How to Recover From a Chemical Peel

Posted October 16, 2022 by in Beauty

Chemical peels can be customized to meet a specific skincare need, giving your face a more youthful look, eliminating fine lines and wrinkles, treating uneven pigmentation, or removing imperfections from the skin. 

The chemical peel is applied like a mask over the face, and it is allowed to sit there for a short while and then is pulled off or comes off on its own. The facial treatment mask just peels away from the skin, pulling off dead skin cells and revealing a fresh, new layer underneath.

That healthy skin that is left behind can be raw and lacking a protective layer. It could be very sensitive after the somewhat harsh treatment of the chemical peel. Your face may not feel quite the same for a while and it may need time to heal. You may be wondering how to recover from a chemical peel, and we have answers for you.

Recovery Time

What kind of recovery time should you expect? That will depend on the kind of chemical peel you chose. Some of them are harsher than others, and some of them take longer to complete their peeling process than others.

The chemical application only takes a few minutes. The chemicals may be allowed to sit on your skin for five minutes or less. In some cases, the chemicals are supposed to stay in place for about an hour.

From there, you will be able to go about your day as normal (with some concessions to protect the skin), and the old top layers of skin will peel off on their own over the next few days. That’s a pretty typical experience for most people who have a chemical peel done, but the exact number of days it takes for the skin to peel can vary.

You will have to be careful of how you treat your skin as it is peeling and as the raw layer underneath takes time to heal. How long should you expect your skin to need to heal completely and not need any special treatment or not feel sensitive anymore? It should take anywhere from 1-2 weeks for your skin to heal all the way.

The Recovery Process

The first day after the peel will likely be the hardest. Your skin may be red, irritable, and very sensitive. You can soothe it using moisturizer until the redness disappears. You will probably start to see peeling that first day. 

The next week will be easier, but your skin will still be peeling and will be more sensitive than usual. Within about a week, your skin should have peeled on its own completely and you should be able to judge the results of the peel for yourself. 

How to Recover Faster and Easier from a Peel

There are a few things you can do to pamper and protect your skin and ensure that the healing process following the peel goes off without any problems. 

Don’t Pick at It

You may be tempted to pull some of the skin off yourself as you start peeling. You need to be careful about doing that, as it’s easy to start peeling the skin manually before it is ready to come off. You can pull off the skin that comes off easily, but if there is resistance, then you need to leave it for a while longer.

Pulling off skin before it is ready to come off can be damaging to your skin, actually going against the beautifying process of the chemical peel. You can create sores and cause bleeding by pulling at the skin too much when it isn’t ready to come off. Just give it time and exercise self-control while your skin is peeling and healing. 

Stay Away from Chemicals

Your skin will be really sensitive for a short while following the peel, and even water can be rough on it. You will want to keep your skin away from any harsh chemicals while it is healing, as they could cause irritation and severe reactions. “It’s best to not use any cleaning chemicals at all during the healing process, so you may want to hire a cleaning service for your home while you recover” adds Jean of New York City

Stay Out of Direct Sunlight

If you can stay indoors as much as possible while your skin heals, that would help the healing process and prevent irritation and burning. Your sensitive, raw skin can burn more easily when it is exposed after a peel, so try to keep it out of direct sunlight by covering up, staying indoors, and then protecting it with sunscreen if necessary.

Soothe Your Skin

You may be compelled to itch at your skin after a peel, and to reduce that impulse you can treat your skin with a soothing moisturizer. Use the moisturizer several times a day to reduce itchiness and irritation. Keeping your skin out of sunlight and away from any kind of contact will help soothe it as well and make it feel less irritated. 

Pat, Don’t Rub

When you shower during those initial days following the chemical peel, you will want to treat your skin very gingerly. Instead of rubbing and scrubbing at your skin when you shower, pat it clean and pat it dry. You will need to change the way you take showers, being very gentle with your skin and using a water temperature that is soothing and gentle as well. 

Keep It Cool

It’s not just sunlight that will irritate and damage your skin after you have had a peel done. You also want to keep your skin cool and away from heat sources as much as possible. Any kind of heat can cause irritation and pain, so try to stay cool while your skin is in recovery.


A chemical peel can give you a fresh, new look and make your skin feel amazing after the peeling process is over. You just need to take good care of your skin in those days following the peel so that this time isn’t too rough on you.