Skip to content

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Chemical Peel?

For those who desire an individualized, effective treatment for skin issues, at Bentley Skincare & Wellness and Wellness in Springfield, MO, we offer customized chemical peels targeted to your particular skincare need. So, how long does it take to recover from a chemical peel? There are a whole host of skincare issues that people commonly deal with, so the peel that is recommended for you will be based on your specific skin type.

Your skin may be dry, oily, normal, or sensitive. You may struggle with issues such as scarring, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, or aging skin. Whatever your issue, there is a peel that will work for you, and your recovery time will depend on the type of peel you choose. No matter the regimen that is prescribed, however, your treatment will consist of a pre-peel plan, the peel itself, and a post-treatment plan to promote your skin’s healthy recovery.

What Is a Chemical Peel?

In simple terms, a chemical peel consists of applying a peeling agent to your skin. Although the peeling agent may be left on for as few as three to five minutes or as long as up to an hour, depending on the type of peel, it encourages your skin to shed its outer layer over a period of days.

As a result, new skin growth is promoted over a period of days. The skin will now appear more even in texture, and improvements in pigmentation, scarring, fine lines, and wrinkles will be seen. Skin impurities will be drawn out, and overall, you will notice a brighter, fresher, more rejuvenated appearance.

Types of Peels

Since everyone’s skin is different, the type of peel that is recommended for you will vary depending on your skin type and any issues you may be having. There are several types of peels available, some of which contain Jessner’s solution, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), or retinol.

There are also peel alternatives, or masks, that help facilitate the peeling and rejuvenation process as well. While most peels are applied to the face, they can also be used to promote better skin texture on the back, chest, neck, shoulders, and upper arms.

Peels Containing Jessner’s Solution

Formulated decades ago by German-American dermatologist Dr. Max Jessner, peels containing Jessner’s solution have been shown to improve the appearance of all skin types. Peels with Jessner’s solution can reduce dark patches, age spots, scarring, and discoloration as they promote a bright, even skin tone. Overall, the skin will appear refreshed and revitalized.

If your skin is oily or sensitive, a PCA Peel® (Physicians Care Alliance) that is hydroquinone-free may be ideal for you. It has been found to even skin tone while improving skin that is prone to breakouts. For those patients with normal skin, a PCA Peel® with hydroquinone will brighten and rejuvenate skin while removing discoloration.

If your skin is in need of more potent treatment, a PCA Peel® with hydroquinone and resorcinol can improve the skin’s appearance, as it reduces damage due to the sun or scarring due to acne.

Peels Containing TCA

Many peels nowadays contain TCA. Designed for all skin types, including highly sensitive skin, Sensi Peel® is a gentle treatment that promotes improved skin texture and a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. For those with mature skin, Ultra Peel® I will also provide brighter, more youthful-looking skin as it minimized lines and wrinkles.

If your skin is rather resilient, the Ultra Peel Forte® may be ideal for you. This potent product brightens and restores while it promotes a younger-looking appearance. Finally, the Smoothing Body Peel® is designed to improve the texture and tone of the thicker skin of your body.

Retinoid Treatments

There are two types of treatments available that contain retinol. The 4% Pure Retinol Peel revitalizes skin as it smooths and brightens by increasing new cell growth.

The Advanced Treatment Booster is designed to promote an increase in exfoliation, all the while soothing and reducing redness in the skin of all types. This particular peel will also restore keratinization, which helps protect skin and acts as a barrier.

Peel Alternatives/Masks

There are several alternative peels or masks from which to choose, and each targets a different skin type. For patients with dry skin, the Therapeutic Oat Milk Mask Treatment is designed to hydrate and soothe dull, dry skin. If your skin tends to stay in the normal range, the Therapeutic Papaya Mask can brighten skin tone, rejuvenate, and refresh.

In addition, several treatments are available for oily skin, all of which detoxify, purify, and calm the skin. The Detox Gel Deep Pore Treatment, the Therapeutic Salicylic Acid Mask, and the Therapeutic Charcoal Mask are all offered by our office.

Before the Peel


Prior to undergoing any sort of chemical treatment, it is imperative that our doctors determine if the peel is right for you. In order to determine eligibility, we need to make sure that you are not breastfeeding or pregnant and have no skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea.

