A chemical peel is an acid form of exfoliation. Different from a Microdermabrasion, which is a mechanical form of exfoliation, a chemical peel utilizes an acid to cause the exfoliation of skin cells. Chemical peels are very popular and according to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, chemical peels were amongst the top five nonsurgical cosmetic procedures undertaken in 2008.
There are several types of chemical peels ranging from light, medium to deep peels. As a master esthetician, our licensing allows us to do light to medium depth peels strictly working on the epidermis. The deep peels which can penetrate into the dermis are performed by a doctor.
Light chemical peels include alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic, lactic and enzymes. These peels offer a light flaking with slight stinging up to 10 minutes when applied. These chemical peels can help improve sun damage, light pigmentation, finelines and wrinkles.
Medium chemical peels include Beta Hydroxy acids – Salacylic acid, Jessners, 7-12% TCA’s.
Salacylic and Jessner peels are good for oily, acne prone skin. Helping clean out congested pores and breakouts. TCA is appropriate for more intense sun damage, pigmentation and deeper line and wrinkles. TCA also can be beneficial for those who have very thick, congested skin. All these peels will definately have a sting like a bad sunburn lasting up to 15-20 minutes and exfoliation that is more aggressive and lasts at least up to 9 to 12 days.
Deep chemical peels include TCA’s 20% + and Phenol peels. As mentioned before these should only be performed by a licensed physician. Preferably a cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon. These peels are usually performed with some type of pain medication or anesthesia.
Should you get a chemical peel?
I view chemical peels as a great way to refresh your skin and help remove the damage that’s been done during the summer months. I also believe it’s a great way to combat breakouts and add an overall glow to your complexion. If and when you decide to do a chemical peel make sure you go to an esthetician that has experience in giving peels as well as determining which peel is best for your skin type and your goals.