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Have you ever asked yourself, “Is a chemical peel right for me?” or found yourself really wanting to get one but were afraid that you will walk away looking like Samantha in Sex and the City? Well fear no more! I’m here to give you the low down on chemical peels and the amazing benefits that they offer.
What Is A Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a skin-resurfacing procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to your skin to remove the top layers. The skin that grows back after a chemical peel is smoother and younger looking.
Chemical peels are typically applied to the face, neck and décolleté and they can be done alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures and when applied to your skin create a slight tingling or spiciness.
Chemical peels are suitable for all skin types and address a variety of skin concerns such as:
- Acne scars
- Age spots / Hyperpigmentation
- Aging skin / Wrinkles
- Sundamaged skin
- Sagging skin
- Oily / Acne prone skin
The benefits of a chemical peel include, but are not limited to:
- Improving the skin’s color, clarity, tone and texture
- Stimulating new collagen and healthy skin cell growth
- Reducing discoloration caused by sun damage
- Helping to clear up breakouts
- Smoothing away the look of fine lines and wrinkles
- Increasing hydration of the skin
- Addressing visible skin imperfections and superficial scars
- Enabling skincare products used at home to be more effective by allowing products to penetrate deeper into the skin
Generally, chemical peels in office will range from $150-$400 in price.
Types Of Chemical Peels
There are three main types (depths) of chemical peels:
- Superficial – up to 30% glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, 10-20% TCA, fruit enzymes
- Medium – 60-70% glycolic acid, 35-50% TCA, Jessner’s Solution
- Deep – Phenol
A superficial, or light, chemical peel removes the outer layer of skin (epidermis). It can be used to treat fine wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone and dryness. Light chemical peels can be applied as often as every two to five weeks depending on your desired results.
A medium chemical peel removes skin cells from the epidermis and also portions of the upper part of your middle layer of skin (dermis). It is used to treat wrinkles, acne scars and uneven skin tone. These peels can be repeated after three to nine months to maintain results.
A deep chemical peel removes skin cells from the epidermis and from portions of the mid to lower layer of your dermis. Your doctor might recommend a deep chemical peel if you have deeper wrinkles, scars or precancerous growths. A deep chemical peel can only be performed once.
*I recommend getting a superficial chemical peel monthly and a medium depth peel 1-2 times a year, depending on your skin type and concerns.*
Chemical Peel Recovery Time
With a superficial chemical peel, or lunchtime peel, you usually experience some minor redness, dryness, and about 1-2 days of minor peeling and flaking.
Medium chemical peel side effects include minor redness, possible swelling, dryness, cracking, and about 7-14 days of sheet peeling and flaking.
Deep chemical peel should only be performed by a physician and may vary in intensity and down time. This will all be discussed with you during your consultation.
You will want to avoid the following for at least 48 hours:
- Avoid retinols and chemical exfoliants
- Avoid vitamin C
- Don’t pick your skin
- APPLY SPF, AND RE-APPLY EVERY TWO HOURS
At Home Chemical Peel Options
So, are you still thinking “Is a chemical peel right for me?” If you are, the answer is most definitely YES! If you can’t get in to see your Esthetician monthly below are some good options that you can do yourself at home.
Always read the instructions before applying a chemical peel and make sure to avoid retinols and chemical exfoliants for at least 48 hours after. ALWAYS APPLY AN SPF! Your skin is more susceptible to burns and sun damage after a peel since it is fresh and exfoliated.
Best Option for Wrinkles/Texture
Best Option for Pigmentation
Best Option for Oily Skin/Acne
Best Option for Sensitive Skin
Best Option for Overall Skin Health
Bottom line, don’t be afraid of chemical peels. They have amazing anti-aging properties and can help to correct a slew of skin conditions. If you have tried any of these peels, or have one that you already use that you love, I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment below!