If you’re looking for a way to rejuvenate your skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and get rid of acne scars, chemical peels are a great option. But what exactly is a chemical peel? Here’s everything you need to know about chemical peels.
Chemical peels are a type of facial treatment that uses acids or enzymes to remove the outer layer of skin (known as the epidermis). They can be used to treat acne scars, sun damage, enlarged pores, wrinkles, and more.
Read on to learn more about What To Know About Chemical Peel 101, Skin Looks Worse After Chemical Peel and Chemical Peeling Treatment
What To Know About Chemical Peel 101
Things that you peel: Bananas, string cheese, wallpaper, stickers, oranges, onions, chocolate wrappers, tape, dead skin…your face?A chemical peel is a procedure which uses a mild acid to help remove dead or damaged skin and stimulates the skin to develop new skin cells. The old skin peels off (hence the name) and reveals the beautiful new skin underneath!
A chemical peel may sound intimidating, but the results are undeniable in how you feel about your skin. Chemical peels are customized to your skin goals to help you feel comfortable in your own skin.
Chemical peels can work miracles. They are known for getting rid of small acne scars, shrinking pores, clearing up acne, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, melasma, and correcting skin discoloration. While many treatments for these issues are expensive, invasive and require downtime afterwards, several peels are designed to achieve results without all that noise!
“Age spots and sun spots can be very difficult to treat but there are some topical therapies that patients may benefit from. Retinoids and chemical peels can promote exfoliation and can lighten or lessen the appearance of these pigmentary lesions over time.”
— Dr. Manway, DO | Affiliated Dermatology
There are no banana peels.
There are several different types of peels and which one you use depends on your skin type and what you are hoping to achieve. Affiliated Dermatology in Phoenix, offers several options including the PCA Skin Sensi Peel, the PCA peel, and the Ultra Peel. None of them are as tasty as bananas but the aftertaste is way better!
- Sensi Peel: A peel designed for those with highly sensitive skin and is very gentle compared to other peels. The effect will not be quite so dramatic but the difference will be noticeable. Surface texture and skin tone will be improved. It is also recommended for ethnic skin tones.
- PCA Peel: This is for oilier and stronger skin types. It provides a deeper treatment and is ideal for people with cystic acne, sun damage, or thickened skin.
- Ultra Peel: Specifically formulated to improve fine line and wrinkles while creating an even skin tone and clear complexion.
Zombie apocalypse on my face?
The treatment is only about 30 minutes from start to finish. No downtime is needed, but no makeup should be worn and peeling may occur for a few days. Remember, this is brand new skin revealing itself and it always needs protecting with a healthy layer of sunscreen. Some people experience more peeling than others. One blogger described herself as a zombie as she started to peel, but not everyone experiences so much peeling. In fact, some people don’t see any peeling because it occurs at such a microscopic level.
Skin Looks Worse After Chemical Peel
Chemical peels can boost your confidence and give you healthier-looking skin. Reducing scars, acne, and uneven skin tone can help you love the way you look.
With the word “chemical,” it’s natural to question if this treatment can damage your skin. Before you book an appointment, learn more about chemical peels, including what they are and how they can affect your skin.
What Are Chemical Peels?
A chemical peel is a cosmetic treatment for your skin. It removes damaged skin cells, offering brighter and smoother skin.
The solution used in a chemical peel reacts with the outer layers of the skin. After your skin heals, it will look fresh and be healthier.
A chemical peel solution can help improve:
- Fine lines & wrinkles
- Pore congestion
- Skin tone
- Skin discolouration
You can have a chemical peel on your face, neck, or hands. Depending on your needs, a peel can treat your skin on 3 different levels.
- Light chemical peels treat fine lines, acne, uneven skin tone, & overall dryness
- Medium chemical peels treat wrinkles, acne scars, & uneven skin tone
- Deep chemical peel can treat deep wrinkles and scars
If you’re thinking of getting this treatment, why should you get a chemical peel?
Why Get a Chemical Peel?
Many people can feel uncomfortable in their skin because of blemishes, wrinkles, or acne. Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves, and chemical peels can help achieve this. They remove old, damaged skin layers, leaving new, healthy skin.
