dermis. Medium-depth peels are much more potent at removing dead skin cells and breaking up scars.
  • Deep peels get deep into the middle layer of your skin and can break up deep acne scars and hyperpigmentation. Anyone opting for deep peels do so under the advice of a board-certified dermatologist. These peels have long healing times and must be done with caution.

Your peel will be an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHAs) or a beta-hydroxy acid (BHAs). AHAs are acids derived from plants and animals. At different concentrations, these can exfoliate your skin, brighten your skin, increase blood flow and collagen production. BHAs are oil-based organic compounds that can unclog pores, reduce oil, clear acne, and much more.

Superficial Chemical Peels


Your superficial peels will contain AHAs or a combination of AHAs and BHAs. Glycolic acid and salicylic acids are the most common types of superficial peels. These ingredients are in many skin care products. However, your dermatologist will use a higher concentration in the chemical peel. Other types of superficial peels include tretinoin or Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) between 10% to 30% strength. Some dermatologists may perform a low concentration Jessner’s peel, which is a combination of lactic acid, resorcinol, and salicylic acid.

Medium-depth Peels

Medium peels contain stronger versions of AHAs or BHAs to reach dead skin cells and uneven skin tones. These peels start with stronger TCA, between 35% to 40%. Glycolic acid and Jessner’s solution also work for medium peels at stronger concentrations. Phenol peels, a combination of powerful acids, can also help. This special peel is used at lower concentrations since it’s often reserved for deep peels.

Deep Chemical Peels

These peels help in special cases of severely damaged skin, deep wrinkles, or blotchy skin. Phenol is a popular choice for deep peels. Some deep peels may also comtaIn 50% or higher TCA. These peels require preparation in the weeks before to ensure faster healing and better success.

Here are the best chemical peel for dark skin.

So which one of these peels is best for dark skin? As we mentioned, people of all shades can get chemical peels. Darker skin, pigmented skin, or People of Color need the right peels to effectively tackle their skin concerns while being safe to use.

Superficial peels are the best options for dark skin. Your doctor may first try low levels of glycolic acid and salicylic acid. Studies show glycolic acid and salicylic acid are safe and effective. These, along with retinol and Jessner peels, have the lowest skin complications with the best results. Research shows that TCA peels at 25% and above caused the most damage to dark skin. If your doctor is using TCA peels, it will be likely at a lower concentration to test your sensitivity.

Sensitivities still exist

Even with surface peels, the sensitivity levels vary from person to person. Skin complications are possible with glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or Jessner. Using the lowest concentration first can help the dermatologist gauge your sensitivity to the acid. Over several weeks, your dermatologist will perform three or more peels, slowly increasing the concentration of acids each time. You should see the best results with the lowest chances of side effects using this method.

Medium depth peels must be used with caution.

Medium peels can be used in specific circumstances. Lighter brown skin types, for instance, can see significant improvement in conditions like scarring, melasma, and hyperpigmentation. Like superficial peels, doctors will first try the peel at a lower concentration then increase the potency in future sessions. Darker skin is at significant risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring. Hyperpigmentation and other issues tend to improve after three months with your dermatologist’s help.

Avoid these peels at all costs.

Deep peels or phenol peels should not be used on skin of color. There i a high risk of scarring and hyperpigmentation. If there is deep scarring or skin damage, there are other solutions your dermatologist can use which are both safe and effective. For peels of all types, discuss any concerns you may have. Your doctor will outline the risks and steps needed to address them.

Protecting yourself before and after your peel.

If you have acne, scars, hyperpigmentation, or other skin concerns, you can benefit from a chemical peel. People with dark skin, however, should focus on superficial peels. To minimize the risk and improve the effectiveness of your peel, your doctor will provide some instructions to prepare your skin before your session.

Your dermatologist will prescribe a combination of a skin-lightening agent, including hydroquinone, kojic acid,  arbutin and glycolic acid (between 5% and 10%). Sunscreen is vital during this time to protect against further skin damage. 

