The very first chemical peel dates back to Cleopatra of Ancient Egypt, who used sour milk as part of her beauty routine. These days, lactic acid peels are a bit more refined – and there are several different acids used to exfoliate and perfect your skin. At Advanced Dermatology Center in Wolcott, CT, we know that chemical peels can easily be integrated as part of your regular skin maintenance to manage specific aesthetic concerns.
What Happens During a Chemical Peel?
The process for a peel is not unlike a facial. You will need to arrive at your appointment with clean skin, meaning no make-up or skincare products on your face. The first step of your treatment will be to gently cleanse your skin to remove any excess dirt or oil. Then, one of our skin experts will apply the chemical serum to your skin for several minutes.
Once the chemical agent has soaked on your skin, it will then be removed with a neutralizing agent. Some peels are finished off with hydrating serums or gentle moisturizers. Overall, your treatment will take about 20 to 30 minutes to complete, making a chemical peel an ideal treatment for any time of the day no matter how busy you are.
What Should You Do Before a Peel?
A peel strips your skin of oil and bacteria, as well as sloughs off dead skin cells. Because even a light peel is slightly aggressive, it’s important for you to prepare for your treatment in order to get optimal results. For about one to two weeks before your appointment, you will be asked to avoid direct unprotected sunlight. You may also be asked to temporarily stop using chemical exfoliants, including acids that are part of your skincare routine and retinols.
What Should You Do After Your Peel?
After your peel, your skin will be vulnerable since new skin cells will be exposed to the environment for the first time. There are two cardinal rules you must follow after a peel. The first is to shield your skin from UV rays by wearing broad spectrum sunscreen during the daytime. Usually SPF 30 or higher is adequate protection for most people, although people who burn easily or have sensitive skin may want to use higher grades of sun protection.
The second rule will be to keep your skin hydrated. In addition to drinking plenty of water, you should also be sure to use a gentle moisturizer throughout the day and night. Using a gentle cleanser, washing with tepid water, and avoiding excessive heat will also help your skin retain moisture.
What Is Recovery Like?
The recovery time following a peel will be dependent on the strength of the peel. For a light peel, the recovery time will be around two to three days, which is when it’s most important to avoid heat and sunlight. For a medium peel, the recovery time could be as long as a week. Your provider will let you know what to expect based on the strength of your peel.
Is There Always Visible Peeling?
Many people assume that a chemical peel means your skin after the treatment will peel off. But this isn’t always the case and you shouldn’t judge the success of your treatment based on whether or not you experience any peeling. Factors such as your skin type, the exact chemical used, and the strength of the peel will determine whether or not you see any visible peeling. People who regularly use light peels may not see any visible peeling at all.
How Frequently Should You Have a Peel?
The frequency of your chemical peel treatment will generally be set by your aesthetic goals and the strength of your peels, as well as the sensitivity of your skin. For example, it’s common to use light peels once a month to manage concerns like even skin tone and acne, but people who have sensitive skin may need to space treatments six weeks apart for better results.
Medium peels, on the other hand, can be done a few times a year. Deep peels may only be necessary once every few years. Your skin expert will guide you toward the frequency that will work best for your goals.
How Long Will Your Results Last?
The result of your peel may last for several weeks or several months depending on the strength of your treatment. The results of a light peel may last for one month, while the results of a medium peel may last for two or three months. A deep peel may produce results that last for 12 months or longer. Usually, the longevity of your results will serve as a guidepost for how frequently you should have treatments.
How Soon Will You See Results?
Most people use peel treatments regularly to maintain the health and appearance of the skin. In general, you will see visible results from your peel after a single treatment. Continued treatments will gradually improve and maintain your skin. You should be able to see most visible results within one week of your treatment.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Good candidates for this treatment include most people, regardless of skin tone and skin type. Because peels can be very gentle on the skin, they are generally compatible for most needs. As long as your skin is healthy within two weeks of your appointment, you should be considered an eligible patient.
