Professional-grade vs. at-home chemical peels: Which is the better option?

Professional-grade vs. at-home chemical peels: Which is the better option?

Chemical peels might be unpopular to people who squirm at the idea of a snake shedding off old skin, and might have a bad rap with those who instantly associate the word “chemical” with harmful ingredients. But the truth is, anything that’s engineered in a laboratory is considered a chemical, and it isn’t necessarily toxic.

So what does a chemical peel treatment do? In this procedure, a chemical solution is applied on your face to dry up dead skin and “peel” it off your face, resulting in a renewed appearance. It evens up skin texture, softens fine lines, eliminates blemishes, and reduces discoloration. Done properly and as needed, it can improve your skin’s collagen and elastin production to enhance protection from the elements.

Chemical peels can be done by a licensed esthetician in a medspa or by yourself at the comfort of your home. What’s the difference between the two, and which is the better option?

Peel strength

Professional-grade and at-home peels typically contain the same active ingredients, but the latter are generally milder and only affect the topmost layer of the skin. They provide minimal results and are therefore suitable for general skin maintenance and mild skin issues. Often, at-home peels require multiple treatments before you see any effect.

Professionally administered peels utilize medical-grade unbuffered solutions with prescription-strength concentrations of peeling agents. They target deeper layers of the skin and are therefore capable of treating moderate to severe issues like wrinkles, sunspots, and skin pigmentation. If needed, they can be facilitated alongside other topical agents for added efficacy. Results are dramatic and can be seen shortly after a single treatment.


Estheticians can adjust the formula of chemical peels to address specific skin types and issues, something that’s not possible with over-the-counter formulations. The wrong peel can have a limited effect on your skin or worse, irritate and damage it. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for chemical peels, so if you're not sure what's best for your skin needs, consult an esthetician first.

Safety and convenience

With at-home peels, you don’t need to set up an appointment and drive to the medspa because everything is done inside your home, anytime you wish. But there are different types of chemical peel treatments, and the more sensitive ones may require a safer, more controlled setting. That’s why at-home peels are slightly more risky despite the use of milder chemicals. You need to mix the chemicals properly and apply the right amount, otherwise, you risk skin damage. Keep in mind that peels are made of acids, so if applied incorrectly, they can cause severe skin irritation and further complications.


Recovery depends on the type and strength of the peel, but many have little to no downtime. This is why chemical peels are labeled as a “lunchtime treatment.” You can leave for the medspa during your lunch break, have a treatment done, and go back to work afterwards.


Professional peels are generally more costly, and for highly justified reasons. But don’t forget that many at-home options require multiple applications — which means additional, recurring expenses — to obtain results. Ultimately, professional peels don’t cost a fortune, especially if you turn to more client-focused medspas like Trouvé Medspa in Beachwood, Ohio, where experienced estheticians can answer your questions and give tips on proper skincare.

Get the right chemical peels from experts who will evaluate your skin type and condition, and will answer any question you may have. Get in touch with us today!