Wrinkles start to form on the face as early as the age of 25. While some people wear their wrinkles with grace and pride, many of us prefer to minimize them. Fortunately, there are several ways you can keep your skin looking young and healthy. One option is to choose the right type of chemical peel for your skin type. Read on to learn more about superficial chemical peels and how they can improve your skin.
What Are Chemical Peels?
Chemical peels are made of specific chemicals designed to treat the face, neck, chest or hands. Some peels are better for treating wrinkles and fine lines, while others are better for dark spots caused by a variety of skin concerns such as the use of birth control pills, for example. The end result of a peel is often determined by the composition and the strength of the peel.
A superficial peel containing glycolic acid along with other relatively mild ingredients will improve your skin tone and may help fade age spots along with a variety of other skin issues. A deep chemical peel, on the other hand, will help with skin issues that penetrate deeper into the skin. Deeper issues usually involve deep wrinkles, especially those around the forehead, eyes, and mouth. A chemical peel may be made out of a variety of different chemicals, but the chemicals that are chosen usually correlate to the strength of the peel.
Peels containing lactic acid or salicylic acid tend to be mild and affect the very surface layers of your skin. Illuminze Peel by SkinMedica®, is a light peel that can be applied during your lunch hour because of its minimal downtime. The goal is to treat the skin to remove damaged skin cells resulting in brighter, fresher, and healthier skin. The chemicals can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Peels consisting of alpha hydroxyl acid or trichloroacetic acid can provide additional help improving imperfections such as dark patches and uneven skin tone.
Can Chemical Peels Help With Dark Spots or Acne Scarring?
Chemical peels can indeed help with dark spots and acne scarring. Acne can scar and damage the skin in a variety of ways. Severe and cystic acne can cause entire sections of skin tissue to die off due to the inflammation caused by the massive pimple. This causes scarring, which commonly looks like pits in the skin. Some of these pits may look like rolling waves while others may look like small holes in the skin. Whatever the case, these scars can contribute to uneven skin tone and can certainly damage a person’s self-esteem.
Acne can also cause dark spots and hyperpigmentation. This usually occurs after the acne has already gone away. While the pimple might be gone, it can leave an inflammatory dark spot, which may take a very long time to go away. While certain ingredients like vitamin C can help the dark spots go fade, one of the best treatments involves chemical peels. This is because these peels can penetrate the skin more effectively than most skincare ingredients. Chemical peels can also provide much faster results. The peel you choose to treat dark spots will generally depend on the severity of your dark spots. In most cases, a superficial or medium peel should be sufficient. “Chemical peels are one of our most versatile treatments because they can target acne scarring, skin pigmentation, and pore size reduction—all at the same time,” says Kyla Porter, Aesthetician here at Pariser Dermatology.
Can Chemical Peels Help With Wrinkles?
Chemical peels can also help with wrinkles. Some people even use chemical peels as a sort of preventative treatment for wrinkles. However, you will obviously see more of a noticeable difference if you already have wrinkles. When treating wrinkles with chemical peels, certain peels may work better than others depending on the severity of your wrinkles. If you only have a few fine lines rather than true wrinkles, a superficial peel will likely be enough for you. Since this will remove the surface layer of your skin, it will ensure that those fine lines are not as deep. One of our most popular peels is Vitalize by SkinMedica®. This peel addresses skin tone and fine lines and wrinkles.
Fine lines will be mostly unnoticeable and some of them may even disappear entirely with superficial or medium peels. Deep wrinkles may require a stronger peel that will penetrate a deeper level of the skin. A deep chemical peel is more of an invasive procedure and for very powerful peels, you may even be rendered unconscious for the procedure. Deep chemical peels require much more recovery time, sometimes as long as a month or even more. We do not perform deep peels here at Pariser Dermatology. The strongest chemical peel that we offer is called The Perfect Derma Peel. We see great results in treating acne concerns, hyperpigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles.
Do Chemical Peels Make Your Skin Sensitive?
After you get a chemical peel, your skin will be sensitive for a few days up to 10 days, depending on the strength of your chemical peel. A few days after you get your chemical peel, the surface layers of your skin will start to become very tight until they start to peel off, revealing the fresh, healthy skin underneath. This peeling will last for 5-10 days. During this time, you need to take very good care of your skin. After any chemical peel, you need to avoid sun exposure. If you do need to go out in the sun, always put on sunscreen and wear a hat. Otherwise, the sun can easily burn your skin, which may permanently damage your skin or cause hyperpigmentation. You should also avoid applying any harsh chemicals on your skin as you recover.
If you usually use cleansers that contain chemicals such as salicylic acid, avoid those products and instead use very neutral and soothing products until your skin recovers. This helps to avoid skin inflammation and helps your skin to heal properly. It is very important not to pull at your peeling skin. It’s very tempting to pick off strips of your peeling skin, especially if it is dangling off your face. Peeling strips of skin off can ruin the healing process and may cause further skin damage. If a dangling piece of skin is really bothering you, you can grab a pair of scissors and trim away the excess skin. That way, you won’t pull at the delicate, fresh skin underneath.
Do Chemical Peels Hurt?
Chemical peels make your face feel warm. You might feel a mild stinging sensation while the chemicals are being applied, but you should not experience severe pain. The Perfect Derma Peel® contains phenol which helps to soothe any discomfort you might feel.
Chemical peels tend to cause some discomfort after the procedure is over. For example, a couple of days after you get the peel, you may feel like your face is hot or tingly. Many people compare the feeling of a chemical peel as being very similar to the pain of a sunburn. While the pain is not severe, it can be annoying. You might find that applying a cold compress helps to reduce the inflammation and redness that will occur after the peel. Avoiding things that may inflame your face such as harsh chemicals can also help. The discomfort of the chemical peel will slowly fade away after a few days. This is also true for the redness and tingling feeling that may accompany the procedure. If you find that the sensation after getting the chemical peel is too uncomfortable, you can always try taking some over-the-counter pain medication.
After Your Chemical Peel
Wearing sunscreen after getting a chemical peel is very important for a variety of reasons. As mentioned before, after this procedure, your skin will be very sensitive, especially to the sun. Keep in mind that the sun’s UV rays are generally harmful to the skin even when your skin isn’t sensitive. Chemical peels make your skin extra sensitive so it is vital to put on sunscreen if you have to go out in the sun. Ideally, you should avoid sun exposure altogether while you recover from the procedure.
If you spend time in the sun unprotected after your chemical peel, the sun may permanently discolor your skin and turn it a dark or splotchy shade. The sun may also burn your skin if you’re not careful. If that happens, the burn may permanently damage your skin and render it very painful. For that reason, it is important to use sunscreen that is at least SPF 30+.
Are Chemical Peels Expensive?
Chemical peels can be expensive, but the exact price will depend on the type of chemical peel you receive. On average, the price of a chemical peel at Pariser Dermatology ranges from $100 – $275, depending on the depth of the peel.
How We Can Help You
Our licensed aestheticians are experts at providing a variety of chemical peels. If you’d like to learn more about how peels can benefit your skin type, book a cosmetic consultation with one of our aestheticians. Working together, you’ll find the path to brighter, refreshed skin. To book your consult call us at 757-313-5813 or click here to request an appointment.