Chemical peel treatments are ideal for people who have mild to moderate skin concerns, as well as people who are interested in using this treatment to regulate the appearance of the skin. You may be an ideal match for this treatment if you want to correct:
- Uneven tone
- Enlarged pores
- Oily skin
- Shallow scars
- Sun damage
- Dark spots
- Fine lines
- And more
What Are the Benefits of This Treatment?
In addition to chemical peels being extremely compatible treatments that can easily perfect the superficial appearance of the skin, there are several reasons why you may want to consider this treatment. For example, the treatment process itself is very simple and can easily fit into even the busiest schedule. Other benefits for this treatment include:
1. Better Product Absorption
This treatment is primarily used to exfoliate the skin. Without dead skin cells creating a barrier on your skin, skincare products will have better absorption and will work more effectively. As your products will more easily be able to penetrate deeper layers of the skin, you will have improved results. Incorporating a peel as part of your monthly beauty routine will enhance the results of other treatments and at-home skincare routines.
2. Improve Exfoliation
Exfoliation is good for our skin. The natural skin cell turnover cycle typically helps us shed dead skin cells. However, this process is imperfect and a build-up of dead skin cells may make your skin appear dull, tired, or even contribute to acne breakouts. By improving the exfoliation of your skin, you will improve the health, tone, and texture of your skin.
3. Reduce Dark Spots
Dark spots are often the product of sun damage or hormonal fluctuations that trigger melanin production in the skin. Dark spots can make people look and feel much older than they are. Unfortunately, treating hyperpigmentation can be challenging when your only tool is topical creams and serums. However, with a peel, you can easily slough away darker patches of skin cells to create a more perfect skin tone.
Melasma, in particular, may not be able to be treated with normal dermatology treatments. Because melasma is controlled by hormones, it tends to reach deeper layers of skin. With a peel, you can gradually shed these darker skin cells and improve the tone of your skin.
4. Diminish Fine Lines
You may not think it at first, but a peel can even soften the appearance of fine lines on the face. A light peel, for example, can remove surface skin cells that cause the creases in the face to look deeper, while a medium peel may stimulate collagen production that will reduce fine lines. Of course, a deep peel is most effective for this type of age-related concern, particularly for deeper wrinkles.
5. Minimize Acne and Acne Scars
Acne is caused by a combination of high oil production and dead skin cells trapping bacteria against the skin. A light peel is usually an adequate way to manage mild to moderate acne breakouts, since the chemical agent in the peel will destroy acne-causing bacteria. Many people who have acne-prone skin are fond of using light peels to manage acne.
Peels can also be used to address acne scarring, both pigmented and textural. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation leaves red or pink patches on the skin that can take months to heal by themselves. Acne can also permanently enlarge pores or create divots in the skin that can only be treated by increasing collagen production within the sub-dermal layers of skin.
6. Low Risk
Peel treatments are very low risk. Because a peel is only applied topically and because the type of acid used for your peel will be matched to your skin type and tone, the vast majority of people will not need to be concerned about any risks associated with this treatment. This treatment is non-invasive, non-surgical, and will not leave any bruising or scarring on the face.
7. Easily Combined
This treatment is also easily combined with other aesthetic treatments. For example, you can use a peel with a dermal filler because each of these treatments addresses a different part of the skin. If you are interested in combining treatments in your treatment plan please let’s know so we can customize your treatment plan to your unique needs.
8. Easily Customized
There are several chemical agents and acids that are used to complete a peel treatment, and each of these chemicals can be customized to meet your aesthetic needs. It’s not uncommon to create a unique blend of peels for your aesthetic concerns. Some patients like to alternate different chemical agents to produce the desired skin results, while other patients may mix and match acids in the same treatment.
Refine Your Skin With Chemical Peels
If it was good enough for Cleopatra, then a peel should be an ideal option for you. Whether you have mild concerns or more pronounced skin issues, a peel can help you achieve your aesthetic goals by managing the health and appearance of your skin. This exfoliation treatment is generally appropriate for most people, including those who want to customize their treatment. Please contact Advanced Dermatology Center in Wolcott, CT to schedule your initial consultation today.