Peeling Back the Layers
By Gina Cartwright and Elizabeth G Stratte, MD
Edited By Maren Stratte
From acne and sun damage to simply getting older, your skin can change a lot as you go through life. But you don’t have to settle for dull, damaged skin. Chemical peels are a safe and effective cosmetic treatment to re-energize dull, lifeless skin.
Peels use a specialized blend of chemicals like glycolic, salicylic, lactic and mandelic acid to exfoliate your skin. They remove the damaged surface layer to reveal the smoother, more even-toned skin below. In short with the variety of chemical peels we offer, there truly is something for everyone!
Which Chemical is Right for me?
Generally there are 3 different strengths of a chemical peel, light, medium and aggressive. Something to consider when wanting a chemical peel is the potential for peeling. Medium and aggressive peels can result in peeling, which not everyone wants. In this case, considering a light chemical may be a more suitable option, as peeling is less common. You’ll have delicate exfoliation that can be unnoticeable, but produce glowing, healthy skin.
Do Chemical Peels Hurt?
The sensation of a chemical peel on the skin can feel differently for everyone. Light to medium chemical peels you can experience some tingling and mild warmth. Some medium chemical peels and aggressive peels are expected to have a stinging sensation as well as some more heat to the skin. Overall the experience is tolerable and any sensation you feel during the application of the peel can last a few minutes, or decreases in a couple of hours.
Should I Stop Any Skincare Products Before Getting a Chemical Peel?
It’s recommended to stop all active skincare products like retinol, exfoliating cleansers or exfoliating toners 3-5 days before to reduce the skin having a stronger sensation to the peel.
When Can I get a Chemical Peel?
A common misconception is that peels cannot be performed in the Spring and Summer months. While it's true that you want to limit sun exposure following a peel, with proper sun protection, there is no reason to avoid peels. This does mean that you want to schedule your peel around big sun exposure events like Lake Days, and Disneyland trips. We recommend scheduling no closer than a week before such events.
After getting a chemical peel your skin is going to be more sensitive to manual and physical exfoliation. It’s important to stop using cleansing brushes, and avoid using wash cloths to scrub the face, as they can be too abrasive on the skin, as well as all active skincare products for 3-7 days. After your chemical peel it’s a good idea to limit yourself to a simple 3 step skincare routine of a gentle cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen.
For the best result with any chemical peel it’s recommended to get them done every month to see the biggest difference in your skin. We have several different chemical peels offered in our office to ensure there are options for everyone's concern and skin type. If you are looking to achieve soft, glowy and smooth skin a chemical peel would be a great option!