Fresh Face Forward
Chemical peels rejuvenate the skin for a bright complexion.
This time of year, many women rely on chemical peels to rejuvenate and help their skin glow for holiday social appearances. Chemical peels work by injuring the skin in a controlled way so that your skin will naturally repair itself to encourage skin turnover. Your dermatologist or aesthetician can determine which peel is best for your skincare concerns and your lifestyle. The strength of a peel’s exfoliation is determined by the type of acid used, its level of concentration and the amount of time it is left on your skin. Here are the most common types of chemical agents used in facial peels, from those that penetrate the top dermal layers to the deepest:
These light peels contain alpha hydroxy acids that gently exfoliate the skin, thereby unclogging pores to treat faint hyperpigmentation, acne and wrinkles. They do not require much downtime.
These peels range from light to medium for the treatment of fine lines and discoloration. They also can stimulate new collagen production. Allow two full weeks of downtime and diligent sun protection.
These medium peels treat blemishes, lines and pigmentation. Depending on their strength, the recovery period after a TCA peel ranges from seven to 10 days or more, and can cause stinging and redness.
The strongest type of chemical skin peel available, phenols penetrate deep within the skin to treat deep wrinkles, sun damage and uneven pigmentation. Though they are the harshest, phenol peels offer the most dramatic results by forcing the skin to create new, thicker collagen.
The Bottom Line
Whatever peel you choose, it is extremely important that you only receive a chemical peel treatment from an experienced skin practitioner, who will be able to assess your skin type and your skincare concerns to administer the proper peel. Keep skin hydrated and use sun protection following the treatment. If you find chemical peels painful, try taking ibuprofen about an hour prior to treatment.