Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.
Skip to main content

How Often Should I Get a Chemical Peel?

How Often Should I Get a Chemical Peel?

One of the most popular skin care treatments available today, chemical peels use proven medical-grade acidic cosmetic ingredients to exfoliate your skin evenly and effectively while promoting faster cell turnover and production of healthy new skin cells. 

At Orange Coast Dermatology, all of our peels provide professional-grade exfoliation, resulting in more even skin texture and tone and enhanced skin care product absorption. Our skilled providers offer three primary types of chemical peels targeted toward varying common skin concerns at our offices in Rancho Santa Margarita, Orange, and Mission Viejo, California.

How often a service can safely be done and how often it should be done for the best results may differ. While this blog can serve as a broad guide, coming in for a consultation will provide you with a customized plan for your skin’s unique needs.

3 types of chemical peels

How often to get a chemical peel depends greatly on what kind you are opting for. Here’s a breakdown of the key attributes and differences between our three chemical peel treatment options: glycolic, salicylic, and trichloroacetic acid peels.

Glycolic acid peel (AHA)

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that provides light to moderate exfoliation of the outermost layer of skin. AHAs are unique in their ability to exfoliate the skin while improving hydration by promoting moisture retention. 

A favorite among our patients with mature skin, our 20-30% glycolic acid peel also treats moderate hyperpigmentation and fine lines. This treatment can be safely performed every two weeks, but the exact frequency and optimal number of treatments total will vary from person to person. 

Salicylic acid peel (BHA)

Salicylic acid is the gold standard beta hydroxy acid used in skin care, both over-the-counter and in-office. Its unique ability to penetrate deep into the pore and dissolve oil makes it ideal for congested, acne-prone skin. Patients can safely enjoy a BHA peel monthly, on average.

While many at-home acne products contain salicylic acid, opting for a professional facial like our salicylic acid peel will likely get you faster results with the security of medical supervision, saving you money and time in the long run. 

TCA treatment

TCA (trichloroacetic acid) treatments are deeper chemical peels that provide more significant exfoliation and skin renewal. Due to their potency, TCAs require more downtime between treatments. TCA can generally be performed every six to 12 weeks at most to allow the skin ample time to recover fully. 

These peels address more stubborn issues like moderate to deep wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars. While incredibly effective, TCA peels require us to be more cautious, ensuring you’re diligent about daily sun protection for weeks before the procedure and proper aftercare.

How Orange Coast Dermatology can help 

In short, the safest and most optimal frequency of chemical peels depends on the type of peel used and your individual skin characteristics. Salicylic acid peels can typically be safely done at most every two to four weeks, glycolic acid peels every one to two weeks, and TCA peels every six to 12 weeks.

Depending on your budget, skin condition, and sensitivity, we may recommend completing a series of treatments spaced closer together to target an immediate issue, or that you take a more infrequent but long-term approach to your chemical peel routine.

Starting with a lower frequency and gradually increasing can help minimize the risk of irritation and ensure optimal results. We may also recommend you start with stronger or weaker peels at first and then adjust potency over time according to your goals.

The beauty of modern dermatology is that there are so many different treatment options, but we know that can make finding the best option for you overwhelming. That’s why we're here. If you’re in SoCal, make an appointment today at one of our three locations for personalized advice.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Tips for Managing Spring Rosacea Flare-ups

The change to warmer weather can trigger rosacea flare-ups, so it’s apropos that April is Rosacea Awareness Month. If you suffer from this pesky skin condition, here are our tips on how to enjoy the change of seasons without flare-ups.
How Did My Vagina Become So Lax?

How Did My Vagina Become So Lax?

From puberty through menopause, a woman's body can undergo some fairly significant changes, including vaginal laxity. If you’re looking to rejuvenate your vaginal health, we have just the solution.
Start Laser Hair Removal Now and Be Silky Smooth by Summer

Start Laser Hair Removal Now and Be Silky Smooth by Summer

Tired of the pain of waxing and the hassle of shaving? Laser hair removal is the solution you’ve been waiting for. To get smooth, hairless skin by summer, it’s best to start in the laser hair removal process in the winter. Here’s why.
Can Microneedling Reduce My Acne Scars? 

Can Microneedling Reduce My Acne Scars? 

Are you left with visible reminders of teenage acne that mar your complexion? Don’t let acne scars lower your self-confidence. Modern dermatology can improve your appearance with microneedling.