Chemical Peels 101!

Chemical peels

When you hear the word chemical peel, usually what springs to mind are horrifying images of red blotchy, blistered, maybe even bloody, skin.  However, not all peels are created equal.  Enzyme peels can offer a more gentle form of exfoliation while a TCA peel can penetrate into the deeper layers of skin.

Here’s an overview on what you need to know about chemical peels.

Chemical Peels Defined

A chemical peel  is an accelerated form of exfoliation that involves an injury of a specific skin-depth.  It involves a process of removing excess accumulations of dead skin cells from the skin through acids, retinoids or enzymes.

Types of Chemical Peels 

  • Very superficial/superficial- performed by estheticians and used for fine wrinkles, sun damage, acne and some cases of rosacea
  • Medium Depth- performed by doctors or estheticians under medical supervision and used for more obvious wrinkles, sun damage and precancerous lesions like actinic keratosis
  • Deep- performed only be a pysician, this peel is used for severe wrinking and sun damage and healing can take several weeks

Benefits of Chemical Peels

  • Improves texture of the skin- looks and feels smoother
  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles
  • Can potentially stimulate collagen and elastin production
  • Can improve skin conditions such as acne, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, sun damaged and dry skin
  • Increased moisture retention

 Contraindications for a Chemical Peel 

Although a chemical peel is a great treatment, not everyone is a candidate for them.  Being honest with your esthetician or medical professional will significantly reduce adverse reactions. The following list details some reasons that can contraindicate a chemical peel treatment:

  • Recent cosmetic surgeries, waxing, laser resurfacing, other chemical peels or dermabrasion
  • Recent fillers or Botox
  • Use of Retina-A, retinol, Accutane (Isotretinoin), or other medications that exfoliate or thin the skin
  • Allergies to the ingredients/aspirins
  • Pregnancy
  • Herpes simplex
  • Infectious diseases
  • Open sores or lesions
  • Sunburned or irritated skin
  • Medications that make the skin sensitive to the sun

Post Chemical Peel Care

Once your procedure is completed, follow your esthetician’s or medical professional’s advice on how to care for your skin.  Key points to remember are:

  • Avoid direct sunlight for 48 hours and wear SPF as your skin will be extra sensitive to the sun.   Physical sunscreen is best for sensitive skin.
  • Stay cool and avoid hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, hair dryers or any activity that can generate heat for about 2 days as heat can cause hyperpigmentation.
  • Whether you peel or not doesn’t determine if the peel “worked”.
  • Do not pick or pull on loosening or peeling skin.  You can lightly exfoliate with a dry towel if flaking occurs.
  • Do not wax for 72 hours after a treatment or immediately before.
  • Use gentle products for a few days after the treatment and avoid anything with active ingredients such as retinol.

Before you opt to receive a chemical peel, consult with your esthetician or medical professional to discuss your goals and concerns see what options are right for you.  Also, be mindful of the fact that it may take more than one treatment to see results so make sure that you are financially prepared.

I hope this post was helpful and if you have any other questions, let me know!

Have you ever received a chemical peel?  What was your experience like? 

Stephanie

Skin Tip: Fall Skincare Tip!

Friday is here which means my weekly skin tip!

With fall and cooler weather around, now is the perfect time to have more invasive skincare treatments such as chemical peels and laser treatments to help with uneven skin tone and reveal a rejuvenated appearance.

See you next week readers! 

Stephanie 

The Acid Chronicles: Glycolic Acid!

Glycolic

Hello readers and happy Thursday!

Last week I posted on lactic acid and today I am continuing this short series with glycolic acid so read on to find out more on this AHA.

Who: Glycolic acid

What skin conditions can it help: Aging, fine lines, texture concerns, acne and hyperpigmentation

Where it comes from: Sugar cane or made synthetically

Why it’s important: It breaks down the bonds between cells that allow for easier exfoliation of the skin and is great for treating fine lines, smoothing skin texture and acne. It has the smallest molecular structure which makes it permeate faster and deeper but can cause more irritation and inflammation. *Not recommended for thin skin.

How it’s used: Glycolic acid can be found in skincare products (i.e. cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums) and also in professional treatments like chemical peels.  It also acts as a strong degreasing agent meaning it’s great for removing oil.  *Like any other exfoliating agent, limit use to a few times per week, wear sunscreen and use caution when using ingredients containing retinol as this can irritate skin.

See you tomorrow,

Stephanie

 

 

Hands of Time

hourglass

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”

– Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

This quote has stuck with me since my days as an undergrad English major, while taking a class in the Harlem Renaissance .  Albeit this quote was not aesthetically intended, my mind was always revolving around this concept, particularly on how it can tie into skincare.  How?  Simple.  Time will answer the question as to how well you took care of your skin.

Most of us spend so much time focusing on taking care of our face but forget about other telling signs: our hands, neck and décolleté,  These overlooked areas are also prone to sun spots, fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and redness.  If you have inadvertently neglected these areas, here are some solutions to rectify these issues.

Sunscreen /Targeted Creams

Inarguably the least expensive and easiest to use is broad spectrum sunscreen.  When we are driving, UV rays penetrate the glass causing damage to our hands and décolleté leading to pigmentation later on.  Extending your sunscreen application to these areas (which we should already be doing anyway) will help.

Certain creams can also help with the appearance if sun damage is minimal.  PCA Skin Perfecting Neck and Décolleté and Revison Skincare Nectifirm are examples of great products to look into.

Microdermabrasion/Chemical Peels

Exfoliation treatments such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels can provide improvements in the color, tone and texture of treated areas and typically don’t require much downtime.

Other Options

For skin that has extensive damage, a visit to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon would suit best where they could perform IPL treatments, lasers (Fraxel, Active FX or Thermage), Botox or surgery, depending on the results you are looking for.

Remember that prevention is always the best rule to adhere to and will save you time and money in the long run.