What Is A Chemical Peel?

For a quick skin refresh that can take years off your appearance and smooth out the effects of too much time spent in the sun, hard-to-erase discoloration, stubborn breakouts, and other signs of aging, consider a chemical peel. The key behind the treatment is its ability to improve the skin’s texture and tone by speeding up the rate of exfoliation. Most chemical peels rely on acids (either a solo or blend) as the primary peeling agents in professional peels. And even though the power of a chemical peel is unparalleled, which is why it has such a lengthy track record in aesthetics, plenty of people still find themselves Googling, “What is a chemical peel,” so there’s still a lot to know about the treatment.

What Is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is an acid-based exfoliating treatment that accelerates the natural rate at which the skin sheds. With fewer dead skin cells on the surface, the skin appears fresher, softer, glowy, and with less discoloration. Post-peel skin also reveals itself as healthier, smoother, brighter, and more radiant.

Chemical peels improve the skin on the face or body and are beneficial for targeting issues on the chest, back, shoulders, arms, and legs. 

What are a Chemical Peel's Main Benefits?

There are several benefits that chemical peels can offer, but the main benefits they offer are:
  • Improved skin texture
  • Less discoloration and brighter-looking skin
  • Fewer breakouts

Are Chemical Peels Safe?

Chemical peels are safe and have little to no risks or side effects. However, hyperpigmentation can arise after a peel if the skin is prematurely exposed to the sun or you pick or peel at the shedding skin. It’s normal to experience minor breakouts after since the treatment cleans out the pores and speeds up exfoliation.

The Different Types of Chemical Peels

Several different types of peels can be used on the skin. What separates one peel from another is usually the ingredients used and the depth that they reach into the skin. Some chemical peels work superficially and only affect the uppermost layer of surface skin, while others penetrate deeper into the skin, which comes with more downtime.

At Charette Cosmetics, the two main types of peels we offer include:


The Level I chemical peel is a gentle yet powerful medical-grade peel that improves mild-to-moderate skin imperfections, acne and acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, age and sun spots, hyperpigmentation, oil balancing, and overall skin health. The Level I chemical peel relies on lactic and citric acids, which provide light exfoliation, glycolic acid to soften wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, salicylic acid to combat acne, breakouts, and TCA for more prominent pigment and signs of aging. The peel also helps stimulate collagen production and epidermal thickening. Full results aren’t often seen until after a series of three to six peel treatments.


The Level II MelanX chemical peel is an intense, medical-grade peel that treats stubborn dark spots, acne scarring, sun spots, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles.

The kit comes with a 20-25-day post-care skincare regimen that includes a prescription-strength brightening cream, retinol serum, a soothing balm, and a facial cleanser. You must wear a red mask for 12 hours as part of the Level II MelanX chemical peel protocol, so plan time accordingly.

MelanX polishes the skin and lifts away pigmentation for a more even skin tone. Performed in-office or at home, MelanX speeds up the skin’s natural exfoliation rate to remove unwanted pigment. The MelanX peel is also effective for improving the skin’s texture by lifting away dead skin cells that can clog the pores.

When Should You Get A Chemical Peel?

To make the most out of a chemical peel, you’ll want to plan the treatment accordingly. Peels should be done during winter when you’re less likely to be outdoors. Protecting the skin from unnecessary sun exposure is important as it heals.

You can repeat a lighter chemical peel several times per year.

What Should You Expect During a Chemical Peel?

Most don’t feel like much on the skin other than a little tingle, slight sting, or warmth, but it depends on the acids used. The lighter the peel, the less of a sensation it produces on the skin. Once the peel is neutralized, there will be no feeling of the peel on the skin. After the treatment, the skin may feel dry or tight for a few days.

What Results Can You Get from a Chemical Peel?

Following a chemical peel, the results will show as quickly as a day or two after the peel or as late as one week post-peel, depending on the type of acids used. The results will continue to improve as new skin cells reach the skin’s surface. You can expect the skin to look and feel smoother, brighter, softer, and with less discoloration and fewer breakouts. Common signs of aging, like fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, will decrease, too.

Is a Chemical Peel Painful?

No. Most peels feel like nothing more than a light sunburn, and there may be a slight redness or pinkness afterward.

What's the Downtime Like?

The type of chemical peel you get determines the downtime, although most light peels have none. It’s normal to experience minor dryness, mild redness, or a slight irritation for four to seven days after a peel. Shedding and flaky patches of skin are also standard in chemical peels.

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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.