Chemical peels are a popular method for improving the appearance of your skin. But there are some important things you need to know about chemical peels before you try one. Chemical peels work by removing the top layer of skin and revealing new, healthy skin underneath. This makes them great for treating acne scars, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. However, chemical peels aren’t suited for everyone. They can be harsh on sensitive skin types, so if you have easily inflamed skin or have had bad reactions to other skincare products in the past, it’s best to consult with a dermatologist before using a chemical peel yourself.
There are also some risks associated with chemical peels. Because they cause damage at the cellular level, they can cause irritation and scarring if not performed correctly by a trained professional. Chemical peels should only be administered by someone who is experienced in performing them—and they should always be done under sterile conditions!
You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on what to know about chemical peel use, chemical peeling at home. Read on to learn more. We at cosmeticsurgerytips have all the information that you need about chemical peel benefits. Read on to learn more.
what to know about chemical peel use
A chemical peel, also known as chemexfoliation or dermapeeling, uses a chemical solution to improve the appearance of your skin. In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to your skin, which causes trauma or injury to your skin’s layers. The skin layers eventually peel off revealing more youthful skin. The new skin is usually smoother with fewer lines and wrinkles, has a more even color and is brighter in complexion.
What conditions does a chemical peel treat?
Chemical peels are used to treat certain skin conditions or to improve your appearance by improving the tone and texture of your skin.
Chemical peels are most commonly performed on your face, neck or hands. They can help reduce or improve:
- Fine lines under your eyes or around your mouth and wrinkling caused by sun damage, aging and hereditary factors.
- Certain types of acne.
- Mild scarring.
- Sun spots, age spots, liver spots, freckles, uneven skin coloring.
- Precancerous scaly spots called actinic keratosis.
- Rough skin, scaly patches, dull complexion.
- Dark patches (melasma) due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills.
You will work with your dermatologist to determine the depth of your peel. This joint decision can vary depending upon the condition of your skin and the objectives of treatment.
Sags, bulges, deep scars, deep facial lines and more severe wrinkles don’t respond well to chemical peels. If these are your concerns, other cosmetic surgical procedures, such as carbon dioxide laser resurfacing, a face lift, brow lift, eye lift or soft tissue filler will be better options. A dermatologic surgeon can help determine the best treatment for your concerns.
Is a chemical peel good for all skin types?
Generally, superficial peels can be used on all skin types. However, if you have a darker skin tone, you have a greater risk of experiencing a darkening of your skin after treatment. This condition is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If you have a naturally darker skin tone, you may want to get the advice of your dermatologist about other less aggressive treatments to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation.
Chemical peeling may also not be recommended if you:
- Have a history of abnormal skin scarring.
- Have extra coloring in your scars.
- Have skin conditions or take medications that make your skin more sensitive.
- Can’t stay out of the sun for the healing period.
How are chemical peels performed?
A chemical peel can be performed in a doctor’s office or in a surgery center as an outpatient procedure. Your skin will be thoroughly cleansed with an agent that removes excess oils, while your eyes and hair are protected. A chemical solution is then applied to your skin. Chemical solutions typically used include glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid or carbolic acid (phenol). The different types of chemicals cause a controlled injury, each penetrating through to a different skin depth, then peeling away to reveal a new layer of skin.
The different chemical solutions provide different results. The choice of chemical depends on your goal. You will work with your dermatologist to determine the depth of your peel.
- A light (“lunchtime”) chemical peel provides subtle improvement over time and is often done in a series. The outermost layer of skin is removed. This choice may be best if you have fine wrinkling, acne, uneven skin coloring or dry, rough sun-damaged skin to help promote a healthy glow. Recovery from this type of peel may be within hours to a few days but with little to no down time.
- A medium chemical peel gives your skin a smooth, fresh look. The outermost layer and the upper part of your middle skin layer are removed. This choice may be best if you have uneven or moderate skin discoloring, age spots, acne scarring or fine-to-moderate wrinkles. Recovery from this type of peel may take a week or more and require some down time.
