How Long Do Chemical Peel Results Last?

Chemical peels are one of the most time-tested skincare treatments. With a history dating back thousands of years—Cleopatra is rumored to have used sour milk acid to exfoliate her skin—the benefits they provide are pretty remarkable, ranging from improved tone and texture, diminished signs of aging, and even fewer acne breakouts, and beyond. However, when it comes to how long chemical peel results last, the duration of a peel is highly dependent on the type you get done. Ahead, we break down everything you need to know about the different types of chemical peels and how long the results of each chemical peel last to find the best one for your skin.

The Different Results From Different Chemical Peels

Chemical peels range from light to deep, with those on the more superficial end of the spectrum being less invasive and providing shorter-term results. The more exfoliating power a chemical peel has, the deeper into the skin it can go and the longer the results will last. That’s not to say that light peels don’t provide dramatic results because they do.

Lighter chemical peels, also known as superficial peels, can refresh the skin and improve it by about one month. A medium-strength peel can leave the skin looking smoother, clearer, and more youthful-looking for about two to six months, depending on the interactions of the peel. A deep phenol peel provides permanent results to the skin, and these peels are only performed once in a lifetime.

While some peels provide more immediate results, others can take a week or longer to see the effects. That’s because the exfoliation process of shedding dull and damaged skin must be complete before a visible difference in the skin can be seen.

The Results to Expect From a Chemical Peel

Different chemical peels produce different results, primarily influenced by the type of acids used and their concentrations in a peel. The deeper the peel, the more of an exfoliating effect it will have, giving way to more dramatic results. By removing the dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, which is what happens during a light chemical peel, there will be a change in the skin’s tone and texture, improvement of breakouts, some softening of fine lines, wrinkles, and a decrease in dark spots and sun damage.

A medium-strength peel may be the right choice for skin with more severe discoloration, acne scars, and more evident signs of aging. The acids used in this type of peel are more potent and penetrate deeper into the skin than a light peel, providing more powerful results. With a medium-strength peel, you can expect more dramatic improvement of wrinkles, fine lines, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and sun damage with a smoother texture overall.

Remember that you may need multiple sessions depending on the type of peel used and your skin’s starting point.

The Physical Effects of a Chemical Peel

Not all chemical peels physically cause the skin to peel or shed since some acids can exfoliate dead skin cells and cause mild flaking or dryness. Just like how different chemical peels produce different results, the various types of peels will determine how much downtime there is. The stronger the peel, the more downtime.

For chemical peels that physically cause the skin to peel, the peeling effect can start as soon as two days after the treatment or kick into effect as long as five days after. Then, the time the skin peels is based on the acid concentration and the types of acids. As a rule of thumb, no matter how light or intense the shedding phase may be, it’s crucial not to pick or peel it and let the skin fall off. Picking at peeling skin can compromise your results.

Maintaining Your Chemical Peel Results

To maximize the length of your chemical peel’s results, follow the post-peel skin care tips that your esthetician recommends. Keeping the skin well hydrated after your peel is important to help retain moisture, especially if it is dry.

Post-peel skin cannot neglect the importance of sunscreen. Wearing a broad-spectrum SPF30 daily is essential in protecting the skin from damaging UV rays and preventing discoloration and unwanted pigment from returning.

Maintenance peels, especially with light chemical peels after completing the recommended sequence of treatments, about every couple of months is critical to keep the skin looking its best. Giving the skin ample time to renew between each peel will allow the skin cells that need to be treated to come to the surface. You can do medium peel maintenance sessions less frequently since the results of a medium chemical peel last longer than those of a lighter one.

So, if you are ready to reap visible skin benefits and erase discoloration, roughness, fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars, consider the right chemical peel for you. Our team can help you determine which one will benefit your skin so that you can achieve the smooth, radiant, youthful skin you desire.

Charette Cosmetics Logo

Services & Pricing Guide

Download our exclusive Charette Cosmetics Services & Pricing Guide and learn more about our service menu and treatment costs.

Services Guide


Charette Cosmetics Logo

Download our exclusive Charette Cosmetics Services & Pricing Guide to learn more about our service menu & treatment prices.