You can use chemical peels to treat:
- Enlarged pores
- Age spots & freckles
Chemical peels can’t remove deep scars or wrinkles or tighten sagging skin.
Like any procedure, there can be risks to chemical peels. Some people may feel hesitant to try this treatment after hearing about a bad experience. Can chemical peels make your skin worse than it was before?
Can Chemical Peels Make Your Skin Worse?
While chemical peels aren’t guaranteed to make your skin worse, complications can happen. Chemical peels have a few possible side effects. These complications include:
- Redness, scabbing, & swelling
- Changes in skin colour
While risks are always present with any cosmetic treatment, chemical peels are safe when properly used. Depending on your skin, you may need a certain type of peel.
When you’re with a certified and trained expert, you can feel more comfortable. Someone who understands your skin, the treatment and has your best interests in mind can give you a positive experience.
If you’re trying chemical peels at home, the solutions may be weaker, but you can still damage your skin. There is less of a chance for error when seeing a professional.
At-Home vs. Professional Treatments
If you’re interested in chemical peels, there are two choices: at-home or professional treatment. While both options aim to improve your skin, they have some differences between them.
While commercial products exist for at-home chemical peels, they are in lower concentrations and exfoliate your skin over time. There are a few different ingredients that can offer the same treatment as a professional chemical peel, but with less strength:
- Glycolic acid
- Lactic acid
- Mandelic acid
- Salicylic acid
Only use products with these ingredients if you’re going to try at-home treatments; chemical peels can burn your skin if improperly used. Follow all instructions carefully and diligently to avoid potential complications.
Because these solutions aren’t as strong, at-home treatments are most effective for milder skin concerns. You won’t see as effective results from commercial products compared to professional treatment.
At-home chemical peels can seem beneficial if you’re looking to save money, but having a trained professional treat your skin is worth the cost.
Professional chemical peels offer several advantages. The solutions are stronger, and you will likely see better results from in-office treatment. Rather than following instructions for a commercial solution, you’ll experience a consultation with a certified professional.
In your consultation, you’ll discuss your relevant family and medical history. You’ll talk about the goals and expected results for this treatment before moving forward.
During a professional treatment, the chemical solution is catered for your skin to minimize the risk of complications. Unlike at-home treatments, professional chemical peels are effective for all skin concerns.
You’ll receive advice on caring for your skin after your treatment and recommendations on when your next appointment should be.
Knowing a professional is helping you may reduce any anxiety or concern you have regarding chemical peels.
Feel Confident in Your Skin
While at-home treatments may seem ideal, you risk damaging your skin or seeing little results from the product. If you want to see the benefits of chemical peels, consider going to a licensed and trained professional. They can help you safely achieve the results you’re looking for. If you’re interested in chemical peels, book a consultation and see how you can feel more confident today.Posted in Chemical Peels, Skin Care & Products
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Chemical Peeling Treatment
In order to provide you with the best possible service, we ask that you carefully review these general post-care treatment instructions for a chemical peel treatment so that you fully understand them. If you have any questions about these instructions, please discuss them with your esthetician. To obtain maximum benefits from your treatment, it is crucial that you understand and adhere to these instructions. Failure to comply with these instructions may affect your treatment outcome and increase the likelihood or severity of complications. Depending on your individual needs, additional post-care treatment instructions may be given to you by your esthetician.
- The peeling may take anywhere from 7-10 days on average or longer depending on internal and external factors such as skin type, age, weather, lifestyle, and hormones. Slight redness and skin sensitivity and flaking can occur as your treatment eliminates dead surface skin cells. Each treatment may vary. Other areas of the body will react differently because your skin has a different texture on your face and scalp than on your chest, back, arms, and legs. The healing process may take longer in those areas.
- Your skin may take on a rough, patchy, darkened quality a few days after this treatment. This is normal and expected and it will resolve on its own. The first areas to peel are usually around the nose and mouth, but can begin anywhere. Most people begin peeling on the 3rd or 4th day after treatment. It is also possible to not peel at all. If this occurs, you will still benefit from the treatment because the skin has exfoliated microscopically.
