Cosmetic Surgery Tips

What To Know About Chemical Peel and Dermaplaning

Chemical peels are a great way to improve the appearance of your skin. They can help with acne, fine lines, and scarring. However, there are some things you need to know before you go ahead with a chemical peel.

Dermaplaning is another popular cosmetic procedure that is often used in conjunction with chemical peels. Dermaplaning involves shaving away the top layer of dead skin on your face and neck, revealing smoother, healthy-looking skin underneath.

Read on to learn more about What to know about chemical peel and dermaplaning , What Are the Disadvantages of Dermaplaning? and What’s the Difference Between a Peel and Dermaplaning?

What To Know About Chemical Peel and Dermaplaning

Dermaplaning and chemical peels are both types of facial treatments used to regenerate the skin. Both are forms of exfoliation. Dermaplaning is a physical exfoliator, whereas chemical peels are chemical exfoliators. The former has become extremely popular and is a treatment that offers fast and quick results, however, it can be extremely damaging for the skin in the long-term.

Dermaplaning relies on an exfoliating blade to remove the top layer of dead skin cells and hair. However, it may come as no surprise that dermaplaning often results in cuts, as well as the stripping of the skin barrier.

In comparison, chemical peels are much safer as they aren’t as abrasive. Furthermore, there’s a risk of infection with dermaplaning, while there’s minimal to no risk with chemical peels. Chemical peels also treat a wide range of conditions, including acne, as well as providing anti-aging effects.

What Is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a skincare treatment that uses an exfoliating blade to remove the top layer of dead skin cells and hair on the surface of the skin. It aims to improve:

  • peach fuzz (the small hairs on your face)
  • deep acne scarring
  • the appearance of wrinkles to give skin a radiant surface

At a 45 degree angle, a sterile razor gently scrapes across the face to remove the top layer of skin debris. During the day harsh environmental aggressors damage the skin often leading to the top layer of the skin looking dull and discoloured. Dermaplaning aims to remove that top layer of skin debris to expose a brighter, newer layer of skin cells. As well as this, it also removes peach fuzz.

For those who wear make-up often, peach fuzz can be a nightmare. The pesky hairs worsen the appearance of foundation and other liquid or cream products. The thought is that by removing peach fuzz the skin’s surface is smoother, making for better make-up application. Additionally, there’s some speculation that peach fuzz can be an area for the build-up of bacteria during the day. This possesses the potential to lead to acne. The dermaplaning treatment typically takes place in a clinic, however there’s been a surge in popularity of at-home dermaplaning kits.

What Are the Disadvantages of Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is essentially a method of exfoliation. Exfoliation is important for the skin, especially if you suffer from acne. It helps to increase cell renewal by removing the top layer of dead skin cells (a common site for bacteria). These bacteria can cause acne and clogged pores.

There are two methods of exfoliation: physical and chemical. Dermaplaning falls under physical exfoliation which can be a lot more harmful to the skin than chemical. Some reasons for this are:

1. Abrasiveness

As the method is very physical, removing the top layer of skin cells in this way strips the skin of its protective barrier. Over time this leads to inflammation, irritation and dryness. If you already have severe acne or sensitive skin the damage could be irreversible.

Stripping the skin of its natural barrier also makes it more susceptible to damaging free radicals, and UV rays. This is one of the leading causes of premature aging skin.

2. Risk of Infection

During lockdown, many turned to at-home dermaplaning kits. Apps like TikTok contributed to a boom in dermaplaning’s popularity. However, with many users not properly researching the treatment and using non-sterile tools, the risk factor of infection soars. Any infection makes any pre-existing conditions such as acne a lot worse.

3. Short-Term

Dermaplaning offers instant results. However, the top layer of skin soon becomes dull and discoloured again, requiring further treatment once again. What’s more, the whole cycle of benefits is very short. Dermaplaning doesn’t offer any long-term solution for acne, or the skin in general.

Does Dermaplaning Help Wrinkles?

For those who already have visible wrinkles, dermaplaning may be able to provide an improvement in appearance. This is because a newer layer of skin cells become visible. This means the skin may appear smoother and less discoloured. However, this effect is only temporary.

In the long-term dermaplaning can’t offer effective exfoliation. Therefore, the treatment is unable to stimulate a speedier cell regeneration process, meaning it’s not helping wrinkles in the long run.

