A chemical peel is one of the more invasive skin treatments you can get. It’s a form of skin resurfacing that uses different acids to cause controlled trauma to the top layers of the skin, destroying them and allowing new, better skin to emerge.
It takes a lot of experience to perform a chemical peel right, achieving the desired results without causing any permanent damage to the skin. After all, we’re talking about putting directly onto people’s faces! Or necks. Or hands.
In any case, you want to find a professional as experienced as possible, and the price of the treatment can be a good indicator of this. So, let’s find out how much does a chemical peel cost for every category of the treatment.
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What’s the Average Chemical Peel Cost?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a chemical peel is $519. However, it’s important to understand that chemical peels are divided into 3 categories based on intensity – light, medium, and deep – and there are significant price differences between them.
We’ve done thorough market research and figured out the cost of all 3.
So let’s look into the chemical peel price for each of those categories:
Light Chemical Peel Cost
The average cost of a light chemical peel is around $160, but the price range is quite wide. Certain types of light chemical peels – mainly glycolic peels – are usually under $100. Other, more intense types go up to $300.
It’s important to note that there are many light chemical peel systems and formulations, many of which are branded, and the price can vary significantly.
Image source: Instagram @oc.skinandsugar
Medium Depth Chemical Peel Cost
The average price of medium depth chemical peels is around $350, but the price range starts at around $200, and can go up to $1500. It all depends on the intensity and complexity of the treatment.
Again, there are many systems available on the market, so the price range is quite wide.
Image source: Instagram @iconicskinclinic
Deep Chemical Peel Cost
A deep chemical peel costs an average $3000, but depending on the complexity of the case, it can vary from $1000 up to as much as $6000. This is due to the fact that this is a serious procedure that often requires anesthesia and sedation, as well as check-ups, all of which contribute to the high price point.
Image source: Instagram @fotini_bageorgou
The line between a light and a medium-depth chemical peel is often blurred, and the treatment is customized to the needs of the client’s skin, so don’t be surprised if you come across something marketed as a light peel priced the same as a medium depth peel, and vice versa.
What Does the Chemical Peel Cost Depend On?
The main factors that determine the cost of chemical peel are the intensity of the peel, the type of peel, the size of the treated area, the expertise of the practitioner, and the location.
Since this is a highly customizable treatment, it may also include add-on services, which may be included in the initial price, or charged extra. It’s also worth noting that chemical peels can be done as single sessions, or as a series of treatments.
Let’s look into each factor.
The Intensity of the Peel
The more intense the peel is, the more expensive it will be.
Light peels are the cheapest options, as their effects are limited. They work great at treating superficial skin conditions (fine lines, superficial hyperpigmentation, large pores, dull skin, etc.) and improving the overall appearance of the skin, so if you’re not dealing with a more complex skin issue, chances are a light peel will do a great job.
But if the condition is more severe (deeper wrinkles, more intense hyperpigmentation, acne scars, etc.), it’s likely that a light peel won’t do much and you’ll need a more intense treatment. Medium-depth chemical peels are more efficient, but they’re also more expensive, as they’re done with highly-concentrated acids.
Deep peels are complex treatments verging on plastic surgery that require a high level of expertise. They affect a very thick layer of skin, so they’re done with local anesthesia and sedation. They also include several weeks of preparation. Recovery often includes wearing surgical dressing and having check ups. When you take all this into account, it’s no surprise that the deep chemical peel price is 4 figures.
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Type of Peel
Chemical peels are done with a wide variety of different acids which are mixed into solutions optimal for each client’s needs.
Based on the type of acid or acid blend used, chemical peels are divided into many types. Peel type and peel intensity are closely related categories, and a certain type of peel can be light or medium-depth, depending on the concentration of the peeling agent.
Other types of peels can only be done at a certain intensity.
There are also many branded systems of chemical peels, which are priced in accordance with the franchise they fall under, regardless of intensity.
We know this sounds complicated, but the choice of peel is down to the practitioner who assesses the situation and decides which option is the best.
The Expertise of the Practitioner
Ideally, chemical peels should only be performed by board-certified (cosmetic) dermatologists, or at least a registered nurse. The treatment implies using intense chemicals to create intentional trauma to the skin at varying depths, essentially destroying its outer layer, and if anything goes wrong, there could be permanent damage.
But in reality, these treatments are also performed by cosmetologists in med spas and beauty salons.
The chemical peels price is higher at a skin clinic, when it’s performed by a medical professional. And justifiably so – this is a serious treatment you only want done by a dermatologist, using top-quality products, especially if you’re getting a medium-depth or deeper peel. Even if it means cashing out a bit more.
If you just want a light, superficial skin refresher, you can go for the less expensive option of a med spa. But be very careful which one you choose!
Size of the Area Treated
Chemical peels are almost always facials, but other areas of skin can be treated, too, like the hands, feet, or the back. A back peel will cost more than a facial or a hand peel. Foot peels are generally the least expensive.
However, since these treatments aren’t that sought-after, most practitioners don’t really have fixed prices for them.
Image source: Instagram @drbdermatology
As with any treatment, where the clinic is located plays a huge role in price formation. In large cities with a higher living cost in general, you can expect skin treatments to be priced higher. In smaller towns, the price will probably be lower in comparison.
Sometimes, lighter chemical peels are done in combination with other skin services, like dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, or LED therapy. If multiple treatments are done, the price of the treatment will be higher, but probably cheaper than they would be if you get them done separately.
Number of Sessions
Depending on the severity of the condition targeted, light and medium-depth chemical peels are often done as a series of treatments spaced out over several months. Some clinics charge the full price for each session, others offer package deals.
Deep peels are one-off treatments.
Image source: Instagram @eluxeaesthetics
How Do I Choose a Practitioner Based on Chemical Peel Cost?
In general, chemical peels are not something you want to try and save money on, and it’s often worth paying a higher price.
However, how much do chemical peels cost is not the primary factor you should base your decision on. You should primarily be guided by the expertise and experience of the practitioner. Going with a cosmetic dermatologist is definitely preferable.
Since they go through years of medical training, their prices will probably be on the more expensive end of the scale.
If a higher price point is an issue for you, perhaps it’s better to go with another treatment that costs less but provides similar results, like microdermabrasion, than to go with a cheap chemical peel.
Since chemical peels are highly customizable treatments, many practitioners set the price upon consultations, so you may not be able to find out how much your chemical peel will cost without seeing your practitioner first.
Image source: Instagram @thetreatment
Chemical Peel Cost – Main Takeaways
The chemical peel price is formed based on many factors, primarily the intensity of the peel, its type, the experience and the credentials of the practitioner, and the clinic’s location.
The average chemical peel cost is proportional to its intensity, but since there are so many additional factors to consider, it’s best to give you a general price range for each: light peels cost from $100 to $300, for medium-depth peels, it’s between $300 and $1000, and deep peels can be anywhere between $1000 to as much as $6000.