How Much Does a Chemical Peel Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 14, 2018

A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the smoothness and texture of the skin by applying a chemical solution which causes the dead skin to peel off.  The result of this is that the first layer of the skin, which tends to be wrinklier, is removed, revealing a smoother layer of skin underneath.

beautiful faces by tommerton2010, on Flickr
beautiful faces” (CC BY 2.0) by tommerton2010

How much does a chemical peel cost?

On average, the cost of a chemical peel will depend on where you live, the medical provider you plan on using and the type of chemical peel applied.  With these factors in place, the average session can cost $150 to $400; however, to see desirable results, the average patient, according to our research pays a total of $1,800 to $3,700.  These costs will vary depending on your personal situation since some patients may see results after a few sessions, whereas others may need multiple sessions. Refer to our table below to see what the most popular branded chemical peels will cost per session.  This data was gathered from credible doctor answers we had found online such as this forum thread.

According to the 2016 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a chemical peel was $673. says the current price range will be $600 to $900, but additional expenses may need to be kept in mind such as the anesthesia, facility and if a hospital stay were required.  The final cost, according to the website, will depend on the condition of your skin, the peel you want and your personal situation.

Chemical Peel BrandAverage Cost (per session)
Superficial$150 to $300
Glycolic$75 to $125
Lactic$50 to $75
VI Peel$250 to $350
10-15% TCA$200 to $350
20-25% TCA$500 to $800
30-35% TCA$700 to $1,100
Jessner's$150 to $250

Factors affecting the price of a chemical peel

The severity of the wrinkles and the sun damage that needs to be treated.

The number of treatments necessary to see a desirable look.

The area that’s being treated.

The type of peel you’re received and its strength.

If physician supervision is required.  The stronger the peel is, the more likely ta physician will need to be present.

How much post treatment care will be required.

Chemical peel oveview

Each peel, regardless of which method you use, can take anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes to have done, and depending on the skin condition, more peels may be required in the future to ensure that the skin is healing properly.  It is recommended that the patient returns every six weeks.

Before the procedure even begins, the professional who’s going to perform the procedure will first apply a chemical solution — usually trichloroacetic acid, glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid or carbolic acid (phenol) on small areas of your skin.  Doing so can create a controlled wound, allowing the new skin to take its place.

During the procedure, a chemical solution will be applied to the skin, forcing it to “blister,” eventually peeling off.  Once the skin peels away, the layer beneath the old skin will show, appearing to be less wrinkled and shinier.  A chemical peel is commonly done to the hands, neck and most of the time, the face.

The procedure will commonly be done in the doctor’s office or in a surgery center, meaning no overnight stay is required.

After the procedure is done, the skin will look as though it has been sunburned, and for about a week after the procedure has been done, the skin will start to peel, exposing the skin underneath.  It can be a few weeks before the skin heals properly.  Medium-depth peels, however, may result in swelling or blisters that crust or break down over time and can take a longer time to heal.

For deeper skin issues, consultation and follow-up care will be included with the payment for the chemical peel.

Types of chemical peels:

Superficial, aka lunchtime or light

A superficial peel, which will be the mildest peel available is often referred to as a lunchtime peel since it can be done in less than 30 minutes.  Using either an alpha-hydroxy acid or another type of mild acid, such as salicylic or maleic acid, this treatment will be lightly applied to the targeted area to exfoliate it.  A light peel will often need multiple treatments to see desirable results.

Medium peel

These peels will either use a trichloroacetic or glycolic acid to gently penetrate the outer and middle layers of the skin to help remove any damaged skin cells such as age spots, wrinkles, freckles, fine lines or moderate discoloration.

Deep peel

A trichloroacetic acid or phenol will be applied to penetrate the skin deeper than the prior peels mentioned.  This peel penetrates deep enough to remove damaged skin cells and most who have this type of peel performed will often see dramatic results.  A deep peel, unlike other peels, can only be used once and will only be applied to the face.

What are the extra costs?

As mentioned above, follow up visits will be required for lower based chemical peels.  Each of these can cost $100 to $300 per visit.

Medications, depending on the strength of the peel, may be prescribed after the procedure.  This may include antibiotics or an anti-viral drug.

Deeper peels often require anesthesia, which can be an additional charge to consider.

Tips to know:

Not everyone is a candidate for the procedure.  For example, those who have oral herpes or a virus in the treated area may be denied.  Generally, those who have fair skin or light-haired patients will often be the best candidate.

Many people have claimed that the procedure can hurt after for about 10 to 30 minutes after the procedure.  Patients compare it to a hot sensation and/or stinging feeling.  It’s also not uncommon to see the skin crack in the areas that were treated.

According to WebMD, it’s wise to tell your doctor if you have a history of cold sores or scarring.

Risks may include slight scarring, infection, allergic reactions, or reactivating cold sore if you had a history of herpes.

Reasons to consider a chemical peel

To reduce the fine lines underneath your lips and/or eyes.

To treat wrinkles which were caused by the sun.

To help improve the appearance of scarring.

To help treat acne.

To help reduce dark patches, freckles or aging spots.

How can I save money?

If the procedure is needed to improve the appearance of a scar, a chemical peel can be covered by insurance.  However, this will usually be rare since most insurance companies only see it for aesthetic purposes.

If you can’t afford the procedure up front, many doctor’s offices have financial plans.  These plans can help spread out the payment for a few years ahead, making the monthly payments affordable.

Since there’s a good chance you will need more than one session, most medical offices will offer a package deal if you were to buy more than five sessions at once.

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Average Reported Cost: $210

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. rosa (philadelphia,  Pennsylvania) paid $400 and said:


    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Brenda (Dallas,  Texas) paid $20 and said:

    I gathered information, then supplied & did a DIY. I started with a 15% TCA. It worked so well! Keep in mind I did a TON of research because this stuff is serious business!

    Was it worth it? Yes

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