Chemical Peel

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Procedure time

15 to 60 minutes

Overnight stay

Day case


Usually not required, but local anaesthetic may be used

Final results

Chemical peel overview

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is a type of non-surgical cosmetic treatment which aims to improve the appearance of the face. It comes in the form of a liquid which is applied to the face, similar to a face mask. It works by removing dead skin, promoting the growth of new cells and evening out the skin tone. There are several types of chemical peel available, which treat varying layers of the skin. This chemical peel overview page will be able to give you an idea of what the procedure involves.

What can a chemical peel achieve?

This treatment can greatly improve the appearance of your face by improving the following:

  • Uneven skin tone
  • Blemishes
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Irregular skin pigmentation
  • Skin discolouration
  • Rough skin
  • Acne or acne scars
  • Other facial scars
  • Sun damaged skin
  • Age spots
  • Precancerous growths

A chemical peel can help make you feel more confident and comfortable by improving the texture and tone of your facial skin. This gives a younger and fresher appearance.

Types of chemical peel

The choice of which peeling agent your practitioner will use depends on precisely what you hope to achieve from the treatment. They will discuss all of the available options and recommend the most suitable agent for you.

This chemical peel overview page describes the 3 main types of chemical peel you can get, which include the following:

Light (or Superficial) Peel

This is the gentlest type of chemical peel. It only removes the top layer of skin called the epidermis. As a light peel only treats one layer of skin, it does not have as dramatic results as the deeper peels. It is however, the safest and quickest type of chemical peel. It has fewer risks and side effects, and can be repeated to give even better results.

Medium Peel

A deeper peel treats 2 layers of skin:

  1. The epidermis
  2. The top layer of the dermis

Medium peels take slightly longer to perform than a light peel and can leave your face fairly red and irritated afterwards. However, as more skin layers are treated, you can expect to see more obvious results that are longer-lasting than the light peel results.

Deep Peel

This is the most aggressive type of chemical peel as it treats 3 layers of skin:

  1. The epidermis
  2. The top layer of the dermis
  3. The bottom layer of the dermis

Although deep peels come with the most side effects, they produce the best, longest-lasting results. They can be quite painful to get and may therefore be carried out using a local anaesthetic with or without a sedative. Deep peels have a longer recovery period than the lighter peels, taking up to 2 weeks for your face to feel less red and sore.

Chemical peel overview page showing layers of skin that are treated with the chemical peels

Which practitioner should I choose to perform my chemical peel?

Currently in the UK there are no strict regulations on who can perform chemical peels. This means that there are some inadequately qualified or experienced practitioners offering this treatment. Choosing to have treatment with these practitioners can put you at an increased risk of developing complications before and after treatment.

At Medbelle, we consider your safety to be of the highest priority. That is why we only work with BAAPS or BAPRAS member surgeons. BAAPS stands for The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, whilst BAPRAS  stands for The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. These are the two leading plastic surgery colleges in the UK.  Surgeons who are members of either society regularly attend training to keep their skills and knowledge up to date. This means that they are amongst the most highly qualified and experienced plastic surgeons in the UK. Working with BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeons therefore ensures that all of our patients receive only the highest quality of care.

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