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Chemical Peel Treatments: What Are They and How Often Should You Get Them?

Mary Kate Shaver

chemical peel is applied to a woman's face

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Chemical peels are a skin treatment that is most often utilized to improve skin condition by improving the clarity and texture of the skin. These treatments can seem intense after looking at images online; however, they are wonderfully effective at treating skin conditions as they minimize the appearance of acne scars and sun damage while rejuvenating the skin.

The chemical peel process involves applying a specific chemical solution to the face in order to safely remove the top layer of skin. This helps to reveal a healthy and fresh layer of skin in order to improve skin texture and appearance. The solution used within a chemical peel treatment is variable and will change depending on the professional administering the treatment and the specific skin concerns of each client.

The chemical peel process does superficially damage the topmost layer of skin in order for it to peel away and reveal the healthier and rejuvenated layer of skin below. This article will detail the various types of chemical peels whilst also discussing good candidates for these cosmetic procedures and the plethora of benefits that these facial treatments offer.

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Various Kinds Of Chemical Peels

There are a few main types of chemical peels that vary in their intensity and the specific skin concerns they treat. It is important to be well-versed in the different types of these cosmetic treatments in order to select the ideal chemical peel for your specific needs and skin type. For example, some types of chemical peels might not be suitable for sensitive skin.

The three main types of chemical peels are deep chemical peels, medium chemical peels, and light chemical peels. These names correspond with the intensity of each treatment. This article will dive a little deeper into the specific components of each unique procedure.

Deep Peels

Deep chemical peels are deeper peels that are known for their ability to deeply penetrate the skin and remove dead skin cells from a deeper level. This procedure is usually viewed as the most intense form of chemical peels and is best suited to target age spots such as deep wrinkles/ fine lines and more severe sun damage or scarring from acne.

This type of peel has the potential to irritate the skin a little more than light or medium peels due to the intensity of the solution used, however, it is extremely effective at targeting the above-mentioned skin concerns. If you are interested in receiving a deep chemical peel, you can expect to carry out some pretreatment procedures like regularly applying retinoic acid in order to help improve the effectiveness of the chemical peel itself and achieve optimal results.

Medium Peels

Medium chemical peels are seen to be less intense than deep chemical peels but are still extremely effective in minimizing dark spots by treating uneven skin tone. These peels also can minimize the appearance of scarring and sun damage by removing the topmost layers of skin. This process helps to brighten the skin and smooth the overall texture of the skin as well.

During a medium chemical peel procedure, trichloroacetic acid is usually used within the chemical solution that is brushed onto clean skin before being neutralized with a saline solution. This acid is known to effectively peel layers of skin in order to treat specific skin concerns however it is common for the skin to look red and irritated after the use of these solutions; this is a normal reaction to the peeling process. If you are looking to target age spots or achieve the healthy skin of your dreams, consider getting a medium chemical peel.

Light Peels

Light chemical peels are the least intense of the various chemical peels but are extremely effective and evening skin tone and creating a smoother skin texture for different skin types. They are also a good place to start for people with darker skin tones. Light peels can also help brighten dull skin to help you achieve a new glow. These face treatments can also minimize the appearance of sun damage and aging, however, if you have intense signs of either of these skin concerns, a deeper peel such as a deep chemical peel or even medium chemical peel may be more suitable if your skin can handle the chemical solution.

These superficial peels usually consist of a chemical solution of salicylic acid and sometimes an assortment of fruit-derived acids in order to remove the topmost layer of skin. This variety of chemical peel usually provided the most varied results but can still do a wonderful job and treating minor skin concerns.

At-Home Mild Peels

In addition to these typical light peels, some mild peels can be utilized at home in order to even skin tone and improve brightness. For example, lactic acid peels are extremely mild in comparison to the chemical peels that are administered at a spa or dermatologist’s office. This mild form of chemical peel can be performed every few weeks in order to maintain smooth and glowing skin. Before trying any at home methods of chemical peels, make sure to always double-check with your dermatologist in order to make the best choice for your particular skin type.

Similarly to lactic acid peels, there are also glycolic acid peels which are another form of mild chemical peel that can sometimes be performed at home. This mild peel is often suitable for more oily skin types and can help to even tone and improve skin texture. This mild form of chemical peel can also be performed every few weeks in order to ensure that the optimal results are long-lasting and consistent.

Lactic acid and glycolic acid peels can be performed so regularly due to their extremely mild nature. These peels do not impact the skin as severely as the more traditional light, medium, and deep chemical peels. Therefore, these peels are suitable for addressing minor skin issues. If you have more serious skin issues, such as severe acne or deep wrinkles, a more powerful chemical peel may be necessary to minimize the appearance of these concerns.

How Often Do You Need To Get Chemical Peels?

The frequency with which you need to get chemical peels in order to maintain healthy skin varies depending on specific skin concerns and the type of chemical peel you are most interested in getting. If you are planning on getting a deep skin peel, then the results are generally longer lasting than the less intense forms of chemical peels. Most providers claim that deep chemical peels show lasting results for up to 10 years. This shows that the investment into a deep chemical peel may be worth the cost due to the long-lasting and extremely effective results.

Medium chemical peels are known to showcase the best results for up to 4 months and it is advised to wait a full 6 months between medium chemical peels. While light chemical peels can show effective results for up to 2 months and most professionals recommend waiting about 6 weeks between light chemical peels. As mentioned above, milder forms of chemical peels such as lactic acid or glycolic peels can be performed every few weeks in order to maintain the best results.

Chemical Peel Recovery

Chemical peels can be quite intense and impact the skin in a variety of ways. The skin can often be left in a vulnerable position after receiving a chemical peel and proper aftercare is very important in order to accomplish the proper results and protect your skin from additional damage. The recovery time for a chemical peel depends on the intensity of the treatment.

Deep chemical peels require a longer healing period than light or medium chemical peels. However, after any peel, the skin is extremely sensitive to sun damage or other environmental stressors. Due to this, the client needs to allow ample recovery time where they avoid any potential skin hazards.

Deep chemical peels require at least two weeks of recovery, and the skin can still be peeling and remain red and irritated for longer than that. Most chemical peel providers can help you find solutions to manage any irritation or pain that might accompany the procedure.

Medium chemical peels usually require about 5 days to heal whereas light chemical peels need only about 3 days to heal. Chemical peels are known to irritate the skin and redness and swelling may occur throughout the recovery period. In order to manage these symptoms you can take over-the-counter pain medicine to minimize swelling and place cool compresses or cold compresses on the affected areas.

It is also extremely important to moisturize after receiving a chemical peel. The peeling process can leave skin vulnerable and dry so adding a powerful moisturizer such as the Ultimate Facial Moisturizer from farragio can help ensure that your skin barrier remains healthy and protected.

If you are looking to brighten your skin and help minimize signs of sun damage or aging, consider getting a chemical peel in order to rejuvenate your skin and bring about a brighter and glowing complexion.

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