By: Kelsie Matthews, L.E.
What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is an acid solution applied to the skin, which causes the top layer of the skin to dissolve and slough off in the following days-weeks after treatment (depending on the depth of the peel). Some of the most common types of acids used in peels are glycolic acid, salicylic acid, TCA (trichloroacetic acid), lactic acid, and mandelic acid. Each one of these acids addresses different skin conditions. Because the acid kickstarts the cell turnover rate in the skin in such a short amount of time, it causes the first layers of the skin to peel off. Although multiple treatments are typically required, chemical peels are great for anyone wanting to improve photodamage, scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, texture, uneven skin tone, acne, and overall appearance of the skin.
Peels come in depths of light, moderate, and deep. Light peels address the stratum corneum, or the very outermost layer of the skin. These are superficial, and require no downtime. We often call them “lunch-time” peels because you’re able to resume your daily activities immediately after. Moderate peels extend through all layers of the epidermis, and typically require 1-2 days of downtime. Deep peels can only be performed under a physician’s supervision, and work all the way through to the papillary and reticular layers of the dermis. This is where collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid can be restored in the skin. Although deep peels can come with several days of downtime, they’re the best option for more stubborn skin concerns like discoloration and wrinkles.
What should I expect?
The acids react with the skin to produce a controlled wound, allowing fresh skin to regenerate and emerge. A tingling, burning or hot sensation is normal. In most treatments, the acid solution is only on the skin for a few minutes, and always closely watched by your Esthetician. A fan is always available to keep you comfortable, and cool the skin. After most peels, the skin will be pink to red, and look shiny and tight. Most patients describe it as a mild sunburn-like feeling.
Will I actually peel?
It depends…whether you do a light superficial peel, or a medium-deep peel determines the chances of the skin physically peeling off after the treatment. In most cases, light peels will cause the skin to be dry in some areas and potentially have light flaking in the first 2 days following the treatment. After the exfoliation, the skin is left glowy and rejuvenated. With medium-depth peels, most patients experience sunburn-like peeling typically starting in the center of the face, and moves outwards during the 3rd-5th day after the peel is applied. Deep peels are what give you the “snake” peeling where the skin sloughs off in larger pieces/sheets for up to 1-2 weeks. Patients who have never had a chemical exfoliation of their skin are more prone to peeling. Whereas patients who have more resilient skin, have the chance of hardly peeling at all, even with a medium-deep peel. One thing to keep in mind though, is that even if you don’t visibly see your skin peeling off, it does not mean the treatment will not work. For maximum results, a series of peels is usually recommended, and may be necessary for treating challenging issues such as hyperpigmentation.
Why should I get my chemical peel here?
Here at L Aesthetics & Longevity, we offer light, moderate, and deep chemical peels. These come in a variety of acid combinations, and can treat almost any skin concern you might have. All of the peels we use are medical-grade, and hand picked by our skilled providers to bring you the best results. Many of our Botox and Filler patients love getting chemical peels to give their skin an extra rejuvenation to compliment their injectables. Chemical peels are also great to do after getting laser treatments like the Morpheus8/Scarlet, NeoGen, and BBL/IPL to maintain and boost the results in between treatments. Pairing chemical peels with other procedures ensures that you are getting maximum results and long lasting benefits, so you can look and feel your best.