Today, we are going to talk all about chemical peels. Why do we need them? Unfortunately as we age, our skin cells do not turnover like they did when we were children and adolescents. Chemical peels are a form of skin resurfacing that facilitate in the skin cell turnover process. During a chemical peel treatment, a solution is applied to the skin that causes exfoliation and eventual peeling. The result…renewed, regenerated skin!
Chemical peels are a wonderful skin resurfacing option that can improve a variety of the most common skin woes from fine lines and wrinkles to acne scars to skin discoloration and melasma. There are three basic types of chemical peels:
- Superficial peels
- These usually involve the use of an Alpha-hydroxy acid (or other mild acid) to penetrate only the outermost layer of the skin for a more gentle exfoliation. Superficial peels are intended for mild skin discolorations/acne/lines and wrinkles. These types of peels work well for busy people on the go who need minimal downtime, as there is only mild flaking or redness post-treatment. A series of 3 or more of these peels are often needed for optimal results. Commonly used weaker peels include: Mandelic Acid, Glycolic Acid, and Lactic Acid. Treated skin will require one to seven days to heal.
- Medium-strength peels
- Most of these peels use similar active ingredients as Superficial peels, but at a higher percentage. This translates to deeper skin penetration (from the outer layer to the top part of the middle layer), resulting in more skin exfoliation and removal of damaged skin cells. One should expect swelling, possible blistering, followed by skin crusting and peeling. Treated skin requires up to 14 days to heal. Aftercare involves regular application of a moisturizer and avoiding makeup for one week. Medium-strength peels can significantly improve the appearance of heavy sun damage, leathery skin, coarse wrinkles that are visible even at rest, and acne scars.
- Deep peels
- Phenol acid or a high percentage trichloracetic acid are typically used to deeply penetrate the middle layer of the skin. Intended for very deep wrinkles, severe sun damage, and uneven tone, deep chemical peels yield dramatic and long-term results. However, there is some real downtime with these types of peels. It can take weeks for the skin to heal. Deep peels have fallen out of favor given the availability of lasers these days.
Here at Luma, we offer a variety of superficial and medium-strength chemical peels, targeting different skin ailments. If you’re interested in finding out if you are a good candidate for a chemical peel, give us a call and we would be happy to set you up a consultation and discuss this with you!