If you’ve been thinking of getting smooth, wrinkle-free skin ( i.e. reverse skin aging), you must have heard of chemical peels. This cosmetic procedure once the number-one option for most people but relegated to the background, is now receiving widespread popularity among folks. Because it appears chemical peels can deliver the best results for certain skin conditions like reversing melasma and breakouts. Just between the wrinkles and breakouts is clear, flawless skin waiting for you. This article discusses chemical peels and why they are the best option for you now.
What Is a Chemical peel?
Another name for a chemical peel is chemexfoliation or derma peeling. It involves using a chemical solution to improve the appearance of one’s skin. Once this solution is applied to the skin, it causes trauma or injury to the skin layers. Eventually, the damaged skin layers peel away to reveal an underneath healthy glowing skin that is brighter and smoother with fewer lines and wrinkles.
A chemical is a restorative, cosmetic procedure that produces this result in all skin types and colors; and at a cheaper cost than other flashier alternatives like laser treatments.
How a Chemical Peel Is Performed
A chemical peel is usually performed in the doctor’s office as an outpatient procedure. The process first involves cleansing the skin with an agent to remove excess oils from the skin’s surface. Then the chemical solution, which usually consists of glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, carbolic or lactic acid, is applied to the skin. They have different mechanisms of action penetrating through the skin at different depths.
The chemical solution of choice usually depends on the goal of the procedure. Typically, you would have to choose from any of the three depths:
- Light chemical peel: A light or quick chemical peel removes the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) and is usually done in a series. You would need to repeat the procedure every two to five weeks. This peeling method treats skin conditions like fine wrinkles, acne, dryness or uneven skin tone.
- Medium chemical peel: It makes the skin look smoother and fresher. A medium chemical peel removes skin cells from the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis) and the upper part of the middle layer (dermis). It’s the best choice for skin with acne scars, wrinkles, discoloration and age spots. Recovery takes a long time; ,bout a week or more.
- Deep chemical peel: This is a more detailed peel with the most dramatic results. The chemical penetrates the lower middle layer of the skin. The dermatologist may recommend this if you’re battling moderate lines and wrinkles, deep acne scars, sun-damaged skin, blotchy skin and precancerous growths. It’s a one-time treatment that doesn’t require a repeat for full results.
In the Main d’Or clinic, however, we practice only two major types of chemical peels.
- Gentle peels are also called the “Quick peel.” Other names for this type include stimulating peel, moisturizing peel, lightening peel and anti-acne peel.
- Medium or intermediate peels for more marked facial imperfections.
4 Reasons You Should Get a Chemical Peel
Chemical peels are an anti-aging cosmetic procedure worth going for. Here are some reasons to book a chemical peeling session for your skin.
- It Improves The Effect Of Skin Products On Your Skin
Most times, the skin is covered by dead cells which causes scarring and other skin conditions. Chemical peeling is a technique that causes the shedding of the uppermost layer of the skin. On application of the chemical solution, the acids peel off dead skin cells and trigger a chain reaction. Signals are transmitted to new skin cells beneath to multiply and move up, reactivating collagen production. Hyaluronic acid production also increases and makes the skin look more supple.
A thorough chemical peel procedure offers smoother and more radiant skin that is more receptive. It’s been proven that skin-care products (from sunscreen and moisturizers to cleansers) perform better after a peel as no dead cells are preventing their penetration.
- It Can Clear Up Acne And Acne Scars
Acne is a common inflammatory skin condition most treat it with topical ointments or oral medications. Using the right chemical peel can end it once and for all and soften the scars. Salicylic acid peels penetrate the skin and help unclog pores while eroding blackheads and fading post-pimple marks. Salicylic acid also lingers on the skin pores, which causes the scars to clear over time.
- It’s Low-Risk And Customizable For Different Skin Conditions
A chemical peel is a low-risk option for treating skin aging, hyperpigmentation, acne, uneven skin tone and many more. For example, chemical peels are generally safe for use on every skin colour without the risk of hyperpigmentation. However, strong chemical peels may be a concern for people with darker skin. A good aesthetician or dermatologist knows that to prevent any incidence of hyperpigmentation, it’s best to low percentages of several acids than to use a single acid at a higher concentration. It would give a better result with less irritation.
Also, if treating a specific condition like dry skin or acne or treating a person with sensitive skin, the dermatologist can formulate the appropriate treatment for them by adding or subtracting an ingredient or two.
- It Can Improve Melasma
Melasma is a skin condition where grey-brown patches appear on areas of the face exposed to the sun. Pregnancy hormones and the Pill majorly cause it. A more effective cure for these recurring patches is chemical peels, especially when paired with high-SPF sunscreens and strict sun avoidance. This is a better alternative to a laser treatment, which initially removes splotches, but then, the pigment reappears weeks later.
Chemical peels have a lot of benefits for the skin. However, note that it’s not the best choice for deep wrinkles and won’t make so much difference in a sagging skin. The best may be to consider Botox or other injectables, or some other laser form of cosmetic surgery.
Who Is A Good Candidate To Get Chemical Peels?
Like every other cosmetic treatment, chemical peels aren’t suitable for everyone. It’s best for people with a lighter complexion, generally healthy skin, mild scarring and superficial wrinkles.
On the other hand, if you present with any of the following contraindications, chemical peels may not be for you.
- Darker skin tone (as it’s subject to hyperpigmentation). However, to prevent tis from happening, its best to follow a strict formulation for your skin.
- Pregnant women and nursing mothers
- If you have a tendency to cold sores and scar
- After a chemical peel, your skin will become extra sensitive to sunlight. But if you can’t stay out of the sun for the healing period, chemical peeling may not be for you.
- If you have skin conditions or take medications that make your skin extra sensitive.
- If you have a history of abnormal skin scarring
- If you recently took an oral acne treatment, it’s best to stay away from chemical peels.
What’s The Recovery Process After Chemical Peels Treatment?
The recovery process after a chemical peel session depends on the type of peel administered. Light chemical peels often have a more speedy recovery process and people can wear makeup almost immediately after (or the next day).
A common reaction is a sunburn-like one immediately after the peel. This causes redness followed by scaling that lasts anywhere from three to seven days (for a light peeling).
For light to medium chemical peels, continue to apply lotion or cream on the treatment area until your skin heals.
During this period, your skin will be quite sensitive to the sun. So, it's best always to be armed with your sunscreen. After your treatment, apply high-SPF sunscreen daily. Also, because of how sensitive your skin will be during this period, it’s advisable to stay indoors and, if possible, don’t do the procedure during the summer.
Another thing you’d notice is that your skin would feel tight and dry. You’d also notice flakes on your skin. The duration for this peeling usually depends on the depth of the peel.
For lasting results, you may need to repeat light chemical peels as often as possible (every two to five weeks). After healing, it’s advised to apply a daily moisturizer to prevent skin scarring.
The Bottom Line
Chemical peels have been around for the past 20 years plus, and they are finally here to stay. To deal with skin aging, improve fine lines, and clear up acne and acne lines, consider booking a chemical peel session. A dermatologist will examine your skin and recommend the right chemical peel type for you with the right formulation. Light chemical peels may require consistent visits for results to be permanent, while a deep peel is usually done once.
For more information about chemical peels and determine if they’re the right treatment for your skin condition, reach out to us at Main d’Or clinic. A dermatologist will discuss this with you at no cost and recommend the right peeling session your skin may need.