In addition, if you have an outdoor job, a peel might not be appropriate for you, just as those with a history of poor wound healing should probably not undergo such treatment. Finally, if you are receiving treatment for acne, you should avoid a peel while undergoing this treatment.

A Pre-Peel Plan

Once we have taken your medical history and determined that a peel is appropriate for you, we will provide you with a skincare regimen to follow for approximately two to four weeks prior to your peel. This is designed to make your peel more effective.

You may be asked to use retinol or a product containing Retin-A in order to stimulate cell turnover and increase the peel’s ability to penetrate into the skin. Typically, this pre-peel care would stop at least several days before your treatment. Sometimes, no preparation is necessary prior to having a peel: it depends upon the needs of your skin and the peel.

The Peel

After you arrive for your designated appointment, our staff will begin by thoroughly cleaning your skin in order to remove any oil or products that may interfere with the chemicals in the peel. If your face is being treated, your eyes may be covered with gauze or goggles to protect your eyes, and your hair may be pulled back from your face.

Depending on the type of peel that has been recommended for you, our skin care specialist will then apply the peel with gauze, a brush, or a cotton-tipped applicator. At this time, your skin will look frosted and white, and you may notice a tightness or a tingling sensation.

Many peels are removed within three to five minutes after application, and cool compresses or lotion may be applied to help soothe the skin. Other peels are self-neutralizing and may remain on the skin for up to an hour. Because each peel varies, our team will review the specifics of your peel prior to performing any sort of treatment.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Chemical Peel?

The First Day

For the first 24 hours or so after your chemical peel, you will notice that your skin may appear red. This is typical; however, moisturizer can be liberally applied in order to help soothe your skin. Usually, if you have had a medium peel, the shedding begins after those first 24 hours.

The Days After

Your skin will soon begin to appear dry and flaky, but it is best to let this procedure occur naturally and not pick or peel the skin before it is ready to be shed. Peeling skin before it is ready to come off can be counter-productive. After three to four days, most of the peeling should be complete, but it may take anywhere from five to seven days before your fresh, new skin has developed.

Within seven to fourteen days, your skin should be completely healed. If you work in an office or indoor setting, you should require no time off from work after your peel. If you are pleased with the results of your peel, you may even be able to reschedule another one in three to nine months, depending on your skincare condition and goals for your skin.

Peel Aftercare


In order to promote better healing and improve your comfort following a chemical peel, there are several steps that you can take. Immediately after your peel, you may find that ice packs or cool air provide you with a cooler, more comfortable feeling. It is, however, important that you not allow your skin to dry out.

To that end, frequent use of a moisturizer is imperative, and you may find yourself moisturizing ten to twenty times per day. This will allow your skin to continue to peel but will reduce the more obvious flaking that occurs. A moisturizing cleanser may also be recommended by your specialist as well. As previously mentioned, you should also restrict yourself from picking, pulling, or peeling your shedding skin.

Avoid Sun and Heat

Of course, avoiding sun exposure is critical. You should completely avoid the damaging effects of the sun until your skin is entirely healed, and even once it has healed, you should wear a sunscreen at all times in order to protect the new layer of skin.

Extremely hot showers or excessive sweating may also rush the peeling process along too quickly and should be avoided. Since your new skin will be fresh and new, it is important to baby it, especially in the early going.

A Quality Complexion

Since there are so many skincare products and treatments available today, it is important to begin with a visit to the dermatologist to determine the treatment that is best for you. Because skin types will vary, just as skincare issues differ from person to person, only a qualified professional can assess your skin and determine the best plan for your skin.

Remember that even among chemical peels, there are a wide variety of treatment options. Whether you have dry, oily, sensitive, or normal skin, there is a peel available to treat your skin, and within a matter of days, your skin will be on the path to improvement. Once our dermatologists have met with you, examined your skin, and determined your skincare needs, we can then proceed with the peel that is just right for you.

Get Started Today

Whether you wish to reduce the signs of aging or lessen the effects of scarring, dark patches, and spots, there is a chemical peel that is appropriate for your skin type. To begin your quest for better skin, start by scheduling a consultation with us at Bentley Skincare & Wellness and Wellness in Springfield, Missouri. Then you will be on your way to brighter, smoother skin and a revitalized appearance.

Share This

Latest Articles

Back To Top