The words “Chemical Peel,” have to be one of the more frightening phrases that come from my mouth as an Aesthetician. I can see everyone tense up when I suggest them. They get wide-eyed and furrowed eyebrows. Honestly, the first time I did one, I cried. I was so worried it would burn and hurt – but it didn’t. The best way to describe the feeling was tingle. (*Note at ANY MOMENT OF UNCOMFORT YOUR AESTHETICIAN CAN REMOVE THE PEEL*)
What does it do?
Skin care therapists can only use procedures to designed to penetrate the epidermis (outer layer of skin), as opposed to a physician who can use products to reach deeper into the skin (dermal layer – living tissue!). These peels are noninvasive and nonaggressive.
Who should be peeled?
Well, frankly most everyone can benefit from a peel. There are a few contraindications (such as pregnancy, use of Accutane within the last year, herpes, recent cosmetic surgeries…)
Now what you’re really wanting to know…how can this benefit me? Well a series (3-6) of peels improve the texture of the skin and increase cell renewal factor (which gets far longer the older we get 21-28 days for adults and for those and older, 42 to 84 days). Peeling improves the barrier function, moisture retention, and elastin and collagen production; also reducing fine lines, wrinkles and surface pigmentation (age spots and freckles).
A brief summary of what will happen during a peel; this depends on the manufacture of the peel, but these are general steps. Your face will be cleansed up to two times and allowed to dry. Your skin therapist will then measure and prepare for the peel. Some peels require a pre-step solution and others do not. Then the peel will be applied according to the manufacture’s directions. Generally speaking you begin with a short amount of time and work your way to a longer period of time, allowing deeper penetration. (This depends on your skin type and skin damage as well) When applied the peel will most likely feel tingly. After the allotted time the peel will be removed with sponges, or cold towels. Your skin therapist will constantly ask you if you feel any activity. It’s very important to make sure you do not feel any activity – we do not want to leave any peel product on your skin because it could cause a chemical burn. We will do as many towels or sponges as it takes! You will then have a sunscreen applied and be sent home with post-care instructions. These instructions are very common: to prevent skin damage you’ll want to avoid any sun exposure, scrubs, rubbing, pulling dead skin, waxing, exfoliation or other products for 24-48 hours after unless okay’d by your therapist. This only takes 30 minutes!
How often can this be done?
We recommend a series of 4-8, one time per week for 4 to 8 weeks. A series of peels every 3 or 4 months is the typical recommendation. Optimum facial maintenance schedule is one a month or every six weeks. It can take up to 6 weeks to notice a difference but many notice a difference the very first session!
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