Skin Rejuvenation & Resurfacing

Chemical Peel Recovery Process

What to Expect After a Chemical Peel

A chemical peel offers a gentle yet effective way to enhance your skin’s tone and texture without invasive procedures. Chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution to the skin, facilitating the removal of its top layer. As the treated skin sheds, it reveals smoother, more youthful skin underneath. Additionally, collagen production is stimulated, reducing visible signs of aging.

Chemical peels are frequently used to target a range of skin concerns, including wrinkles, uneven skin tone, discoloration, and scars, primarily on facial regions. They can be applied alone or combined with other cosmetic treatments to amplify outcomes and achieve comprehensive skincare goals.

Many are curious about the recovery process post-chemical peel and would like a clear understanding of what lies ahead. In this overview, we’ll discuss our various VI Peel chemical peels along with the essential steps and considerations for a successful recovery. From managing initial sensations to supporting skin healing, we’ll cover all you need to know to ensure optimal results. Whether you’re new to chemical peels or seeking to enhance your recovery experience, this concise guide will provide valuable insights to support your skincare experience.

  • VI Peel

    VI Peel

    Unlock radiant, rejuvenated skin with VI Peel, a medium-strength chemical peel offered at Direct Aesthetics. Designed to address various skin concerns such as sun damage, aging signs, acne, and uneven texture, VI Peel is a safe and effective solution suitable for all skin types.…

    Read more about our various VI Peels

At Direct Aesthetics, we provide VI Peel chemical peel treatments, renowned for their efficacy in addressing various skin concerns. Developed by Vitality Institute Aesthetics, these medium-strength chemical peels come in three specialized solutions: VI Peel Precision Plus, VI Peel Advanced, and VI Peel Purify with Precision Plus.

The VI Peel stands out by infusing the skin with essential vitamins and minerals during the exfoliation phase. Unlike traditional peels, it delivers significant results akin to deeper chemical peels, minus the discomfort and extended recovery periods. Comprising a blend of five rejuvenating acids—TCA, Retin-A, Salicylic Acid, Phenol, and Vitamin C—the VI Peel is tailored to target various concerns such as anti-aging, hyperpigmentation, sun spots, damaged skin, acne-prone skin, and acne scarring.

During the 1-2 week recovery period after your chemical peel, you may experience peeling, with days 3 and 4 typically being the most intense. While discomfort is minimal, it’s important to apply SPF whenever you’re outdoors. Following the peeling process, expect to see improvements in acne, fine lines, enlarged pores, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone and texture. Learn more about post-peel expectations here.

The chemical peel procedure

In our office, a chemical peel typically takes about 30 minutes to perform. During the initial application, you may feel a warm, stinging sensation, but this discomfort will diminish rapidly. To ensure your comfort, the VI Peel contains a numbing agent.

VI Peel solution being applied to female face

After application, the peel should remain on your skin for at least four hours before being washed off.

Photo of four females with chemical peel solution on their faces before being washed off

Chemical peel in progress before home rinse-off.

We provide a convenient aftercare kit to enhance the peeling process and soothe your skin. Before you leave our office, our provider will thoroughly review all the necessary instructions for at-home care.

Chemical peel recovery timeline

As a non-surgical procedure, a chemical peel requires minimal downtime for your skin’s recovery. Although you can resume your regular activities immediately afterward, expect some redness, swelling, and discomfort post-treatment. It’s advisable to take a few days off to allow your skin to peel completely and unveil rejuvenated results. Generally, full healing from a chemical peel takes about 1-2 weeks.

The day after getting a chemical peel

Following your chemical peel, you may notice some redness and experience mild aching or tingling sensations, which typically subside within a few days. It’s important to avoid direct sunlight for at least a week and anticipate skin patches and peeling. Adhering to Direct Aesthetics’ aftercare instructions is crucial.

On the treatment day, refrain from touching your skin for at least 6 hours. If you experience any discomfort, consider applying a cold compress for relief.

Day 2

During the second day of your healing process, your skin may still appear red and feel dry and tight. To alleviate discomfort, apply moisturizer whenever your skin feels overly tight, and follow the recommended guidelines for washing your face with lukewarm water. Additionally, remember to apply SPF consistently to protect your healing skin.

Day 3

On this day, you can expect skin flaking to commence, typically beginning around the mouth area and gradually extending outward towards your jawline and hairline. It’s crucial to refrain from picking or pulling at the flakes, as this could lead to discoloration and scarring. Instead, continue with gentle washing and moisturizing of your face, avoiding any vigorous rubbing of the skin. Don’t forget to apply SPF regularly to protect your healing skin.

Days 4-7

Expect ongoing flaking, possibly intensified today with larger flakes shedding. Resist the urge to pick at them. Maintain skin cleanliness and hydration, along with SPF application. Anticipate peeling to persist for 2-5 days from the onset of flaking.

close up of female with skin flaking off her cheek from a chemical peel

Week 2

Your chemical peel recovery concludes by the end of the second week. Continue with your aftercare regimen until peeling subsides entirely. Once flaking ceases, resume your regular routine and maintain SPF application. Makeup can now be applied to your face.

Week 3 and onwards

After shedding all the dead skin, you’ll revel in a smoother, more even-toned, radiant complexion with enhanced texture. If you crave even more noticeable results, consider another peel. At this stage, feel free to engage in all activities, including swimming, rigorous exercise, and returning to your regular skincare routine.

Chemical peel aftercare tips

To ensure timely healing and achieve best possible outcome following your chemical peel, adhere to these aftercare tips provided by Direct Aesthetics:

  • Gently cleanse your face with cold water to alleviate any tingling, swelling, or redness.
  • Maintain hydration by drinking ample water and moisturize daily with a thick SPF-containing moisturizer to replenish the skin’s protective barrier.
  • Apply sunscreen daily to shield the delicate skin from direct sun exposure, particularly post-peel.
  • Minimize excessive sweating and movement, including vigorous exercise or sauna use, to alleviate tingling, itching, redness, and warmth in the treated skin.
  • Refrain from using abrasive skincare products, such as exfoliants or scrub brushes, for at least one week post-peel to prevent heightened sensitivity and redness.
Female holding a mirror looking at her face after a chemical peel


  • Tammy Kirby, DNP

    Tammy Kirby, DNP, is a highly skilled Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) dedicated to providing exceptional healthcare. With expertise in primary care, acute care, and community health, Tammy is committed to delivering compassionate and evidence-based care to her patients. Her passion for patient wellness and continuous learning makes her a valued member of the healthcare community.

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