The use of serums containing retinol, vitamin C and A is a much better way to target wrinkles and ensure that they don’t develop in the long term. We recommend the Retinol Skin Booster from MZ Skin, or the Retinol Treatment For Sensitive Skin from PCA Skin.

For someone who’s younger and whose skin is still more elastic, dermaplaning can cause even more damage. Side effects include drying out and causing the skin to become sensitive. As well as this it also causes damage to the skin’s collagen.

The best way to prevent wrinkles is to regularly chemically exfoliate, for example by having a gentle chemical peel. As well as this, wear SPF daily.

What’s the Difference Between a Peel and Dermaplaning?

Both dermaplaning and chemical peels are forms of exfoliation. Both work to exfoliate the top layer of your skin, however they do this in different ways.

Peels are chemical exfoliants, while dermaplaning is physical. This is because dermaplaning relies on tools and physical friction to remove dead skin cells, while peels rely solely on their active ingredients.

Physical exfoliation is the most common at-home exfoliation type. Examples other than dermaplaning are granular face scrubs, and loofers.

Another difference between physical and chemical exfoliants is that chemical exfoliants, such as peels have the ability to penetrate deeper. This allows for more effective and longer lasting effects.

Why Chemical Peels Are Safer Than Dermaplaning

Chemical peels are a chemical way of exfoliating the face. There are 3 types of chemical peels relating to their strength; these are light, medium and deep. They work by the using acids to break down the top layer of the skin. Although the mention of acids and chemicals can be daunting, peels are gentle on the skin when carried out correctly. However, this obviously depends on the strength of the peel too. Chemical peels aim to improve acne, improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and even some scarring. Furthermore, they’re a great anti-aging treatment in general.

The biggest benefit of chemical peels is that they’re much safer in terms of longer lasting skin health. In comparison to dermaplaning, they aren’t as abrasive. This is because they don’t physically remove the dead skin cells. Instead, they chemically dissolve skin cells. This means there’s less sensitivity, risk of inflammation and irritation. However, some may experience sensitivity to some ingredients contained within the peel. Also unlike dermaplaning, there’s minimal to no risk of infection with chemical peels. This is because chemical peels require no equipment, such as razors. What’s more, is that they go far beyond the work of dermaplaning.

Chemical peels penetrate the skin meaning that they can effectively prevent new acne from forming, while also killing any bacteria on the skin’s surface. Therefore, in the long-term, chemical peels are much more effective and safer.

Should You Dermaplane Before a Chemical Peel?

There’s a lot of debate about whether you can dermaplane before a chemical peel in the skincare community.

As dermaplaning is seen quite positively in the media right now, a big statement is that it can even enhance the effects of a chemical peel. The explanation is that as it removes the top barrier of dead skin cells, this makes for an easier surface for the chemical peel to penetrate and be absorbed into the skin. However, the combination of the 2 treatments is far too aggressive. Furthermore, if you’re someone with sensitive skin this is way too much for the skin to handle.

As dermaplaning is an abrasive treatment, the skin needs recovery time afterwards. This is to regenerate new skin cells and build up the skin barrier. A chemical peel, whilst safer than dermaplaning, is still exfoliation and will sensitise the skin. Overall these two treatments in combination are just too much exfoliation! It could leave the skin red, inflamed and sensitised. The inflammation could even lead to acne. On top of this, the new level of sensitivity may cause your skin to react to other products which are already in your skincare routine, or even make-up.

Which Chemical Peels Are Best for Aging Skin?

Chemical peels always require application by a trained dermatologist or aesthetician. When handling pharmaceutical-grade ingredients it’s much better to be in the hands of someone more educated. As well as this being safer, a trained professional is also able to adapt the treatment specifically to you and your skin needs.

We recommend the PCA Skin Bespoke Signature Peel. This high-performance facial peel provides an instant glow, lift, and strength to your skin. The advanced facial peel incorporates enzymatic, chemical, and retinoid based exfoliation. This allows for optimal results. It also provides a completely customisable exfoliation to suit all skin types and conditions. The PCA Skin chemical peel corrects skin damage, stimulates skin repair, and boosts collagen production.

As well as this, the PCA peel uses galvanic technology, ultrasound stimulation, vibrational massage and blue, red, and/or green LED light therapy. Together these treatments work to smooth out facial wrinkles. As well as this they also tighten the facial muscles. It also boosts blood circulation, and stimulates new skin cell production.

