Chemical Peels: We’re busting the myths

A chemical peel is wonderful way to remove dead skin cells. This allows the healthy, younger skin to access moisture and nutrients better, allowing higher levels of collagen to be produced and a smoother, younger skin. As with any great discovery, a broken-down telephone phenomenon means there are some misconceptions doing the rounds. Let’s straighten out the facts for once and for all and bust the chemical peel myths.

chemical peel myths

Chemical peels: The myths

Chemical peels are only for those with skin problems.


A chemical peel and rejuvenate, revitalize and strengthen anyone’s skin, especially individuals with sensitivity. This is because a chemical peel lifts away the dead skin cells, allowing the new skin to grow back back stronger and healthier.

Chemical peels require long recovery periods


While the different peels each bring different levels of treatment to the patient, unless you are heavy a really deep chemical peel, you can generally return to work after your appointment. There will be some recovery protocols, like shielding your skin from the sun, but your doctor will discuss these with you based on the treatment you’re having and your skin type.

A chemical peel is a one-treatment miracle


Having a single treatment will give you magnificent and visible results, but the treatments need to be repeated on a regular basis for optimum results. Depending on the underlying conditions and circumstances, your doctor will advise you on the best way forward.

DIY chemical peels are just as safe and effective


A dermatologist is a highly qualified physician with the skill and knowledge to do a full evaluation of your skin and your conditions based on your overall health and other factors. A dermatologist will be able to weigh up the possible side effects with the benefits and choose a means of providing the benefits with minimal risk. Performing this treatment at home can be dangerous and expensive in the long run, as you may need to see a dermatologist to help mend the damage you’ve done to your skin.

Chemicals are dangerous, they’re not natural and damage your skin!


In actual fact, the chemicals used by dermatologists  in a chemical peel are from natural sources. Glycolic acid comes from sugar cane, lactic acid from sour milk and salicylic acid from wintergreen. Provided a dermatologist assesses your skin and provides the treatment using that professional knowledge, the procedure is safe and very effective.

Prepare for your peel

Once you have seen your doctor and agreed on the best chemical peel for your skin, you may need to take a few precautions before your treatment. The advice your doctors gives you before your treatment will ensure you have the best possible results and the easiest recovery time with little or no side effects.

chemical peel myths

  • Do not stress the skin during the two weeks leading up to your treatment. This means avoiding harsh chemicals, refraining from waxing, tanning, and avoiding the use of any products containing bleach or depilatory creams. 


  • Use the products your doctor prescribes or recommends.  Avoid retinoids for a week before your treatment and in the weeks following a treatment. They can hinder the healing process.


  • Avoid the sun. Keep your skin sheltered from the sun, especially in the last few days leading up to your procedure. Talk to your dermatologist and ask for guidance on the best sun protection products for your needs, to protect before the treatment and during the healing process.


  • Be sure to discuss the procedure and what to expect with your doctor so you can be sure of what you will need to arrange before the day of your procedure. The great benefit of these treatments is that they require no downtime, you can return to work after your appointment.  


  • A gentle approach: If you have sensitive skin, your doctor will recommend doing a few treatments with a gentle product rather than one intense treatment. Flaking skin and redness is a natural part of the healing process, but this can be greatly reduced with gentler treatments.


Regardless of which chemical peel is best suited to your needs, your skin will be revitalized, giving you the confidence to show the world who you truly are. Recovery time is brief and fairly easy and side effects are rare if the patient follows the doctor’s instructions during recovery time.

To find out if you are a good candidate for a chemical peel, contact Dr. Nokubonga Khoza.