Chemical peels are a method of resurfacing the skin to treat a variety of skin conditions, such as acne, acne scarring, sun damage, melasma (hormonal hyperpigmentation), skin elasticity, collagen production, and tone and texture of the skin. There are many chemical peel blends to treat different skin conditions.
- Alpha-hydroxy Acids: Lactic acid aids in moisture retention, improves skin texture, and improves the appearance of scars. Mandelic acid is a light peeling agent concentrating on skin rejuvenation and skin lightening, and it also treats redness. Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and is the strongest acid of the AHA family. It improves overall skin health by smoothing texture, brightening the skin, smoothing fine lines, and hydrating the skin for a more youthful appearance. Kojic acid is a skin lightener and a great alternative to hydroquinone.
- Beta-Hydroxy Acid: Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticomedogenic properties. This is the perfect acid for someone wanting to clear their acne and prevent future breakouts.
- Retinoic Acid can be used alone or in combination with AHAs to improve the appearance of fine lines, lighten hyperpigmentation, smooth the texture of your skin, and improve acne.
- Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) is often used as a medium-depth peel to treat pigmentation and fine lines. The concentration of this acid can range from 10% to 40%, which determines the depth in the skin the peel will reach.
- Post-Peel Care: The aftercare routine is very important to minimize the risk of side effects and complications. Your skincare expert will go over aftercare with you including the “dos and don’ts” of post-peel care and what products to use on your skin during the healing time (7-10 days). Cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting your skin from the sun are the most important things to do while your skin heals after the chemical peel. Your hands are your only “tool.” It is not advised to use a wash cloth, cleansing brush, cleansing silicon pad, etc., when cleansing your skin during the week following your peel. Do not pick or pull at the skin when it starts to peel. There is a very high risk of scarring your skin because you are removing that skin before it is ready to come off. If you have larger areas of peeling, you can gently cut the hanging skin with scissors. It is not advised to do any exercising that will cause you to sweat or simply elevate your body temperature for 3 days after your peel. Depending on what peel you get, that timeframe may be longer than 3 days.
Olivia Wood, Esthetician
Ashley Schmohl, NP
Ageless in the Triad Med Spa