A chemical peel is a dermatological procedure used to improve skin's appearance. Chemical peels can reduce acne, wrinkles, fine lines, skin discolorations and sun damage. Chemicals are applied to the skin which essentially burn it, causing the top layers to peel away. You can't get a chemical peel without burning your skin. Chemical peels are available in a variety of strengths, ranging from light to deep. Since your skin is burned, it's important to care for it properly following a chemical peel.

Know that redness and irritation are expected after a chemical peel. Your skin is likely to appear dry and flaky as the top layers begin to peel away. This dryness and peeling generally lasts for a few days for light peels, and up to four weeks for deep peels.

Wash the skin, using a gentle cleanser. Choose a highly hydrating cleanser that is free of abrasive detergents. Your skin will be incredibly sensitive following the peel, so steer clear of harsh cleansers.

Use cool water to rinse the area. Do not use hot or even warm water. The heat will further irritate your burned skin.

Moisturize the skin. Use a rich moisturizer to deeply hydrate the burned area. Opt for one that is free of added dyes and fragrances to avoid irritating the area further.

Drink lots of water. Burned skin needs to be moisturized from the inside. Consume at least 80 ounces of water daily to nourish dehydrated skin.

Avoid sun exposure. After a chemical peel, the sun's damaging rays can seriously injure your skin. If you must be outside, use a high level SPF sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and large sunglasses.

Apply any prescription ointments as instructed. For medium and deep chemical peels, dermatologists often prescribe topical ointments to aid your skin's recovery process. Use as directed.

Do not touch the treated area. While it's tempting, do not peel away flaking pieces of skin. This can seriously damage your skin and lead to permanent scarring.


Avoid extreme facial expressions for the first few days following your peel. Your skin will be tight and excessive stretching may hurt it.