The Chemical Peel is fast becoming an extremely popular treatment when it comes to Aesthetic facials and for good reason. But for those who aren’t sure what a chemical peel is or if you need more information to decide if a peel is for you here’s a little run down of what to expect.
Remember only ever have treatments with a trusted and qualified expert. Always seek the advice of the clinic you are visiting before making a decision, this is a general overview and peels may vary.
In a nutshell a chemical peel is a non-invasive treatment used to rejuvenate and resurface the skin. Achieved via the application of a single acid or a blend of acids to induce controlled necrosis of the epidermis.
A peel could be for you if you are looking to improve;
Pigmentation, blemishes, general scaring, dull complexion, skin texture, fine lines and wrinkles.
Treatments can be done as a one off or as a course of 6 peels. The length of time to be left between peels will depend on the product being used. Usual 1 – 2 weeks is left between peels.
Procedure tends to be quicker then an average facial but it will depend on the brand being used and the salon you are visiting. I use Medik8 in my salon and the treatment is 45minutes but includes a calming hydrating mask. The Peel itself is left on for a maximum of 10 minutes.
Skin is cleansed with a resurfacing cleanser, prepped with a pre peel lotion before the peel being applied. It is left for up to 10 minutes depending on the clients skin and how it reacts. After the peel is then neutralised, this brings the skins acidity level back up to a comfortable ph, usually around 4.5 – 5.5. The treatment will be finished there with the appropriate skincare or may include a mask before the skincare.
Several results can be achieved with a peel. The blend or acid used during your peel can dictate the result but results can include;
Improved skin texture, the peel resurfaces the epidermis cells resulting in a smoother skin texture.
Reduction in the appearance of acne scaring. The resurfacing process softens the mark left behind from a blemish.
Softening in the depth of colour of pigmentation.
Improve the appearance of blackheads and break outs. Acids such as L-Mandelic, Azelaic and Salicylic are used to clear the skin of break outs. Salicylic acid cuts down through the blemish to clear it. They are also antibacterial.
Reduction in wrinkle depths. Some acids stimulate collagen and elastic production in the skin boosting anti ageing. The peel smooths out the stratum corneum (top layer of your skin) softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Increased cell turn over. As we age cell turn over slows down, not only are the outermost layers removed the cell turn over is boosted as well.
Although there is little down time with a peel you will need to be aware of the following. The skin can be more vulnerable as a result of the treatment.
The skin should be treated gently and you will need to avoid any AHA’s BHA’s topical steroids, Retinol or physical exfoliants for a 1 week after your treatment.
Always wear SPF and avoid sun beds or exposing your skin directly to the sun.
Avoid makeup for 48 hours, however if your feel you need it some brands will recommend mineral makeup is applied.
The skin can peel, however this differs from person to person, often the strength will affect the amount of peeling. I recommend having a peel a good 2 – 3 weeks prior to an event, this will ensure your skin has settled down and is looking its absolute best.
If you are going to invest in peels it’s really important to maintain a good skincare routine and carry on maintaining the benefits at home. Always protect your skin and look after it. Remember this is an aesthetic treatment, you may experience mild discomfort during the treatment and it’s not a traditional relaxing facial.
Have you had a chemical peel? Let me know what you thought in the comments. As always if you have any questions let me know.
For more skincare check out my last beauty post about the importance of maintaining a healthy moisture barrier.