Have you ever wanted to peel back the top, damaged layer of your skin to uncover a fresh, healthy layer below? Chemical peels might sound a bit intense if you haven’t had this treatment before. But these treatments are one of the secrets for people wanting to maintain glowing, youthful skin.
Since every person is unique, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment. Instead, you have the opportunity to work with an aesthetician for personalized recommendations. We talk about your goals, skincare history, and desired treatment plan. Then, your appointments are carefully catered to match your individual needs, helping you feel confident in the skin you’re in!
How Do Chemical Peels Work?
The goal of a chemical peel treatment is to carefully exfoliate the outer layer of skin while also promoting healing and rejuvenation as the skin is renewed. Exfoliating acids of varying strengths can be added to the treatment area, with various nuances in the treatment to accommodate your needs.
Rest assured, knowing that we always take it slow. If this is your first time doing a chemical peel, then we begin with a gentle solution to see how your skin reacts to the treatment. Through a series of chemical peels, you can increase the intensity, optimizing the results you can achieve.
When you come for the appointment, your skin is cleansed and prepared for the treatment. Then, the aesthetician will apply the chemical peel product and allow it to stay on the skin’s surface for a certain amount of time. This solution penetrates the layers of skin, with the goal of the product reaching a specific depth.
This treatment causes the skin to peel, similar to what you experience after a sunburn. As the top layer peels off, it can improve the overall appearance of the skin. It’s normal for skin cells to shed. This treatment just accelerates the process so the older cells can be replaced with new ones.
Benefits You Can Expect from a Chemical Peel
Here are a few of the common benefits clients enjoy from the results of a chemical peel:
- Reduce the signs of sun damage
- Improve overall complexion
- Smooth the surface of the skin
- Decrease age spots and discoloration
- Minimize the appearance of fine lines
- Heal current acne outbreaks
- Prevent acne breakouts by removing debris that causes clogged pores
- Reduce the appearance of acne scars
One notable benefit is that chemical peels help with the efficacy of other skincare products you are using. When the top layer of skin peels off, other serums and moisturizers move deeper to the lower layers of skin.
Results vary from one person to the next. If you have a specific skincare concern that you’d like to address, it’s essential to talk to your skincare consultant about treatment options.
Types of Chemical Peels
Chemical peels usually have standard ingredients, such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). Common ingredients might include things such as salicylic acid, tartaric acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, or malic acid.
These acid compounds are usually derived from plant-based sources, such as lactic acid from sour milk or glycolic acid from sugarcane. Every type of ingredient acts as a chemical exfoliant on the skin. But since the compounds differ in size, they have varying degrees of potency and penetration.
- Brightness: Often, glycolic acid (an AHA chemical peel) is used as a general treatment for clients looking to brighten their overall complexion. This peel is one of the mildest treatments and works great for acne, sun damage, and hyperpigmentation.
- Acne: Constant breakouts can be uncomfortable and frustrating. If your skin is prone to acne, then you might benefit from salicylic acid (a BHA chemical peel). This treatment targets the oil glands within the skin, helping to remove the congestion that leads to pimples. Clearing the oils in the pores reduces the formation of both whiteheads and blackheads. It also helps by bringing down the inflammation on the surface of the skin.
- Scarring: Do you have deeper issues to address, such as scarring or pigmentation? Then a medical-grade chemical peel might be the right solution because it penetrates deeper than salicylic or glycolic acid peels. A TCA peel can be effective for minimizing the appearance of scars and addressing common signs of aging (like sun damage and fine lines).
The stronger the potency, the more powerful the “peel.” Additionally, the longer it is left on the surface, the more it will affect the skin. The goal is to find the “sweet spot” – causing just enough exfoliating without damaging the skin.
What to Expect: Downtime After a Chemical Peel
This exfoliation of the skin will require a bit of recovery time after the treatment. Mild treatments don’t need much downtime. On the other hand, medium and deep chemical peels require several days or even weeks of recovery time.
You can expect the skin to have a pink or red hue after the treatment. Then, peeling of the skin will follow a few days later. The deeper the penetration of the chemical, the more redness and peeling you will experience.
Talk to your aesthetician about the anticipated recovery. For example, you don’t want to schedule a public speaking event the day after your chemical peel!
Are Chemical Peels Safe?
Because of the nature of this treatment, it’s always best to consult with a trained skin care specialist. Improper use of these products could potentially cause long-term damage to the skin. When misused, it’s possible to experience side effects such as scarring or hyperpigmentation. These risks are drastically reduced when you choose an experienced aesthetician or dermatologist to perform the treatment.
Factors that affect the outcome include selecting the chemical peel product, applying the treatment, and timing the removal.
At Mosaic Med Spa, we provide safe, effective treatments to help you achieve your skincare goals. If you would like to schedule a personalized skin consultation, then you are invited to book an appointment or call us at (703) 204-2773.