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Which Is Better, Chemical Peels or Laser Resurfacing?

If you’re searching for a way to improve the beauty of your skin and address skin conditions like acne scarring, you’ve likely come across a wide range of treatments. Of all the procedures out there for enhancing skin, two of the most common are laser and chemical treatments. But which is better: chemical peel or laser resurfacing? Let’s review both cosmetic procedures and the situations where you might prefer one over the other.

What Are Chemical Peels?

Before asking which is better, chemical peels or laser resurfacing, it’s important to know what both exactly are. Chemical peeling is a cosmetic process that uses a specialized solution to peel off a layer of skin and reveal a fresh layer underneath. The peeling solution contains chemicals such as glycolic acid and lactic acid, to name a few. However, acids of varying strength can be used in the solution, influencing how intrusive the chemical peel will be. For example, milder chemicals are used in more superficial treatments, whereas stronger chemicals are utilized when you want to dig deeper into the skin to take care of damaged cells.

What Is Laser Resurfacing?

Laser resurfacing utilizes concentrated beams of light to heat a portion of the patient’s skin. This damages the skin cells on a microscopic level, triggering the body’s natural healing process in response — the formation of new collagen, an important protein. There is a wide range of laser options available for resurfacing treatments, including fractional lasers, C02 lasers, and many more.

Chemical Peel vs. Laser Treatment: Which Is Safer?

Given how laser technology and acids are involved with both cosmetic treatments, safety is an understandable concern when comparing whether chemical peels or laser resurfacing is better. Thankfully, each procedure is safe when performed by a professional — although there are still some details you should keep in mind.


If you choose to have a chemical peel procedure, you will still need to adhere to any pre and post-treatment guidelines to allow the skin to heal quickly without any complications. Additionally, individuals who have skin sensitivities may experience issues with chemical peelings and should consult an expert before scheduling a treatment. Meanwhile, laser resurfacing can be either ablative or non-ablative. Non-ablative treatments heal more quickly and only heat the top layer of skin, whereas ablative lasers will damage the top layer and take more time to heal.

When it Comes to Speed Which Is Better, Chemical Peels or Laser Resurfacing?

Another point of comparison between chemical peels and laser resurfacing is the time it takes for the procedure and how long it will take to see results. Procedures for chemical peels can take up to 90 minutes if the entire face is treated. From there, it may take one to two weeks for any results, with deep peels taking longer than medium. Laser resurfacing treatments are comparatively fast. The procedure itself can take between 30 to 45 minutes, and the results can be seen relatively quickly. However, it’s worth noting that less invasive laser treatments may need multiple procedures.

Which Cosmetic Treatment Is Right for Me?

So which is better, chemical peels or laser resurfacing? Ultimately, one of the most influential factors in the chemical peel vs. laser treatment debate is what you need the procedure for. In general, both cosmetic treatments remove older skin while encouraging the creation of new skin. This allows them to address sun damage, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and similar skin conditions.


Where laser and chemical peel treatments differ greatly is in regard to their precision. The concentrated beams of light used in laser procedures are much more precise, allowing them to effectively treat brown spots, acne scars, and related health issues. Chemical peels, on the other hand, can be better for treatments that rejuvenate the entire face at once, including rough skin, uneven coloring, acne, and others.


At the end of the day, both cosmetic treatments are effective at addressing a wide range of skin problems. If you’re interested in chemical peels or laser skin resurfacing in NJ, you can get them at Art Plastic Surgery. We offer a wide range of cosmetic procedures and services, including our Ultherapy in NJ. For more information and to schedule your appointment, call Art Plastic Surgery today.