About Chemical Peels
What Is a Facial Peel?
A facial peel is a cosmetic, chemical or enzymatic treatment that can be performed by an esthetician or a dermatologist to help lessen the appearance of blemishes, freckles, age spots light scarring, and any number of other skin irregularities on the face. Also called chemical peels, male facial peels and female facial peels can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and give new life to sun-damaged skin.
Can a Facial Peel Benefit My Skin?
Facial peels are wonderful treatments for your skin during the late fall, winter and early spring months when your skin is recovering after having been exposed to intense sun or tanning during the summer months. One peel treatment can help lighten, brighten and resurface the skin leaving a more even toned and cleaner looking complexion. A peel is also wonderful for those who have had acne or suffer from mild eczema, psoriasis or rosacea. Peels, either chemical or fruit based (enzymes) are a form of deep exfoliation removing the dead skin cell layer and allowing your skin to look more radiant. You will discover with just your first peel how much healthier it looks, how much smoother and softer it feels and how brighter and more even toned your skin appears.
A peel cleans out the pores and resurfaces your skin which may reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Even your pores will appear smaller. It can help to lighten up discoloration leaving your skin looking brighter and cleaner.
A facial peel will involve a cleansing, consultation to determine which peel is best for you, the peel application, extractions if needed and a calming soothing mask. A moisturizer will be applied to rehydrate your skin. If you have never had a peel before, it is important to discuss this with your esthetician so she can properly suggest products that will help to prep your skin prior to your first chemical peel. Most likely your esthetician will start you out on about 2 or 3 series of mild enzyme (fruit based AHA) peels, which usually are made of papain (papaya) bromelain (pineapple) and pumpkin enzymes. This is one the mildest, yet effective peels for exfoliating the dead skin cells off the surface of your face and going in a bit deeper to help you prep for a more stronger peel, such as a Salicylic or Glycolic, Jessner or Retinol based peel.
Watch what your esthetician is doing and have her explain what she is doing. Never allow an esthetician to put on multiple layers of the stronger peels if you have never had a peel. Clearly indicate to the esthetician that you have never had a peel and that you would like to start with the mildest peel they have. Not doing so could result in burning of your skin, which can be raw, scab over and possibly scar your face. It's better to be informed from the beginning and to educate yourself.
After the peel you will be given 'after care' instructions and if you decide to do a series, will be told how often to come in for your treatments. A normal series is usually once a week (depending on the type of product used) for the first two weeks, then once a week, then twice a month, tapering off to once a month. If you start your series in the fall, it is a good idea to have a monthly peel thereafter to maintain the great results during the winter through early spring months.
Warning: never start a peel series or have a facial peel prior to leaving on a tropical/sunny vacation where you will be exposed to high levels of intense sun for several hours, or on a boat or in the water where it can reflect onto your face. Such incidences have resulted in hyperpigmentation (severe darkening of areas around the cheeks, forehead, nose and upper lip) Tanning will be uneven and splotchy. It can also result in irritation and perhaps damage to your skin. Do not do facial peels if you tan regularly at tanning salons. Read all the contraindication (online) to ensure you will have a positive result from your chemical peel.
What is a Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels effectively treat a host of skin problems, including acne, discolorations and fine lines and wrinkles. A chemical formula is applied to the face, which resurfaces the outer layer of skin and leaves your skin feeling softer and smoother underneath. Most procedures take less than an hour to perform, with minimal discomfort during the treatment. There are a variety of chemical peels offered today, which allows you and your skin care specialist to partner together to find the best formula for your specific needs.
What Types of Facial Peels Are Out There?
Alpha Hydroxy Acid Peels Alpha hydroxy acids, also known as AHAs, are one of the most popular ingredients in a mild chemical peel.
Glycolic acid is the most common AHA used for this purpose. AHA peels rarely need any sort of anesthetic to perform, and the discomfort during and after the procedure is minimal. This peel is typically used to reduce the appearance of fine lines, smooth rough skin and produce a more even skin tone. Because this is a mild chemical peel, a series of treatments may be required to achieve desired results.
Beta Hydroxy Acid Peels The most common beta hydroxy acid used in chemical peels is salicylic acid. This substance is also frequently used in acne products, which is why salicylic chemical peels are often used to treat acne-prone skin.
Salicylic acid is more potent than glycolic acid, so it provides a slightly deeper chemical peel with longer lasting results. Because beta hydroxy acid chemical peels are also considered mild resurfacing treatments, no anesthesia is needed and the recovery time after the procedure is relatively short. However, it may take more than one treatment session to achieve desired results, and the procedure will need to be repeated periodically to maintain softer, smoother skin.
Jessner’s Peel Jessner’s peel is actually a combination of ingredients mixed into a single formula. It is considered a light chemical peel that is slightly stronger than both the alpha and beta hydroxy formulas. Jessner’s peel uses lactic acid, salicylic acid and resorcinol, which is also sometimes used as a disinfectant or acne medication. It is applied to skin that is too damaged to respond well to an AHA peel, but does not require a medium to deep treatment. Jessner’s peels are often applied without the use of anesthetic and complete recovery after the treatment takes about a week.
These are your basic peels that an esthetician who has been trained and licensed can perform safely without a dermatologist present. Stronger peels such as TCA have to be applied by a doctor (dermatologist).
What’s the chemical facial peel procedure?
You will be analyzed by the esthetician first to determine which peel would best suit your skin type. Then you will laying down on a table and your skin will be cleansed. A peel preparation solution will be applied and then the peel will be applied for a duration of 3 to 7 minutes your first time. If you do a series, then depending on your next service, it may increase in time by an additional 3 to 5 minutes or more. After the peel, you will be rinsed several times and a neutralizer is applied to remove all the excess chemicals off your face. You may or may not have extractions done. A mild application of jojoba oil will be applied, then a warm towel compress and then a soothing, hydrating mask will be applied and left on your face for about 20 minutes. Then you will have that removed and a moisturizer will be applied and perhaps SPF if it’s a sunny day. Your skin will feel smoother and tighter but you will have some peeling in two to three days. It is important not to peel your skin and to let it slough off naturally. Using more moisturizer with a drop of Jojoba oil mixed in will help to hydrate the skin while it goes through this transition.
Here at Simply Mia's, Mia is trained to know which peel will work on your face. Putting a peel is a science and it takes conditioning to get from a basic peel to a more advanced peel. Mia is very happy to provide counseling to see what your options may be to target and address your skincare concerns. Contact Mia today to schedule an appointment today.