Perhaps you’ve heard of one of the most common wrinkle reducing treatments, the chemical peel. But did you know that this treatment isn’t just for wrinkle reducing efforts? It can also help with minimizing acne scars, dark age spots, freckles, and more. Here’s how to know whether a chemical peel facial treatment is right for you.
Chemical peel facial treatments are safe, non-invasive cosmetic treatments typically performed in a dermatology office. They offer excellent results and stimulate the production of collagen, which contributes to skin’s firmness and elasticity. In other words, chemical peels can help the skin look more vibrant and youthful, especially when received on a regular basis.
Chemical peels use a specialized solution formulated at a depth appropriate for your skin concern. The FDA-approved solution typically contains trichloroacetic acid, glycolic acid, and/or salicylic acid. These agents act as chemical exfoliants, removing the top layer of dead skin cells in much the same way a physical exfoliant would. But the chemical solution is often less abrasive than a physical exfoliating tool (such as those used during microdermabrasion) and can even remove more impurities.
Because a chemical peel comes in different depths and is less abrasive than a physical exfoliating treatment, most people with sensitive skin can handle it. There are very mild peels available on the market today for light exfoliation.
Since the chemical peel facial treatment is an anti-aging cosmetic procedure, it’s also ideal for more mature skin. Even those patients in their twenties or thirties who are just starting to notice fine lines and wrinkles can benefit from a chemical peel. And if you’re concerned about dark spots from the sun or the general aging process, repeated chemical peels can help minimize or even eliminate these over time.
Finally, those with acne can be particularly excellent candidates for periodic (usually every four to eight weeks) chemical peel treatments. Acne is caused by a buildup of sebum – or oil – and the resulting clogged pores. Regularly exfoliating is crucial for acne sufferers, and getting a professional chemical peel can help provide a deeper clean than patients might be able to achieve on their own. Plus, consistently removing the top layer of skin encourages fresh skin cell growth, which can reduce existing acne scars.
As long as you work with a knowledgeable provider, your chemical peel facial treatment will be specifically tailored with both the ingredients and strength level to treat your concern. For example, glycolic acid peels and SkinMedica Illuminize peels are lighter variations, and can help give the skin a smoother appearance while brightening skin tone. Salicylic acid peels tend to be formulated for acne-prone skin and penetrate deeper layers, combating oil, dirt, and bacteria.
If you take any retinol products or prescription retinoids, stop using these five days before your appointment to avoid interactions. Refrain from exfoliating as well to avoid irritation from the chemical peel. Depending on the peel you receive, your dermatologist may give you a topical agent to prepare your skin ahead of your appointment. Post-treatment, you might experience some redness or mild flaking, which usually disappears within a week or less.
Interested in trying a chemical peel? If you’re in the greater New York City area, contact Vanguard Dermatology today for an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists.