Almost all of us want to know the secret to perfect skin. We scour skincare products, devour expert tips, and slather on serums for all our lives are worth. But the solution is simpler and far more unexpected than you probably think. A chemical peel is a classic treatment that can improve the signs of aging, correct skin tone and texture, and help you look younger. At Beauty 2.0 Aesthetics in Port Moody, BC, we highly recommend it for most patients.
How Often Should You Get a Chemical Peel?
We have a few different answers to give in relation to this question, but we’ll start with the quickest with regard to chemical peel. You can generally get a peel once every four to six weeks. Some peels, such as those targeting acne, can be done every two weeks until you achieve the desired results. This last point is key, for it is your skin’s health and the concerns you want to be addressed that determine the type of peel you need. These factors also determine the frequency of your treatment.
Peels can be categorized in a variety of ways, including intensity levels: light, medium, and deep. The most common are the first two; deep peels are offered only rarely. A peel’s intensity is based on its chemical solution, which in turn dictates how deep the treatment penetrates.
The peels under this label are those most commonly administered. They work only on the skin’s surface layer and deliver a radiant glow. This explains why they are so popular right before big events, like weddings and family reunions. They are ideal for patients with mild skin concerns like:
- Light wrinkles and fine lines
- Light hyperpigmentation
- Minor acne scarring
- Uneven skin tone
- Rough or patchy textures
- Dull complexion
Light peels are usually composed of salicylic acid or fruit acids, and for this reason, can be applied once every four to six weeks. They rarely require downtime because they only remove the skin’s outermost layer, and although results may at first be subtle, the effects magnify with repeated treatments. Many patients, therefore, choose to incorporate light peels into their routine skincare regimen.
Before we go any further, now is a good time to explain the skin contains three layers: the epidermis (top layer), dermis (middle layer), and subcutaneous fat (bottom layer). It’s important to know this structural system to understand the different ways in which peels operate. To illustrate, medium peels differ from light peels in that they remove both the outer and middle layers of skin.
Benefits of Medium Peels
What are the benefits of this treatment? They provide deeper exfoliation and therefore provide faster and broader results. They often contain glycolic acid, recognized as a powerhouse among all skincare ingredients. It effortlessly treats breakouts, tackles hyperpigmentation, and reduces common signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Thus, advantages of a medium peel include:
- Reduced appearance of acne scars
- More even skin tone
- Restored hydration
- Fewer breakouts
- Smaller pores
- Plumper and softer skin
- Visible glow
Essentially, a medium peel prompts your skin to work better, and by that, we mean it is encouraged to increase collagen production, make more hyaluronic acid (HA), and improve cellular turnover. All of this is triggered by the dead cells that treatment lifts and sloughs away, which in turn pull healthy cells to the surface. The result is an immediate upshoot of smoother and more radiant skin. You can safely have a medium-strength peel every four to six months.
Many patients think of deep peels when they hear the words “chemical peels.” Also known as full-strength peels, they use phenol to penetrate the skin’s lower dermal layer. This forces skin tissues to regenerate from deep within, and although it is the most aggressive of all three peels, it also delivers the most impressive results. Deep peels are ideal for treating:
- Deep wrinkles and lines
- Skin sagging
- Significant hyperpigmentation
- Sun damage
- Blotchy skin tone
- Precancerous growths
Phenol is an organic compound, and because of its intensity, patients usually need to wait several months to see their treatment results. It’s important during this time to keep the skin moisturized and protected from sun damage. Effects can last up to 10 years, and although some opinions differ in this regard, most healthcare providers agree you should only have one deep peel in your lifetime.
What Is a Peel?
Peels are customizable treatments that involve careful skin exfoliation using an acid. The acid removes a consistent level of damaged skin cells from the entire treatment site. This gives skin a new chance to breathe, as all debris – not just damaged skin cells, but also bacteria and dirt – are efficiently removed. Pores are cleared and, in turn, the skin begins to heal.
Peels are universal in nature, meaning they’re safe for almost all skin colors and types. They also provide real and visible results in just a single treatment, whereas other treatments, like laser, need several sessions before effects begin to show.
A Long History of Success
Australian dermatologist Ferdinand Ritter von Hebra (1816-1880) introduced the concept of restoring skin with peels in the second half of the 19th century. But long before this, in Babylonia and India, women exfoliated their skin with pumice stones. In the Middle Ages, techniques evolved into cloths soaked in sulfur, mustard, or lime and then applied to the face. The goal was to rejuvenate the skin, an objective that continues today.
