Chemical peels can do amazing things for the appearance and texture of skin. A carefully combined formula of rejuvenating acids in combination with quality skincare products can dramatically soften fine lines and wrinkles, refine pores and texture, reduce hyperpigmentation, minimize acne and scarring, and enhance the overall radiance and brightness of your skin.
But one peel does not fit all. Chemical peels, like most medical cosmetic procedures, are able to address a wide range of issues on a variety of skin types. However, they should be specifically customized to each patient and address individual skin types along with skincare goals.
How Do Chemical Peels Work?
A chemical peel is a combination of certain acids — glycolic, salicylic, lactic, trichloroacetic, among others — designed to exfoliate the superficial layers of the skin, while simultaneously setting off an immune reaction that encourages the rapid growth of new skin cells in the underlying layer. Through the increased production of collagen and elastin, this peel-and-heal process can address everything from fine lines to acne scarring on not only the face, but the back, neck, chest, and even the arms.
While milder peels may have zero flaking or peeling, and more intense peels can cause dramatic skin shedding. Each reaction is temporary and individual to the patient. However, the results are universally appreciated.
Different Types of Peels
Chemical peels are appropriate for just about every skin type, even the most sensitive skin, but customization is important to get the results you want.
The lightest most superficial peels use lactic acid or a low-strength glycolic acid, for a quick, easy brightening peel with no downtime. Sometimes called a “lunch break peel,” this type of peel often doesn’t even cause redness, flaking or peeling, but will offer an immediate brightening effect. It’s a great intro peel to test your skin’s tolerance to certain acids and reveal the many potential benefits.
Salicylic acid peels are great for those with acne-prone skin because this type of acid helps kill bacteria and exfoliate the skin to unclog pores. Teenagers and young adults especially love this kind of peel because it can also be done on the chest and back in preparation for homecoming and prom dresses and other backless attire.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is a stronger acid that can be used to spot treat areas such as deeper acne scars. By dropping TCA into pinhole scars, tissue growth is encouraged from the bottom up to even out the skin and improve its appearance.
All of the acid combinations used in chemical peels can and should be customized in various concentrations and strengths — some low, some higher — to fit the needs of the patient. They can also be combined with manual exfoliation techniques such as microdermabrasion and dermaplaning to enhance the effect of the peel, or bleaching, agents to address severe melasma and other hyperpigmentation concerns.
The flaking or peeling associated with chemical exfoliation generally happens around days three and four and is mostly complete by day five. Knowing this helps you time your treatment so that your flakiest days do not coincide with your biggest social occasions.
While some peels are done closer together or in a series to build on effect, the more aggressive peels are done every six months or even annually, with maintenance peels in between to help sustain results.
Because customization is such a priority, using a medical aesthetician that already knows your skin can be helpful, because they are not only familiar with your skin type and tolerance, but also with your skincare goals, so they can better prepare your skin for treatment.
That being said, we regularly accept new clients for chemical peels at Kalologie MedSpa Austin. After a brief consultation to discuss your goals, needs, and to familiarize ourselves with your skin, we will formulate the peel specifically for you. We can even do patch testing on an area other than your face to better predict your response and results.
If the words “chemical” and “peel” have scared you away from trying this amazing treatment, know that patient and aesthetician are in constant communication during the treatment as to how the skin is tolerating the chosen formulations. Should you get uncomfortable, the peel can be immediately neutralized to eliminate acidity.
Chemical peels in combination with quality skincare products offer dramatic results both immediately and over time. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or a peel.