Chemical Peel Vs. Laser Resurfacing: Which One Is Better?

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There are so many skin issues that we deal with. Ageing and the damage caused by the sun can deeply affect the quality of our skin, giving rise to issues such as wrinkles, fine lines, and discoloration of the skin. Laser resurfacing and chemical peels are both quite a buzz in today’s world of skincare.

This article will talk about both chemical peel and laser resurfacing in detail. It really depends on your skin’s needs and what you should opt for. You will know the difference between the two, their cons and pros, and hence will be able to decide for yourself better. Let’s see in detail what they really are.


What are Chemical Peels?

What are Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is a treatment wherein the damaged skin is exfoliated and rejuvenated. The process uses chemical solutions, which results in the peeling off of undesirable skin. Once the upper layer of skin starts shedding, new and fresh skin appears.

You can further divide chemical peels into three types based on their level of penetration. It must also be noted that the effects of chemical peel will last you for a considerable period- months or years if you manage to protect your skin and use sunscreen religiously.

This report classifies chemical peels on the basis of depth of action. They are- superficial, medium, and deep peels. To maximize the intended results, chemical peels may be coupled with other resurfacing techniques.

Also, the depth of penetration of chemical peels determines the degree of clinical changes in the skin. That also means that the healing time is also directly proportional to the depth of penetration. It can take your skin nearly two weeks to completely heal.


Types of Chemical Peels

1. Superficial Chemical Peels

These chemical peels penetrate the upper layer of the skin. It only penetrates the epidermis and can be used for the treatment of various skin disorders such as acne, photodamage, melasma, as suggested by the report.


2. Medium Chemical Peels

Medium-depth chemical peels penetrate the papillary dermis of the skin. It can be used for the treatment of conditions like scars, pigmentation issues, dyschromia, and multiple solar keratoses. 


3. Deep Peels

Deep chemical peels are helpful in the treatment of scars or deep wrinkles. It can also help with severe photoaging. This chemical peel penetrates the reticular dermis.


Pros and Cons of Chemical Peels

Pros of Chemical Peels

Chemical peels can be significant and beneficial for all skin types, as long as superficial irregularities are concerned. Another plus point is that chemical peels are comparatively pocket-friendly than the other means of skin treatment.


Cons of Chemical Peels

Deeper chemical peels may not be that suitable for dark skins, as they tend to be prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If you have sensitive skin, chemical peels might be a little harsher for you. However, using milder chemical peels might not have adverse side effects. Chemical peels may also leave your skin with a burning sensation for some time.


What is Laser Resurfacing?

What Is Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing is a technique that targets many skin issues, like wrinkles, blemishes, scarring, broken vessels, pigmentation, using light and heat. It helps in improving skin texture and tone. Laser resurfacing aims at rejuvenation of skin, as the study contends.

In this method, a specific skin area is exposed to laser treatment, and through a heating mechanism, new skin is produced. It boosts the production of collagen. Laser resurfacing techniques can broadly be divided into 1) Ablative and 2) non-ablative.


Types of Laser Resurfacing

1. Ablative Laser Resurfacing

This method breaks the skin’s surface, damaging its top layer, and takes a long time for the skin to heal. It removes the outer layer of the skin and heats the underlying skin. Once the skin starts healing, it appears smoother and younger. It can take your skin 2 – 4 weeks to heal properly.


2. Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing

This method of laser resurfacing promotes the production of new collagen and is gentler. It causes few complications and discomfort and takes comparatively lesser time for the skin to heal. This method does not damage the skin’s top surface but heats up the underlying tissues.

You must also note that the procedure of laser resurfacing is a safe one but must be carried out by a licensed cosmetic surgeon. You will have to keep in mind a few things after the procedure is done, to ensure a speedy healing and better results. 

Just like the chemical peeling method, the results of laser resurfacing are not permanent either. With proper sun protection, the effect may last for years.


Pros and Cons of Laser Resurfacing

Pros of Laser Resurfacing

The laser resurfacing procedure has a deeper reach than the chemical peels. Penetrating beneath the skin’s top layer can reach deeper blemishes and address more severe skin issues.

The laser resurfacing technique can also be used to tighten the skin and boost collagen production.

Laser resurfacing can also reduce the fine lines and wrinkles around your eye area. Another plus point of laser treatment is that it is highly specific and targeted. You can treat the particular spot that needs attention while leaving the healthy skin alone.


Cons of Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing can lead to scabbing post-procedure in some cases. It can also cause red skin and discomfort, while itching and stinging may last for a few days.

However, it depends on the intensity of the treatment, plus what kind of laser resurfacing you are getting done.

Also, you must avoid getting a laser treatment done if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Tip: Remember to apply and reapply your SPF after your chemical peel or laser resurfacing treatment every day. Your skin becomes extra sensitive, and sunscreen will protect it from sun damage.


Should I Go with Chemical Peels or Laser Resurfacing?

Should I go with Chemical peels or Laser Resurfacing

Whether you should undergo a chemical peel treatment or a laser treatment depends a lot on the condition of your skin and your targeted results.

It would also be best to consult your dermatologist before choosing one as they can suggest you better after diagnosing your skin’s needs.

Factors like how much time you want to see the results and your budget will also determine the kind of treatment suitable for you. It is also a great thing to know that both the methods can be customized as per your needs and requirements and your skin condition.



1. What steps should be taken after a chemical peel?

Moisturize your face regularly to keep it soft and supple. Avoid touching your face, as it may cause infection. In case of irritation, contact your dermatologist. Once your skin heals, do not skip your SPF. Keep applying and reapplying it. Also, you must avoid using makeup till your skin heals.


2. Is the laser resurfacing technique suitable for people with a darker skin tone?

Laser resurfacing procedures may lead to discoloration or damage for people with a darker complexion. Talking to an experienced dermatologist will help. There are many other skin treatment options available that they can opt for.


You May Also Like To Read:

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Both techniques can do wonders for your skin. Being aware of how these techniques work, the risks involved, and the expected results will help you decide better which one to go for.

Meanwhile, if you have already undergone one of these treatments, do share with us how it worked for you and whether you would prefer to give it another chance.

We will keep posting more interesting articles like this one! Till then, take really good care of skincare.

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