When you’re not ready for surgery and injections aren’t quite doing it for you, chemical peels might be worth your while. A type of skin resurfacing treatment, a chemical peel can treat a variety of skin concerns, from wrinkles and other signs of aging to acne.
Although some types of chemical peels are very strong and have a long recovery period, other types require little downtime while still providing noticeable results. No matter your skin concern, there are plenty of reasons why a chemical peel might appeal to you.
What Chemical Peels Can Do
A chemical peel can improve your skin in several ways. As the name of the treatment suggests, a peel works by exfoliating or peeling away the top few layers of skin. Scarring, fine lines, and areas of hyperpigmentation that are found on those top layers are peeled away in the process.
You might consider a peel if you are bothered by any or all of the following:
- Acne scars
- Some types of acne
- Wrinkles caused by sun exposure
- Fine lines around your mouth or near the eyes
- Large, visible pores
- Melasma, or hyperpigmentation of the skin, often caused by birth control pills or pregnancy
- Freckles or age spots
- Dull, lifeless looking skin
A chemical peel can be the first step towards treating the signs of aging on your face, and is often ideal for when you aren’t quite ready for surgery. When you do begin to have loose skin and deeper wrinkles, a peel can be combined with a surgical procedure or with another treatment, such as Botox injections or Ultherapy, to more fully rejuvenate your skin.
Types of Chemical Peels
Typically, chemical peels come in a variety of strengths. The lightest or most superficial of peels provide visible results but don’t have a long recovery period. The Vitalize peel is an example of a lighter peel. It helps to reduce melasma and acne scars and can improve the overall texture of the skin. The peel contains a variety of chemicals known for improving the skin’s appearance and texture, such as retinoic acid, salicylic acid, resorcinol acid and lactic acid.
Another type of peel offered at Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique is the VI Peel. A medium-depth peel, it helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines, age spots and dark spots. It’s made from a combination of five acids: salicylic acid, Retin-A, phenol, TCA, and Vitamin C.
What Happens During a Peel?
Chemical peels are typically quick, in-office treatments, depending on their depth. Medium and light peels generally take less than 30 minutes. The treatment itself is relatively painless and patients won’t need anesthesia to numb the skin. At most, people tend to find some tingling at the beginning of the treatment, but that usually fades after a few minutes.
Depending on the type of peel you’re having, the treatment might involve applying multiple layers of acids. At the end, the aesthetician applies a final layer, which neutralizes the acids and ends the peeling process.
What Happens After a Peel?
Although you won’t have to shut yourself up or take time off from work after most mild to medium chemical peels, your skin will go through a healing process once it’s over. You’ll most likely see some swelling and redness, but that does fade quickly. You’ll also be advised to avoid exercise for at least 24 hours after the peel.
The skin does actually peel away after you have a chemical peel. How visible the peeling is depends on the depth and type of chemical peel you had. For the most part, you can cover up the peeling with moisturizer. You should also get in the habit of wearing sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) daily after your peel. Skin is more sensitive to the sun after treatment. Typically, you can expect to see the full results of a chemical peel within two weeks.
Who Shouldn’t Have a Peel?
As with any cosmetic treatment, chemical peels aren’t for everyone. Since salicylic acid is a key ingredient in many peels, they aren’t recommended to people who have an allergy to aspirin. You’ll also want to skip the peel if you’re currently pregnant or if you’re taking Accutane for acne.
Certain skin issues take a chemical peel off of the table, at least for the moment. For example, if you have active cold sores, you should wait to have a peel until they’ve resolved. If you’ve recently waxed your face, it’s a good idea to wait, as well, as the waxing treatment makes your skin more sensitive.
Today’s peels are usually suitable for people of all skin complexions. It’s worth noting that if you have darker skin, you might need to pretreat your skin before the peel to avoid any discoloration.
Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique in Houston offers Vitalize peels and the VI peel. To learn more about each option and see if a peel is a good pick for you, schedule a consultation today. Call (281) 810-9083 for an appointment.