A chemical peel is one of the various cosmetic treatments offered to us, but this one is one of the popular ones. Ever since chemical acids like glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid and more became popular, people have become more aware of their benefits. What is a chemical peel, how does it work and do you even need it? All these are more will be discussed in this article. So read on to know all about chemical peel benefits!
What Is A Chemical Peel
A chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure done on the face to remove the dead skin cells and allow the new skin to resurface. This procedure is highly effective in the rejuvenation of the skin and making the overall appearance of the skin better.
A chemical solution is applied to the surface of the skin in a thin layer and left on the skin for the time mentioned on the product. This solution induces a controlled injury to the skin.
When any injury is caused anywhere on the body, the skin starts the process of regenerating the new skin cells at a faster rate to take the place of the old, wounded skin. The same process is triggered while using chemical peels. The old dead skin cells start peeling off, revealing new, healthy skin which is free of dark spots, acne scars, and any other skin concerns that we have.
Why Is It Recommended
A chemical peel procedure will be recommended to you if you have skin concerns like dry skin, uneven skin tone, sagging skin, age spots and darker skin tone due to sun damage, abnormal skin scarring and other similar skin issues.
Different skin problems require different chemical peel solutions with strength that varies depending on the concerns that are being targeted. For example, if your goal is to remove acne scars and marks, a light chemical peel which works on the top layer of the skin will do the trick. The superficial peels which are mild on the skin’s surface can be used by you at home, like The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution.
However, if you are dealing with deeply rooted skin imperfections like deep scars that have been there for years, deep wrinkles or any problem that goes beyond the top layer of the skin, a deep chemical peel is required to treat these. These peels can’t be performed by you. This is a cosmetic treatment that should only be done by board-certified dermatologists or plastic surgeons.
Overall, there are many chemical peel benefits for every skin type, which is why it is so highly recommended.
Types Of Chemical Peels
As we discussed above, there are various types of chemical peels depending on the strength of the chemical solution used for the peels. Different skin problems require different types of chemical peels to solve. There is not one universal chemical peel for all issues.
The stronger the peeling solution, the deeper into the skin it will penetrate and the deeper the exfoliation will be. This means, that the distinction is done based on the depth of the wound inflicted on the skin by the peel. Let us look at the different types of Chemical peels.
Light Chemical Peel
The light chemical peel works on the topical layer of the skin. It does not penetrate deeper than the epidermis, or the layer that is on top of our skin. This type of chemical peel is also called Superficial peels.
This peel makes use of Alpha hydroxy acids like citric acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid. The main job of these acids is to exfoliate the skin’s surface gently. This is the mildest of the peels and works to reduce fine wrinkles, improve acne and gives way for new, spot-free skin to come through.
Since this peel is the mildest form of chemical peel out there, almost everyone can get it done. It is the most recommended peel for people with brown or black skin tone because they have more melanin, which results in easy scarring on the face. Since this peel doesn’t result in any scarring, it is safe for people of colour to use.
Medium Chemical Peel
A medium chemical peel is stronger than the former chemical peel. It goes deeper into the skin and unlike superficial peels, this one works on the epidermis as well as on the dermis, which is the layer that’s underneath the epidermis.
The solutions used for this peel are Trichloroacetic acid, Glycolic acid and Jessner’s solution. The acid is usually applied in a thin layer on the surface of the skin by a specialist and left on for a few minutes. The skin after the application feels dry and stretched, some people even look slightly whitish-grey.
This peeling solution does tend to sting or burn when it’s being applied to the skin. The peeling process usually starts within 48 hours of the application of the solution.
This chemical peel works on deeper wrinkles, fine lines and stubborn acne scarring.
Deep Chemical Peel
A deep chemical peel, as the name suggests, does into the deepest layer of the skin and works there. The wound that this peel inflicts is the most serious and does tend to have the most recovery time. The chemical solution used for this peel is Phenol.
Before getting this treatment done, your doctor will check to make sure that your skin can handle it. After you’ve been cleared for the procedure, the skin is primed for the procedure. For up to 8 weeks, the patient is prescribed a Retinoic acid cream or gel that helps thin down the outer layer of the skin so the chemical solution will penetrate easily.
This is also the chemical peel where you would need some anaesthetic to numb the skin and manage the discomfort. The deep peels are useful to get rid of sun damage, tighten sagging skin, even out skin tones and reduce severe wrinkles.
Chemical Peel Benefits
As mentioned above, there are many chemical peel benefits. There is usually more than one session for getting the complete chemical peel benefits. Repeated treatments ensure that the procedure has done all that it can for you. Chemical peels work on a whole host of skin issues which is why it is one of the most sought-after cosmetic treatments for common skin concerns.
Let us know all the chemical peel benefits in depth.
1. Reduced Fine Lines And Wrinkles
Although fine lines and wrinkles are natural and there is nothing to be ashamed of even if you have a few of them on your face, if you want to, you can get the look of them reduced by getting a light peel done. Since the wrinkles and fine lines are fine, that means they are still on the surface level of the skin. Therefore, superficial peels can get rid of them, with no problem.
They do this by getting rid of the outer layer of the face that has wrinkles and bringing new, refined skin to the surface. Any skin type can use this procedure to get rid of their lines and wrinkles. In the lineup of chemical peel benefits, this one is highly appreciated.
2. Reduced Acne Scars
People who have acne-prone skin find a lot of chemical peel benefits that work for their skin type.
If you have acne-prone skin, the pimples are a pain in the neck but it is actually the scars that we dread the most. Acne scars can be stubborn and don’t go away easily. But don’t worry, if you want to reduce the appearance of acne scars and even reduce the chances of future acne breakouts, a medium peel will prove to be a godsend for you.
The salicylic acid used in the peels not only works on removing the topical layer of the skin that has the scars, but it also goes deeper and cleans out the pores of all the dirt, impurity and excess oils that cause acne in the first place. Incorporating a salicylic acid cleanser or toner will further help in fighting acne.
3. Reverse Sun Damage
As long as we live on this earth, we can not avoid the sun. Unless we take proper care of our skin while we are giving it sun exposure, like wearing sunscreen and other physical barriers like hats, we will be making our skin exposed to sun damage and sun spots.
These spots can be very stubborn and you might find that no matter what you do, you can’t seem to get rid of them. A superficial peel can help to curb the problem if the sun spots are not too old, but if the spots have been on your skin for a while, just normal skin resurfacing chemical peels might not be enough to remove them.
But thankfully, we have a medium chemical peel to do the trick. If even that does not work, you can always opt for a deep chemical peel.
4. Improved Collagen Production
Many people are unaware of this particular chemical peel benefit. Collagen is the reason for the bounce and elasticity in our skin. Although the skin produces collagen on its own but over time, the collagen production slows down. This is why we experience sagging of the skin after a certain age.
When chemical peels cause the cell turnover to speed up to heal the wounds inflicted on the skin, the skin starts to produce more collagen.
Light chemical peels don’t go deep into the layers of the skin, therefore, they don’t stimulate the production of collagen. Deep chemical peels and medium chemical peels do.
5. Removed Damaged Skin Cells
The most common chemical peel benefit and probably why most people get the procedure done is because they are so good at removing damaged skin cells and making new, healthy skin come to the surface. This is one of the chemical peel benefits that attracts most people to the procedure.
6. Even Skin Tone
Getting chemical peels done can ensure that you enjoy an even skin tone on your face and anywhere else you decide to get the skin treatment done. Uneven skin tone can be due to many reasons. Some areas of the face appear darker than the rest and that is mainly caused by the uneven distribution of melanin in the skin.
Chemical peels help with this too by making sure the distribution of melanin on the new, post-treatment skin is even. This benefit eliminates the occurrence and appearance of uneven skin tone.
7. A More Youthful Skin Texture
The medium and deep peels penetrate deep into the skin and take care of age spots, wrinkles, and loose skin and make you look your best. Since the peels trigger new cell turnover and collagen, the skin gets tighter than it was pre-treatment.
One of the great chemical peel benefits is there is a new bounce to the skin, it is more even toned and it looks healthier than it used to be. That means you will have younger-looking skin after the treatment.
Since it is a treatment that makes use of chemicals and acids on the skin, there are some precautionary measures you must take before and after the treatments. If you are not diligent with your skin care, getting a chemical peel done can be more harmful to your skin than good.
The new skin that has surfaced is very sensitive and more prone to irritation. This is why you must make sure you follow the precautions mentioned below.
Unless you follow these precautions and take proper care of your skin, you won’t be able to see chemical peel benefits to your skin.
Since the skin after the treatment is sensitive, there is severe redness and it gets tingly at the drop of a hat, you should not put hot water on the treated skin. Using cool water to wash the face will feel soothing to the already heated skin and this will hasten the healing time of the skin, revealing chemical peel benefits to the skin.
Moisturising the skin after chemical peels is a must. The skin needs moisture and hydration to heal after the procedure. The skin heals around five to seven days after the treatment, and we need to pay extra attention to the skin’s health during that time.
Washing the face with a mild cleanser or even water would be okay. No active ingredients should be used during this period, the skin is too sensitive to handle any more of that. Putting on a thick, protective ointment like the Cerave Healing ointment would be your best option when it comes to moisturisers.
While the skin heals, try not to give it too much sun exposure. You must wear sunscreen above the SPF of 30 both inside the house and out. You have to be diligent in your application, just a pea-sized amount would not do. Use the adequate amount, which is two-finger lengths worth of sunscreen and apply it gently to your face and neck.
Don’t be too harsh while rubbing it in because the skin wouldn’t be able to tolerate any tugging or pulling on it. Keep reapplying the sunscreen after every four hours if you are out in the sun. This way, you will retain all the chemical peel benefits to your skin.
While the skin is going through the peeling stage, especially after a deep chemical peel, your skin will not be fit enough to wear makeup. Avoiding it would be best until the skin heals.
Antiviral medication is often prescribed by the doctor before and after chemical peels because chemical peels can sometimes lead to fungal, bacterial or viral infections. A common occurrence that people have noticed is getting cold sores on their faces after the treatment. Antiviral drugs will prevent this from happening.
Chemical peels, if done right and by a professional, can be really good for the skin. Provided, you must take good care of your skin both before and after the treatments. Chemical peel benefits are so many, they easily bypass the not-so-pleasant drawbacks like peeling skin, redness and slight stinging. Those also go away in a few days and the recovered skin is something to be awed about.
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