What Are Chemical Peels?

Welcome to Coachlight Clinic & Spa in West Des Moines, Iowa – the ultimate haven for rejuvenating chemical peels! Our variety of peels is designed to meet any skin type, budget, and downtime for the patient.

We offer the glycolic acid rejuvenating mask, the Obagi Radiance peel, and medical-grade SkinMedica peels.

These medium-deep peels primarily contain salicylic acid and are self-neutralizing, providing gentle yet effective results. Our skilled team specializes in removing dull and lifeless surface cells and revitalizing your skin like never before.

Experience the magic of our treatments, designed to bring back your youthful glow on your face, neck, or chest. Achieve the captivating and vibrant skin of your dreams with our quick procedures and gentle peeling techniques. 

Chemical Peels vs. Other Treatments 

Chemical peels are a popular form of skin treatment that involves using chemical solutions to remove damaged outer layers of skin, revealing smoother and younger-looking skin.

Compared to other treatments like microdermabrasion or laser therapy, chemical peels can provide more dramatic results for skin concerns such as acne, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. They are also generally more affordable and have a quicker recovery time. 

How Do Chemical Peels Work? 

chemical peels

The application process for a chemical peel is relatively straightforward and typically requires only about 15 minutes. Initially, the skin will be meticulously cleansed, followed by the application of the chemical peel solution to the facial area.

In certain cases, treatment may extend to the neck and chest. The solution will permeate the skin and undergo a brief period of action before being removed. Should it be deemed necessary, your aesthetician may propose multiple chemical peels to ensure that desired outcomes are achieved.

Benefits of a Chemical Peel Treatment 

Chemical peels offer numerous benefits that enhance your skin’s natural glow, eliminate impurities, and address various conditions such as hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, skin laxity, and acne.

These peels induce controlled destruction of the skin’s epidermis and upper dermis, leading to rejuvenation and replenishment.

Throughout the process, the ingredients in the peel specifically target signs of aging, discoloration, and acne, unveiling new, youthful-looking skin. Professional chemical peels cause the outermost layers to peel off, revealing firm and radiant skin beneath.  

Before, During, and After

What To Expect Before A Chemical Peel Treatment 

Before a chemical peel treatment, the skin will be prepped with a cleanser. Then, the appropriate chemical solution will be meticulously applied to specific areas of the skin. The level of discomfort during the procedure may vary depending on the strength of the peel. It is normal to experience some stinging and burning sensations. To relieve any discomfort, a cold compress or pain medication can be used. 

What To Expect During A Chemical Peel Treatment 

During a light chemical peel, the aesthetician will clean your face and then apply a chemical solution for a few minutes, which may cause a mild stinging sensation. The peel is then washed off and neutralized. For a medium chemical peel, the aesthetician cleans your face and applies the chemical solution, which may cause a burning or stinging sensation. The treated area may appear whitish-grey, and the chemicals are neutralized using a cool saline compress. After the peel, the skin may turn red or brown, and peeling typically starts within 48 hours and lasts for a week. Adequate skin moisturization is crucial during this time. In a deep chemical peel, the aesthetician administers a sedative and local anesthetic, cleans your face, brushes on a phenol solution after a designated time interval, and neutralizes the chemical with water. A thick coat of ointment is applied to prevent dryness and pain, and it should remain in place or be secured with tape or medicated gauze. 

What To Expect After A Chemical Peel Treatment

After a light chemical peel, patients may experience redness, stinging, skin flaking, and irritation. While these chemicals do not bleach the skin, there might be some color changes.  Avoid sunlight and use sunscreen to protect the new layer of skin.  

In a medium chemical peel, expect redness, stinging, and skin flaking, similar to a deep sunburn.  

After a deep chemical peel treatment, patients usually resume work and normal activities two weeks later. There may be peeling, crusting, skin redness, and discomfort for several days to weeks. Your doctor will provide painkillers for comfort. Swelling typically subsides in two weeks, but skin redness may last up to three months. A single deep chemical peel treatment can yield long-lasting and remarkable results, lasting up to 10 years. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Chemical peels can improve the appearance of various skin concerns, including acne or acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, irregular skin pigmentation, rough skin and scaly patches, certain scars, and sun-damaged skin. 

Chemical peels typically elicit minimal discomfort among patients. Although one might perceive a mild tingling sensation, tightness, or variations in skin temperature, chemical peels are generally not painful.  

