What should I expect in the 24 hours following a chemical peel?

Posted on March 15, 2022

Chemical peels are a skin treatment that involves applying a custom chemical formula to the surface of your skin. The active ingredient causes deep exfoliation, which means dead cells are removed from the surface or deeper layers of your skin. Chemical peels can be used for many purposes like treating acne, lightening dark spots, and getting rid of wrinkles.

What to Expect in the 24 hours Following a Chemical Peel

Almost everyone who undergoes a chemical peel will experience redness, irritation, and scabbing to some degree. Expect the top layers of skin to be removed and the surface area to be more sensitive than usual.

You may also experience burning, which can last for up to 24 hours after your treatment. This is normal and means that the active ingredient is doing its job. Depending on your skin type, you may also experience peeling after a few days following treatment.

It’s important not to obsess over any discoloration or dead skin cells in the days immediately following a chemical peel, as this is all part of the healing process, and it will go away in time. In addition, it may take longer than 48 hours for these symptoms to subside if you have sensitive skin or if you are experiencing other problems like acne or rosacea. If this happens, you should consult with your physician about the next steps you should take.

Redness and Swelling

The most common symptoms in the 24 hours following a chemical peel are some redness and swelling. This natural reaction to the peel typically subsides in 1-2 days. Redness may be more noticeable on darker skin tones. Swelling is another common side effect that usually disappears after a few days.

Dry Skin

One thing that many people experience after a chemical peel is dry skin. This is because the chemical causes your pores to close, which means you have less oil on the surface of your skin. As a result, you may need to moisturize more often and use ingredients like shea butter or jojoba oil. In addition, it is also possible for your lips to feel dry and cracked.


Itching is a common side effect of a chemical peel. The skin will be more sensitive following the treatment, and for some people, the skin may become red and sore. The itchiness should go away after a day or two. It’s important not to scratch at your face aggressively even if it itches, as it’s more sensitive than usual during this time.


Another common side effect of a chemical peel is discomfort. You might experience some burning or tingling sensation during the treatment.

The skin will be highly sensitive for the first few days following a chemical peel, so you’ll need to take precautions to avoid sun exposure. Please seek medical advice about how long it will be before applying makeup.

Many people believe that their skin has been completely peeled off after a chemical peel, but this isn’t the case. The top layer of dead cells (stratum corneum) is removed during the treatment, but your natural oils are still intact. These oils will restore your skin’s natural barrier as time goes on.

Chemical Peels in Richmond, VA

A chemical peel is a popular skin treatment that uses a chemical solution to erase dull, dead layers of skin, revealing the healthier skin cells below. The treatment is non-invasive and is personalized to your goals and skin type. And although the skin is usually left red and dry for up to a week after the peel, leading to itching and discomfort, the long-term benefits typically outweigh this inconvenience in many patients’ opinions.

Learn more about chemical peels and how they can help you get the glowing skin you want by scheduling a consultation at Dominion Women’s Health Medspa today. Get started on the path to clear, glowing skin by calling us at 804-447-2303 or contacting us online today!

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