What are Chemical Peels?
Facial peels are a chemical solution applied to the face to stimulate the growth of new cells. Peels remove dry, dead skin, leaving a smooth and rejuvenated layer of skin. Chemical peels carefully remove the outer layer of the skin. For the best results, you would get a series of peels over a 6-12 week period. After this, you can maintain your look with peels twice a year.
Chemical Peels: Quick Overview
How Do Chemical Peels Work?
Chemical peels can tackle a range of skin concerns. A peel can also make you look younger. It does this by removing a layer of skin so that newer, healthier skin is promoted. By removing a dull layer of skin, it improves acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, and discolouration.
What are the Different Types of Chemical Peels?
Depending on the issues that you are concerned with, you have three different options when it comes to chemical peels:
- superficial chemical peel – this removes the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis. This solution is ideal for treating fine lines, wrinkles and combat uneven skin tone and dryness. You could have a light chemical skin peel every 2 to 5 weeks.
- Medium chemical peel – this type of peel removes the epidermis and dead skin cells from the upper part of the middle layer of the skin. This peel is suitable for treating wrinkles, acne scars, and uneven skin tone. Because it’s a stronger solution, you could have this peel every 3 to 9 months to maintain your look.
- Deep chemical peel – as the name suggests, the deep peel removes dead skin from the epidermis down to the lower layer of your dermis. This peel is ideal for tackling deep wrinkles, scars, or growths. You would only have this type of chemical peel once as it penetrates deeper layers of the skin and provides and more permanent result.
What are the Benefits of Chemical Peels?
A professional peel is far more potent than at-home peels as they use highly concentrated exfoliants. You can use peels for improving acne scars, crow’s feet, sun-damaged skin, wrinkling, sagging. Other benefits include:
- Improve the appearance of the skin
- Reduce age spots
- Evens out skin tone
- Smooth out skin
- Clear up breakouts
- Reduce wrinkles and fine lines
What Happens During Your Consultation?
During your consultation, your practitioner will assess your skin and any concerns you have. You will have an open discussion about the results you’re looking to achieve and your medical history. Then, your practitioner will determine the best type of chemical peel to address your concerns.
What Happens During Your Chemical Peel Appointment?
The treatment time takes between 30-45 minutes. Some treatments require certain at-home preparation, while others you can just turn up for your appointment. This is something you will discuss during your consultation.
At your appointment, your skin will be double cleansed and prepared for treatment. Your eyes will be covered, and delicate areas like your nose and lips are protected using a barrier cream. The peel is then applied for a few minutes before either neutralising or removing it. If you neutralise the peel, the acid stops working on the skin. But if you remove the peel, the acid remains active on the skin.
How Long Does it Take to Recover from Chemical Peels?
Milder, light chemical peels require very little downtime. There may be some redness for a few hours after your treatment.
If you get a medium to deep chemical peel, it requires 7-10 days of downtime. Some patients experience skin flaking or peeling. As your skin gets used to chemical peels, the downtime can decrease.
What Aftercare Is Needed Following a Chemical Peel?
Following a chemical peel, be gentle with your skin. Avoid picking or pulling at it and keep out of direct sunlight. It’s important to moisturise after a chemical peel. Your practitioner will provide you with complete aftercare instructions.
How to Prepare for a Chemical Peel?
Preparation is essential to get the most out of your treatment. One week before your peel, you should avoid waxing or hair removal on the treated area. About 48 hours before your appointment, stop using exfoliators, self-tanning, and facial masks. Keep your skin protected from the sun for at least 4 weeks before your chemical peel.
How Many Treatments Do You Need?
The number of treatments you need depends on the type of chemical peel you’re getting. For a mild chemical peel, you could need 3-6 treatments. However, for a deep chemical peel, you may only need 1 treatment session.
When Will You See Results?
As your skin heals and you see new healthy skin, you will begin to see the results. This process can take between 1-4 weeks, depending on the type and strength of your chemical peel.
Are the Results Permanent?
The lasting effects of a chemical peel are dependent on the strength of your peel. Chemical peels are not permanent but can be effective at providing long-lasting results, especially with multiple sessions.
Who is Suitable for a Chemical Peel?
Generally, fair-skinned and light-haired people are more suited to chemical peels. That’s not to say that you have to fall into this category. A chemical pill may still be suitable for you. That’s why it’s so important to talk to an experienced professional before getting a chemical peel. If you have skin concerns and are looking to rejuvenate the appearance of the skin, you may be suitable for a chemical peel. If you have any of the following, you may be suitable:
- Acne scars
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Large pores
- Mild actinic keratosis
Who Should Avoid Chemical Peels?
There may be some cases where you are advised against a chemical peel. If any of the following apply to you, you may need to avoid a chemical peel:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Active infection
- Open wounds
- Sunburned skin
- History of autoimmune disease
Do You Need a Patch Test Before a Chemical Peel?
A patch test is essential for a safe and effective chemical peel. You should have a patch test 24-48 hours before your first chemical peel to test the solution on a small part of the skin. This helps to identify potential adverse reactions, sensitivities, or allergies.
Are Chemical Peels Painful?
Chemical peels can cause some mild discomfort described as a hot tingling sensation. However, the mild burning sensation usually only lasts for a few minutes.
What are the Risks and Side Effects of Chemical Peels?
A chemical peel can cause side effects, including:
- Skin colour changes