What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is a cocktail of assorted acids, found naturally in citrus fruits and the body itself, to chemically exfoliate the skin’s surface. A minimally invasive treatment, the effects are incredibly rewarding to your skin’s appearance and health. Various peels are used to target wrinkles, pigmentation, texture or scarring, among other visual skin issues. Chemical peels are an affordable way to keep your skin glowing and healthy, and to put off the aging process that is visible in the skin.
Why does it work?
Throughout your life, your skin has a continuously working cell turnover rate, which ends in dead skin cells that detach and slough off the face of the skin. With age, the rate at which the skin produces new cells begins to slow, and the collagen and elastin in our skin gets lazy. The repetitive action of receiving chemical peels regularly induces a more rapid rate of the skin’s natural wear, death, and renewal cycle through stimulating the growth of that collagen and elastin. Because of this, the skin cells that are renewed don’t have time to replicate pigmentation, scarring, and wrinkles as deeply as it would if it were left to develop over weeks, months, or years.
What to expect during treatment
Our talented estheticians are trained to keep you as comfortable as possible during this treatment. To begin, the skin will be cleansed and stripped of any oils or debris that might be blocking the pores. Then, the chemical peel will be applied to your skin’s surface. A rise in chemical activity may be accompanied by a slight stinging or burning sensation, however, your esthetician will be there at all times during the treatment to ensure your comfortability. The chemicals introduced to your skin will cause the skin cells treated to slough off over the next few days.
What to do before treatment:
Consider scheduling treatment for a time when you have at least a few days to yourself, out of the sun, and no need for makeup. Depending on the anticipated treatment you may be asked to stop using any facial products with retinoids (Retin-A, Tazorac, Reova, Differin), salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxyl acids, and glycolic acid at least 5 days before your procedure. These products can make the skin more thin and sensitive, leading to an unanticipated, over-exaggerated response to the chemicals used in the peel.
What to expect and do after treatment
After treatment, it’s completely normal to expect redness, dryness, and maybe some tenderness around your treatment site. Within a day or two, those should go away. About the third day, you’ll more than likely be experiencing tightness and a change in the texture of your skin to look almost leathery. By day five, the peeling process should have begun, and will most likely persist for a few days.
During the process, remember to wear Sunscreen SPF 35+. The most important step you can take to protect your skin after a chemical peel is to stay out of the sun. Your skin has essentially just experienced a mild burn, so sunscreen and protection are a must.
Do not pick at peeling skin. As tempting as it may be, as your skin begins to peel, do not pick at the dead skin. This can expose new skin cells too soon and cause scabbing or even permanent pigmentation. You may use clean scissors to trim the sheets that may be stubborn in holding on.
Avoid makeup. Avoid using makeup during the healing process until the skin stops peeling. Earlier use might block the healing pores and cause bacterial issues or acne, and it just won’t go on smoothly while you peel!
Moisturize. Keep your skin thoroughly moisturized to expedite the healing process, and to keep you as comfortable as possible throughout.
How often should I receive a chemical peel for the best results?
Ultimately, the decision will be made between you and your specialist, however, we typically recommend once a month treatment. In conjunction, chemical peels can be used alongside microneedling to achieve the best results.
For patients receiving monthly laser treatments through our membership program, chemical peels are a great in between option to keep skin youthful and rejuvenated.
Are some chemical peels more gentle than others?
Yes! Our peels range from gentle to aggressive. Generally, the more aggressive ones will peel more and also give better results, but not everybody’s skin is appropriate for the deeper peels.
How long will my skin peel after treatment?
It depends on the aggressiveness of your peel. Some will give hardly any flaking or peeling at all, and others will peel for several days.
Are chemical peels safe during pregnancy?
While some peels are safe in pregnancy, others we recommend waiting on until after delivery. Our trained aestheticians can help you make the best choice.
Are there things that might keep me from being a candidate for chemical peels?
There may be times or conditions when a chemical peel may not be the best option for a client, and should be consulted with a physician before treatment. These include:
- The use of medications that list photo-sensitivity or skin-thinning as a side-effect
- Isotretinoin (Accutane) in particular cannot have been used within one year of treatment
- Sunburns on the area you would like treated
- Open, active lesions like cold sores, shingles, or cystic acne breakouts
- Pregnancy or breast-feeding
- Family or personal history of keloids
- Within a week of Botox, injections, or facial waxing
- Within 6 months of facial surgery
- Chemotherapy or radiation within 1 year
- Auto-immune disease
- Aspirin allergy