- A deep chemical peel produces the most dramatic results. This chemical penetrates down to the lower middle layer of your skin. Recovery time is longer with a deep peel. This choice may be best if you have moderate lines and wrinkles, extensive sun-damaged skin, deep acne scars, blotchy skin, and/or precancerous growths called actinic keratosis. A deep chemical peel requires pretreatment for up to eight weeks. Your doctor will provide specific instructions. A deep chemical peel is a one-time only treatment if applied to your face and does have significant down time.
To prepare for your chemical peel, some general instructions include:
- Avoid tanning and direct sun exposure for two weeks before each treatment.
- Apply topical products (such as hydroquinone) as instructed before treatment to prepare your skin.
- Don’t use any products containing retinoids (such as tretinoin) one to two weeks before treatment, unless your physician tells you differently.
- If you have been prescribed oral antibiotics or an oral antiviral medicine, start taking it at least 24 hours before your chemical peel.
- Peel areas must be free of any open sores, lesions or skin infections.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions for your peel type and your unique skin condition.
Day of peel: Your skin will be thoroughly cleaned. If you are having a deep chemical peel, you will receive general anesthesia (you will be asleep).
The procedure: During a chemical peel, solution is applied to your skin. You may feel a warm to somewhat hot sensation that will last a few minutes. This is followed by a stinging sensation. To relieve the sting, a cool compress may be applied your skin. The chemical is then washed off and/or neutralized.
RISKS / BENEFITS
What are the possible complications of chemical peels?
In certain skin types, there’s a risk of a temporary or permanent change in the color of your skin. Taking birth control pills, pregnancy or a family history of brownish discoloration on your face may increase your risk of developing abnormal pigmentation.
There’s also a low risk of scarring in certain areas of your face and certain individuals may be more prone to scarring. If scarring does occur, it can usually be treated with good results.
If you’ve had a history of herpes outbreaks, there’s a small chance of reactivating the cold sore. Your dermatologist can prescribe medication to reduce the chance of a flare up. Follow the instructions of your doctor.
Before your chemical peel, be sure to tell your dermatologist if you have a history of keloids (scar tissue overgrowth created at the site of a skin injury), any unusual scarring tendencies, any X-rays of your face or history of cold sores.
Infections are rare but still a risk.
RECOVERY AND OUTLOOK
What should I expect after the chemical peel?
What to expect varies depending on the depth of your chemical peel.
If you’ve had a light chemical peel:
- Expect a sunburn-like reaction to occur after your peel, meaning you’ll see redness followed by scaling that lasts between three and seven days.
- Apply lotion or cream as directed until your skin heals. After your skin heals, apply daily sunscreen.
- You can wear makeup immediately after treatment or the next day.
- Additional peels may be repeated every two to five weeks until you achieve your desired results. Typically three to five peels are needed to achieve your goal.
If you’ve had a medium chemical peel:
- Expect some redness, swelling, stinging and flaking of your skin. Swelling may last and/or worsen for 48 hours. Blisters can develop and will break open. Skin will crust and peel off over seven to 14 days.
- Perform daily soaks as directed by your doctor. Apply ointment after each soak. Apply lotion or cream daily. Don’t expose your skin to sunlight until completely healed.
- Antiviral medication will need to be taken for 10 to 14 days.
- You can wear makeup after five to seven days.
- Additional medium-depth peels may be repeated at six to 12 months intervals, if needed, to maintain results.
If you’ve had a deep chemical peel:
- The treatment area will be bandaged. Your bandages will be removed in a few days. Expect a healing time of 14 to 21 days.
- Perform daily soaks as directed by your doctor. Apply ointment after each soak. After 14 days, apply moisturizer as directed. Don’t expose your skin to sun for three to six months.
- Antiviral medication will need to be taken for 10 to 14 days.
- Wait at least 14 days before using any makeup.
- You can only have one deep peel performed on your face.
To get the best results, regardless of the depth of your peel, follow these tips:
- Don’t use a tanning bed or other type of indoor or even outdoor tanning while your skin is healing.
- After your skin heals, always apply a daily sunscreen.
- Apply a daily moisturizer, as directed, to keep your skin moist to prevent scarring.
