Chemical Peels

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. Here at Jeffrey C Dawes Plastic and Dermatologic Surgery we offer superficial peels or medium depth peels, depending on your skin concern and desired result. They use Glycolic, Lactic or Salicylic Acid as a peeling agent. This procedure takes approximately 45 minutes to perform and is usually repeated in a series of four to six treatments for optimal results. Our Registered Nurse/ Skin Care Expert will evaluate your skin and recommend an appropriate treatment course.

Conditions Improved by Chemical Peels

The chemical peel is indicated for a variety of skin types and conditions including:

  • Acne or acne scars
  • Age, sun and liver spots
  • Rough texture
  • Congested skin
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Freckles
  • Melasma
  • Enlarged pores
  • Irregular skin pigmentation
  • Rough skin and scaly patches
  • Superficial scaring
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Large or congested pores
  • Sensitive skin, inflammation/redness/blotchiness

Jessner + Peel

The Jessner Plus peel is a popular medium-depth peel that provides a gentle, controlled exfoliation of damaged skin. One of its primary ingredients is salicylic acid, which penetrates the skin, clearing congested pores and removing dead skin cells. The Jessner Plus peel is gentle enough to allow you to return to your normal activities right away and is considered the ‘go-to’ for those looking to address everyday skin issues such as fine lines, large, pores, discoloration and acne.

SkinCeuticals Gel Peel

SkinCeuticals has developed integrated medical grade skincare treatments with step-by-step protocols to help address specific skincare needs and deliver optimal, tailored results. At the core of these is the Gel Peel. The SkinCeuticals Gel Peel combines 20% gycolic acid and 10% lactic acid to help target discoloration, skin tone, radiance, fine lines/wrinkles and pore congestion without over-drying the skin. Additional treatment protocols utilize the power of SkinCeuticals’ medical-grade products to address particular skin concerns. Based on your skin health history, Our Registered Nurse/ Skin Care Expert will determine which Gel Peel treatments would work best for you.

Facials Offered

  • Jessner + Peel
  • SkinCeuticals Gel Peel
  • SkinCeuticals Facial with Gel Peel

Chemical Peel FAQ

What really happens when you get a chemical peel?

The first step is very similar to a facial with the clinician cleansing and toning skin before applying the peel solution. Once your face is cleansed and free of dirt and debris, then Our Registered Nurse/ Skin Care Expert will apply the acid or blend of acids and ask what your “tingle level” is on a scale of 1 to 10. Most people say, it stays at a one to two for the majority of the peel process. The peel experience will end with an application of corrective serums, moisturizers and our favourite sunscreen SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion to moisturize and replenish skin from the acid solution. You won’t peel instantly but instead; you’ll leave with a glowing and hydrated complexion. Over the next few days, you should prepare to see some variation of peeling. How much you peel will depend on 1) how many layers of the solution was applied and 2) how your skin reacts to the solution. Peeling can range from minor flaking to sheeting.

What will my skin feel like after a chemical peel?

The state of your skin after a peel depends on the type of chemical used and your skin type. Superficial peels have limited effects. Medium peels may cause some redness. Peeling generally starts  to occur at day 2-3 post peel and can range from minor flaking to sheeting.

What are the risks of chemical peels?

Superficial peels are quite safe, although minor irritation of the skin can occur.

How long after a chemical peel before I can return to normal activities?
  1. Light Peels- The light peel takes approximately three to five days to complete the shedding process. The skin may or may not flake and fall away. No downtime required.
  2. Medium Peels- Medium peels usually persist for five to seven days. The skin can range from minor flaking to sheeting.
How do I care for my skin after a chemical peel?

Post-treatment care:

  • Avoid sun exposure, including sun beds, for a minimum of 1-week
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or swimming for 24-hours
  • No waxing, extractions, electrolysis, radiation therapy or microdermabrasion for at least 1-week
  • Don’t rub, pick or irritate skin
  • Do not use any AHAs, BHAs, Retinols, hydroquinone for 5 days. No type of exfoliating mask for 24-hours
  • Moisturize the skin day and night
  • Use sunscreen!
What should I use at home to maintain the condition of my skin after a chemical peel?

Our Registered Nurse/ Skin Care Expert will make recommendations based on your skin type and concerns. We offer medical grade skincare formulated and backed by science.

Who should not have a chemical peel?
  • Sun worshippers/sunbed users
  • Pregnancy/ Breast feeding
  • Accutane- avoid for 6 – 12 months prior to peel
  • Recent microdermabrasion
  • Porphyria
  • Diabetes
  • Skin diseases
  • Radiation treatment or traumatized skin
  • Fever blisters (not a contraindication but an outbreak can occur)
  • Recent use of AHAs, BHAs, Retinols, hydroquinone, and Glycolic acids (Ask our Registered Nurse/ Skin Care expert for more information)

3D Animation


How is a chemical peel performed?
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, our skin care experts 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 to book or inquire about a consultation with our trained staff.

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.

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.

All Skin Procedures Offered


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“My role, in part, is to assist patients through the process of determining which surgical or non-surgical options would help them meet their aesthetic goals and realistic expectations”

Jeffrey C. Dawes MD, FRSC


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