How Do Chemical Peels Work?

How Do Chemical Peels Work?

Chemical peels by Radiance Medical Spa in Coralville IA

Chemical peels are more than just a skincare trend; they’re a powerful way to tackle various skin concerns. If you’re curious about how they work, you’re not alone. Many people hear about chemical peels in beauty magazines or at their local spa but need help understanding the science behind them. So, if you’re considering a chemical peel or want to understand this popular skin care procedure better, you’re in the right place. 

What are Chemical Peels?

Chemical peels are specialized treatments that aim to improve the skin’s overall appearance by addressing various concerns. The concept behind these peels is relatively straightforward, yet a complex interplay of dermatological science backs it.

A chemical peel involves the application of a medical-strength chemical solution to the skin. This solution is no ordinary concoction; it’s carefully formulated to exfoliate the skin gently. The primary goal is to remove uneven, damaged, or aged layers of skin, thereby unveiling a layer that’s not only smoother and more even but also appears more youthful. This process can significantly benefit those grappling with hyperpigmentation, breakouts, and the telltale signs of aging.

Chemical peels are highlighted in their versatility. They can be used independently as a standalone treatment or with other skincare therapies to amplify results. Whether it’s tackling wrinkles brought on by sun damage and aging, improving the appearance of mild acne scars, or reducing age spots and other forms of skin discoloration, chemical peels offer a viable solution. 

The Science Behind Chemical Peels

The chemicals used in these peels are not haphazard choices; they are selected for their ability to change the skin’s pH level. This change is crucial as it disrupts the bonds that hold the skin cells together. When these bonds break down, the outer layers of skin, often damaged or aged, start to blister and eventually peel off. It’s this peeling process that gives the treatment its name.

Beneath the outer layer lies a fresher, smoother layer of skin. This new skin is typically less wrinkled, brighter, and more youthful than the removed skin. But the benefits of a chemical peel go beyond just removing layers of skin. The process also stimulates the skin to regenerate. New skin growth is encouraged, and over time, this can improve skin texture and firmness.

Different types of chemical peels—superficial to deeper—use various chemical solutions, each tailored to achieve specific results. Lighter peels might use alpha-hydroxy acids, while deeper peels employ trichloroacetic acid or phenol. The depth of the peel affects not just the effects but also the recovery time and the potential risks involved.

Benefits of Chemical Peels

Chemical peels offer a range of benefits, each contributing to improved skin health and appearance. Here’s a detailed look at these benefits:

  1. Enhanced Radiance and Glow: Removing dead and damaged skin layers reveals a fresher, brighter complexion.
  2. Effective in Treating Certain Precancerous Skin Growths: By removing the top layer of skin, chemical peels can aid in eliminating these growths, potentially reducing the risk of skin cancer development.
  3. Customizable Treatments for Different Skin Types and Concerns: The concentration and type of chemical used can be adjusted for sensitive skin or more resilient types. This customization ensures that individuals receive a treatment that specifically addresses their unique skin needs.
  4. Increased Skin Hydration: Besides their exfoliating properties, certain chemical peels can help improve the skin’s hydration levels. This is especially beneficial for dry skin, as the treatment can leave the skin feeling more supple and moisturized.
  5. Improvement in Skin Elasticity and Firmness: As the skin heals post-peel, there’s an increase in collagen production and skin elasticity and firmness.
  6. Quick and Convenient Procedure: Chemical peels are typically short procedures, often completed within an hour. 
  7. Long-term Skin Health Benefits: Regular chemical peels can contribute to long-term skin health when done correctly and under professional guidance. They can help maintain a consistent skin care regimen, ensuring the skin remains healthy and vibrant over time.

The Procedure of Applying Chemical Peels

Applying a chemical peel is a meticulous process, typically performed by a skincare professional. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how we achieve a chemical peel procedure:

  1. Initial Consultation: The process often begins with a consultation. The skincare professional assesses the patient’s skin type, discusses concerns, and determines the most suitable chemical peel.
  2. Skin Cleansing: The skin is thoroughly cleansed before the peel is applied. This step is crucial to remove any makeup, dirt, or oil that could interfere with the peel’s effectiveness.
  3. Applying the Protective Barrier: In some cases, a protective barrier may be used around sensitive areas like the eyes, nostrils, and mouth to prevent irritation from the chemical solution.
  4. Application of the Chemical Solution: The chosen chemical solution is then evenly applied to the skin. This solution can vary in strength and composition depending on the type of peel and the specific skin concerns being addressed.
  5. Monitoring the Skin’s Response: The professional closely monitors the skin’s reaction once the peel is applied. This step is vital to ensure the peel is effective without causing excessive irritation.
  6. Neutralizing the Solution: A neutralizing solution is applied after a specific duration to stop the chemical’s action on the skin for certain types of peels.
  7. Removing the Solution: The chemical solution is gently removed from the skin, often followed by a cool compress to soothe the treated area.
  8. Post-Peel Care: The professional will provide instructions for post-peel care. This usually includes using gentle skin care products, avoiding direct sun exposure, and applying sunscreen diligently.
  9. Observation of Results: The results of the peel may be observed immediately or over a few days post-treatment, depending on the depth of the peel.


If you’re ready to explore the transformative benefits of chemical peels and want expert care, consider Radiance Medical Spa. Our team provides personalized treatments that cater to your unique skin needs. Whether you’re looking to rejuvenate your skin, treat specific concerns, or wish for a healthier, more radiant complexion, Radiance Medical Spa has the expertise to guide you through your skincare journey.

Be sure to achieve the skin you’ve always desired. Reach out to Radiance Medical Spa today to request your consultation and take the first step towards revealing your most beautiful skin. Remember, great skin doesn’t happen by chance but by appointment. Make yours today!


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