In 1997, chemical peels were the most requested cosmetic procedure in America. Although they were temporarily eclipsed by other resurfacing treatments, they’re now making a comeback – and with good reason. One of the easiest treatments to administer, peels address a wide range of concerns, from acne to wrinkles. At The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery in Celebration, FL, we think you should take a look at this therapy for yourself.
What Is a Chemical Peel Good For?
Just by the name, you know chemicals are involved in this treatment. Indeed, a solution is applied to your face to remove the skin’s outer layers. This works to resurface your skin, delivering an appearance that looks more refreshed and vibrant.
Specific conditions this treatment can improve include:
- Uneven skin tone
- Rough or patchy texture
- Sun spots and hyperpigmentation
- Enlarged pores
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Dry skin
- Scars, particularly from acne
- Precancerous lesions
How It Works
Once applied, this treatment gives skin the chance to renew. It eliminates old, dead, and tired skin cells and allows new, healthy, and hydrated cells to take their place. In addition, the exact peel we use will reflect your individual needs, meaning this treatment can be customized.
But the real magic of a chemical peel lies in its acidic nature. The goal of this treatment is to raise the skin’s acidity to 3.8 pH. Most of the time, skin’s pH hovers around 5.5. Changing it helps us loosen cells that form a barrier between dead and new skin cells. This process of loosening is more commonly known as exfoliation, whereby we literally change the surface of your face.
The Purpose of Treatment
This doesn’t mean we alter your appearance, but a peel will reveal a very different complexion for you. Skin is the largest organ we have. Unlike those hidden internally, it’s also the most exposed. It endures a lot of daily hostility, from UV rays, temperature changes, pollutants, cosmetics, and even water. Concerns like sunspots, blemishes, and wrinkles can make us look older, more tired, and more haggard than we feel.
Thanks to the all-knowing power of nature, our skin sheds every 28 days or so to keep it continually rejuvenated. Many imperfections, like those mentioned above, affect only the skin’s surface. Here is where a peel helps; it speeds the natural skin renewal process, allows dead cells to be completely sloughed away, and peels back the layers to reveal healthier cells. The bottom line is that it removes damaged skin layers to improve your appearance.
What You Need To Know
This might come as a shock, but the practice of skin resurfacing is thousands of years old. In prehistoric times, women “exfoliated” by using rocks and shells. During the Middle Ages, cloths were soaked in chemicals like sulfur or mustard and then wiped across the face for rejuvenation. Gypsies are credited with first using phenol for deep peeling, a tradition they passed in secret to later generations.
The treatments of today have come a long way from these early methods, but the concept has remained the same: to harness the skin’s natural cellular turnover processes to reveal a clearer complexion. Peels also smooth your skin so it feels softer to the touch.
Come in With Healthy Skin
For the best results, you skin needs to be in the best shape possible before treatment. This isn’t to say skin needs to be perfect, but taking care of it with proper cleansing and moisturizing in the days and weeks leading up to your peel can help greatly.
Also in these steps, you should incorporate a skin brightener about two weeks before your session. This helps suppress post-treatment melanin production to maintain an even tone. Skin brighteners can also support cell turnover to increase your peel’s results.
Don’t Be Scared
Trying a new beauty product or process can be scary. You don’t know how your skin will react, and you worry the results won’t meet your expectations. But a peel is nothing to fear. About 90 percent of these treatments are superficial, meaning they don’t reach into deep layers where they can cause severe pain or harm your skin.
Additionally, because we customize the chemicals used in this treatment, we ensure it’s right for your skin type. For instance, dry skin might benefit from a treatment with lactic acid, while acne can be improved with salicylic acid. Many therapies cannot be tailored in such a precise way, making chemical peels notably safer and more effective than more invasive treatments.
We’ll Help You Decide on the Right Peel for You
This isn’t a decision you need to make on your own. Selecting a peel requires professional evaluation of your skin. We’ll also take into account your exact concerns and treatment goals. This information will help us proceed with the formulation that is right for your needs.
For those of you worried about pain with this treatment, let us assuage your fears. Most patients report that peels are as relaxing and enjoyable as facials. They enjoy the pampering, and the clean, fresh feeling of their faces after is unlike anything they’ve ever experienced.
You can expect treatment to take between 30 and 90 minutes. This window depends on the kind of peel you elect to have and whether you incorporate another therapy, such as Botox. You’ll know the details of what to expect once we meet with you and craft your individual treatment plan.
