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Re-Thinking Peel Season

This post from the membership site really got our attention, and made us think again about how to approach peel season with integrity and provide the best treatment options for our clients.

(BTW, this membership site is LOADED with valuable skincare resources, online courses, videos, online store and a Resource Library - all for estheticians.)

As a skin care pro, sometimes we feel...

  • like we never have enough product knowledge to confidently recommend or sell

  • frustrated that clients don't always follow our recommendations

  • discouraged with clients shopping online or getting treatments elsewhere

  • like we have more info on products than skin or skin pathologies

  • overwhelmed with all the information out there that's constantly changing, or trying to stay up to speed with new treatments and technology

SkinCareLit is an education and resource membership for career-minded estheticians specializing in skin. It's brand-agnostic, online and at-your-own-pace — for increased expertise, confidence and client loyalty. Membership is $47/month, cancel anytime.

Ok - here's the post:

Every year like clockwork, September hits and the peel and laser crowd goes wild. And we get it: after a long summer of being unable to offer some of our favorite treatments, fall can feel like a relief for many skin pros and clients alike. Not only are some of the unsafe-for-summer treatments our most premium priced, they can also offer some killer results.

While we understand the enthusiasm at this time of the year — and also deeply appreciate the adherence to UV-safe practices during the summer — we still want to be cautious and look at our clients on a case-by-case basis. As we always say: our true value is in using our expertise to build effective, personalized treatment plans.

So before we blanket-offer peel promotions and series to everyone, here are a few things to keep in mind during “peel season” …


At Skin Care Lit, maintaining barrier health is central to our skin care philosophy. This means ensuring our clients’ skin is well-hydrated with an intact lipid matrix and balanced microbiome in order to fend off irritants, sensitization, and potential damage. Peels at a too-high strength or too-often frequency can compromise the barrier, leaving the skin vulnerable and leading to a myriad of secondary skin conditions. This can be especially true if a client’s skin has not had time to recover from UV-induced barrier dysfunction. So, check in on the health of your client’s barrier before booking them in for that extra-strength six-peel series!


Is summer really over where you’re located? Especially if you’re closer to the equator, it’s important to be realistic about the true difference in your clients’ UV exposure from August to September. Remember, September 1st isn’t a magical day where all peels and lasers become safe. Ask yourself: is it reasonable or realistic that your client stays out of the sun at this time of the year to prevent any damage that could potentially undo their progress — or your credibility?


While summer might be over, is your client’s UV exposure greatly decreasing? This is where asking personal lifestyle questions is essential! Prior to someone getting a peel or invasive laser treatment (let alone a series!), you should know if they wear or are willing to wear SPF daily. Further, do they have any sunny vacations coming up? October and November can be gloomy, and many people book vacations at this time of year specifically to get some sun. Your client might not know that a peel series is not the right choice before their upcoming Mexico trip.


And finally, the question we should ask ourselves each and every day, with each and every client: what are their skin health goals? The bottom line is, we want to be seen as trusted experts — which means our clients should never get a treatment because it’s “peel season” or because you have a blanket offer or promotion going on. They should get a treatment because it is exactly what is needed to address their primary skin concerns and achieve their personal skin health goals.

Now what if, after taking into consideration everything above, you’ve decided: yes! It is safe for my client(s) to resume their peels or the more invasive treatments we typically steer away from in the summer. How can we do this in a way that still prioritizes barrier health and takes into consideration our clients individual needs, concerns, and skin types?

Here are a few of our top tips…


Instead of jumping into a series of 6 peels right out of summer, why not package different complementary treatments together for a high-value price? For example, alternating 3 peels with 3 hydration or barrier-focused treatments can allow the skin barrier time to replenish and rebalance in between. This decreases risk of sensitization and the development of secondary skin conditions.


Similarly, you could offer a 3-4 month “seasonal” membership that begins with a consultation to develop a personalized treatment plan. While this could include peels, it ensures that your client is receiving exactly the treatments that their skin will benefit from — rather than treatments that just happen to be included in a seasonal promotion. It also provides the same win-win that a peel series does in that your clients benefit from a high-value bundled treatment price and you benefit from a set-term commitment.


Make sunscreen and barrier-replenishing products non-negotiable by bundling these products in the price of your peels or peel series. While you still can’t guarantee that your clients will use the products, having them included sends the message that the treatment and products work together for best results — and that skipping the homecare could have adverse effects.


And if you just love a peel series or have found success with them in the past, we recommend offering 2-3 series options categorized by strength and/or skin concern. This allows your clients (especially the ones that love a deal!) to take advantage of your promotion while still ensuring that it is at least somewhat suited to their skin concerns. Plus, as we know, personalization is what the modern consumer is looking for when it comes to brand loyalty — so we always love an opportunity to utilize it!

NOTE: We receive no compensation of any kind from any resource we recommend. Resources are strictly for informational purposes only.


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