There are three levels to chemical peels. All three offer the benefits of improving skin appearance, repairing damage and reducing signs of aging.
1. Light – A mild acid is used to remove the thin, outer layer of skin and gently exfoliates. There is little to no downtime and patients see results in as few as seven days.
2. Medium – Medium peels go deeper and take longer to heal than superficial peels — 14 days — but are much stronger. They typically use glycolic or trichloroacetic acid to dig deeper into the skin, hitting the outer layer (epidermis) and the middle layer (dermis) to remove damaged cells.
3. Deep – Deep peels are the most intense chemical peel. They typically use trichloroacetic acid or phenol to penetrate deep into the skin, down to the lower dermal layer, removing damaged skin and kick-starting serious growth of skin cells to compensate for the removal of the dead and damaged skin. Due to the chemicals used, how deep it treats, and how much skin is removed, these peels can take up to 21 days to recover from. The new skin is sensitive and needs special care for the first two weeks to make sure that it is not damaged while in its delicate state.