As we age, our skin cells slow down – sometimes leaving the skin looking tired and dull. A chemical peel can accelerate skin cell turnover to immediately leave the skin looking brighter and tighter. Chemical peels help combat signs of aging, improve the effectiveness of your current skin care routine and complement facelifts.
What is a chemical peel?
Chemical peels are skin rejuvenation treatments that can be used to improve the skin’s appearance by removing the damaged outer layers of skin. Beneath the old layers of skin are new, healthy skin cells that look younger and more vibrant.
Both light and deep chemical peels are available to treat specific skin types and conditions, and both approaches come in different concentrations and formulas.
Who can have a chemical peel?
People who can benefit from a light chemical peel often have some of the following symptoms:
- Acne and superficial blemishes
- Dull complexion
- Rough, dry skin
Indications for deep chemical peels are similar to those for light chemical peels, only more correction is needed. Those who can benefit from deep chemical peel may have:
- Areas of blotchy or sun-damaged skin, freckles
- Coarse facial wrinkles or scars, deep lines
- Precancerous growths
How do chemical peels work?
Chemical peels work by exfoliating dead skin cells and promoting new skin cell growth. There are many different types of chemical peels that use different ingredients to exfoliate the skin. Depending on your needs, your chemical peel solution may be comprised of beta-hydroxy acids like salicylic acid, or alpha-hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid or fruit acid. Deep chemical peels may include ingredients such as phenol and trichloroacetic acid (TCA).
See your chemical peel in 3D
Benefits and risks of chemical peels
Chemical peels can provide you with significant reduction in the appearance of damaged skin and signs of aging. Additionally, these treatments can rejuvenate your skin to a healthier, more youthful complexion.
The risks and side effects of chemical peels include temporary flaking or scaling, redness and dryness, loss of ability to make pigment, uneven pigment changes or permanent removal of facial freckles.
A series of 4-6 peels provides the best overall results.
What happens during a chemical peel?
Treatment time for chemical peels depends on the depth of the peel. Light chemical peels may take only 15 minutes. Medium or deep peels can take up to 1 hour. You and your provider will discuss which solution is most appropriate for your skin before treatment begins.
Once the formula has been selected, the skin is thoroughly cleansed. The solution is then applied to the face, neck and chest. If you are having a deep peel, the solution will be applied to your face only.
There is very little aftercare needed for light chemical peels. After treatment, you can resume your normal routine immediately, being sure to apply sunscreen because your skin will be sensitive.
Deep chemical peels require more follow-up care. You should arrange for assistance during initial recovery. You may experience swelling, and as you heal, a crust or scab will form on the treated area. Once this scabbing disappears, the new skin will begin to form, typically after about 1 week. Apply sunscreen carefully, as your skin will be sensitive.
The results of the chemical peel are visible only after your old skin has flaked or peeled off. Several sessions may be needed in order to achieve the best results.