Your new skin is fragile and more susceptible to complications. Your doctor will provide you with post-treatment instructions to reduce the chance of developing abnormal skin color after your peel and other complications.
If your skin itches, swells or burns, call your doctor. Scratching your skin could lead to an infection.
Is a chemical peel covered under insurance?
No, usually not. Chemical peels are considered a cosmetic treatment and therefore not covered by insurance.
Chemical peeling at home
Get over the harsh physical scrubbers because chemical peels are now the easiest way to soft and smooth skin. And the best part is, you can do it at home! This article will guide you through the steps of how to do chemical peeling at home.
Chemical peels can help you fade dark spots, improve skin texture, and eliminate dullness. Since there are different types of chemical peels available on the market, this article will help you understand everything you need to know about them before you give them a try. Read on.
What Is A Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a treatment in which a chemical solution is used to exfoliate your skin. A chemical is applied to your skin, which causes tissue death (in a controlled manner), resulting in the topmost layer of your skin peeling off. Once the layer is peeled off, a new skin layer is regenerated, which is smoother, less wrinkled, and better than your old skin. The new skin is usually quite sensitive, but it heals completely within a few days.
Depending on the depth of the wound created, chemical peels are broadly categorized into three types.
What Are The Types Of Chemical Peels?
Chemical peels are categorized as:
- Superficial Peels
This type of chemical peel does not penetrate the skin beyond the epidermis (the topmost layer). It is extremely mild, and it gently exfoliates just the outer layer of your skin. If you have mild skin discoloration or want to improve the texture of your rough skin, this one is appropriate for you. Usually, an alpha hydroxy acid, salicylic acid (low-strength), or any other mild acid is used in this type of chemical peel.
- Medium Peels
The chemicals in this peel cross the epidermis and reach the topmost level of the dermis (the middle layer of the skin). Medium peels are generally used to treat conditions like age spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and moderate levels of discoloration. This peel also helps in smoothening your rough skin and treating any pre-cancerous skin growth. Glycolic acid (high percentage), trichloroacetic acid, and Jessner peels fall under this category.
- Deep Peels
As the name suggests, deep peels penetrate the dermis and reach the deepest layer of your skin. They are used for treating shallow scars, freckles, age spots, deep wrinkles, skin discolorations, and moderate lines. Phenol and trichloroacetic acid peels (high percentage) are used for deep peeling. The procedure can be performed not more than once in a year and should be done by a professional.
When done correctly, chemical peels can dramatically transform your skin and give it a youthful appearance. Here are a few benefits of chemical peeling.
What Are The Benefits Of Chemical Peeling?
Apart from improving your skin texture, chemical peels can do a lot to your skin.
If you are opting for a superficial chemical peel, the benefits include:
- Makes your dry skin smoother
- Reduces pigmentation
- Eliminates blemishes
- Reduces acne
- Reduces signs of mild sun damage
- Younger-looking skin
- Eliminates mild blotchiness
Also, it has less recovery time.
If you are going for a medium chemical peel, here’s what you can expect:
- Fine lines become less noticeable
- Eliminates scars and birthmarks
- Reduces pigmentation
- Removes old acne scars
- Reduces dry skin
- Reduces the signs of sun damage and blotchiness
- Fresh and younger-looking skin
If you are planning to undergo deep chemical peeling, these are the benefits:
- Removes pre-cancerous growths
- Reduces deep acne scars
- Eliminates acne
- Eliminates deep wrinkles
- Reduces age spots
- Smoother and younger-looking skin
- Long-term results
Above all, deep chemical peeling is a one-time treatment that has a lasting effect on your skin.
The chemical peels that people apply at home are usually superficial peels. If you are doing a medium peel at home, you need to be extremely careful. It is better not to take the risk if it’s your first time doing a chemical peel at home. When choosing a chemical peel, the list of ingredients can be exhaustive and confusing. If you are a beginner, here is a quick guide to the ingredients you can opt for.
Chemical Peels: The Ingredients To Look For
Here are the ingredients to look for when buying chemical peels.
- Enzyme Peels
These are incredibly mild as they contain a blend of fruit enzymes. They gently exfoliate the top layer of your skin and refine your skin pores. Enzyme peels are great for anyone who has sensitive skin and those who are intolerant to acids.
