Peels vs. Laser Skin Rejuvenation: What’s Best For Your Skin?

If you’re looking to improve the texture of your skin, you’ve likely looked into all sorts of solutions. When it comes down to it, those who are serious about getting rid of brown spots and wrinkles will eventually stumble upon information about chemical peels vs. laser skin rejuvenation during their research.

Since both techniques have a reputation for providing great results, these comparisons will help you figure out which procedure is best for you.

Both Chemical Peels and Laser Skin Rejuvenation Treat

  • Sun Spots
  • Wrinkles
  • Acne
  • Acne Scars
  • Freckles
  • Scars
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Irregular Skin Surface
  • Birthmarks
  • Fine Lines
  • Age Spots

The Chemical Peel Process

Chemical peels use a mixture of chemicals that once applied to the skin will remove the outer layer. The chemicals used can be mixed at different consistencies so people can receive light or heavy chemical peels depending on what effects they’re looking for. For a light chemical peel, a mixture of phenol, trichloroacetic acid, and alpha hydroxy acid is brushed onto the skin after it has been cleansed. It remains there for just ten minutes before the skin is washed and neutralized after the chemical contact.

A deeper and heavier chemical peel requires more of a commitment. Prior to your appointment, a prescription of Retin-A is provided as a necessary pretreatment to thin out the skin a bit. On the day of your treatment, you will be given a sedative and a local anesthetic before the chemical peel solution, which is created from the same chemicals mentioned earlier. Depending on the severity of your skin condition and the desired results, the peel can be left on your skin anywhere between 30 minutes and two hours. Afterward, the skin is washed and a thick layer of petroleum jelly is applied, which must stay on the treated area for two days.

The Laser Skin Rejuvenation Process

Laser skin rejuvenation also removes the top layer of the skin, but instead of using chemicals, a laser is used. These lasers work by sending hundreds of light pulses into the deeper layer of the skin, dissolving the molecular bonds of damaged skin cells. Lasers have the ability to deeply penetrate the layers of the skin that other products can’t reach. The skin is initially cleansed prior to your treatment, which can last anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours depending on the size of the area being treated. Most people require up to five or six treatments in order to get the results they’re looking for, depending on the imperfections being treated. After the damaged layer of skin is removed, healthier, younger looking skin will grow back, making the skin look fresh and renewed.

Side Effects of Chemical Peels

Light to medium level chemical peels can create a burning or stinging sensation. The skin might turn red or brown for several days, and overall it can take up to six weeks for your skin to fully recover.

A deeper chemical peel will result in blistering, peeling, and redness. Discomfort will likely last for several days and skin can be red for up to three months before it returns to normal. This kind of procedure requires downtime and it’s often recommended that after receiving treatment you don’t participate in excessive physical activity or even go to work for two weeks. If the treatment was performed on your face, no makeup can be worn for two weeks either.

Chemical peels tend to mix badly with birth control pills, as the combination of the hormones and the treatment can cause the skin to darken. The possibility of this occurring increases if a woman gets pregnant soon after her chemical peel. This change in skin color can cover the entire treated area, or just spots resulting in hyperpigmentation. Effects are often temporary, but can be permanent, so be sure to check with your doctor if you’re on any medications containing hormones.

Side Effects of Laser Skin Rejuvenation

Many people don’t actually experience any negative side effects from laser skin rejuvenation. Those who do, however, have experienced redness and slight swelling, neither of which lasted for longer than an hour. One of the positive side effects from laser skin rejuvenation is an increase in the production of collagen, which helps to make the skin appear more youthful. When comparing the side effects of laser skin rejuvenation to chemical peels, there is less of a risk of hyperpigmentation or permanent skin discoloration when using a laser. Additionally, there is no downtime required after this treatment.

The Lasting Effects of Chemical Peels

The results from receiving a lighter chemical peel can last from several weeks to several months if the skin is taken care of. With proper protection from the sun, a deep chemical peel can actually last for several years. However, hormonal changes and lack of proper skin care can bring back some of the imperfections that the chemical peel got rid of such as acne and sun spots.

The Lasting Effects of Laser Skin Rejuvenation

Laser skin rejuvenation can also last for several years if the skin is protected from the sun. Some people use these treatments as a form of deep cleansing every few weeks, while others use it to remove imperfections. Each requires a different number of treatments, and they have varying lengths of lasting effects.

The Cost of Chemical Peels

Chemical peels range from costing around six hundred dollars to six thousand dollars, depending on what kind of peel you’re getting, the condition of your skin, and any unique factors regarding what you expect from your treatment. Heavier chemical peels will always cost much more than lighter ones as they require anesthesia, use of a surgical facility, and possibly a short hospital stay.

The Cost of Laser Skin Rejuvenation

The average cost for laser skin rejuvenation is one thousand dollars, as these treatments are performed by licensed medical laser technicians. Since most clients interested in this require several laser treatments to get the results they’re looking for, laser clinics will offer payment packages that reduce treatments down to six or seven

Client Reviews

I am currently getting my chin and neck treated and honesty this is the best investment I ever made. Being that I’m African American, I get these really black spots and dark pigmentation under my chin from constantly shaving everyday. So far I got only 2 treatments and the spots are going away and way less hair…I recommend this location especially for my treatment specialist (Kaya)..They are the best!!!!!!

Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

author avatar
Paul A. Boulos
Dr. Paul A. Boulos is an excellent and versatile cosmetic surgeon, passionate about his vocation and helping others. Dr. Boulos is an alumni of Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his General Surgery training at Inspira Medical in Southern New Jersey. He studied and learn under Dr. Joseph Castellano, one of the premier breast and body Cosmetic Surgeons in South Florida. He currently works as a Cosmetic Surgeon at Jolie Plastic Surgery in Miami, FL.