Chemical peels are versatile facial treatments that can be performed alone or in combination with other treatments. The cost of a chemical peel for the face can range dramatically from $200-1000, but don’t worry because this A-Z guide will give you the low-down on anything and everything chemical peel related including chemical peel costs!
First, what is a chemical peel?
Chemical peels are a type of non-invasive facial treatment that removes the outer layers of the skin using different chemicals at safe concentrations. A solution is applied to the skin and sits for 1-2 minutes. It may be repeated to add another layer. Over the next 7 days, the topmost layers of the skin will slough off, also called exfoliation, allowing healthier skin cells to thrive. This results in a brighter and smoother complexion.
When a chemical peel is performed, it stimulates the skin cells to produce more elastin and collagen, two important proteins, which help strengthen and firm your skin. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
When should you consider a chemical peel?
Generally speaking, most people can benefit from chemical peels. They treat various skin concerns, including:
- Dull, lifeless skin
- Acne scarring
- Blemishes and fine lines
- Crow’s feet
- Uneven skin tone (pigmentation)
- Dry skin
If you have other concerns and wonder if a chemical peel can help, it’s best to book a consultation with a professional – dermatologist or physician affiliated with a medical aesthetics clinic. For example, having a chemical peel for hyperpigmentation, melasma, age spots or sun damaged skin is common.
Your provider will also be able to advise you on what chemical peels will not treat. As an example, very deep wrinkles or loose and sagging skin will not improve with this procedure.
Also, remember, not all chemical peels are the same. They vary in terms of the type of acid(s) they use and the concentration of the acids. A professional will guide you to the right one for your skin type and skin’ needs.
How is a Chemical Peel done…
A chemical peel is best performed by trained and qualified medical aesthetician or dermatologist, or other trained physicians who will know what to use, when to use it and how to use it. They will customize the chemical peel to suit your skin’s needs. A DIY chemical peel will NOT give you the same results as a chemical peel done by a professional. Remember, you get what you pay for!
First, your skin is cleansed, and all traces of makeup are removed. Next, sensitive areas of your face like the area around your eyes and lips are protected with a barrier such as Vaseline and gauze. Then, the chemical peel is lightly brushed onto your skin and sits for approximately a minute.
Your aesthetician or technician will cool your skin lightly with a fan as the reaction of the acid with your skin can cause a slight burning sensation. Usually, a second coat of peel is applied, and in some instances, even a third. After this, a cooling mask is applied to your face for a few minutes. Finally, the cooling mask in gently removed with gauze and a protective sunscreen containing SPF is applied.
You will notice the skin starts to peel within the next few days, and this may last for up to 7 days or more, depending on the strength of the peel.
Types of Chemical Peels
As mentioned, chemical peels have different strengths and are categorized as light, medium or deep. The table gives you a description of each type of chemical peel.
|This is a superficial peel as it removes the outermost layer of skin, the epidermis. Helps to clear up minor blemishes. A “lunchtime” peel.
|Mild acne Dry skin Fines lines and wrinkles Uneven skin tone
|May contain one or more of: -Glycolic acid -Lactic acid -Maleic acid -Salicylic acid
|Minimal with a little redness, stinging and some skin flakiness.
|Penetrates and exfoliates the epidermis and the top layer of the underlying layer, the dermis. A little stronger than a superficial peel. Helps to remove any damaged or dead skin cells.
|Uneven skin tone Scars from acne Wrinkles
|Often uses: -Glycolic acid, or -Trichloroacetic acid
|Recovery can take from 1-2 weeks. Clients may experience redness, swelling, or more flaking of the skin.
|The strongest peel which removes the epidermis, and the topmost and middle layer of the dermis. Because it is penetrating deeper to remove more layers of the skin, it can create some discomfort. Helps to minimize the effects and signs of ageing. It is performed once usually.
|Deep wrinkles More prominent scars Remove precancerous skin patches
|These are usually performed with anesthetic and use either trichloroacetic acid or phenol.
|Recovery takes longer since the peel penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin. This usually takes up to 2-3 weeks of healing and requires follow-up appointments.
Based on this information, you can see why it’s not a one-size-fits-all peel deal! You’ve got to get the right peel for the right reason(s). And that’s why a chemical peel cost may differ from person to person.
Chemical Peel Side-Effects
Like any treatment, there are potential side-effects when having a chemical peel. Most commonly, they may include swelling, redness, scabbing in the area the peel was performed. Your provider will discuss all risks and benefits of the treatment with you prior to performing the peel. It is important that you provide a full health history at your consultation visit.
What does a chemical peel cost?
“How much is a chemical peel?” is probably the one thing everyone wants to know when they call a spa or dermatologist’s office. And for good reason since the cost of a chemical peel for the face can vary so much.
The average cost of chemical peels is approximately $500, but truthfully, there is a wide range. The chemical peel price is influenced by several factors:
- Type of peel being used
- Provider’s qualification and expertise
- Treatment time required
- Cost of anesthesia, if required
- Cost of facility
- Geographic location of the clinic/provider
Typically, the chemical peel cost for a light or superficial treatment is between $100-300. It is the least expensive peel because it works on the skin’s surface. This peel is frequently performed multiple times at intervals of 4-6 weeks.
The chemical peel cost for a medium treatment is higher and ranges from $200-300 per visit. However, the ingredients are stronger and at higher concentrations, so this peel is performed less frequently at intervals of about 4-6 months.
The deep chemical peel cost has a higher price range at approximately $1000, but it is performed ideally once every few years (about 10) or just once, the price is justified. Again, the active ingredients penetrate even deeper into the layers of the skin and are present in even higher strengths.
Does insurance cover chemical peels?
Health insurance will not cover the chemical peel costs unless they are specifically used to treat precancerous lesions. However, it is always best to discuss this with the physician or provider of the service. In addition, it is best to check with your private health insurance plan to see what costs may be covered and under what specific conditions.
Many clinics, including The Best You® offer financing options through a third party or treatment plans that can make treatment more affordable. Talk to your provider to see what may work best for you.
How do I decide on where to have a chemical peel?
When you’re finally ready to have a chemical peel, it’s important that you don’t take this decision lightly. While the chemical peel cost may be a factor for you, cost sometimes goes hand-in-hand with quality, so cheap isn’t always the best option.
Choose a clinic where the doctor(s) and technicians have the necessary qualifications, training and experience to deliver the best treatment to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.
For example, in Ontario, The Best You® has 7 clinics with a long-standing history and reputation to back them up. With access to physicians, plastic surgeons, nurses and medical aestheticians, you will have the guidance to make informed choices about your chemical peel treatment and any other treatments you may be considering.
Ultimately, your decision should be based on quality of care and not quantity you’re shelling out.
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