Do Chemical Peels Hurt 2024? My Own Experiences with 6 Sessions

Do Chemical Peels Hurt? In the last few years, the popularity of chemical peels as a way to improve the look of the skin has noticeably increased. Having experienced 6 sessions of chemical peels personally, I have been able to assess the level of discomfort associated with this procedure.

In this article, I will share my personal experiences with the procedure, and tell you how my skin felt during and after and if I would recommend it to you. Through my own experiences, I hope to give readers an idea of what they can expect when doing chemical peels and provide valuable insight into what to expect during and after the procedure.

Do Chemical Peels Hurt? My Own Experiences with 6 Sessions

In advance, I can clearly reassure you: It’s not as bad as everyone says! It also really does not hurt!

So, how did it come about that I had 6 sessions so far?

Good question – could also have been from me ;). Since puberty, I have always struggled with bad skin, although I do not have bad acne, but some pimples, even deeper inflammation and some pigmentation and pimple marks.

Well, for about 3 years I’ve been going to my dermatologist every month or two for a deep cleanse. During these sessions, we also talked about chemical peels quite often, because at that time I had just recently gotten myself the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution* from The Ordinary and had had some initial success with it. I let this work twice a week for 10 minutes and then wash it off. After that, my skin has always been very radiant and had a beautiful even glow, which I love. Otherwise, I had the feeling that my skin was significantly better and especially the deeper inflammation decreased significantly.

And then it finally came to the point that I had the first professional chemical peel hour with my dermatologist and asked directly quite excitedly, with which active ingredients we make the whole thing and she said that we make 70% glycolic acid and on the more affected areas 20% salicylic acid additionally on it – I looked at her at the first moment with big eyes, but since I trust her completely, I knew that she would already do the right thing. Since she knew that I already use ordinary peeling*, we could start with a higher dosage – otherwise, you increase slowly with the dosage.

So now for the pain:

My dermatologist gave me the tip with a fan from the beginning, which worked very well. Because through the air that you fan yourself, you notice the tingling many times less and it is much more bearable. In addition, she always has you in view and sees when you should neutralize it – so to the point that skin is burned or the like, it can not come at all with someone professional. And with a fan, I really can’t talk about pain.

Afterward, I didn’t notice anything else except for a slight, sometimes unpleasant tingling sensation. After a session, you should definitely treat the skin very gently with lots of moisture for a few days to speed up the healing process and not irritate the skin further.


What does a chemical peel feel like?

Do Chemical Peels Hurt

For 3-5 minutes, a chemical peel causes a slight burning and tingling sensation on the skin. But this mild discomfort goes away once the peel is removed. The treated skin will be red and swollen after a medium chemical peel, and it may sting. Some people may feel a burning sensation for 5-10 minutes, while others may feel nothing because the topical anesthetic numbs the skin.

As long as the chemical peel is performed by a professional, apart from possible irritation or initial aggravation of the inflamed areas shortly before they heal, hardly anything damaging can happen.

How long does chemical peel take?

Chemical peels usually take no more than 15 minutes to complete, depending on the type of peel used. A full-facial procedure can last up to 90 minutes, with the peeling agent remaining on the skin for 3 to 5 minutes.

What’s the chemical peel recovery time?

Do Chemical Peels Hurt

The time required to recover from a chemical peel varies depending on the type of peel used.
In general, treated areas heal in seven to fourteen days after a medium chemical peel, with flaking and peeling skin lasting 4-7 days. Within this time frame, healthy, new skin will form, but there may be redness or skin that is darker or lighter than normal. Flaking cycles can last up to two weeks.

Can a chemical peel burn your skin?

Yes, a chemical peel can cause skin burns. The sensation of burning is common during the procedure and can last for up to 2-5 days afterward. Protective ointments can be used to relieve discomfort, but if the exfoliant is left on the skin for too long, it can cause a chemical burn, which should not happen if done with a professional dermatologist.

What does your face look like 2 days after a chemical peel?

The skin may be dry and irritated two days after a chemical peel, with mild swelling. It may also appear flaky or peeling, and discolorations or imperfections may be more visible for a short period of time.

Additionally, the skin may break out or appear tanned or slightly darker than usual. More sensitive areas of the skin may begin to crust and scab, or even change color. This procedure is usually finished two weeks after the chemical peel.

However, I really have to say from my experience, I have never had any swelling or irritation afterward. As long as you do these sessions with someone professional, there should be no deeper redness, swelling, or even peeling afterward.

*Disclosure: We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

If you liked this blog article about the question: Do Chemical Peels Hurt, don’t forget to leave us a comment down below to tell us about your experience with chemical peels.

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