Peels were the most demanded cosmetic therapy of the 90s, but they faded from the spotlight because they were painful and left skin raw. Thankfully, today’s treatments aren’t just retreads; their formulas and applications have been refined so the goal is to infuse skin with beneficial ingredients rather than cause visible peeling. Those ingredients improve tone, build collagen, and diminish lines.
Details of Treatment
We offer six different peels that require little to no downtime and produce full results within one week. The formulas we use can address a variety of concerns, including wrinkles, rough skin texture, acne, and hyperpigmentation. Each session is relatively short, around 45 minutes, and includes exfoliation, mask, and massage. We also provide a take-home kit to optimize your recovery.
For best results, we generally recommend a total of six peels each spaced four weeks apart. Following this regimen is important to allow your skin to properly heal and also create a cumulative effect as each treatment builds upon the last.
The words chemical and peel are enough to induce fear, and when put together, they sound that much more ominous. It is therefore understandable that people dismiss peels as risky, trendy, or over-the-top. They rarely get the positive attention they’re due, and here, we hope to correct this error.
Dermatologists and estheticians alike favor peels for their ease of use and efficacy. At a much deeper level, however, these treatments perform one of the most basic of all skincare needs: exfoliation. You probably already know that everyone needs to exfoliate in order to stimulate cell turnover. We mentioned this phrase earlier and want to take a moment to explain what we mean.
This refers to the continual process our bodies possess to eliminate dead skin cells and replace them with younger, healthier cells. Turnover works relatively smoothly when we’re younger, but as we age, it becomes slower and less effective. Exfoliation helps improve this process, and peels are especially efficient in this regard. They are milder than mechanical exfoliators, like microbeads and granules, and gentle enough for even sensitive skin.
Exfoliation is so important that it’s often heralded as the path to soft, youthful-looking skin. When they’re allowed to sit on your facial surface, dead cells can clog pores and accentuate fine lines and wrinkles. Removing them rejuvenates your appearance.
You Won’t Necessarily Peel
It’s also commonly believed that a chemical peel will cause your skin to flake for weeks. But the benefits of treatment occur at the cellular level; if you do experience any peeling, it’s simply a side effect of the dead skin removal and will quickly resolve itself.
Only Patients with Problem Skin Need Peels
Although peels can effectively resolve a variety of skin imperfections, they can also maintain a healthy appearance. This means that if you’re happy with your appearance right now, you can use these treatments to keep your skin smooth and hydrated. They also prevent the onset of problems like a dull complexion, clogged pores, and uneven skin tone.
Peels Aren’t Right for People with Dry Skin
Just the opposite, peels are tremendously effective in treating dry skin. Removing dead cells helps restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier, which naturally improves hydration levels.
But peels offer another and somewhat unexpected benefit as well: they help skincare products like moisturizers and serums penetrate more deeply. This happens because the impediment that dead cells normally pose is removed, giving products clearance to sink below the skin’s surface and perform to greater effect. This can also bolster moisture levels to help repair dry skin.
Reasons To Have a Peel
Patients gravitate to chemical peels as a way to stop acne and erase the scars that come with it. This happens as pores become unclogged; in addition, certain ingredients – like salicylic acid – linger to continue keeping pores clear over time.
Some providers prefer peels to laser for treating acne to avoid one surprising pitfall: lasers can cause an acne eruption after treatment. Although this only happens around 30 percent of the time, it is possible and negates the reason for treatment in the first place.
Although no cure exists for treating dark patches caused by the sun, peels offer the best defense. A light peel can be beneficial because it removes the skin’s top layer and allows healthy skin cells to surface. Those new cells are not damaged by the sun and thus give skin a fresher and healthier appearance. Likewise, medium peels that penetrate to skin’s middle layer can produce more dramatic results and further lighten hyperpigmentation.
May Replace Your Undereye Concealer
Almost all of us have woken to those dreaded dark eye circles that make you look tired even when you feel wide awake. When carefully applied, a peel can reduce or even eliminate undereye circles, which tend to grow worse with age. This can mean less time spent with your concealer or, at the very least, a more vibrant appearance.
The Secret to Better Skin
A peel can restore a radiant glow and improve skin’s overall health. When incorporated into your routine skincare regimen, treatment can provide cumulative results that keep your skin smooth, hydrated, and free of concerns like breakouts. To schedule your consultation, call Beauty 2.0 Aesthetics in Port Moody, BC, today.