After your chemical peel, you’ll need to do some work too:

  • After the peel, you’ll feel some redness, burning, dryness, and minor swelling. These are normal symptoms and should resolve within a few days.
  • Make sure to apply a dermatologist-recommended sunscreen and moisturizer twice daily. Use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser to clean your face.
  • As your skin begins to peel, it’s sensitive to sunlight and damage, so protect it at all costs.
  • Avoid picking or pulling the peeled skin since you can transfer bacteria onto your face. Let it slough off naturally.
  • Avoid exfoliants and makeup while your skin heals for the best results.
  • You may break out, which is normal. The acne should resolve during the healing process.

Make sure to take enough time between each session for the skin to heal completely.

Chemical peels for dark skin- Choose the right peel for you.

Remember, chemical peels for dark skin are possible. They are safe and effective but only when administered correctly. Superficial peels are best for dark skin. Your dermatologist will gradually increase the concentration of acids to gauge your skin’s sensitivity. If your doctor believes that you need a medium peel, there will be a gradual increase in potency. For the best results with minimum side effects, follow the instructions before and after your chemical peel.

Anyone with dark skin interested in chemical peels should seek out a dermatologist with expertise in treating skin of color. At Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics, our lead dermatologist, Ife Rodney MD, FAAD, is skilled in providing chemical peels on all skin types. As a dermatologist of color, Dr. Rodney understands what you need to get the best results. Feel free to reach out to us to schedule your chemical peel consultation today.

Strongest at home chemical peel

woman after getting chemical peel

There’s no question about it: Everyone needs a good dermatologist. Not just for the life-saving skin checks, but for the instant glow of their in-office products and treatments that can be tough to capture at home. One of the most popular of these transformative treatments: the chemical peel. They’re strong, so real chemical peels are only available from the pros—but there are at-home chemical peels that capture the same effects on a smaller, safer scale.

How do chemical peels work?

Chemical peels vary in strength and ingredients, but most aim to deeply exfoliate the skin to reduce fine lines(opens in new tab) and wrinkles, improve brightness(opens in new tab), and lift away unwanted discoloration and brown spots.(opens in new tab) 

When choosing a DIY peel, it’s smart to consider your skin type, says NYC-based dermatologist Dendy Engelman. “Look at the acids in the peel, and make sure they target the issue you are trying to remedy.”

How are at-home chemical peels different from in-office treatments?

At-home chemical peels formulas have lower concentrations of the same acids, making them ideal for slathering them on yourself. “In-office peels have stronger concentrations of acids, meaning greater immediate results,” says Engelman. “These need to be administered by a licensed practitioner, because of the potential to burn or irritate the skin,” she says. At-home peels are safer and milder. 



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Are there risks to at-home chemical peels?

It’s critical to follow the directions on over-the-counter chemical peel products. Warns dermatologist Dennis Gross, who pioneered the at-home chemical peel: “Due to a wave of how-to YouTube videos and consumer accessibility to professional products through vendors like Amazon, I am seeing more and more instances of serious damage done to skin—all in a patient’s own bathroom,” He notes: “But higher concentrations of acid must be administered by a licensed professional; they can damage skin if they’re not neutralized properly.”

So what concentration of acid is safe? Well, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel recommends that companies use glycolic and lactic alpha-hydroxy acids in concentrations of 10 percent or less, in solutions with a pH of 3.5 or greater, when formulating consumer products. That said, many products feature higher doses.

“The biggest challenge is to not overwork the skin,” says Engelman.” Excessive exfoliation will expose skin, weaken skin-barrier function and trigger inflammation. If the barrier function is damaged, skin becomes vulnerable to infection from microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungus, and leads to sensitivity and irritation.”

During our reporting on at-home skincare treatments, we noted that two chemical peel products labeled with the same acid concentration won’t necessarily affect your complexion in the same way. The benefits, effects, and risks of each product comes down to a range of factors, including the ingredients; whether the acid is buffered with an ingredient to increase the pH level; and how long he product remains on the skin. It should go without saying, but leave the chemical peels that are formulated for salons and spas to the professionals. Also, bear in mind that chemical peels will make your skin more sensitive to sun damage, so make sure to slather on the SPF.

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