How Long Do Results Last?
The face always changes, even when you don’t think it does. Sun exposure can cause everything from tiny freckles to larger sun spots, and lines and wrinkles can develop at any time. Having said this, it’s easy to see why a peel does not provide permanent results. But you can expect the effects of your treatment to last for several months or more. Much of this longevity will depend on how you care for your skin after treatment.
How Many Treatments Are Necessary?
You’ll see considerable improvements after just one peel. But, like many cosmetic treatments, results are cumulative. This means effects will continue to develop – and improve your appearance – as you have more treatments. We cannot identify the exact number of treatments you’ll need until we assess the health of your skin, but once we do that, we can provide you with a more definitive number.
Will My Skin Be Raw?
This was an occasional concern with older peels, but they’ve evolved considerably in the last several decades. Likewise, the acid formulas have also become considerably more sophisticated. The answer, therefore, is that you don’t need to worry about being left with raw skin. Today’s treatments focus on:
- Improving tone
- Tightening skin for more defined contours
- Erasing lines and wrinkles
- Fighting acne
- Correcting spots
What Is the Right Age To Begin Treatment?
As we become more aware of the therapies available to us and cosmetic treatments become more mainstream, people are turning to options like peels at increasingly younger ages. Where the concept of beauty was once to erase the signs of aging, we’re now trying to prevent them from developing in the first place. So, in answer to this question, any age is the right one to begin treatment.
Patients in their early 20s can have concerns like acne scars, while those in their late 20s and early 30s can begin to see the first signs of sun damage. We treat patients of all ages and are happy to say that peels are one of the easiest ways to rejuvenate skin at any time.
Is Microneedling Better?
Microneedling addresses many of the same concerns as peels, although the treatments themselves are vastly different. The former causes tiny pricks in the surface of your skin to jumpstart the body’s production of collagen and elastin. For this reason, it’s better at treating concerns below the skin’s surface.
Peels are ideal for solving superficial imperfections. They cause less trauma to the skin and therefore require less healing. For patients with significant scarring, a combination of microneedling and peels can deliver optimal results.
Can Men Get Peels?
This is an easy answer – absolutely. Studies confirm that as they age, males look less approachable. This is owed to wrinkles that makes them appear to be angry even when they’re not. Women, similarly, face a conundrum in that the effects of aging simply are not desirable. For both genders, this treatment yields fast and visible results.
Benefits of Treatment
A surprising benefit of the chemical peel is this: it can completely eradicate acne by taking a deep dive into pores that have likely been clogged for years. Even if you exfoliate at home, and you should, you cannot completely remove all the gunk that tends to settle in your pores. Peels can blast away blackheads, whiteheads, and patchy breakouts and prevent them from developing in the future.
Stimulate Internal Healing
In a matter of minutes, acids can create a chain reaction that further improves your appearance. Specifically, peels alert the body that more collagen and hyaluronic acid (HA) are needed as underlying skin cells move up to the surface, replacing those that were shed. As a secondary benefit, your skincare products are allowed to penetrate more deeply, and work better, as that layer of dead cells can no longer impede them.
Correct Dark Spots
Whether triggered by the sun or hormones, we can’t promise a permanent cure for dark spots. But peels are among the best treatment options available, if not the best option. Even lasers, which promise to eradicate these bothersome spots, cannot deliver the results peels can. This is good news for the growing numbers of patients who want a more even skin tone.
Brighten Undereye Circles
In fact, peels work so well in this regard they may allow you to finally get rid of your undereye concealer. If the thought of acid near your eye sounds a little off-putting, don’t worry. These treatments can safely target dark circles that are the result of pigment accumulation. You may need more than one treatment to see the full results, but it’s a possibility worth pursuing.
Increase Skin Hydration
Earlier, we mentioned that peels prompt the production of HA within the body. This is a point worth circling back to because HA helps the skin retain moisture. In fact, one HA molecule can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Hydration is essential for healthy, youthful-looking skin. It restores the glow we all pursue with topical creams and serums but can’t quite seem to grasp.
A Worthy Comeback
They say that all good trends eventually come back around, and the chemical peel is a perfect example of this cycle. They’re safe for most patients, can be performed on a lunch hour, and rejuvenate the entire face. Contact us at the Institute of Aesthetic Surgery in Celebration, FL, today to see how this treatment can benefit you.