Chemical Peels: What to Expect Before, During, and After
What does acne, aging skin, pigmentation, and enlarged pores all have in common? They can all be treated with chemical peels! So maybe you’ve heard about chemical peels, but are unsure they’re right for you. Or maybe they outright terrify you. Don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you from experiencing the world of chemical peels!
Chemical peels are a great way to treat a myriad of different skin conditions and are appropriate for almost any skin type. Chemical peels vary in type of ingredients used, the application techniques, and the depth of penetration. All these factors play a role in the type of treatment you get, and ultimately, the types of outcomes you will experience.
Before your chemical peel:
Upon your initial consultation you will meet with a skin care professional, trained in aesthetics and chemical peel modalities and applications. You can expect to discuss your pertinent medical history, and the areas of skin concern. Your daily skin care routine will be reviewed with you. There are certain topical products that can either enhance, negate, or negatively impact your chemical peel, so it is important that you are honest about your skin care routine. We even encourage our clients to bring their products in so we can evaluate them for the appropriate ingredients.
There are certain products that we encourage everyone to be on prior to initiating a series of chemical peels. These include a good facial wash, a nightly retinol, a Vitamin C serum or cream in the morning, daily moisturizer, and a daily physical sunscreen. These products need to be bio-available, meaning your skin knows how to use them. This helps prepare your skin to receive a chemical peel, makes your chemical peel more effective, and lowers your risk of adverse reactions.
During your chemical peel:
The day of your chemical peel you need to come to your appointment with clean skin. Your skin care professional will discuss with you again the areas of concern that you have. This will enable them to focus on the most beneficial protocol for your skin that day.
Your skin will be cleansed before the application of the chemical peel. The chemical peel will be applied using either a cotton pad or a fan brush, depending on the type and depth of peel desired. Some people may experience a warming or tingling sensation upon application. Your skin care professional will ask you throughout about your comfort level, always making sure that you are tolerating the procedure well.
Depending on the type of chemical peel you are receiving it may involve single or multiple layers of the peel solution, “boosters” designed to augment the peel, serums, and sunscreen. Most people will leave the office with a glowing or slightly pinkish look to their skin. By this point any mild discomfort has typically subsided. Many people describe their skin as feeling slightly tightened or firm when they leave the office.
After your chemical peel:
You will be given a copy of after-care instructions to take home. We will also make sure that you have the right products at home to care for your skin in those crucial days after a chemical peel. Many clients find that they can return to work immediately after a chemical peel in our office. Some opt to go home. The main point is to keep your face dry, clean, moisturized, and protected.
Exfoliation, or peeling, is a side effect and may or may not occur but if it does it typically begins anywhere from 12-36 hours after our chemical peels. For a superficial depth chemical peel, you may expect to exfoliate for approximately 3-5 days. Medium depth and dermal peels often have longer exfoliation times, due to the fact that they are stronger and have gone into deeper structures of the skin. It is important to note that this exfoliation can vary greatly between individuals and is based on the health of your skin, the daily products you use, and the type and depth of the chemical peel. However, the amount of exfoliation from a chemical peel does not dictate or indicate how deep or effective a chemical peel was. It is actually doing lots of work underneath the surface of your skin. The peeling is really just a side effect!
Chemical peels are a safe and effective way to help nourish and improve the appearance of your skin, whether you are concerned with acne, pigmentation, wrinkling, or uneven skin tone. Don’t let the fear of the unknown hinder you from experiencing the skin you’ve always wanted! Chemical peels may just be the solution you are looking for!