In the aesthetic industry, it is common knowledge that chemical peels have a bad reputation. Clients are often apprehensive and fear peels because they have heard about isolated incidents and worst case scenarios.
The truth is that chemical peels are beneficial for most skin types, including sensitive skin. Not only do they treat problem prone skin, but they can also serve as a preventative treatment. There are many myths when it comes to chemical peels and as it is with any treatment, it is important to educate oneself about the pros and cons of any procedure before having one.
A chemical peel is a procedure in which an acid solution is applied to the face to remove both dead and damaged skin layers. When applied correctly and by a reputable professional, chemical peels can safely reduce wrinkles while also correcting skin tone. As the dead skin cells shed or flake off, a brighter, smoother, and more refined complexion is revealed.
Other benefits of receiving a chemical peel include:
- Improvement in the skin’s color, tone, and texture
- Reduction in discoloration caused by sun damage
- Stimulation in new collagen and healthy skin cell growth
- Increase in the hydration of the skin
- The enabling of skin care products at home to be more effective
The best candidate for a chemical peel is someone with sun damaged skin, uneven pigmentation, acne scarring or essentially anyone who is looking to reveal a brighter and fresher layer of their skin.
The treatment time for a peel can take up to 30 minutes while the peeling process can last anywhere from three to five days. For long term results, three or more chemical peels spaced four to six weeks apart are recommended. The skin is especially sensitive after a chemical peel which is why it is important to avoid the sun during and immediately after the healing process.
There are multiple options when it comes to chemical peels and therefore, the type of peel received will be determined by one’s clinical aesthetician at the time of consultation. During the initial consultation, items discussed should be the current condition of one’s skin, one’s lifestyle, and ultimately, one’s desired outcome. Post treatment protocols should also be discussed prior to the procedure.
While there are numerous peels on the market, they all fall under one of the following categories:
- Superficial Facial Peel – Does not penetrate deep into the the skin or dermis but rather affects only the outer layer of facial skin.
- Medium Facial Peel- Affects the epidermis and the upper layer of the epidermis. It penetrates the skin deeper than a superficial peel and requires some time off for healing.
- Deep Facial Peel- This type of peel results in the peeling of of the epidermis and penetrates the two layers of the dermis. Deep facial peels require a longer recovery time, involve more pain and have a greater risk of complications.
Following a mild to medium peel, patients can expect mild irritation, redness, and peeling (thus the term chemical PEEL). The side effects are minimal and typically only last a few days. Stronger chemical peels will usually take more recovery time and the peeling is more intense.
Adverse reactions are rare with most chemical peels but can include scarring, pigment change for those with darker skin, and chemical burns. The majority of patients who undergo a a chemical peel suffer no serious side effects. Due to potential risks, however, it is important to only allow a licensed professional to perform the treatment and equally important to provide them with a complete list of medical history. A history of heart disease, recurring blisters or cold sores, and a tendency to scar are all worth mentioning.
While there are some disadvantages to chemical peels, the advantages far outweigh them. Virtually everyone that has had a peel report that they would have it again because of the overall improvement in the skin’s surface. Other advantages are-
Peels can make your skin (and your skin care products) work better. As the dead skin cells are shed, the living cells below multiply and move up. This process stimulates collagen production. A thorough sloughing of old skin offers smoother skin that is more radiant and youthful looking. Skin care products tend to perform better after a peel because there is nothing preventing their penetration.
They are low risk and benefit everyone. There are so many varieties of peels that virtually everyone can find one that is safe to use, regardless of skin type or color. There are chemical peels that range from mild to medical grade which means that they can be customized to fit each client.
The correct peel can address acne and the scars that come along with it. Salicylic acid peels penetrate deeply into the skin and unclog pores. Salicylic acid tends to linger and continues to keep the pores clear over time. These stronger peels also skim the surface of the skin which erodes blackheads and pock marks. High percentages of TCA target divots in the skin and evens the face out.
Nothing controls melasma better. While there is not a permanent solution for sun triggered dark spots, chemical peels offer the best results.
If you would like to see if you are a candidate and could benefit from a chemical peel, we recommend a consultation with one of our licensed aestheticians. Call today for your free consultation at 770-212-2242 or go online to dermanimedspa.com