During a light chemical peel, you may experience redness, stinging, skin flaking, and irritation, which typically subside with repeated treatments. Another potential risk is infection. 

Medium chemical peels share the same risks as light chemical peels, including hyperpigmentation and possible scarring. Prolonged redness after the peel may last for more than a few months in some individuals. 

Deep chemical peels result in peeling, crusting, skin redness, and discomfort lasting for several days to weeks. The doctor provides painkillers to ensure comfort. The swelling usually subsides after about two weeks, while redness may persist for up to three months. Despite the longer recovery period, a single treatment with a deep chemical peel can provide long-lasting and remarkable results, lasting up to 10 years. 

The duration of a chemical peel session depends on the type of peel used and the desired outcomes. Generally, achieving desired results with a light or medium peel requires multiple sessions.

Light peels typically last 15 to 30 minutes and can be repeated every two to five weeks. Medium peels can last 30 to 45 minutes and may require additional sessions. For more significant concerns like wrinkles, scars, or precancerous growths, a deep chemical peel can take up to 60 minutes. 

The required number of chemical peel sessions to achieve desired outcomes varies based on the specific type of peel and the treated skin condition. 

Superficial peels can be used on all skin types. However, individuals with darker skin tones are at a higher risk of developing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which refers to the darkening of the skin after treatment. 

Following the treatment, the skin will undergo exfoliation and desquamation, shedding the outer layer of dead skin cells to unveil a rejuvenated complexion. Even with a gentle chemical peel, there is minimal downtime and flaking. However, it is crucial to adhere to the post-treatment guidance provided by the aesthetician, including the consistent application of sun protection daily.  

Consider combining a chemical peel with other cosmetic procedures to enhance its rejuvenating effects. Wrinkle-reducing treatments like Botox and Dysport can help achieve ultimate rejuvenation. Additionally, pairing persistent acne with a chemical peel with Microneedling can yield transformative outcomes. Our experts are here to assist you in selecting the perfect combination for a truly rejuvenating experience tailored to your unique needs and desires. 

Chemical peels can rejuvenate and brighten your skin. However, not all chemical peels are created equal. There are three types of chemical peels: superficial, medium, and deep. 

Superficial peels are the most gentle option as they typically only penetrate the top layer of the skin. They address minor skin concerns like discoloration and mild acne. 

Medium peels go deeper into the skin, penetrating the outer and middle layers. They treat moderate skin concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles. 

Finally, deep peels are the most intense option and can penetrate the deepest layers of the skin. These are generally reserved for addressing serious skin concerns like deep wrinkles and scars.

You should notice a significant improvement in your skin’s texture and tone within the first week of receiving the treatment. As the weeks progress, there will be continued enhancements, such as reduced pigmentation, diminished fine lines, and wrinkles. The longevity of these results depends on the depth of the skin treatment and your post-care and protection regimen. 

Chemical peels can improve the appearance of various skin concerns, including acne or acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, irregular skin pigmentation, rough skin and scaly patches, certain scars, and sun-damaged skin. 

Sun exposure should be avoided before and after a chemical peel due to the increased risk of complications and potential impact on results. Before the procedure, it is imperative to stay away from the sun. After the peel, protecting the skin from sun exposure is crucial since it becomes more sensitive and prone to damage. This can be achieved by wearing sunscreen with high SPF, avoiding direct sunlight, and using protective clothing like hats or sunglasses outdoors.  

The cost of a chemical peel depends on the type and extent of the treatment. It is considered a selective cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance. 

While the face is the most commonly treated area, chemical peels can be used on other body areas as well. This includes areas such as the neck, chest, and hands.  

To ensure proper recovery after treatment, follow these recommendations: 

1. Avoid sun exposure for at least one week. If you go outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, and apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30. 

2. After undergoing a chemical peel, refrain from using harsh or abrasive products on your face for at least a week. 

3. Instead, choose gentle cleansers, non-comedogenic moisturizers, and soothing toners to keep your skin hydrated and calm. 

4. Remember to follow the instructions provided by your skincare specialist for tailored advice to meet your specific needs. 

Young woman skin care facial chemical peel therapy

Learn More About Chemical Peels

When you’re ready to learn more about chemical peels at Coachlight, please call 515.221.4905 during business hours to inquire about an appointment with one of our aesthetic team members. If you have a question about chemical peels, please send us an email using the online contact form.


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