- Possible side effects include but are not limited to: mild to extreme redness, temporary tightness, itching, swelling, and dryness of the skin similar to a sunburn or windburn. This will usually subside in 2-3 days. A prescription of hydrocortisone, or over-the-counter hydrocortisone (Vanicream HCⓇ) may be recommended if the skin is inflamed or irritated.
- You may GENTLY apply a cold compress to the treated area(s) as needed for any burning or irritation associated with your treatment.
- Make sure to avoid excessive heat on the treated area and direct sun exposure of any kind, as well as tanning beds and self-tanners to the treated areas for 4 weeks after treatment.
- Do NOT engage in strenuous exercise for 2-3 days after treatment because it may exacerbate the inflammatory and can cause your skin to become extremely inflamed.
- Sweating excessively after treatment can irritate the skin or cause blistering due to the sweat being unable to escape through the top layer of dead skin. Try to avoid sweating until after you have stopped peeling to avoid lifting the skin prematurely, as this can cause scarring.
- Do NOT use any acidic products such as retinoids or tretinoins, acne medication products such as Retin-AⓇ, TazoracⓇ, RenovaⓇ, AtralinⓇ, ZianaⓇ, VeltinⓇ, DifferinⓇ, the antibiotic Doxycycline, AHAs (lactic, glycolic, tartaric, etc.), BHAs (salicylic), benzoyl peroxide, vitamin C products, lightening agents such as hydroquinone or any exfoliative products including loofahs or coarse sponges to your skin for 2 weeks after your chemical peel, or more if you notice your skin becomes sensitive to application. These medications and products increase your photosensitivity, which can significantly increase the likelihood of complications.
- Do NOT tweeze, pick, rub, exfoliate, wax, use a depilatory, undergo electrolysis, or schedule a facial or cosmetic service such as laser resurfacing, or IPL on a treated area(s) for 4 weeks after your treatment. To reduce the risk of scarring, you do not want to remove the dry, rough, dead skin faster than your body wants to.
- Do NOT get your hair dyed until a week after you have finished peeling, if your treatment was performed on the face or neck. For most people, week 3 post-peel is the best time to have your hair color treated.
- This procedure can stimulate cold sores. If you have an outbreak after your treatment, please call the office to inquire about obtaining a prescription. Please ask to speak with the esthetician, Alli.
How to Care for your Skin Post-Peel
- Cleanse Gently: Your skin may be fragile for 5-7 days. Cleanse your skin with COOL water (hot water will cause inflammation to the skin) using only your fingertips – no washcloths, loofahs, buff puffs, sponges, ClarisonicⓇ, etc. We recommend using the Revision Gentle Cleanser. Other mild cleansers such as Dove Unscented Bar Soap for Sensitive SkinⓇ, AveenoⓇ, CetaphilⓇ, CeraVeⓇ, or VanicreamⓇ may be recommended by your esthetician, depending on your specific needs.
- Moisturize Often: Letting the skin dry out may cause discomfort. We recommend using SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective GelⓇ and SkinCeuticals Epidermal RepairⓇ to help your skin recover. For strong peels, you may use petroleum jelly for the first few days or as needed on sensitive areas that are peeling. When you start to peel, use a non-comedogenic moisturizer such as AveenoⓇ, VanicreamⓇ, CetaphilⓇ, or CeraVeⓇ, until the skin feels back to normal. This will promote the healing process by locking in moisture and reducing the chance of a bacterial infection, redness, and irritation. Use these products several times per day or as needed. Topical hydrocortisone may be recommended, depending on your specific needs.
- Protect Your Skin: Heat and sun exposure can cause inflammation to the skin. Remember to avoid excessive heat on the treated area and direct sun exposure of any kind, as well as tanning bed sand self-tanners to the planned treatment areas for 4 weeks after treatment. If you need to be outdoors, make sure to use an umbrella or wear a large-brimmed hat, a pair of sunglasses, and use a physical sunblock (containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide). We recommend using SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50Ⓡ or Colorescience SunforgettableⓇ. Both of these products provide broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays with no chemical sun filters. Apply 30 minutes before exposure and reapply often (about every 2 hours) when exposed to the sun. Other sunscreen products may be recommended depending on your specific needs.