- Lactic Acid
Lactic acid peels usually contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and are extremely mild. They are suitable for beginners and help in smoothening your skin and treating minor wrinkles, fine lines, and mild discoloration (1). They are also extremely hydrating.
- Mandelic Acid
Mandelic acid has anti-aging benefits and is very effective in removing dead skin cells. It helps in improving your skin texture and reducing wrinkles and fine lines. It also helps in reducing hyperpigmentation (2). It works well when combined with salicylic acid.
- Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is widely used for treating acne. When used in peeling solutions, salicylic acid gets absorbed into your skin pores and unclogs them. Unlike AHA and glycolic acid, this acid will not make your skin sensitive to sun rays (3). Salicylic acid helps in treating melasma, freckles, hyperpigmentation, and sun damage.
- Glycolic Acid
Compared to all the ingredients mentioned above, glycolic acid is a bit more potent. It is both a superficial and a medium peel, depending on the percentage of the acid used. It not only refines your skin texture but also reduces the appearance of wrinkles and scars and brightens your skin tone (4).
- Jessner’s Peel
When searching for chemical peel products, you will definitely come across this name. Jessner’s peel is mainly a combination of three ingredients: lactic acid, salicylic acid, and resorcinol. It is pretty effective in treating hyperpigmentation and acne. It is suitable for oily skin. However, if you have dry skin, this peel can make it drier. Don’t forget to follow up with a moisturizer after using this peel.
- Trichloroacetic Acid Or TCA Peels
This is also a medium strength peel or ingredient, but it is stronger than all the ingredients mentioned above. It works well for treating hyperpigmentation, sun damage, wrinkles, acne scars, and stretch marks (5).
There are, of course, risks involved in undergoing a chemical peel treatment. While mild and superficial peels may not have significant risks, deep chemical peels come with a host of risks. However, keep in mind that the risks depend on your skin type, the type of peel used, and how your skin reacts to it.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Chemical Peels?
Chemical peels may cause the following side effects:
- Redness Of Skin: Right after treatment, you will notice some redness on your skin. This redness may last for several weeks or months, depending on the intensity of your treatment.
- Scarring: This is another major issue with chemical peels. There are chances that you may get scars on your face. That’s why chemical peels should be taken very seriously and done under the guidance of a skin care professional.
- Skin Infection: Chemical peeling, if not done the right way, can cause a fungal or bacterial infection, including herpes virus.
Chemical peels are NOT meant for everyone. You cannot undergo chemical peeling if:
- you are taking isotretinoin medicines for acne (or have taken them in the past six months).
- you have a dark complexion.
- you have a history of keloids (overgrowth of scar tissues).
- you have abnormal skin pigmentation.
- you get cold sores frequently or have a history of cold sores.
Consult a doctor before undergoing intense chemical peeling. Although at-home chemical peels are pretty mild and do not have any major side effects, it is better to consult a doctor before using any harsh chemicals on your skin.
Now that you are aware of the potential side effects of chemical peels, here are some tips for doing it at home.
How To Do Chemical Peeling At Home
Always do a patch test to check if you are allergic to any of the chemicals. Even if you have done chemical peeling before, do a patch test every time you do it. To do a patch test:
- Take a small amount of the product and apply it to your inner arm or on your wrist.
- Leave it on for 24-48 hours. See how your skin reacts.
- Remove it after 48 hours and wait for two more days to make sure it does not cause a delayed reaction.
If your skin is fine after doing the patch test, go ahead with the chemical peel. If you are using it for the first time, start with the lowest concentration possible. You can gradually increase the concentration as your skin gets used to the acid. To begin with, you can use 8% TCA, 30% lactic acid, or 30% glycolic acid. If you are using any tretinoin-based products, stop using them a week before using the chemical peel.
Now, let’s discuss how you can do chemical peeling at home.
Step 1: Clean Your Face
Before applying the chemical peeling solution, cleanse your face with a gentle and soap-free cleanser.
Step 2: Protect The Sensitive Parts
Areas such as the skin around your eyes, the corners of your lips, and your nostrils are very sensitive. Apply petroleum jelly on them to protect them from the acid.