If you’re based in London, one of our trained aestheticians can deliver this treatment from the comfort of your home. Head to for more information.

PCA Skin Chemical Peel Key Benefits

  • Softens, plumps, and firms the skin
  • Provides a 10hr release of actives
  • Effective against all skin discolouration and texture
  • Extremely effective in targeting and eliminating fine line and wrinkles
  • Provides intense skin rejuvenation and cell renewal

How Many Days After Chemical Peels Should You Start to See Peeling?

Peeling typically begins about 2-3 days after receiving a chemical peel. Furthermore, it can last up to 5 days in total after the treatment. However, it is important to not peel your skin after this treatment. Instead, simply control it with moisturiser as peeling is minimal and manageable. Peeling too early after the treatment can result in dry and irritated skin. This can lead to hyperpigmentation so is to be avoided!

How Often Should You Get Chemical Peels?

This is all dependent on which type of chemical peel you receive. As mentioned, there are three types of chemical peel ordered by strength: light, medium and deep.

Light chemical peels are the most common. They can be done every 2-5 weeks depending on how sensitive your skin is, or how many chemical peels you’ve done before. This number comes from your skin’s regeneration cycle. The skin cycle lasts about 3-4 weeks. This means that after a month you have a new layer of skin cells in the epidermis. So by this time, the effects of your chemical peel have worn off and it’s time to get the procedure again.

Medium chemical peels penetrate much deeper into the skin and typically don’t need to be repeated regularly. After the first chemical peel, it can next be repeated after 2-9 months. However, this all depends on how well your skin recovers and adapts.

Deep chemical peels should only ever be done once as the effects are long-lasting. Medium and deep chemical peels are typically only carried out by dermatologists. Light chemical peels on the other hand are very common and the treatments are administered by aestheticians.

How Long Do Chemical Peel Results Last?

Firstly, this all depends on what type of chemical peel you get. As previously mentioned, the skin cycle is 3-4 weeks. Therefore, for light chemical peels the results will start to fade after this marked point. However, that’s also determined by your skin condition. Factors which contribute to this include whether you have a consistent skincare routine, if you wear SPF etc.

Medium chemical peels are much stronger. Just one treatment can provide more lasting benefits. However, after about 6 months results begin to fade.

Deep chemical peels are a complex procedure and can only be carried out by doctors. However, that being said deep chemical peels will last for years. This is due to how far they penetrate into the skin.

At What Age Should You Start Getting Chemical Peels?

Chemical peels can treat a range of skincare concerns from signs of aging, to severe acne. However, chemical peels should only be administered following puberty. Now that looks different for everyone. For most puberty hits in your late teens, but it’s not uncommon for this to stretch to your early twenties. However, if you’re looking to prolong elasticity and fight signs of aging, the ideal time to start chemicals peels is in your mid twenties. This is to prevent the development of wrinkles, rather than starting treatments once you’ve already reached that point as otherwise it can be much harder.

Skin looks worse after chemical peel

A woman laying down smiling, receiving a chemical peel to smooth and brighten her skin

Chemical peels can boost your confidence and give you healthier-looking skin. Reducing scars, acne, and uneven skin tone can help you love the way you look. 

With the word “chemical,” it’s natural to question if this treatment can damage your skin. Before you book an appointment, learn more about chemical peels, including what they are and how they can affect your skin. 

What Are Chemical Peels? 

A chemical peel is a cosmetic treatment for your skin. It removes damaged skin cells, offering brighter and smoother skin. 

The solution used in a chemical peel reacts with the outer layers of the skin. After your skin heals, it will look fresh and be healthier. 

A chemical peel solution can help improve: 

  • Fine lines & wrinkles
  • Pore congestion 
  • Skin tone 
  • Skin discolouration 
  • Radiance

You can have a chemical peel on your face, neck, or hands. Depending on your needs, a peel can treat your skin on 3 different levels. 

  • Light chemical peels treat fine lines, acne, uneven skin tone, & overall dryness
  • Medium chemical peels treat wrinkles, acne scars, & uneven skin tone
  • Deep chemical peel can treat deep wrinkles and scars

If you’re thinking of getting this treatment, why should you get a chemical peel? 

Why Get a Chemical Peel?

Many people can feel uncomfortable in their skin because of blemishes, wrinkles, or acne. Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves, and chemical peels can help achieve this. They remove old, damaged skin layers, leaving new, healthy skin. 

