What to Expect After a Chemical Peel?

Your skin and its concerns are as unique as you are, and they deserve a treatment customized to address them. Chemical peels rejuvenate your skin and treat a wide range of pigmentation and textural issues. With many different peels to choose from, your Essential Med Aesthetics team will provide the ideal one to suit your goals, needs, and lifestyle. All skin types and tones can see dramatic improvements in brightness, texture, and signs of aging. 

What is a Chemical Peel?

Chemical or facial peels are topical treatments applied to the skin and left on for a specific time. After this time, the peel is removed, or another chemical is applied to neutralize it. Most chemical peels are made of milder acids, such as salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acid, or stronger acids, such as trichloroacetic acid. The strongest peels use phenol (carbolic acid) and are only used under particular circumstances due to the treatment process and recovery time. Chemical peels range from light treatments that brighten and clarify to intensive ones that treat deep wrinkles and dark spots. 

Chemical Peels San Antonio

How Does a Chemical Peel Work?

Facial peels do their job by removing layers of skin to a controlled depth. The strength of the acids and the length of time the peel spends on the skin affect how deeply it works, making it important to have these treatments applied by an experienced aesthetician or other professional. 

Skin cells are produced in deeper layers called the dermis and rise to the surface as they age. The surface of your skin is made up of tightly packed layers of dead cells locked together to protect the layers beneath. The acids in a chemical peel break the bonds between these dead cells, removing layers of dullness and damage to reveal a smoother, more even surface. 

What to Expect After a Chemical Peel

The recovery time after a chemical peel will depend on the strength of the peel. Your provider will explain exactly what you can expect after your peel. 

Light Peel

Light peels only affect the outermost layers of skin. As a result, they have little to no downtime. After a light peel, you can generally return to your usual activities immediately. Your skin may look pink or red for a short time after treatment. Some people may experience minor sensitivity for up to a few hours. You may be instructed not to apply any harsh or irritating products for a day or two, but your skin should not require any special care other than sun protection. 

Medium Peel

These peels are popular because they offer an excellent balance between downtime and results. You can expect a few days of redness and may also experience some peeling. You will receive instructions on how to care for your skin, including which products to use and how to cleanse your skin. Most people look back to normal within three to five days, but you can resume most of your usual activities when you feel comfortable. 

Deep Peel

Deep peels are less commonly performed because they require several weeks of recovery time. Your skin will experience extensive redness, peeling, and sensitivity while it heals and sheds the layers of treated skin. While the recovery time can be daunting, deep peels are extremely effective as a treatment for severe wrinkles and scars, dark spots, and even precancerous lesions. Your care instructions after this type of peel will be more in-depth than other types. 

What Can Chemical Peels Treat?

Chemical peels are a useful treatment for a wide range of skin concerns. Many conditions can be treated with a longer series of light peels or a shorter series of moderate peels. We will discuss a plan that works with your schedule to achieve your goals. You may choose a facial peel to treat:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acne scars
  • Enlarged pores
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Sun damage
  • Uneven texture
  • Dullness
  • Skin laxity
  • Dark spots

Individuals looking for a smoothing, brightening treatment without any downtime may benefit from a light peel, while those looking for improvements in significant textural or pigmentation issues may benefit from a stronger one. We will work with you to develop a treatment plan that gives you the results you desire. 

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How to Prepare for a Chemical Peel

You will receive specific instructions on how to prepare for your chemical peel. Recommendations typically include:

  • Stop taking certain medications or supplements as instructed
  • Avoid use of irritating products such as exfoliants or at-home peels
  • Stop using retinol products if instructed to do so
  • Avoid sun exposure prior to your peel and especially avoid burning

You should arrive for your treatment with clean, product-free skin that does not have any injuries, active skin conditions, or infections. Recommendations may differ depending on the type of peel you will have. Excessive sun exposure before treatment can affect your skin’s sensitivity, so use sunscreen before and after your chemical peel. 

How Often Should I Get a Chemical Peel?

How often you will benefit from a chemical peel depends on the type of peel and your skin’s response. You can have a light peel as often as every few weeks, and they are often used as a regular part of a person’s skincare routine. A light peel every few weeks to months can help maintain a healthy, youthful glow. 

Most people will have a series of medium peels every three to six months to achieve their goals, followed by one session a year to maintain them. We will determine the best schedule for you that allows you to keep your skin looking firm and even. 

Deep peels are only performed once, and their results will last for many years. They are a powerful skin rejuvenation tool that removes many layers of damage and aging, leaving your skin looking dramatically more youthful. 

Am I a Good Candidate for a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels are so customizable that almost anyone can benefit from this treatment. Even people with very sensitive skin often find peels gentle and refreshing. Good candidates have reasonable expectations and are in overall good health. Chemical peels are suitable for all skin tones, making them an excellent option for darker-skinned individuals. 

You may not be a good candidate for chemical peels if you have certain skin conditions or sensitivities, or if you have some medical conditions. Only a consultation can determine whether this treatment is appropriate for you.

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.

Take the Next Step

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.

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