Chemical peels: Long-lasting anti-aging skincare
Chemical peels have improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, giving skincare providers more customizable options that offer great results with fewer side effects and faster recovery times. Peels are popular for treating sun damage and fine lines, creating more even tone and smoother skin with a single, simple treatment.
What is a chemical peel treatment?
A chemical peel resurfaces the skin by using an acidic chemical solution to “burn” and remove the top layers, reducing signs of aging and damage. The new skin that grows back after a chemical peel is smoother and younger looking.
What issues can I fix with a professional chemical peel?
The wide range of anti-aging chemical peel treatments available are very versatile and can treat wrinkles, skin discoloration and scars. To address different issues and accommodate different skin types, a chemical peel can be done at three different levels: light, medium or deep. Each type of chemical peel uses a different chemical solution in different concentrations. Deeper chemical peels produce more-dramatic results, but also involve longer recovery times.
A light chemical peel improves skin texture and tone and decreases the appearance of fine wrinkles. Light peels can be repeated over time to maximize their results. A medium chemical peel can reduce the appearance of moderate wrinkles, creating noticeably smoother skin after a single procedure. The most dramatic improvements in skin tone and texture with a deep chemical peel. The results are long-lasting but require vigilant sun protection and limited sun exposure to prevent damage and discoloration.
What should I expect during my treatment?
During your consultation, your provider will review your medical history, do a physical exam and discuss your expectations. Based on those answers and the type of treatment you will receive, you may be given a pre-peel regimen that can include using a retinoid cream, avoiding sun exposure, skipping other cosmetic treatments or taking an antiviral medication.
Follow instructions carefully! If you have a favorite product that you use regularly, check to make sure it is okay to use in the days leading up to your peel. If you have a medium or deep peel, you will be sedated during the treatment and may not be conscious of what is going on and will have no memory after. For light peels, you will be awake.
Your skin care professional will clean and prep your skin and apply the chemical solution. When the treatment areas have been covered, the solution is allowed to activate for a set time. This process can be uncomfortable and may cause burning and tingling. The entire treatment should only last 60 to 90 minutes. Once time is up and the applied chemicals have done their work, the dried solution will be removed. If you have a light peel, you can usually continue with your day. If you are going to be sedated during your medium or deep chemical peel, arrange for a ride home from your appointment and plan for a few days of rest.
What will happen after treatment?
Immediately after the peel, your skin will feel tight and may look red and irritated, like a sunburn. Overall recovery times will vary based on the type and strength of the peel. Once peeling begins, the process will last three to five days. To prevent scarring, allow skin to slough off naturally. Do not pick at peeling or flakey skin. Your provider will let you know what to expect and how to care for your skin in the following days.
What should I do to care for my skin after a chemical peel?
Stay hydrated, use a recommended sunscreen and avoid sun exposure. You may also require ointments to sooth skin and prevent infection. To avoid changes in skin color, avoid hot water on your face. Wash with cool or tepid water until you are given the all clear by your provider.
How long will the results last?
If you care for your skin, use a high SPF sunscreen daily, moisturize and hydrate, your chemical peel results will last for years! Eventually, the new skin will show signs of aging and sun damage. It is important to take care of your skin after a peel to prolong the results.
What are the risks of a chemical peel?
- Some women experience minor side effects that will resolve with time, including:
- Redness and irritation – Generally clear up after skin heals
- Changes in skin color – The new skin surface may be a slightly different color because the top layers of damaged cells have been removed.
- Infection – Any procedure the irritates the skin’s surface is vulnerable to infection.
Your provider will talk to you about risks and precautions before your treatment. A chemical peel is serious skincare with long-lasting results, but it may not be for everyone.
If you are looking for an extremely effective anti-aging treatment but have questions about chemical peels, the experts at Navarre Wellness can address your concerns and determine if a chemical peel is the right treatment for you.