How Much Does a Chemical Peel Cost?

Curious about the cost of getting a chemical peel? You’re not alone—according to a recent survey, 47% of people considering a cosmetic procedure list price as a top concern. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the various factors that influence the cost of chemical peels, so you can make an informed decision.

The cost of a chemical peel varies based on factors like the type of peel, geographic location, and the dermatologist’s expertise. Superficial peels like Vi Peel can range from $250-$400 per session, medium peels like Glycolic can cost $300-$600, and deep peels like Phenol can go up to $3,000. Additional costs for consultation and post-treatment care may also apply.

Discover who should steer clear of chemical peels to ensure you’re making the safest choice for your skin—read on to find out if you’re a good candidate.

Types of Chemical Peels and Their Costs

Superficial Peels

Vi Peel

  • Cost Range: $250-$400 per session
  • Target Issues: Hyperpigmentation, sun damage
  • Active Ingredients: Trichloroacetic acid, Retin-A, salicylic acid, phenol, and vitamin C.

Lactic Peel

  • Cost Range: $100-$300 per session
  • Target Issues: Dry and sensitive skin, pH balance
  • Active Ingredients: Derived from milk

Medium Depth Peels

Glycolic Peel

  • Cost Range: $300-$600 per session
  • Target Issues: Acne and acne scars, pore tightening
  • Active Ingredients: Glycolic acid

TCA Peel (Trichloroacetic Acid)

  • Cost Range: $500-$900 per session
  • Target Issues: Skin pigmentation, wrinkles
  • Active Ingredients: Trichloroacetic acid

Deep Chemical Peels

Phenol Peel

  • Cost Range: $1,500-$3,000 per session
  • Target Issues: Severe wrinkles, discoloration
  • Active Ingredients: Phenol acid
  • Note: Lengthy recovery period, may be uncomfortable compared to milder peels.

Chemical Peel Cost by State

StateSuperficial Peel (Vi Peel)Medium Peel (Glycolic Peel)Deep Peel (Phenol Peel)
New York$320-$480$360-$680$1,700-$3,400
North Carolina$240-$390$290-$590$1,450-$2,900

Factors Affecting the Cost of Chemical Peels

Geographic Location

The cost of a chemical peel can vary significantly depending on the location of the clinic. Urban areas or metropolitan cities generally have higher prices compared to rural locations. Even different states or countries can have varying average costs for the same procedure.

Expertise of the Dermatologist

The dermatologist’s level of expertise also plays a role in the cost. Dermatologists with more years of experience or specialization in chemical peels often charge higher fees for their services.

Number of Sessions Required

The total cost of your chemical peel treatment can increase if multiple sessions are needed for optimal results. Some clinics offer package deals for multiple sessions, which can be a more cost-effective option.

Type of Peel

The type of chemical peel you opt for also affects the cost. Superficial peels are generally less expensive than medium or deep peels. The latter are more complex and carry more risk, thus often costing more.

Additional Costs

There may be additional costs to consider, such as consultation fees, which some clinics charge for the initial visit. Post-treatment care can also add to the overall cost, as special creams or medications may be prescribed.

Comparing Costs: Chemical Peels vs. Laser Treatments

Treatment TypeAverage Cost per SessionTarget IssuesNumber of Sessions RequiredAdditional Costs
Chemical Peels
Superficial Peel (Vi Peel)$250-$400Hyperpigmentation, sun damage1-3Consultation, post-treatment care
Medium Peel (Glycolic Peel)$300-$600Acne scars, pore tightening2-4Consultation, post-treatment care
Deep Peel (Phenol Peel)$1,500-$3,000Severe wrinkles, discoloration1Consultation, post-treatment care
Laser Treatments
Non-ablative (Fraxel)$500-$1,000Mild acne scars, fine wrinkles3-5Consultation, post-treatment care
Ablative (CO2)$1,000-$2,500Deep wrinkles, severe acne scars1-2Consultation, post-treatment care
Ablative (Erbium)$1,000-$2,000Wrinkles, fine lines, age spots1-2Consultation, post-treatment care

Additional Costs to Consider

When budgeting for a chemical peel or laser treatment, it’s crucial to factor in additional costs that go beyond the procedure itself. These can include:

Pre-treatment Consultation

Some clinics charge a fee for the initial consultation, which can range from $50 to $200. This session is essential for assessing your skin type and determining the most suitable treatment.

