Peels Series Part 1 – The 3 basic types and recovery times

Welcome to our NEW Peels Series!

Peels, Joyous Skin & Sunless Tanning, Granby, ColoradoThis blog post is the first in a series on Peels, covering 3 informative topics:

  1. What is a Peel? The 3 basic types and recovery times
  2. The acids and chemicals used
  3. How to choose what type is right for you, and what results to expect

April can be considered an in-between month in the High Rockies. Skiing is winding down and summer sports are still a month or so away. It is a month for deep cleaning and ridding ourselves of unwanted possessions, weight and skin.

Joyous Skin’s Peels are a great way to remove the old, crusty, dry skin from winter and come into summer with a fresh, glowing, rejuvenated appearance. They allow us to work on deeper issues in the skin before we are back into full sunlight and long, warm days.

So, what exactly is a Peel and how does it work?

Peels are a controlled wounding of the skin that encourages regeneration.

The skin’s pH is lowered below the 4.5- 5.5 range, which causes the outer layer of the skin to “slough” off. Peels are used to correct many skin conditions and come in 3 basic types, or depths – Light, Medium or Deep Peels.

What are the benefits of a Peel:

  • Combats fine lines and wrinkles (especially around the eyes and mouth)Peels, Joyous Skin & Sunless Tanning, Granby, Colorado
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation (aka, brown spots caused by hormones or the sun)
  • Lightens and evens skin tone
  • Reduces oil (sebum) production
  • Reduces appearance of mild acne scaring
  • Tightens and strengthens skin
  • Smooths rough skin

The amount of change from any Peel depends on the depth of the Peel, or the number of Peels given in a series.

The 3 basic types of Peel:

Light or Lunch-Time Peels (superficial Peel)

Often a diluted form of  acid – a glycolic (sugar),  lactic (fermented milk), or salicylic acid (willow bark) – these light Peels work on the surface to remove dead, dried layers of skin. They are especially effective in a series and require little or no downtime. Highly effective in the regular treatment of acne, this form of Peel can be used on a weekly basis to achieve lighter, brighter, clearer skin that can be maintained with a simple home-care routine.

Medium-Depth Peels

TCA, Jessners and fruit acids in high strengths make up this group of Peels. Often combined to influence different layers of the skin, this Peel will require a week to 10 days’ recovery time. Most skin types can benefit from this type of Peel but a patch test is recommended for people with Asian, Black or Native American skin (4-6 on the Fitzpatrick Scale).  These Peels can be done in a series for maximum effect, but can also be done as single treatments in the spring and fall to maintain the skin’s healthy appearance. These Peels stimulate the production of cells and cell turnover, boosting collagen and elastin production, although they most likely do not penetrate the dermis layer.

Deep Peels

Administered by a physician, Deep Peels reach the dermis or blood level of skin to make lasting changes in the skin. A significant form of resurfacing anesthesia is often involved, along with significant downtime. This process is often combined with other facial surgery. Darker skin types can face hypopigmentation (the loss of color, or white spots on the skin) and are often not good candidates for this procedure. Often a Deep Peel is only done once in a person’s lifetime.Peels, Joyous Skin & Sunless Tanning, Granby, Colorado

Speak to Joyous Skin today about what type of Peel is right for you! We offer a variety of Peels and facials to suit every skin type and budget.


This chart from the American Academy of Dermatology gives a quick overview of the downtime involved in different type of Peels.

Type of Peel  Healing time At-home care  When to wear makeup  Follow-up visit 
Light or Lunch-Time Peel 1 to 7 days. Skin will be red. After the redness disappears, scaling may develop, which lasts 3 to 7 days. Lotion or cream applied until the skin heals, followed by daily use of sunscreen. Usually immediately after the Peel, but sometimes the next day. No. However, 3 to 5 peels may be necessary to give you the desired results. These Peels may be repeated every 2 to 5 weeks.
Medium  7 to 14 days. Skin will be red and swollen. Swelling worsens for 48 hours. Eyelids may swell. Blisters can form and break open. Skin crusts and peels off in 7 to 14 days. Daily soaks for a specified period. Apply ointment after each soak. Take an antiviral medication for 10 to 14 days. Apply lotion or cream. Total avoidance of the sun until skin heals. After 5 to 7 days, you can wear camouflaging makeup. Yes. Follow-up visit required after the procedure.
Deep 14 to 21 days. Area will be bandaged. 4 to 6 daily soaks while healing. For 14 days, apply ointment after each soak. After 14 days, apply thick moisturizer as directed. Take an antiviral medication for 10 to 14 days. Total sun avoidance for 3 to 6 months. At least 14 days before you can apply makeup. Yes. The next day, the dermatologist will want to see you. Several follow-up visits are required during the first week.

Enjoyed this blog post??

Read the second installment here!

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One response to “Peels Series Part 1 – The 3 basic types and recovery times

  1. Pingback: Peels Series Part 2 – what’s in a peel? Donkey milk anyone? | The Business of Skin·

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