I took care of my skin for as long as I can remember. I wore sunscreen. Used high quality products. Ate pretty decently and drank pretty sparingly. But even with all this care-taking, I still have fine lines across my forehead, a few brown spots on my cheeks, and what looks like the very early stages of under eye crepiness. Throughout my beauty journey I have tried Botox, Intense Pulse Light Therapy, Laser Genesis, and chemical peels and I have found that medical grade chemical peels are a treatment that everyone and anyone can benefit from at any age. After 3 to 10 days of peeling post chemical peel, your skin is noticeably brighter, fresher, tighter and more evenly toned.
Chemical peels help:
- Improve skin texture
- Improve skin tone
- Increase cell turnover
- Improve skin hydration
- Reduce hyperpigmentation
- Deliver a glowy complexion
- Increase skin smoothness
- Produce collagen
- Clear acne
- Improve minor scarring
What is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a customized chemical facial peel designed to remove unhealthy skin cells, promote cell turnover and increase collagen growth. A chemical peel damages the skin in a controlled manner so that when the skin heals it appears improved. Before receiving a chemical peel it is of the utmost importance to go to a medical expert who understands the needs of your skin. Your medical professional will customize a specific chemical cocktail for your skin type, condition and problem.
Chemical peels are both a science and an art and must be precisely applied by a professional. Never order a chemical peel off the internet. I repeat, never order a chemical peel of the internet!! Doing a DIY chemical peel is a dangerous road to go down; you may end up looking like two-face from Batman. It is no joke.
Chemical peels range in strength from superficial to medium to deep. Knowing the strength of the peel is extremely important because your lifestyle can be impacted after the treatment, and you will want to have planned accordingly.
A superficial peel is perfect for individuals with dry skin, very fine lines, skin dullness, acne spots and slight hyperpigmentation. They are known as the lunchtime peel because it gently eliminates dead skin cells and speeds up the regeneration of the top layer of skin providing instant results with little to no downtime (minus a few days of dry tight skin).
The ingredients most commonly used are:
- Hydroxyl acids such as glycolic, lactic, citric, malic and tartaric acid
- Beta hydroxyl acids such as salicylic acid for a bit stronger of an exfoliation.
Medium depth peels penetrate a little deeper into the dermis where deeper blemishes and sun spots lie. This peel is effective at stimulating collagen, tightening the skin, and eliminating sun damage; however, it does require some downtime for recovery (7 to 10 days to be exact).
The most common acid for a medium depth peel are:
- TCA (trichloroacetic acid)
- TCA mixed with Glycolic acid.
- The usual concentrations of these acids are 25%-35% but a medical professional may go higher depending on your skin type and condition.
Deep peels are clearly the most extreme of the bunch, used to treat deep wrinkles and severe sun damage. These peels are made from carbolic acid. Though these peels may be effective, they are also risky. They require sedation and can cause scarring and other complications. I definitely would not recommend this to anyone. If you are at this point in your beauty journey, you are better off spending money on a fractional laser skin resurfacing treatment, which is far more precise and exceedingly more effective.
As we age our body’s skin cell turn over slows down leaving us with wrinkles, discoloration and dullness. Chemical Peels increase the cell turnover, helping your body regenerate new healthy skin cells. For the best results, your medical professional will recommend a schedule of chemical peels – usually once every 3-4 weeks depending on the type of facial peel. It should be noted that you must follow a specific skin care regime before and after a peel. This means staying out of the sun, wearing 45 SPF sunscreen and not using chemical creams and face washes. Dealing with chemicals can be tricky and products that have exfoliating chemicals in them can make your skin extra sensitive to the treatment. Listen to your medical expert and follow their instructions strictly.