Post-treatment Care

After the procedure, you may need specialized skincare products or medications to aid in recovery and enhance results. These can include moisturizers, sunscreens, and sometimes prescription medications. Depending on the products, you could spend an extra $50 to $200.

Anesthesia or Sedation

For deeper peels or certain laser treatments, anesthesia or sedation may be required, adding another $200 to $500 to the total cost.

Facility Fees

Some treatments may incur facility fees, especially if they are performed in a hospital setting. These can add an additional $100 to $500 to your bill.

By accounting for these additional costs, you can get a more accurate picture of the financial commitment involved in undergoing a chemical peel or laser treatment. Always consult with your healthcare provider for a detailed cost breakdown.

How to Finance Your Chemical Peel

Financing a chemical peel requires a well-thought-out strategy, as the costs can add up quickly when you consider the procedure, consultation, and post-treatment care. Here are some ways to manage the financial aspects:

Personal Savings

The most straightforward way to finance your chemical peel is through personal savings. Planning ahead and setting aside a budget can make the process less stressful.

Payment Plans

Many clinics offer payment plans that allow you to break down the total cost into more manageable monthly or quarterly payments. Make sure to understand the terms and any interest rates associated with these plans.

Health Insurance

While chemical peels are generally considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance, there are exceptions. If the procedure is medically necessary, such as for treating precancerous skin conditions, you may receive partial coverage. Always consult your insurance provider for details.

Medical Credit Cards

Some people opt for medical credit cards designed specifically for healthcare expenses, which may offer promotional interest rates.


Personal or medical loans are another option, though they come with their own set of interest rates and terms that should be carefully considered.

What to Expect During Your First Chemical Peel

Your first chemical peel can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. The procedure itself usually takes less than an hour. You’ll feel a tingling or burning sensation as the chemical solution is applied to your skin, which is normal. The intensity of this sensation varies depending on the type of peel.

After the procedure, expect some redness and peeling, which is a sign that the treatment is working to remove the outer layer of your skin. Not all peels cause visible peeling, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see this.

Post-treatment side effects may include redness, swelling, and bruising, depending on the type of peel you’ve had. It’s essential to follow all post-care instructions, which may include avoiding sun exposure and using specific skincare products to aid in the healing process.

Who Should Avoid Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are not suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain skin types or medical conditions should exercise caution or avoid these treatments altogether. Here are some key contraindications:

Active Skin Infections

People with active skin infections, including herpes simplex, should avoid chemical peels until the infection has fully resolved.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Chemical peels are generally not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women due to the unknown effects of the chemicals on the baby.

Keloids or Hypertrophic Scarring

Those with a history of keloids or hypertrophic scarring are at higher risk for complications and should avoid chemical peels.

Recent Radiation Treatment

If you’ve recently undergone radiation treatments for cancer, your skin may be too sensitive for a chemical peel.

Accutane Users

People who have used Accutane in the past six months should avoid chemical peels due to increased risks of scarring and hyperpigmentation.

Consult your healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation to determine if a chemical peel is appropriate for you.

So, What Should I Expect?

In summary, the financial commitment for a chemical peel can vary widely. Whether it’s a superficial Vi Peel costing between $250 and $400 or a more intense Phenol Peel that can reach up to $3,000, the price is influenced by several factors.

These include the type of peel you choose, where you live, and the expertise of the dermatologist performing the procedure.

Don’t forget to account for additional expenses like consultation fees and post-treatment skincare. By understanding these cost components, you’ll be better equipped to budget for this transformative skincare treatment.

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