Dermatologist Explains: Everything There Is To Know About Chemical Peels

Written by Sumona BoseSep 16, 2023
Dermatologist explains: Everything there is to know about chemical peels

Chemical peels are one of the most effective facial treatments out there. They have been a trending form of skin treatment for quite some time now and if you’ve wanted to know how exactly they can benefit your skin, well guess what, you’re in luck. We got in touch with Dr Monisha Aravind, M.D.DVL, PDFC Aesthetic Dermatologist & co-founder Armoraa Skin, Hair and Laser Clinic to tell us everything we need to know about the treatment. PS. You might wanna take notes or better yet, bookmark this page for future reference.


Types of chemical peels

How often should you get a chemical peel

A big draw of chemical peels is that they can be tailored to suit individual needs. They are broadly classified as:  

  • Superficial peels - The main aim of superficial peels is rejuvenation, maintaining skin and remove tan.“They can also be used as party peel —  they don’t cause visible exfoliation and give a subtle, instant glow,” says Dr Monisha. Some of the compounds used are glycolic acid, lactic acid, ferulic acid, pyruvic acid and vitamin C — either alone or in combination. 
  • Medium depth peels - Compounds like TCA, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, retinol, phenol are used as medium depth peels for visible exfoliation. They help relieve superficial pigmentations like melasma and freckles,  post-acne marks or post-inflammatory pigmentations, tanning and smooth out uneven skin tone, including fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Deep Peels - Depending on the concentration, deep peels can be used to treat hyperpigmentations and wrinkles. TCA, phenol and cosmelan are usually used as deep peels, with a touch of salicylic acid for acne. Deep peels are both corrective and preventive in nature, giving both immediate and long term benefits for the skin.


Risk factors to consider before opting for a chemical peel

How often should you get a chemical peel

It is true that chemical peels have multifold benefits, but their risk factors also have to be taken into consideration. Dr Monisha advises: “Be careful with few active infections like herpes, as chemical peel might lead to spread of the infection. If you have a keloidal tendency, don’t opt for deep peels. Also, post-care has to be followed as specified, if not you might end up in trouble. Bear in mind that your skin has been exfoliated and hence needs extra care.”


How to prepare your skin for a chemical peel

How often should you get a chemical peel

Going in without any prep for chemical peel sessions can be a huge mistake. Start prepping your skin 2 to 4 weeks ahead of the in-office session. Dr Monisha recommends a proper skin routine — right from your cleanser to night cream. Use a cleanser with salicylic acid or AHA followed by a serum with vitamin C, E, hyaluronic acid and end it with a moisturiser to keep your skin moisture intact.

Sunscreen also plays a major role in your skin prep — practise applying sunscreen two hours prior to stepping outside. As for your nighttime skincare routine, night cream with retinol, glycolic acid, kojic acid, hydroquinone, arbutin, etc. can do wonders. A well-prepped skin will make sure the peel is able to penetrate better and avoid any post-peel pigmentation.


How to take care of your skin after a chemical peel

How often should you get a chemical peel

In order to reap maximum benefits from your chemical peel session, it’s important to take good care of your skin post the peel. Here are some tips you need to keep in mind:

  • Use a gentle face wash; avoid using ones with active ingredients as they are not recommended for post-peel skin. Moisturise often so that the moisture in your skin is maintained everything the moisture and keep any itching, tingling or pulling sensation at bay.
  • Your skin will be very sensitive to the sun after getting a peel. Re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours and don’t skip it while indoors as well. Stay away from sun exposure, exercise and sweaty work for a couple of days.
  • Do not use hot water or external scrubs on the face and avoid the temptation to peel the skin.
  • Avoid products with retinol/retinoids, salicylic acid, glycolic acid for 3 days to 1 week. These agents can exfoliate skin even more and irritate it further, slowing down the healing process. 


How often should you get a chemical peel

How often should you get a chemical peel

The best way to get the most out of chemical peel sessions is by not overdoing or under-doing it. Dr Monisha explains, “Depending on the condition being treated, usually, chemical peels can be done in for 6-8 sessions cycles with 2 weeks gap given between each session. But, when going for deep peels, it’s usually done only once in 6 months or a year. If you’re looking only for maintenance, you can get a peel done once every 2 months,”

As for the pricing, usually, a single peel would cost you around Rs. 2500 and when going for a combination peel, it’s around Rs. 5000. Also, deep peels can vary depending on the peel selected.

Sumona Bose

Written by

Sumona Bose is a writer, skincare junkie and a self-professed makeup connoisseur. Equipped with a Master's degree in Fashion Management and over 3 years of experience writing in the beauty and fashion space, her passion for learning new things has no bounds. Working closely with dermatologists, beauty excerpts, makeup artists and hairstylists, she brings you the best of all things beauty. From trending skincare ingredients to makeup looks that help you slay, she manages to bring something new (and vital!) to our readers every single time. Her hobbies include home workouts, watching foreign films and binge-watching makeover shows!


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