Chemical Peels... Whats all the Fuss?
You may have heard lots of talk about chemical peels, aka chemical exfoliation or resurfacing treatments. Here’s a quick look at what they are, what they do and who should get them.
WHAT THEY DO Chemical peeling is often used to treat fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth. Wrinkles caused by sun damage, aging and hereditary factors can often be reduced by using chemical peels. Mild scarring and certain types of acne can also be treated with chemical peels. In addition pigmentation of the skin in the form of sun spots, age spots, splotching due to hormonal changes and skin that is dull in texture and color may be improved with chemical peels.
WHAT THEY ARE Chemical peels are composed of chemical solutions that are designed to remove the uppermost layers of the skin so that new, regenerated skin replaces the old. Typically they are classified as light, medium or deep. The depth of the peel is determined by the chemical used, its strength, the PH balance and the application process. As a general rule the deeper the peel, the more profound the results and the longer the recovery time. Medium and Deep peels may only be administered by a physician. The following information pertains to light peels done by a licensed esthetician:
ARE YOU A GOOD CANDIDATE Just like many things, each person is different. You should schedule a consultation with your esthetician to decide if you are a good candidate and then have a patch test to make sure you don’t have any reactions to the chemicals. Patch tests should be done no later than 24 hours before your peel. You should NOT have a chemical peel if you are pregnant or lactating; have a history of heart problems, or extremely thin skin. Some medical conditions may require that you consult with a doctor prior to getting a chemical peel, your esthetician can help you determine if this is necessary. If you have a tendency to get cold sores or have herpes simplex, you may want to start a Prophylactic prescription before you get a peel as a peel can stimulate these conditions. If you take an Accutane type acne medicine you should stop taking them for at least 6 to 12 months prior to a peel. If you use a Retinoic acid you should discontinue use about three months before a peel.
HOW TO GET THE BEST RESULTS FROM YOUR PEEL The first step to having great skin, or improving the skin you have, is a good home care regimen. This would include twice daily cleansing, toning and moisturizing. And of course you should always protect your skin from the sun, but especially the delicate skin on your face and neck. In addition, you should try to condition your skin in preparation for a peel by regular exfoliation. This can be done with a facial brush (very gently brushing the skin with your cleanse step), or by using products that contain exfoliating ingredients such as enzymes, or by using facial scrubs. Be careful when using scrubs, ensure that the particles are round and not jagged edged, some nut shell scrubs have jagged edges that may tear the skin. For best results start exfoliating once or twice a week and then gradually increase to an every other day exfoliation. Allow the skin to rest at least one day in-between exfoliations. This is a guideline, please be sure to use products that are recommended for your skin type and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. To achieve the best results you should initially do a series of at least 6 peels 2-4 weeks apart. You can also alternate peels with a microdermabrasion treatment for a total of 6 treatments. There are also very specific post peel instructions that your esthetician will provide, following those instructions will help to ensure that you get the best results.
AT ORCHIDEE SALON & SPA Here at Orchidee we offer 4 different peel options:
Lactic Peel – The mildest peel, it is generally safe for everyone. It is formulated with organic lactic acid and enhanced with exfoliating pumpkin fruit enzymes and pomegranate extract.
Alpha Peel – This is a Glycolic Acid Peel that is recommended for almost everyone, however they are most effective on normal, dry or mature skin. It works particularly well on fine lines and wrinkles.
Beta Peel – Deeper than an Alpha Peel it is usually recommended for acneic, thick or oily skin and for skin that has dark spots.
Jessner’s Peel – This is the deepest peel we offer and is ideal for aged, acne prone or hyperpigmented skin. It can also help to soften superficial scarring.
Based on your consultation and patch test, your esthetician can advise you on which is best for you. If you are considering a peel and have questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the salon to schedule a consultation.
Written by Kim Hardy Esthetician