Chemical Peels: Treating Sun Damaged Skin

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Chemical Peels: Treating Sun Damaged Skin

Posted on September 3, 2021

Skin damage caused by the sun

The hair and skin can both be damaged by the harsh rays of the sun, and the harmful polluted gases that are in the air. These problems are then aggravated by sweat, which can act almost like a magnet, attracting dust particles and other polluted elements which are bad for your skin. The rays from the sun can cause your skin to tan, which can then lead to sunburns. If you don’t protect your skin from the sun, it can develop problems like pigment spots. 

What is a chemical peel and how can it treat summer skin damage?

Chemical peels can be a great choice for treating skin damage that has been done to the face, neck, and hands. Peels can be used to improve the appearance of skin that has sun damage, as the peel will remove the outer layer of old, dull skin using a chemical solution. Once the outer layer of skin has been shed, a new layer of skin is revealed. This later is smoother, softer, and less wrinkled than skin that has been exposed to the sun. 


A chemical peel can be used to address a wide range of skin concerns, including: 

  • Fine lines around the eyes and mouth
  • Age spots, freckles, and dark patches
  • Rought texture
  • Wrinkles
  • Sun damage
  • Enlarged pores
  • Acne


A chemical peel is a safe way to exfoliate the skin so you look more radiant and glowing after just one treatment. To get the most benefits, many people choose to have a series of three treatments. 

Types of chemical peels

Different chemical peels use different chemicals, including lactic acid, retinol, glycolic acid, and vitamin C. The different options offer different levels of peel. The right choice depends on the finish you want and the damage you have to correct. For sun damage, a light to medium peel is likely to be enough. 

Light chemical peels

A light peel uses alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), glycolic acid, or salicylic acid to remove the top layer of the skin. A light peel improves the surface of the skin and lightens dark spots that have occurred from sun exposure, salty air, and chlorine.

Medium chemical peels

Medium peels usually use glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, or lactic acid to treat sun damage, acne, and other imperfections. To reverse sun damage, you might need two or more medium peels over a few months. 

When is the best time to get a chemical peel?

You can get a chemical peel at any time of the year, but the best time is between November and February. This is because that when temperatures are lower and there’s less moisture in the air, your skin will dry out. Chemical peels are designed to remove damaged, dry skin to reveal more hydrated skin underneath. 

Exfoliants are great during the summer for removing dead skin, but they only penetrate the outermost layer. A chemical peel will expose deeper layers, which does make the skin more sensitive to heat and UV rays. If you get your chemical peel during cooler weather, your skin will be better protected while it is recovering and healing from your peel. This is especially true if you decide to have a deeper peel or multiple peels. 

What results to expect after getting a chemical peel

Depending on the strength of your chemical peel, you will experience some side effects, such as redness, stinging, or even a breakout. Don’t panic, this is normal. 

Remember that is a peel. Your skin will peel away after three to five days, in a similar way to how your skin peels after a sunburn. Gently remove these flakes when you cleanse your face, but do not pull or pick at your skin, as this can cause more irritation or an infection. 

A lot of people assume that they will get all the results that they were hoping for after just one chemical peel. For sub damage, it will usually take several treatment sessions to deliver the outcome you want and undo the damage. Most people will see some improvement after just one chemical peel, but to get really great results, multiple treatments over a few months are advised. You’ll be amazed at how good your skin looks afterward. 


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