A chemical peel is a noninvasive procedure that is intended to improve overall skin health and appearance, by accelerating the natural exfoliation by using a chemical agent. These are typically alpha hydroxyl acids, which are mild organic acids. which “unglue” cells in the epidermis. These products can loosen and remove the outermost layer or layers of skin, allowing newer and healthier skin to rise to the surface. Estheticians have access to stronger levels of these products, that impact all or part of the epidermis down to the basal layer, resulting in mild flaking. As a general rule, you can get this type of facial every 30 days, depending on how your skin reacts to the treatment.
The many benefits of peels and chemical exfoliation are: improved texture, increased hydration, reduced fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation. Skin will look and feel smoother and softer. Peels also help improve conditions like acne, hyperpigmentation, clogged pores and dry skin. Additionally they help stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, the structure and support system of our skin, making our appearance younger and firmer.
Why choose a peel over other exfoliation treatments.
Chemical peels speed up the sloughing process in three different ways which is why they are an amazing anti-aging, resurfacing treatments.
First they help to stimulate epidermal growth, which makes the epidermis thicker, which as we age thins out making skin very delicate. The second, chemical peels eliminate the dead and damaged skin on the surface, replacing it with skin that is healthier. Finally, peels will induce the production of new collagen, providing skin with strength and firmness.
Are chemical peels for everyone?
One of the great benefits of chemical exfoliation is that there are chemical peels for almost every skin type and condition. The term “Lunchtime peel” has been popular for a very long time now and is usually a very superficial peel that produces very little flaking and is the choice of many clients as a monthly treatment to keep skin looking and feel great. The next level of peeling can require some “downtime” which involves more peeling (similar to a sunburn peel) and healing. With stronger peels that penetrate down to the dermis, you will have longer downtime and should plan three to six months between treatments.
Home care before and after a chemical peel is extremely important. Prior to your appointment you should avoid sun exposure, scrubs, waxing and using Retin A, or other exfoliating products for at least 48 hours. Post peel care is paramount to getting the most out of your peel, as well as not causing further damage. A period of gently care is usually advised, as these exfoliation treatments can make the skin drier on the surface because the top layer is sloughed off. Using a gentle cleanser and keeping the skin hydrated helps to heal the skin. Most importantly using sun protection, especially a broad spectrum SPF and wearing a hat is critical after chemical exfoliation.
The fall is the optimal time to begin exploring peel options. Because the sun is stronger during the summer and outdoor exposure is more frequent. Chemical and other exfoliation procedures are not recommended during those months. Getting a series during the fall months will get your skin ready for the up coming holiday months and healthier during the colder winter weather.