Step 3: Apple The Chemical Peeling Solution
Use a Q-tip, a cotton swab, or a cotton pad to apply the chemical solution to your face. Start with the areas that are less sensitive, such as the skin on your forehead, cheeks, and chin, and then apply it to your nose and neck.
Step 4: Leave It On For The Time Recommended By The Manufacturer
The wait time differs with the ingredients. However, it’s always safe to keep it on for lesser than the recommended time. For instance, if the instructions ask you to leave it on for 2 minutes, it’s best to remove it after 1 minute or 1 minute 30 seconds.
Step 5: Remove The Peel
Remove the chemical as per the instructions provided with the product and apply a neutralizing solution. Usually, all products come with a neutralizing solution. This is to stop the solution from working on your skin. If your product doesn’t come with any neutralizing solution, it means the chemical stops working as soon as you remove it from your skin.
You can also make your own neutralizing solution. Just mix baking soda in some water until it forms a paste and apply it after you wash the chemical off your face.
If your first attempt goes well, you can increase the intensity or concentration of the acid the next time.
After chemical peeling, you need to be very careful about what you put on your skin. Here is a skin care regimen you can follow right after chemical peeling.
How To Take Care Of Your Skin After Chemical Peeling
Chemical peeling will leave your skin looking a bit red and irritated. It is very vulnerable to damage at this point, and that’s why you need to take special care of your skin. Here are the things you should do after you have done chemical peeling at home:
- Treat Your Skin Gently
Whenever you touch your skin or apply any product, do it very gently. Don’t rub your fingers on your face. Some of the peeling skin flakes remain attached to the cells of your skin after chemical peeling until they fall off on their own. You don’t want to take the risk of pulling them out and damaging your skin.
- Be Very Cautious Your Skin Is Wet
When your skin is wet, it softens the dead skin cells. So, be careful when wiping your moist skin. If you rub too aggressively with your fingers on your skin, you run the risk of removing both dead and live skin cells. It is better to avoid applying anything or using anything on the face (like a washcloth) when your skin is wet.
- Never Forget Sunscreen
Your skin is damaged and still regenerating after the peel, and it is extremely vulnerable to the harmful UV rays. So, sunscreen is a must!
- Limit The Time Spent Outdoors
When your skin is inflamed, it is better to protect it from the heat, pollution, and the sun’s rays. So, limit the time that you spend outside.
- Use A Gentle Cleanser
Use a sulfate- and soap-free cleanser on your face. Your cleanser should not leave your skin feeling dry and dehydrated. Choose a moisturizing formula that will keep it nourished.
- Follow Up With A Gentle Essence, Mist, Or Toner
Once you have cleansed your skin, apply an alcohol-free skin essence, toner, or facial mist. This helps in additional hydration and soothes the irritated skin. Avoid rubbing it on your skin. Instead, put it in a spray bottle or use cotton pads to apply it to your face.
- Apply A Moisturizer
Once you have undergone chemical peeling, moisturizing is the best way to keep your skin calm. A moisturizer is a must-have throughout the day. During the day, use a moisturizer with SPF. You can use one without SPF at night.
- Avoid Pulling Off The Flaky Skin
Let it fall off on its own. Pulling off the flaky skin can cause scarring, redness, and irritation.
Consult a doctor immediately if you notice signs of infection, such as crusting and oozing, from the flaky and irritated skin.
Chemical peeling is a cosmetic procedure where a chemical is applied to help peel off a layer of skin. Getting a superficial, medium, or deep chemical peel will reduce pigmentation, remove deep acne scars, leaving you with youthful and smoother skin. If you want to know how to do a chemical peel at home, you need to buy chemical peels with lauric acid or glycolic acid and follow proper instructions. Once you finish doing your chemical peel, ensure you are gentle with your skin and use a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. Few people may experience redness, irritation, or scarring after doing a chemical peel. Consult a doctor immediately if this happens.
