What is a Chemical Peel?

Like many trends from the ’90s, the chemical face peel is making a big comeback right now after taking a backseat to newer exfoliating treatments like microdermabrasion and dermaplaning. But unlike many trends that are resurfacing, chemical peels are something that we’re glad to see rising in popularity once more.

You’ve probably heard of a chemical peel, but are you familiar with what it actually is? Below, we’ll go over what a chemical peel is, the different kinds of chemical peels, and their benefits.

What is a chemical peel
Face peeling at the beautician. Facial treatments. Chemical and salicylic peels.

What is a Chemical Face Peel?

A chemical face peel is a powerful chemical solution that can be applied to the face, neck, and hands to remove the topmost layer of skin. This removal of the epidermis, and sometimes dermis, stimulates your skin’s process of regeneration, which reveals brighter, clearer, and younger-looking skin. With most peels, your skin will flake and peel, so they do require some downtime. Chemical peels are a popular treatment because they help with many skincare concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, scarring, melasma, acne, sun damage, pore size, and sunspots.

Are All Chemical Peels the Same?

Not all chemical peels are the same, making them a great treatment option for most people. There are three different types of chemical face peels:

1) A Light Chemical Peel

A light chemical peel is a great place to start if you’ve never had a chemical peel done before or have sensitive skin and aren’t sure how you’ll react to a peel. A light chemical face peel only removes the very surface layer of the epidermis and the dead skin cells and other microscopic debris that accumulate on our faces. Light chemical peels are great for fine lines, acne and scarring, and hypo and hyperpigmentation. The most common acids used for light chemical peels are glycolic acid, lactic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), and salicylic acid. There is little downtime in a light chemical face peel, and your skin should be fully healed within one to seven days.

2) A Medium Chemical Peel

Medium chemical peels are a fine choice if you have more skincare concerns and want to get a deeper peel without the intensity and downtime of a deep chemical peel. Medium chemical peels penetrate the epidermis and go into the papillary dermis for exfoliation. They’re great for acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, improving skin elasticity, and sun damage. The most common acids used in medium chemical face peels are TCA, glycolic acid, and Jessner’s Peel, which is made up of salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol. The downtime for a medium chemical face peel is one to two weeks.

3) A Deep Chemical Peel

As the name implies, a deep chemical face peel penetrates the deepest and produces the most dramatic results. Deep chemical peels penetrate the epidermis, papillary dermis, and reticular dermis. A deep chemical peel is best for someone who is looking for significant results and doesn’t mind substantial downtime — deep chemical peels take two to three weeks to heal from, but the visible results are well worth it. Your chemical peel before and after photos will be noticeably different. This option can treat wrinkles, melasma, acne scars, sun damage, and skin elasticity, and it can even treat pre-cancerous growths. The most common acid used in a deep chemical face peel is a higher concentration of TCA.

Every MedSpa will have their choice brand of chemicals that they work with. We use SkinCeuticals in all our peels because their line is backed by science and produces the best results.

How to Prepare for a Chemical Face Peel

Before you get a chemical peel, regardless of the level, you should:

  • Stop exfoliating
  • Stop using Retinoids
  • Stop using bleaching products that may contain hydroquinone
  • Avoid the sun
  • Stay hydrated

What to Do After a Chemical Face Peel

Your skin will be sensitive for a few days to weeks after your peel. To protect it, you should:

  • Wear sunscreen
  • Avoid picking or pulling on the flakes
  • Wear hydrating moisturizer
  • Do not exfoliate or use harsh washcloths or scrubbing brushes

There are so many benefits from getting a chemical face peel, and with the different levels available, you can find the perfect treatment to fit your needs. There’s no need to Google “best chemical peel near me”; contact us today at Colorado Skin & Vein to schedule your free consultation and find out first-hand what all the chemical peel hype is about!

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