First time getting a chemical peel? Here are some things to know

Woman getting a chemical peel treatment at a medical spa

Chemical peels are one of the most effective, non-invasive treatments to improve a range of skin concerns, from texture issues to signs of aging. These treatments can offer transformative results without an intimidating procedure or recovery. 

Still, there are some things the skincare specialists at Mountain Radiance discuss with patients considering a chemical peel for the first time.

How a chemical peel works

A chemical peel uses a specially formulated cocktail of ingredients to gently exfoliate (and sometimes eventually peel off, hence the name) the damaged outer layers of skin. But this isn’t your average exfoliation—chemical peels remove dead skin cells at a much deeper level than what at-home scrubs can reach.

Once we apply the peeling solution, the active ingredients start breaking the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. As these bonds break, the outer layers of skin start to “unglue” from the healthier, living layers beneath (with deeper peels, you may start to see visible flaking after several days). In response to this process, your body increases collagen and elastin production—the building blocks of smooth, firm skin—to help heal the skin. 

Woman shown before and after Skinmedica chemical peel

Skin concerns a chemical peel can address

Chemical peels are not just about shedding old skin; they help improve your skin’s vitality and treat several skin concerns, including:  

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Sun damage and uneven pigmentation
  • Age spots and melasma
  • Acne scars
  • Active acne
  • Rough texture and dull skin tone
  • Enlarged pores

Chemical peels can also enhance the absorption of skincare products to maximize their benefits, and they can act as a pre-treatment to prime the skin for future laser skin rejuvenation

There are different types of chemical peels

One size does not fit all when it comes to skincare, including professional treatments like chemical peels. Peels come in different strengths—light, medium, and deep—so your treatment is customized to your specific skin needs and lifestyle. At our Asheville medical spa, we offer medical-grade chemical peels by SkinMedica®:

  • Illuminize Peel®
  • Vitalize Peel®
  • Rejuvenize Peel™

Each formula has its own superpower, from hydrating and brightening to deeply penetrating and correcting more pronounced skin concerns. Based on our professional evaluation of your skin, we’ll recommend which peel will most benefit your skin, keeping in mind the downtime of each to accommodate your lifestyle. 

I instantly felt comfortable! I was impressed with the results beyond better than I had hoped for… just book it

—5-star Google review 

How to prepare for your first chemical peel

Please arrive at your appointment with clean, makeup-free skin! Depending on your skin’s condition and your desired peel, we will typically advise you to avoid active skincare products or physical exfoliates that might make your skin over-sensitive during and after the peel. It’s also crucial that you avoid UV exposure and/or wear a broad-spectrum SPF of 30+ to protect your skin from damage before and after your treatment. 

What to expect during the procedure

We’ll help you get comfortable in one of our treatment suites and apply the solution to your skin. You may feel a tingling or slight stinging sensation as the chemical solution works its magic, but the SkinMedica® chemical peels are gentle and should not cause any pain. You’ll leave the solution on the skin for a certain amount of time and then rinse the solution off at home. 

Aftercare & results

We’ll provide you with detailed post-peel care instructions, including how to cleanse your skin and which products to use to aid the healing process. You may experience some redness or a tight feeling in the skin in the days following your peel, but you’ll soon notice a significant improvement in your skin’s texture and tone. 

If you experience skin peeling or flaking (usually for 2-5 days after the Vitalize and Rejuvenize Peels) do not pick at or try to rub the dead skin away. Let your body slough off these layers on its own to prevent hyperpigmentation or even scarring. And please don’t forget the SPF—rain or shine, indoors or out!  

You will likely need more than one treatment

The trade-off of minimally invasive options is committing to a short series of treatments to see the same transformative results that could be achieved earlier on with more invasive procedures. Based on your skin concerns, you may be satisfied with 1-3 treatments or need a few more to see the strongest improvement. We will estimate the number of treatments you may need, and you can decide to continue with more treatments or stop at any point.

Remember, a chemical peel is not usually a one-time fix, but a step towards a comprehensive approach to improving the health and appearance of your skin. After your initial treatment series, regular maintenance treatments can achieve cumulative, longer-lasting results to keep your skin looking its best year after year.

Ready to reveal with a peel?

At our physician-led medical spa, our goal is to provide you with the highest quality of care and support your safety and satisfaction with every treatment. If you’re considering a chemical peel or any medspa treatment, we invite you to schedule a consultation with us by calling (828) 627-2711 or book your appointment online using the button at the top of this page! 


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