Chemical peel benefits
Out with the old and in with the new. Chemical peels treat fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, pore size, acne, pigmentation, and more. These aesthetic treatments are some of the most sought-after, and millions of people are already enjoying the life-changing benefits. At AURAE MD in La Jolla, CA, we offer the widest variety of peels to reveal a new, radiant, you. Read on to find the top ten benefits of chemical peels.
What Is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a powerful skin exfoliating solution applied to the face, neck, or hands to reveal the smooth and clear skin underneath. What makes this technique so popular is that it’s useful for a variety of skin concerns.
Are All Chemical Peels the Same?
No, there are different peels. Peels are generally classified by their ingredients. Each skin condition may respond differently to the ingredients in a peel. For example, wrinkles, pigment problems, and superficial blemishes respond very well to a stronger peel. Acne often responds best to salicylic acid peels.
Alpha-hydroxy (AHA), glycolic, lactic, or fruit acid peels are among the gentlest peels. Stronger options like trichloroacetic acid peels penetrate the skin more deeply and can rid the skin of wrinkles.
All peels can provide skin rejuvenating benefits, but your skin’s type and condition dictates which peel to use. Contacting Dr. Margo Aura Emami is the best way to find out which peel is right for you.
How Does a Chemical Peel Work?
The exact process varies depending on the chosen peel. Your skin is thoroughly cleansed and prepared for the treatment before the application of the peel. Next, a chemical solution is applied to your skin and left in place for a designated time. While you wait, the peel solution exfoliates the skin. Once the peel has completed its work, it is peeled away to reveal new, regenerated skin.
10 Top Benefits of Chemical Peels
There is a peel for all the most common skin concerns. Below are the top ten benefits of a chemical peel.
1. Treats Acne
Topical acne treatments can only go so far, and a peel exfoliates deeper. Getting a peel cleanses your skin more thoroughly and reveals a fresh new layer of skin, without the acne. Peels for acne work best when received in a series, and Dr. Margo Aura Emami can customize a peel schedule to help keep your skin blemish-free.
2. Minimizes Pores
Large pores are a common concern for many, and all who have them wish they’d go away. Removing the outer, often damaged layer of skin with a peel has the benefit of making pores look smaller.
3. Erases Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Nothing leaves us stuck in the past as much as lines on the skin. These reminders prevent us from living in—and fully enjoying—the present moment. When fine lines or wrinkles have got you down, peels come to the rescue. These chemical solutions can permanently remove fine lines and ease even the toughest wrinkles.
4. Fades Discoloration
You deserve to feel confident, vibrant, and beautiful. If sunspots, discoloration, and hyperpigmentation are getting in your way, a peel can help. Many clients find that a peel lifts discoloration from the skin for good.
5. Lifts Skin
When you don’t want the downtime of a facelift, a peel could be the right alternative for you. Skin lifting is one of the incredible benefits a peel offers.
6. Soothes Scarring
There is an implied permanence with scarring that isn’t accurate. Many scars from acne or anything else recede when exposed to the chemicals found in a peel.
7. Balances Texture
Uneven skin tone and blemishes add a dimension to the skin that many people don’t want. Peels bring balance to the overall texture of the skin.
8. Smooths Skin
Peels are best known for unparalleled skin-smoothing benefits. By lifting rigid layers of skin from the face, neck, or hands, the result is gorgeously smooth and touchable skin.
9. Non-Invasive Treatment
This treatment is one of the most effective options not requiring needles or surgery. Some clients pair this treatment with other treatments because of this. For others, it’s comforting to know that they can achieve their desired look without surgery.
10. AURAE MD Customizes
At AURAE MD, your peel is customized to ensure you get the most benefits from treatment. Whether you have a combination of concerns or a concern not listed above, there is a peel option for you.
Is There Anything to Avoid After a Chemical Peel?
After receiving any peel, it’s essential to avoid the sun while your skin heals.
Superficial peels take one to seven days to heal fully. Use lotion or cream on the skin while it heals. Wear sunscreen every day after your skin heals. You can wear makeup the day after your appointment.
Medium peels take five to ten days to heal completely. The skin may peel during this time. If you have a history of cold sores, you may be advised to take antiviral medication during this time. Use a mild lotion or cream on the skin during the healing process. After five to seven days, you can wear makeup.