You can use chemical peels to treat: 

  • Acne
  • Enlarged pores
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Scarring
  • Rosacea 
  • Wrinkles
  • Age spots & freckles 

Chemical peels can’t remove deep scars or wrinkles or tighten sagging skin. 

Like any procedure, there can be risks to chemical peels. Some people may feel hesitant to try this treatment after hearing about a bad experience. Can chemical peels make your skin worse than it was before? 

A close of a woman's face showing the application of a chemical peel

Can Chemical Peels Make Your Skin Worse? 

While chemical peels aren’t guaranteed to make your skin worse, complications can happen. Chemical peels have a few possible side effects. These complications include: 

  • Redness, scabbing, & swelling 
  • Scarring
  • Infection 
  • Changes in skin colour 

While risks are always present with any cosmetic treatment, chemical peels are safe when properly used. Depending on your skin, you may need a certain type of peel. 

When you’re with a certified and trained expert, you can feel more comfortable. Someone who understands your skin, the treatment and has your best interests in mind can give you a positive experience.  

If you’re trying chemical peels at home, the solutions may be weaker, but you can still damage your skin. There is less of a chance for error when seeing a professional. 

At-Home vs. Professional Treatments 

If you’re interested in chemical peels, there are two choices: at-home or professional treatment. While both options aim to improve your skin, they have some differences between them. 

At-Home Treatments 

While commercial products exist for at-home chemical peels, they are in lower concentrations and exfoliate your skin over time. There are a few different ingredients that can offer the same treatment as a professional chemical peel, but with less strength: 

  • Glycolic acid
  • Lactic acid 
  • Mandelic acid
  • Salicylic acid

Only use products with these ingredients if you’re going to try at-home treatments; chemical peels can burn your skin if improperly used. Follow all instructions carefully and diligently to avoid potential complications. 

Because these solutions aren’t as strong, at-home treatments are most effective for milder skin concerns. You won’t see as effective results from commercial products compared to professional treatment. 

At-home chemical peels can seem beneficial if you’re looking to save money, but having a trained professional treat your skin is worth the cost. 

Professional Treatment 

Professional chemical peels offer several advantages. The solutions are stronger, and you will likely see better results from in-office treatment. Rather than following instructions for a commercial solution, you’ll experience a consultation with a certified professional. 

In your consultation, you’ll discuss your relevant family and medical history. You’ll talk about the goals and expected results for this treatment before moving forward. 

During a professional treatment, the chemical solution is catered for your skin to minimize the risk of complications. Unlike at-home treatments, professional chemical peels are effective for all skin concerns. 

You’ll receive advice on caring for your skin after your treatment and recommendations on when your next appointment should be. 

Knowing a professional is helping you may reduce any anxiety or concern you have regarding chemical peels. 

Feel Confident in Your Skin

While at-home treatments may seem ideal, you risk damaging your skin or seeing little results from the product. If you want to see the benefits of chemical peels, consider going to a licensed and trained professional. They can help you safely achieve the results you’re looking for. If you’re interested in chemical peels, book a consultation and see how you can feel more confident today.Posted in Chemical Peels, Skin Care & Products


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Chemical peeling treatment

Chemical Peel

In order to provide you with the best possible service, we ask that you carefully review these general post-care treatment instructions for a chemical peel treatment so that you fully understand them.  If you have any questions about these instructions, please discuss them with your esthetician.  To obtain maximum benefits from your treatment, it is crucial that you understand and adhere to these instructions.  Failure to comply with these instructions may affect your treatment outcome and increase the likelihood or severity of complications.  Depending on your individual needs, additional post-care treatment instructions may be given to you by your esthetician.

