Chemical Peels

Younger-looking skin, least invasive treatment

Over time, your skin loses its youthful appearance. Aging, sun exposure and acne can leave uneven skin tone, wrinkles, spots or scarring. A chemical peel (chemexfoliation) is considered to be one of the least invasive ways to rejuvenate skin tone and texture, using a chemical solution that removes the damaged outer skin layers. It can be used on the face, neck and back of hands.

There are different types and depths of chemical peels. The most common is a ‘superficial’ peel, which is used to rejuvenate most aging-skin conditions. It uses glycolic or Salicylic Acid as a peeling agent, and requires little downtime. This procedure takes approximately 45 minutes to perform and is usually repeated in a series of four to six treatments for optimal results. Dr. Dawes will evaluate your skin and recommend an appropriate treatment course.

Conditions improved by chemical peels

Conditions that may be improved are:

  • Acne or acne scars
  • Age, sun and liver spots
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Freckles
  • Irregular skin pigmentation
  • Rough skin and scaly patches
  • Scars
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Large or congested pores
  • Sensitive skin, inflammation/redness/blotchiness

Recovery expectations

Recovery time for a superficial peel is usually one to four days. You will a receive post-procedure ‘recovery kit’ and homecare instructions. Avoiding sun exposure and using sun protection is essential to help protect and sustain your results for as long as possible. Results vary, but are usually immediate and long lasting. Several treatments may be required to achieve desired results.


How is a chemical peel performed?
Your skin will be prepped with appropriate skincare products or microdermabrasion to disinfect and remove oils. Layers of acidic solution are then gently applied to peel away the aged surface-layer of the skin. When ready, the acidic solution is neutralized and removed, and further products are applied to reduce inflammation, trigger the skin’s reparative process and protect your skin from the sun. This procedure takes approximately 45 minutes.
Will I have peeling and flaking skin after my peel?
Most superficial peels do not cause the skin to peel excessively—though some may experience very light peeling one to four days after the procedure. The stronger the peel, the deeper it penetrates into your skin, requiring a proportionate amount of peeling and recovery time. During your consultation, Dr. Dawes will discuss recovery expectations, depending on his treatment recommendation.
Can I wear makeup and use my regular products after a chemical peel?
On the day of treatment, you will need to refrain from using makeup. However, you can resume your normal cosmetic regimen the following day. Prior to treatment, our trained staff will discuss all pre-treatment preparation, as well as give you a post-procedural ‘recovery kit’ and homecare instructions.
What type of chemical peels are there?
There are different levels of peels available—superficial, medium and deep, with different products used. Medium and deep peels are not often indicated, and usually apply to more severe conditions. The most common type is a superficial peel, where only the outer skin layers are penetrated for rejuvenation and improvement of skin issues, such as fine lines and wrinkles, tone/texture clarity, decongested pores, acne and hyperpigmentation. Please call our office for a consultation with Dr. Dawes for more information.
What are the most common side effects?
After a superficial peel, your skin will temporarily have an increased sensitivity to sunlight. Other possible side effects are slight redness for up to 24 hours, and dry and/or flaking skin for up to four days. Avoiding sun exposure and diligent use of a mineral-based sunscreen is essential to help protect your sensitive skin during the peel-treatment series.

Consultation appointment for chemical peels in Calgary

Please contact us with any questions, or to make a consultation appointment with Dr. Dawes at his plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery center in Calgary, Alberta.