Is a Chemical Peel Good for the Skin?

Let’s talk about your skin. Specifically, let’s talk about how we can improve your skin so you can post those no filter selfies you’ve been daydreaming about. While some people are certainly born with a blessedly clear complexion, most of us aren’t so lucky – and that means the key to perfect skin is perseverance and the right cosmetic treatments. At Novo Med Spa in Frisco, TX, one of our favorite treatments is a chemical peel, a treatment that is ideal for most skin types and tones.

Is a Chemical Peel Good for the Skin?

Yes! Many first-time patients have the concern that the acid used in a peel will damage their skin or make their skin condition worse. But the truth is that a chemical peel can be very beneficial for your skin and can help improve the appearance of your skin over time. You can think of a peel as being a type of exfoliating treatment that helps you shed the top layers of your skin to reveal new, healthy, and undamaged skin below.

Exfoliating is a core tenet of good skincare. While many people are able to naturally shed their skin through their skin cell turnover cycle, which lasts 28 to 40 days, other people do not shed skin regularly or evenly, which is what leads to issues such as acne. Additionally, sometimes damaged skin is layers deep and is never shed as effectively as surface skin. A peel restores your skin by clearing your skin of dead skin cells, dirt, debris, bacteria, and other pollutants that contribute to skin concerns.

What Can a Peel Do for You?

So, if a chemical peel is so beneficial, what exactly can it do for your skin? The best answer is this: a chemical peel can treat virtually all superficial skin concerns that may be related to aging, skin conditions, or other appearance-related concerns. The comprehensive list of what a peel can help with includes:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Uneven pigment
  • Uneven texture
  • Dry skin and rough skin
  • Dark spots
  • Sun damage
  • Skin laxity
  • Blemishes
  • Acne, including whiteheads and blackheads
  • Acne scarring
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Lesions
  • Redness
  • Dull skin
  • Enlarged pores

Chemical peels are one of the most diverse cosmetic treatments in the world with a long history dating back to Ancient Egypt. A peel can be used to address an issue as complex as active acne and acne scarring, to basic age-related concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. Even more impressively, a peel can be used for most patients, even for those who have medium and darker complexions, depending on the strength of the peel.

What Peel Options Do You Have?

When it comes to a peel, you actually have more options than you may realize. For one thing, at our med spa, each of our peels is customized to your exact skin needs and goals. This means that the chemicals or acids used in your peels will be matched to your skin type and your overall aesthetic desires. There are three main peel depths that you will be able to choose from, including:

Light

A light peel is an exfoliating technique that dissolves or strips the top-most layer of skin, which can resolve issues like hyperpigmentation, acne management, fine lines, dark spots, dull skin and dry skin, and minor sun damage. A light peel is typically done using friendlier acids, such as lactic acid or glycolic acid, and are not meant to penetrate the skin deeper. Light peels can be done more frequently than any other type of peel.

Medium

A medium peel penetrates the skin more deeply and uses stronger acids to exfoliate additional skin layers. A medium peel is ideal for treating deeper fine lines and wrinkles, skin laxity, sun damage, dark pigmentation concerns, and atrophic acne scarring, such as boxcar scars or rolling scars. Medium peels are usually reserved for patients who have moderate to severe skin concerns.

Deep

Deep peels reach the deepest layers of skin and exfoliate your skin aggressively. Because deep peels use such strong chemicals, they are typically only performed on patients who have severe skin concerns, such as suspicious legions or precancerous cells. Sometimes, this aggressive peel is used to treat deeper acne scars, sun damage, or other serious skin concerns that can’t otherwise be treated by other peels or cosmetic treatments. Deep peels are usually only done a few times in a lifetime and require mild anesthesia to perform.

How Do Peels Work?

Overall, a peel treatment is fairly simple and mimics the routine of your everyday facial. You can expect a light peel to take about 30 minutes to complete, while a medium peel may take 45 minutes. There are three main steps for a successful peel, which include:

Step One: Cleanse

First, we will cleanse your skin. It’s important that your skin is free of dirt, oil, and make-up before the acid solution is applied to your skin so that there is no reaction between your normal daily skincare products and the acid solution.