  • The peeling may take anywhere from 7-10 days on average or longer depending on internal and external factors such as skin type, age, weather, lifestyle, and hormones.  Slight redness and skin sensitivity and flaking can occur as your treatment eliminates dead surface skin cells.  Each treatment may vary.  Other areas of the body will react differently because your skin has a different texture on your face and scalp than on your chest, back, arms, and legs.  The healing process may take longer in those areas.
  • Your skin may take on a rough, patchy, darkened quality a few days after this treatment.  This is normal and expected and it will resolve on its own.  The first areas to peel are usually around the nose and mouth, but can begin anywhere.  Most people begin peeling on the 3rd or 4th day after treatment.  It is also possible to not peel at all.  If this occurs, you will still benefit from the treatment because the skin has exfoliated microscopically.
  • Possible side effects include but are not limited to: mild to extreme redness, temporary tightness, itching, swelling, and dryness of the skin similar to a sunburn or windburn.  This will usually subside in 2-3 days.  A prescription of hydrocortisone, or over-the-counter hydrocortisone (Vanicream HCⓇ) may be recommended if the skin is inflamed or irritated.
  • You may GENTLY apply a cold compress to the treated area(s) as needed for any burning or irritation associated with your treatment.
  • Make sure to avoid excessive heat on the treated area and direct sun exposure of any kind, as well as tanning beds and self-tanners to the treated areas for 4 weeks after treatment.
  • Do NOT engage in strenuous exercise for 2-3 days after treatment because it may exacerbate the inflammatory and can cause your skin to become extremely inflamed.
  • Sweating excessively after treatment can irritate the skin or cause blistering due to the sweat being unable to escape through the top layer of dead skin.  Try to avoid sweating until after you have stopped peeling to avoid lifting the skin prematurely, as this can cause scarring.
  • Do NOT use any acidic products such as retinoids or tretinoins, acne medication products such as Retin-AⓇ, TazoracⓇ, RenovaⓇ, AtralinⓇ, ZianaⓇ, VeltinⓇ, DifferinⓇ, the antibiotic Doxycycline, AHAs (lactic, glycolic, tartaric, etc.), BHAs (salicylic), benzoyl peroxide, vitamin C products, lightening agents such as hydroquinone or any exfoliative products including loofahs or coarse sponges to your skin for 2 weeks after your chemical peel, or more if you notice your skin becomes sensitive to application.  These medications and products increase your photosensitivity, which can significantly increase the likelihood of complications.
  • Do NOT tweeze, pick, rub, exfoliate, wax, use a depilatory, undergo electrolysis, or schedule a facial or cosmetic service such as laser resurfacing, or IPL on a treated area(s) for 4 weeks after your treatment.  To reduce the risk of scarring, you do not want to remove the dry, rough, dead skin faster than your body wants to.
  • Do NOT get your hair dyed until a week after you have finished peeling, if your treatment was performed on the face or neck.  For most people, week 3 post-peel is the best time to have your hair color treated.
  • This procedure can stimulate cold sores.  If you have an outbreak after your treatment, please call the office to inquire about obtaining a prescription.  Please ask to speak with the esthetician, Alli.

How to Care for your Skin Post-Peel

  • Cleanse Gently:  Your skin may be fragile for 5-7 days.  Cleanse your skin with COOL water (hot water will cause inflammation to the skin) using only your fingertips – no washcloths, loofahs, buff puffs, sponges, ClarisonicⓇ, etc.  We recommend using the Revision Gentle Cleanser.  Other mild cleansers such as Dove Unscented Bar Soap for Sensitive SkinⓇ, AveenoⓇ, CetaphilⓇ, CeraVeⓇ, or VanicreamⓇ may be recommended by your esthetician, depending on your specific needs.
  • Moisturize Often:  Letting the skin dry out may cause discomfort.  We recommend using SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective GelⓇ and SkinCeuticals Epidermal RepairⓇ to help your skin recover.  For strong peels, you may use petroleum jelly for the first few days or as needed on sensitive areas that are peeling. When you start to peel, use a non-comedogenic moisturizer such as AveenoⓇ, VanicreamⓇ, CetaphilⓇ, or CeraVeⓇ, until the skin feels back to normal.  This will promote the healing process by locking in moisture and reducing the chance of a bacterial infection, redness, and irritation.  Use these products several times per day or as needed.  Topical hydrocortisone may be recommended, depending on your specific needs.
  • Protect Your Skin:  Heat and sun exposure can cause inflammation to the skin.  Remember to avoid excessive heat on the treated area and direct sun exposure of any kind, as well as tanning bed sand self-tanners to the planned treatment areas for 4 weeks after treatment.  If you need to be outdoors, make sure to use an umbrella or wear a large-brimmed hat, a pair of sunglasses, and use a physical sunblock (containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide).  We recommend using SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50Ⓡ or Colorescience SunforgettableⓇ.  Both of these products provide broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays with no chemical sun filters.  Apply 30 minutes before exposure and reapply often (about every 2 hours) when exposed to the sun.  Other sunscreen products may be recommended depending on your specific needs.

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