When I tell people what I do, they always ask about chemical peels. They ask how they work, if their skin will burn off, and what it will look like afterwards. I love chemical peels and I recommend them to everybody. So I thought I’d share some info!
What are chemical peels?- Peels are an accelerated form of exfoliation using acidic chemicals.
How do they work? – Skin sheds and regrows around every 20-30 days for anybody in their late teens to early 40’s, and chemical peels help that happen in a matter of days. It stimulates new growth of cells and in turn, helps to heal any discoloration/pigmentation in the skin. Have you ever heard the term “as soft as a baby’s bottom” ? that’s because infants shed their skin about every 7 days, so its constantly brand new cells that are fresh and soft. As we age, that turn over rate slows down. Once you are in your 50’s and on, your cell turn over rate happens about every 60 days. The use of chemical peels keeps the new cells reproducing and keeps the collagen and elastin up and running!
AHA peels: Chemical peels that are glycolic acid or lactic acid based are great choices for AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) peels. It is one of the most commonly performed peels because it tends to be on the gentler side, and usually is a superficial peel, which just targets the stratum corneum (the top outer layer of skin). It can be used on the face for pore reduction, fine lines, rough or textured skin pigmentation, dryness, or used on the whole body.
BHA peels: Beta hydroxy acids are another common type of peel, but have a different molecular structure. Salicylic acid is commonly including in BHA peels, so its better for people with acne, large pores, and any kind of blemish or white head. BHA’s also tend to be less irritating than AHA’s because of their anti inflammatory properties, unless you use them at a higher concentration. You can even combine the two and do an AHA/BHA peel.
The most common stronger superficial peel is called a Jessner peel. Its a mixture of salicylic acid, lactic acid, resorcinol acid, and ethanol. People who would most benefit from this peel are ones who have sun damaged skin, hyperpigmented skin, and melasma, but most adults would benefit from this peel, even if you don’t have any of those skin conditions. With stronger peels, your skin will feel very tight the next couple days after, then it will slowly start to come off in sheets. It’s not painful, just more annoying because you look ridiculous. It is SO important for you to wear SPF during this time, because your new skin is so fresh and can burn/damage very easily from the UV rays.
Who can get chemical peels: everybody! I recommend every body get at least a few chemical peels. They’re so great for exfoliation and your skin looks and feels amazing afterwards. Starting with a lighter peel is best, because you never know how your skin is going to react. Doing an enzyme or lactic peel first would ease your skin into it, and help it be prepped for other treatments. With lighter peels like these, you wont get any intense peeling. Your skin will probably just feel dry and flakey for a few days.
How often should I get a chemical peel: There isnt an exact number. Usually once a month is a general good time frame. It allows your skin to peel, and get back on track and calm down before doing another one. But it depends on the depth of the peel.
Who CAN’T get a chemical peel: Anybody who is pregnant or lactating should not get a chemical peel. There no proof that it can cause damage, but there’s no proof that it can’t. So most doctors and estheticians will say to stay away from them, just because they don’t want to be liable if anything were to happen. They also say people with high blood pressure, diabetes and auto immune disorders should not get chemical peels, but my boyfriend is a type 1 diabetic and he reacted just fine to a light enzyme peel. I would’t do a deep peel on somebody with an auto immune disorder for fear of infection. But a light peel should be fine. DO NOT get a peel if your skin is irritated with any type of rash, redness, eczema, or sunburned.
Thats all for now! let me know if you have any questions!