If you want to improve the overall appearance of your skin, soften fine lines, correct discoloration, tighten pores and achieve smoother texture, a chemical peel is a great option. Chemical peels work to slough off the layers of dead, damaged skin cells, while boosting new cell regeneration. This process is a great way to achieve healthier skin and a more youthful complexion.
“As we age, our skin’s metabolism slows, and new skin cells do not regenerate as often as they did when we were younger,” said Ashley Johnson, a licensed advanced aesthetician at Samaritan Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery. “A chemical peel accelerates the skin’s natural cycle of regeneration, tricking it into acting younger, producing more collagen and elastin than it would otherwise.”
Johnson explains this procedure and answers your questions.
How Does it Work?
Chemical peels are done in the office and take about an hour. After cleansing the skin, safe and effective acids are applied in three steps. This process accelerates the skin’s natural cycle of regeneration by sloughing away the top layers of dead skin, while stimulating cell growth. There is usually a mild pinkness to the skin immediately following the treatment. Sunscreen will be applied after your peel, and you may go about your day as normal.
What Are the Different Types of Peels?
Chemical peels are done at different depths, from light to deep.
A light or superficial peel removes the outermost layer of skin. Try our Illuminize Peel, the gentlest peel to brighten, tighten and reveal the glow of youthful skin. Treatment time is 45 minutes and costs $100.
Our medium-depth chemical peel is still a superficial peel but penetrates deeper into the layers of the skin, creating an increased cell turnover and in turn, a greater increase in collagen production. There are a few days of light skin peeling which occurs. Following, you will be left with a radiant glow and softness to the skin. Our Vitalize Peel, the most popular option, which is suitable for all skin types and can improve acne, hyperpigmentation and melasma, help minimize with the appearance of large, congested pores, increase the effectiveness of your daily skincare products and more. Treatment time is one hour and costs $150.
Our deepest peel, the Rejuvenize Peel, is also a superficial peel, with little to no downtime. It penetrates the epidermis and produces the fastest, most significant results. Treatment time is 45 minutes and costs $200.
Does It Hurt?
Chemical peels can be mildly uncomfortable but easily tolerated. Most people experience a warmth to the skin and tingling sensation during treatment. Your skin might feel taut for the first day or so after a chemical peel but will look otherwise normal.
Redness, tenderness and sensitivity to sunlight is expected. So, wearing sunscreen is essential.
Your clinician will advise you on your skin care routine based on your skin type and condition for best results and recovery.
How Do I Know If a Peel Is Right for Me?
A chemical peel isn’t right for everyone, and there can be side effects. Before deciding, discuss your medications, health history and expectations with your clinician.
Chemical peels are a good option for pigmentation caused by hormones, such as pregnancy, birth control or menopause, which doesn’t respond well to laser treatment.
Clients as young as their teens can benefit from treatment of acne or acne scarring, and as early as their 20s for preventive, antiaging benefits. They are also a good way to stay ahead of brown spots before they develop.
How Often Do I Get a Peel?
A lot of that depends on your skin, specific concerns and individual goals. But in general, a series of three treatments is usually recommended once a month for three consecutive months to maximize results. From there, doing maintenance peels two to three times throughout the year will keep the skin moving in a more youthful, healthful direction.
Because peels encourage the sloughing of dead and damaged skin, fall and winter is the ideal time for this procedure. During cooler weather, the skin tends to become drier. Also, we typically have less exposure to the sun this time of year, which makes it safer.