Step Two: Customized Solution

Next, we will apply the peeling solution. Most of the time, a peeling solution will resemble a serum, which is applied to every area of your face except for the sensitive skin around your eyes and your eyebrows. The peeling solution will sit on your skin for several minutes to give the chemical enough time to penetrate your skin to produce your desired results.

Step Three: Neutralize

The final step of your treatment will be to neutralize the acid solution. We will remove the peel with special cleansers and apply a neutralizing agent, which will help restore the normal Ph balance of your skin and ensure that your skin is free of the acid solution.

Additional Step: Skin Protection

Before your appointment is over and you return to your normal daily activities, you may want to consider additional skin protection methods. Because a peel will have exfoliated your skin, the newly-revealed skin will be especially vulnerable to damaging UV rays, so it’s important that you do all you can to protect your skin. For some patients, this means putting on an SPF immediately or even wearing a wide-brimmed hat on your way home.

Will You Need a Consultation?

Yes. Although chemical peels are a simple cosmetic treatment, you will still need to attend a consultation if it’s your first time using a peel. The consultation will allow us to examine the condition of your skin and determine the depth of peel that is most appropriate for your skin type and needs. The consultation will also give us the opportunity to explore the type of peel acids that you can use and which acids are most compatible with your regular skincare products.

A consultation is especially important for patients who have a history of sensitive skin, as we strive to give each patient treatment that will improve their skin and not add on to their skin worries. Consultations will help us gather information about you, including any skin allergies you have and the cosmetic treatments you have tried to use to address your skin concerns in the past.

How Should You Prepare for This Treatment?

To prepare for a peel, you will need to change a few things about your daily skincare routine. For example, if you use active acids in your skincare, such as retinoids, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid, you will need to temporarily discontinue the use of these acids for at least five to seven days before your treatment appointment. It’s also important that you do not tweeze, pluck, or exfoliate your skin at least three days before your treatment. We may provide you with additional instructions.

Are There Aftercare Instructions?

After a peel, your skin will be especially vulnerable to the elements. In addition to using adequate sun protection immediately after your appointment, you will also need to continue using sunscreen graded at least SPF 30 or higher during the next two weeks following your appointment. You will also need to avoid direct sunlight, excessive heat, and excessive sweating for three to five days after your treatment, or longer if you are using a medium or deep peel.

Part of your aftercare instructions will also include directions to not exfoliate your skin, or pick at any peeling skin. It’s vital that you keep your skin moisturized by applying a gentle moisturizer or even aloe vera gel, which will help facilitate skin healing and promote your skin health. If you aren’t sure which products you should be using during your skin recovery period, we will be happy to point you in the right direction.

When Will You See Results?

The results of a peel will take some time to be visible, even for a light peel. In general, you should see the results of a peel in at least three to five days for light peels, and seven to ten days for medium peels. The results of a deep peel will usually be visible a few weeks after your treatment appointment.

How Frequently Should You Have a Peel?

The frequency of your peel treatments will depend on the type of peel you are having. Light peels can be done as frequently as once a month to maintain the health and appearance of your skin, while a medium peel can be completed a few times a year, usually every three or four months. A deep peel should be spaced at least two years apart, if not more.

Who Are Good Candidates?

Good candidates for a chemical peel includes those who have mild, moderate, and severe skin-related concerns, including those who have medical skin concerns. From superficial skin concerns like pigmentation to deep wrinkles, a peel is an appropriate treatment option for most patients, including those with medium skin tones.

Clear and Perfect Your Skin With Chemical Peels

The journey to a clear complexion and perfect “no filter” skin is one that starts with the right cosmetic treatment that can tackle all of your skin concerns at one time. If your goal is to achieve clear, blemish-free skin with a glowing complexion, please contact Novo Med Spa in Frisco, TX to schedule your first chemical peel appointment today.