What is it?
Chemical peels are use to treat wrinkles, discolored skin and scars — usually on the face. They can be done alone or combined with other cosmetic procedures and with different depths, from light to deep. Deeper chemical peels offer more-dramatic results but also take longer to recover from.
How is done?
Chemical peels can be done in the face, neck or hands. Improves your skin's overall appearance using chemicals like glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid or carbolic acid (phenol).
The 3 basic types of chemical peels are:
1. Superficial Peel
A mild acid penetrates only the top layer of the skin. Helps treating slight skin discoloration and rough skin. A superficial peel is also called lunchtime peel.
2. Medium Peel
Middle layers of the skin are exfoliated using acids like glycolic acid. Helps treating age spots, wrinkles, fine lines, freckles and skin discoloration.
3. Deep Peel / Reti – C peel
An acid like trichloroacetic acid is used to deeply penetrate the middle layers of the skin. Deep peels can have a great impact on the skin. Scars, freckles and age spots can be treated with deep peels.
Who is it recommended for?
For people who have wrinkles, sun-damaged skin, skin discolorations, blotchiness or brown spots, scars that have made the surface of your skin uneven and certain precancerous skin growths.
How does it look in the end?
Improving the evenness of color and texture of the skin creates a youthful look and restores a healthy, luminous and radiant appearance.
How long is the treatment?
From 15 to 30 minutes
Don’t Touch Your Face
After your chemical peel, your skin might itch. This is especially common as it starts to peel off.
Do your best to avoid touching, picking at or scratching your face.
Touching your skin in this way can lead to scarring and increase your risk of infection, breakouts, or additional irritation.
Keep Your Hair Off Your Face
If your hair is hanging loosely around your face, you’re more likely to experience itchiness or general irritation.Pull your hair off your face with a headband or hair tie to keep it from aggravating your already sensitive skin.
Remember to be gentle when brushing or pulling your hair back, too. You don’t want to accidentally graze your skin with the brush or your fingers — this could increase irritation or contribute to breakouts or other issues.
Moisturize Your Skin
After a chemical peel, your skin will likely be dry and sensitive. Make sure you’re moisturizing your skin regularly with a neutral, unscented cream or lotion.
By keeping your skin moist, you’ll minimize itchiness and irritation and speed up the healing process. When you apply moisturizer, remember to be gentle. Scrubbing or rubbing it into your skin will increase irritation and could lead to scarring or other damage.
Moisturizing is an essential part of chemical peel aftercare.
At the same time, though, it’s important not to over-moisturize your skin. Applying too much moisturizer can prevent the skin from actually peeling off (which is the whole point of a chemical peel, after all). If you’re constantly rubbing lotion into your skin (even if you’re being gentle), you’re also increasing your risk of irritation.
Protect it with Sunscreen
Generally speaking, you should avoid sun exposure as much as possible while your skin heals from the chemical peel. If you do go outside, though, you should apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
Your skin is extra sensitive after a chemical peel — you need to protect it from potential sun damage.
Don’t Force the Process
It may be tempting to try and help the process along by pulling off the skin or exfoliating with a scrub or textured cleansing brush. It may seem helpful to use these tools to slough your skin off faster, but it can actually make things worse.
Remember, your skin is very sensitive after a chemical peel. Picking and pulling is off limits, as is any kind of textured exfoliation product.
Keep Your Skincare Routine Simple
After a chemical peel, you’ll have to simplify your skincare routine. Limit yourself to the following steps:
- Wash your skin with a gentle, sulfate-free cleanser
- Apply an alcohol-free toner — use a spray bottle or gently pat it onto your skin (don’t use a cotton ball)
- Apply an antioxidant serum (preferably one with vitamin C)
Of course, don’t forget to moisturize, either. A gentle lotion or cream is probably the most important product to use after your chemical peel.
Avoid Eating Acidic Foods
Eating acidic foods can also irritate your skin as it’s healing from the peel.
Think about it — if your skin is extra sensitive and it comes in contact with something like tomato sauce or citrus fruit, you’re going to experience some stinging and irritation.
Stick to neutral foods for a few days following your chemical peel.
Finally, do your best to minimize sweating after a chemical peel. The salt from your sweat can cause stinging and lead to additional irritation.
Avoid exercising, or keep your workouts very low-impact and sweat-free.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding
- Active inflammatory dermatitis, herpes type
- History of recurrent skin infection
- Roacutane treatment less than 6 months after treatment
- Known keloid production (ugly scars)
- Skin type 4-6
- Allergy to trichloroacetic acid
Light and medium chemical peels have minimal aftercare and recovery.
After peel, there will be sun sensitivity and pores may appear larger.
Can exacerbate skin disorders, including allergic reactions or cold sores.
The therapist will make a plan with you, it will always depend on your type of skin and what you want to achieve.
What to expect during and after your session?
You can expect to feel your skin tingle a bit before the chemical is neutralized and removed, and you can expect your skin to heal between one to seven days.