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Everything You Need to Know About Basics of Chemical Peeling on Face

Say hello to smoother skin!

Do Chemical Peels Cause Long Term Damage? Unveiling the Basics!

Do you know that chemical peeling is one of the best-kept secrets for celebrities’ glowing facial skin? This method uses a chemical solution to exfoliate, revealing smoother, younger-looking skin.

But before you jump in, there are some vital things you need to know. Because if done incorrectly, it can damage your skin. Thinking if the damage is long term? 

Let’s find out with the basics you need to know about facial chemical peels.

Disclosure: Please note this post might contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission if you purchase through the links, at no extra cost to you. Know that I only recommend products that I’ve used personally or believe will add value to my readers.

Do Chemical Peels Cause Long Term Damage?

Do Chemical Peels Cause Long Term Damage?

If a professional does chemical peeling on your skin, it won’t cause any long-term damage to your skin. 

Though using the wrong chemical agent or concentration might cause some issues. 

The common side effects are redness, dryness, stinging, or slight swelling. They are temporary and go away.

Risks of Getting a Chemical Peel

Risks of Getting a Chemical Peel

Chemical peels do have serious risks and side effects if not done correctly. Now let me tell you the risks of getting chemical peels, some of which could be permanent.

These are more common in darker skin tones and with medium to deep peels. 

These risks include:

  • Changes in skin color, either darkening or lightening, which are more commonly seen in darker skin tones.
  • Scarring, which can be permanent.
  • Infections, especially for those with herpes simplex virus. In rare cases, chemical peels can cause fungal or bacterial infections.
  • Deep peels containing phenol can damage internal organs.
  • With deep peels, you might permanently lose the ability to tan.

Types of Chemical Peels

Types of Chemical Peels

There are three types of chemical peels. Let me break down one by one.

Superficial Peels

  • These treat skin surface-level conditions like uneven skin tone, acne, and fine lines.
  • In this peeling, AHAs such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, as well as BHAs like salicylic acid are used.
  • You might have it every 2-5 weeks.

Medium Peels

  • These can penetrate deeper than superficial peels.
  • It removes skin cells from the epidermis (the uppermost layer of skin) and the upper part of the dermis (the middle layer).
  • Glycolic acid and TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid) are used commonly.
  • You may need multiple sessions for best results.

Deep Peels

  • This is the most intense type that can reach the deepest layers of the dermis.
  • During a deep chemical peel, you will be sedated to relax. And your face will be numbed.
  • It can dramatically improve sun damage, deep wrinkles, and severe acne scars.
  • Phenol is the chemical used for this type of peeling treatment.
  • The procedure is done in 15-minute portions to limit acid exposure.
  • You typically don’t need repeat procedures for the full results.

Who Needs Chemical Peeling on Face?

Who Needs Chemical Peeling on Face?

Chemical peels can work wonders for various skin issues. Here are the most common ones they can help with:

  • Acne
  • Acne scars
  • Rosacea
  • Signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots
  • Skin discoloration
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Dull skin
  • Sun damage

Pro Tips

  • Common AHAs are glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid. These are mainly used for issues like uneven skin tone, fine lines, and signs of aging.
  • Lactic acid is gentle and safe, even for sensitive skin.
  • BHA, such as salicylic acid, is great for acne-prone skin, blackheads, and whiteheads.

How to Do Chemical Peeling on Your Face at Home?

How to Do Chemical Peeling on Your Face at Home?

Chemical peels are typically done at a clinic by professionals. But now there are at-home options available in the market.

Here’s a breakdown of how to do it, approved by popular dermatologist Dr. Aanchal.


  • Start by cleansing your face thoroughly.
  • Make sure your skin is completely dry.
  • Now apply Vaseline petroleum jelly to sensitive areas like around your nose, mouth corners, and eyes.
  • Then apply a very thin layer of the peeling solution on your face.
  • Let it be there for 5-10 minutes as instructed on the product label.
  • Now it’s time to wash your face with cool water. 
  • Moisturize your face well.

Tips for Beginners: Chemical Peels Dos and Don’ts

Here are the dos and don’ts you need to know before trying chemical peeling on your face.


  • Use chemical peels in your PM routine.
  • Only use peels meant for home use; avoid high-concentration peels.
  • If you’re new to at-home chemical peeling, start with the lowest concentration. Let your skin get used to it before moving on to the next higher concentration.
  • Have a basic skincare routine first that you’ve been following for months.
  • Understand your skin type and condition first to choose the right peel.
  • Be cautious if you have dry skin.
  • It’s best to start chemical peeling after 25 years.
  • Your skin becomes more sensitive to the sun after using chemical peels. So protect your skin by wearing sunscreen.
  • Moisturize thoroughly. Use gentle and non comedogenic moisturizer with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerin.
  • Use gentle cleansers to avoid drying out your skin.
  • For oily skin, use peels 2-3 times a month; for dry skin, use them 1-2 times a month.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult a dermatologist first. 


  • If your skin feels very sensitive or itchy, it’s best not to try chemical peeling at home. Consult a certified dermatologist or aesthetician for the best solution for your skin.
  • Don’t over-exfoliate. As it can damage your skin barrier. And your skin will become red, dry, itchy, burning, stinging sensations.
Tips for Beginners: Chemical Peels Dos and Don’ts

Best Rated At-Home Chemical Peeling Solutions in India

Here are the best-rated products for chemical peeling that you can try out.

Pro Tip:

  • Start with the lowest concentration, as I mentioned earlier.
  • And remember, always do a patch test before applying the product to your entire face.

Final Thoughts

Chemical peels can give you younger, glowing skin. However, if done incorrectly, they can damage your skin. I hope you found the answers to the common questions you need to know before trying chemical peels.


chemical peels
Why Does My Skin Look Worse After Chemical Peel?

After a chemical peel, expect temporary changes in your skin:
1. Redness and Flaking: Lasts a few days to a week as old skin sheds.
2. Breakouts: Possible as impurities surface; avoid picking.
Contact your dermatologist if you notice:
1. Severe redness, swelling, or pain
2. Signs of infection or pus-filled bumps
3. Excessive or prolonged peeling
4. Abnormal skin darkening or lightening
Choose the right peel and follow aftercare for best results. Reach out to your provider with any concerns.

Does Your Skin Get Worse After a Chemical Peel?

Yes, after a chemical peel, your skin can appear worse before it gets better. This is normal:
1. Right after: Redness, Swelling, Tightness
2. Few days after: Peeling, Flaking, Dryness, Breakouts
While it may seem worse at first, your skin will improve with time. Remember to follow post-care instructions.

Why Am I Not Seeing Results From a Chemical Peel?

No results after a chemical peel? Here are some reasons why:
1. Time: Results can take 7-14 days, and more than one session might be needed.
2. Strength: Was the peel strong enough for your concerns? Deeper peels tackle deeper issues.
3. Aftercare: Improper aftercare can affect results. Follow your doctor’s instructions closely.
4. Skin & Concerns: Your skin type and specific issues might not have matched the peel.
5. Consult your doctor: If worried, speak with the professional who did the peel for personalized advice.

How Long Does It Take for Skin to Look Better After Chemical Peel?

After a chemical peel, it typically takes about 7-14 days for the skin to start looking better. 
During this time, you may experience redness, peeling, and flaking as the old skin sheds. And the fresh, rejuvenated skin gets revealed. 
Make sure to follow post-peel care instructions for best results.

Image Source: Adobe Stock images

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