Chemical peels are a skin care treatment that uses an acidic solution to smooth and brighten your skin. The chemical peel procedure removes dead skin cells, unclogs visible pores, and improves the appearance of fine lines, acne scarring and other types of skin discoloration. Before you book your appointment for chemical peeling, knowing exactly what chemicals are doing to your skin when you undergo this treatment is helpful. Chemical peeling is also known as chemexfoliation or a chemical peel. It is a type of skincare treatment that uses controlled acid solutions or other chemicals such as glycolic acid or lactic acid to exfoliate the top layer of the skin and reveal smoother and younger-looking skin beneath.
How Does a Chemical Peel Work?
A chemical peel is a procedure where an aesthetician applies a chemical solution to your face and neck to remove the top layer of your skin and reveal the fresh skin that lies beneath. There are different types of chemical peels based on the ingredients used and the specific results you’re trying to achieve. A light chemical peel uses milder chemical solutions like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) to exfoliate the top layer of your skin and help with discoloration and mild scarring. A medium chemical peel uses a stronger chemical solution like trichloroacetic acid (TCA) to treat moderate to severe acne scarring and discoloration, mostly on the face. A strong chemical peel like a phenol peel is used to treat severe acne scarring, discoloration, and deep wrinkles.
What Are the Different Types of Chemical Peels?
There are many different chemical peels, such as light and medium, phenol, trichloroacetic acid, and laser peels. Here’s a quick run-down of the most common types of chemical peels:
1. Light Chemical Peels
These peels are designed for people with sensitive skin and are usually used for lightening and improving the appearance of fine lines and mild acne scarring. Light peels use alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) that may cause redness and flake on the skin. Light chemical peels are best for people with normal-to-dry skin who don’t have problems with breakouts.
2. Medium Chemical Peels
These peels are used for acne scarring and discoloration, to treat wrinkles, and to reduce pore size. Medium peels use trichloroacetic acid (TCA), which may cause inflammation, redness, and skin swelling. Medium peels are best for people with oily skin who suffer from acne breakouts.
3. Strong Chemical Peels
These are used to treat severe acne scarring, deep wrinkles and large pores, and discoloration. Strong peels use phenol that may cause intense burning and scarring of the skin as well as swelling and infection. Strong peels are best for people with oily or combination skin who suffer from severe acne breakouts.
The Benefits of a Chemical Peel
Below are the benefits of chemical peeling;
Youthful, Radiant Skin
A chemical peel helps exfoliate the top layer of your skin to remove the dead skin cells, making your skin look visibly younger, smoother and more radiant. A chemical peel also helps in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, particularly around the eyes, mouth and neck area.
Improved Skin Texture
A chemical peel works wonders in improving the texture of your skin. It can help reduce the appearance of acne scars, uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation and large pores for smooth, clear and even-textured skin.
Improved Skin Complexion
The chemicals used in a chemical peel help unblock the pores, thereby reducing black and whiteheads. This can result in a clearer, cleaner and brighter complexion.
A chemical peel may also be used to treat certain types of skin infections such as herpes and cold sores.
Drawbacks of a Chemical Peel
• Possible skin damage- A chemical peel can cause damage to your skin if it is done improperly. Choosing a skilled and experienced aesthetician who can do a safe and effective chemical peel on your skin is very important.
• Skin discoloration- A chemical peel may cause skin discoloration, especially if you have fair skin. However, this can be easily addressed with a bit of self-tanning or by wearing sunscreen to avoid further skin damage.
• Scarring- A chemical peel can cause scarring if it is done improperly. Choosing a skilled and experienced aesthetician who can do a safe and effective chemical peel on your skin is important.
• Unavoidable side effects- As mentioned above, a chemical peel can cause skin discoloration, scarring or swelling. However, these side effects can be easily treated with skincare or by healing your skin with time.
Tips for a Successful Chemical Peel Experience
1. Avoid exfoliating and scrubbing your skin in the days leading up to your chemical peel treatment. Your skin needs to be cleansed and free of impurities, but you don’t need to scrub it or use harsh scrubs during this period.
2. Your skin may feel very sensitive and tingly 24 hours after the chemical peel treatment. You can reduce this feeling by applying moisturizing lotions to your face.
3. Avoid going out in the sun during the chemical peel treatment, as UV rays can worsen your skin condition. If you have to go out in the sun, wear sunscreen to protect your skin from further damage.
4. Eat a healthy diet rich in nutrients that can help your skin heal faster and look better after the chemical peel treatment.
5. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. – Get adequate sleep to allow your body to rest and heal properly.
6. Avoid picking or touching your skin during the chemical peel treatment. This can further worsen the damage to your skin.
Although chemical peels are very useful in treating certain skin conditions such as acne, hyperpigmentation and wrinkles, it is important to choose a skilled and experienced aesthetician who can do a safe and effective chemical peel on your skin. You can also talk to your dermatologist to know which chemical peel is best for your skin type and conditions. Before you book your appointment for chemical peeling, knowing exactly what chemicals are doing to your skin when you undergo this treatment is helpful. A chemical peel can help with skin issues, including acne, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation. However, it is important to learn more about chemical peels to choose a skilled and experienced aesthetician who can do a safe and effective chemical peel on your skin.