How much does a chemical peel cost?
$150 – $300 average light chemical peel cost
$300 – $1,500 average medium chemical peel cost
Average cost of a chemical peel
A chemical peel costs $150 to $1,500 on average to resurface the skin and smooth its texture. Light chemical peel prices range from $150 to $300, while medium chemical peels cost $300 to $1,500 and penetrate deeper. A deep chemical peel is the most aggressive procedure and costs $1,500 to $6,000.
|National Average Cost||$675|
|Average Range||$150 to $1,500|
Cost data is from research and costs reported by Thervo members.
What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is a procedure that uses one or more chemical agents, such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), glycolic acid, and lactic acid to exfoliate and resurface the skin. The peel removes the top layer or layers of skin to reveal a smoother texture and improved appearance.
Chemical peels are used to treat several skin conditions, including acne, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, melasma, hyperpigmentation, and uneven tone and texture.
Chemical peel cost by type
There are 3 types of chemical peels that vary in price, intensity, recovery time, and expected results. Consider a light or medium peel for fresher, smoother, glowing skin. A deep peel produces more dramatic results but is costly and requires much more recovery time.
|Peel type||Average cost||Results last|
|Light / superficial||$150 – $300||1 – 2 months|
|Medium||$300 – $1,500||2 – 4 months|
|Deep||$1,500 – $6,000||Up to 10 years|
Light chemical peel
A light chemical peel costs $150 to $300 on average and removes only the epidermis, the top layer of skin. This superficial peel is typically performed by a licensed esthetician and has little to no downtime. Due to its low intensity, people may need multiple peels to see desired results.
Light chemical peels typically use a combination of alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids to treat:
Uneven skin town
Fine lines and wrinkles
Medium chemical peel
A medium chemical peel costs $300 to $1,500, depending on the location. Medium peels penetrate deeper, removing the outer layer of skin, or epidermis, and portions of the middle layer, the dermis. This deeper peel has a 7- to 14-day recovery time and yields longer lasting results than a light peel.
Most medium peels use trichloroacetic acid (TCA), glycolic acid, pyruvic acid, or Jessner's solution, which is a combination of lactic acid, salicylic acid, and resorcinol. These agents treat:
Deeper lines and wrinkles
Rough skin texture
Uneven skin tone
Deep chemical peel
A deep chemical peel costs $1,500 to $6,000 and is the most aggressive option. This intense procedure often requires sedation and penetrates much deeper than other peels. Deep peels have a longer recovery time but also produce longer lasting results. Only a board-certified medical doctor should perform a deep peel.
Deep peels often use phenol, which can bleach the skin, so it is not recommended for darker skin tones. A deep phenol peel can treat:
Deep lines and wrinkles
Deep acne scarring
Severe sun damage
Uneven skin tone
Factors that influence the cost of a chemical peel
The largest factors affecting the cost of a chemical peel are your location and whether it's a light, medium, or deep procedure. Other price factors include:
Facility size & type – Depending on the type, chemical peels may be performed at spas or medical facilities, which have varying overhead costs and different pricing structures.
Experience & education – Chemical peels performed by licensed physicians cost more than those administered by aestheticians or other trained skincare technicians.
Medication – A more intense chemical peel may require prescription medication afterward, increasing the total cost.
Anesthesia – Deep chemical peels often require sedation which involves additional medical staff and increases the cost.
Consultation fees – Some professionals charge a $50 to $150+ consultation fee to assess your skin and determine which type of chemical peel best fits your needs.
Aftercare costs – Depending on the intensity of the chemical peel, aftercare may include Vaseline, moisturizer, sunscreen, cold compresses, and over-the-counter pain medication.
What to expect from a chemical peel
While the exact procedure and duration depend on the type of peel, most light and medium chemical peels involve thoroughly cleansing the face, applying a chemical solution to the skin, and then rinsing with water or a cool saline solution to neutralize the chemicals after just a few minutes.
Depending on the chemical peel's intensity, your skin may go through a period of peeling over several days. You typically need to stay out of the sun for a certain amount of time and keep the skin well moisturized to help the healing process.
Chemical peel FAQs
How long does a chemical peel take?
Most light and medium chemical peels take 30 to 60 minutes. A deep chemical peel takes 1 to 3 hours for the procedure itself. Recovery time depends on the type of peel. Your medical professional will prescribe a suitable aftercare protocol to reduce discomfort and get the best results from the procedure.
|Peel type||Average recovery time|
|Light / superficial||1 – 7 days|
|Medium||7 – 14 days|
|Deep||14 – 21 days|
Do chemical peels hurt?
Most light and medium chemical peels do not hurt, but may cause some discomfort, depending on the patient's tolerance level. These more superficial peels typically elicit a tingling sensation or a mild burning feeling that goes away when the procedure is complete.
Deep chemical peels are more aggressive and typically require some form of pain control during and following the procedure. Deep peels are often performed under sedation.
Who can perform a chemical peel?
Licensed estheticians can perform light and medium chemical peels. Deep chemical peels should only be performed by a licensed physician, such as dermatologist or board-certified plastic surgeon.
Does insurance cover chemical peels?
Insurance typically does not cover chemical peels since most chemical peels are considered cosmetic procedures. Insurance may cover a chemical peel if a doctor prescribes it to treat a medical skin condition.
Tips for choosing a chemical peel professional
Follow these guidelines to ensure you choose the best skincare professional for your needs and goals:
Look for members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) or the American Academy of Dermatology.
Confirm their licensing information and credentials.
Check out feedback from patients on Thervo and Google.
Ask questions about the procedure and risks.
Confirm you are a good candidate for a chemical peel.
Ask to see before and after photos of patients who had the same procedure.
Questions to ask during a chemical peel consultation
A chemical peel is not a procedure you should take lightly. Ask these important questions during your consultation to ensure you choose the most qualified skincare professional:
What licenses or certifications do you hold?
How long have you been practicing in this area?
Do you offer free consultations?
Who will perform the chemical peel, and what training do they have?
Am I a good candidate for this type of chemical peel?
Where and how will you perform the treatment?
What recovery time should I expect?
Do I need to miss work to recover after the procedure?
How should I prepare for this chemical peel?
What do I need to do after the treatment to get the best results?
What results can I expect, and how long do they typically last?
What are the risks associated with this chemical peel?
Who should I contact if I have questions after the procedure?
Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this specific peel?