Preparing for your Chemical Peel

January 10, 2023 Under Skin Treatments

Does your skin look dull or uneven? Are you bothered by signs of aging and skin blemishes? No matter your reasons, a chemical peel may be your solution! If you are planning for a chemical peel. here are a few tips for what to expect and how you can prepare.

What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel uses chemical exfoliants or acids to peel off the surface layer of damaged or dead skin cells. Once the surface layer has peeled off and your skin is healed, it will have a smoother, more youthful appearance. Chemical peels can treat many skin conditions like acne scars, wrinkling, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, wrinkling, rough skin texture, and more! There are three main types of chemical peels that vary based on the strength of the acid and how deeply it penetrates the skin.


A light chemical peel uses a mild acid that does not penetrate deeper than the surface layer of the skin. This approach can be used on the face, chest, neck, and hands and is best suited for rough or mildly discolored skin. Light peels do not cause any skin peeling but your complexion may be temporarily lighter or darker.


Medium chemical peels penetrate the middle and surface layers of the skin with a slightly stronger acid like glycolic acid or trichloroacetic. This removes damaged skin cells and treats wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, moderate discoloration, freckles, rough skin, and certain precancerous growths. Sometimes a blue color is added to the trichloroacetic acid solution so these peels may be called blue peels. Medium peels may sting for up to 20 minutes but we can use a fan to keep you comfortable. Within one week of your medium peel, your skin will crust and form brown patches that gradually flake off to reveal new, healthy skin.


Deep chemical peels may require sedation because the chemicals used penetrate fully into the middle layer of the skin, more dramatically resurfacing dead or damaged skin cells. A strong acid is applied gradually to avoid damaging the skin but it is not uncommon to have burning, tingling, and redness for a couple of weeks after treatment. It will take at least two weeks for the top layer of the skin to shed, revealing a new layer of healthy skin beneath the surface.

Preparing for Your Chemical Peel

After confirming that you are a suitable candidate and a consultation, there are a few things to bear in mind before the procedure.

Initial Consultation

One of the first things we recommend is scheduling a consultation to determine whether you are a candidate for a chemical peel and which one is right for you. Your skin specialist will consider your skin type and the conditions you hope to treat when deciding which peel to use.


Acne medications like Accutane and other prescriptions may interact negatively with a chemical peel. It’s important to discuss all the medications you are taking with your provider since you may have to temporarily stop using them before and after your peel.

Skincare Products

Skincare products like retinol or Retin-A must be avoided for at least 48 hours before a chemical peel. You should also avoid facial scrubs and exfoliators and hair bleaching for one week prior to your chemical appointment. Your provider may recommend special lotions and creams for after your peel to keep your healing skin hydrated and healthy.

Schedule a Consultation

At Michigan Advanced Aesthetics, we understand the value of good skin and our team is happy to customize your treatment for your specific skin concerns and cosmetic goals. If you have any other questions about chemical peels, reach out to our Royal Oak, MI office or fill out an online form to schedule a consultation.