What Do Chemical Peels Do?

Do you have dull, sun-damaged, or aging skin? You can brighten your skin and erase signs of aging with a chemical peel. Chemical peels are among the most customizable aesthetic treatments, with a wide range of formulas available to give you the correct peel depth to achieve your goals. Chemical peels remove the outermost layers of skin to bring youthful, active cells to the surface. 

What are Chemical Peels?

A chemical peel is a skin-resurfacing procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the top layers. The solution used for a chemical peel is usually composed of a combination of acids, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, or trichloroacetic acid. Chemical peels are available in different strengths, from superficial peels that only remove the outermost layer of skin to deep peels that penetrate several layers. Removing more layers will result in more intense and longer-lasting results and require a more extended downtime with more peeling. 

What Do Chemical Peels Do?

Chemical peels work by removing layers of skin. Some issues, like dullness or uneven skin tone, affect the outermost layers of skin, so a superficial or light peel will remove enough layers to reveal brighter, more even-toned skin. For issues like lines, wrinkles, and deep acne scarring, a deeper peel can reach deeper layers of the skin where problems occur

A chemical peel is a form of exfoliation. Most people think of manual exfoliation, which removes the outer layers of skin with a scrub or other abrasive technique. Chemical exfoliation removes the skin layers by breaking the bonds between the cells, and letting dull, dead skin cells peel away. Both methods can be very effective in bringing healthy, revitalized skin to the surface. In the hands of a doctor or professional aesthetician, chemical peels achieve a precise and effective exfoliation that targets your most bothersome skin conditions. 

* Individual results may vary

What Chemical Peels are Available?

Chemical peels range from superficial to deep. A more intensive peel will have a more extended recovery and feel more uncomfortable, while a superficial peel may have minimal downtime. If most of your skin concerns occur in layers close to the surface, you may benefit from a superficial peel. You will need a deeper peel for deep layers where lines, wrinkles, and acne scarring appear. You will find many highly customizable options between these peels that can achieve any peel depth your aesthetician wants to reach

What Can Chemical Peels Treat?

Chemical peels work on skin issues, including signs of aging. The new skin cells will replace the old, damaged ones with healthy new ones, improving skin problems including:

  • Lines and wrinkles
  • Skin laxity
  • Acne scarring
  • Dullness
  • Age spots
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Sun damage
  • Enlarged pores
  • Acne breakouts
  • Uneven skin texture

While chemical peels should not usually be used during an acne breakout, they can get rid of pore-clogging dead skin and excess oil to avoid future breakouts. Some conditions, like uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation, will respond to lighter peels, while lines, wrinkles, and scarring require a deeper peel to get results. 

Are Chemical Peels Safe?

In the hands of a doctor or skilled aesthetician, a chemical peel is generally very safe. Chemical peels, especially medium to deep ones, deliberately cause some level of damage to the skin to stimulate the growth of new skin cells. You will know before your peel what results you can expect because your aesthetician tightly controls the depth of the peel. Many people hesitate to try a professional peel after a bad experience with an at-home chemical peel. If this happened to you, keep in mind that professional peels are created, applied, and monitored by a doctor or aesthetician for precise control and minimal skin injury. 

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What is Getting a Chemical Peel Like?

Your provider will apply the peel to your face, which might cause tingling or stinging. More intensive peels may use topical numbing to keep you more comfortable. Your skin may begin to whiten as the peel starts to work. Some peels will require your provider to apply a neutralizing solution to stop the peel from working. After your peel, your younger, more energized skin can absorb treatments much better than your old, dead layers. Your aesthetician may apply serums or other products based on your skin’s needs as part of your treatment. 

What is Recovery Like After a Chemical Peel?

Since a chemical peel removes layers of skin, you can expect some irritation and redness after the procedure. Many people find that their skin feels irritated and tight with redness that resembles a sunburn. A superficial peel will usually cause little to no peeling. With a stronger peel, you may see some flaking and peel for three to five days. Skin heals entirely within a few weeks, depending on the intensity of your peel. Most peeling can be managed with an effective moisturizer. During recovery, your exposed skin cells have no natural protection from UV rays, so avoid sun exposure during this time and continue to use a dermatologist-recommended sunscreen after your skin has healed to maintain your results. 

How Often Should I Get a Chemical Peel?

During treatment planning, your aesthetician will determine how often you should have a peel based on the results you want to achieve. You can have a very superficial chemical peel every few weeks, while you might have other peels every three to six months. Extremely deep peels might only be used once. You might want to schedule another chemical peel if the results of your previous peel have started to fade, if your skin looks dull and rough, or if you want to look fresher and brighter. Most people will start with a series of peels to reach the desired results and then schedule maintenance to keep the results looking young and vibrant. 

Am I a Good Candidate for Chemical Peels?

Chemical peels work on all skin types and tones, including oily, dry, and acne-prone skin. Men and women can benefit equally from chemical peels and the resulting youthful vibrance. Good candidates for a dermal peel have facial skin in overall good health. You may not be a good candidate if you have had a bad reaction to a chemical peel in the past, but you may still be able to have a different kind of peel. 

I always feel listened to by Dr. Cobbinah. As a mom, this is important because we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. She reminds me to take care of myself whenever I visit. I typically leave feeling less stressed than before.
Nicole

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If you have further questions about chemical peels, please call us at (210) 568-7555 or complete our online contact form, and one of our trusted staff members will reach out to you. Essential Med Aesthetics is located in San Antonio, Texas.