What defines perfect skin? For most, having blemish-free skin with an even complexion and small pores is a basic goal for skin perfection. The problem with perfect skin, though, is that it doesn’t happen overnight and it sometimes requires a lot of work to achieve. Fortunately, at DrYoungForever in San Antonio, TX, our skin professionals know that one of the easiest ways to get perfect skin is to incorporate chemical peels into your skincare routine.
Is a Chemical Peel Good for the Skin?
In short, yes, chemical peels can be incredibly beneficial for the skin. While it might not sound like slathering your face with acid is a good beauty plan, the fact of the matter is that peels have enjoyed a very long history of promoting the health, wellness, and beauty of the skin. In fact, peels are one of the oldest beauty regimens in the entire world.
Some of the first peel treatments can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, where Cleopatra herself used spoiled milk on her skin as part of her regular skincare. Because milk contains natural lactic acid, using the stronger lactic acid in sour milk was able to exfoliate and perfect Cleopatra’s skin – and if peels have proven so effective for one of the most beautiful and accomplished women in history, then peels can certainly benefit your skin as well.
What Can Chemical Peels Treat?
Broadly speaking, cosmetic peels using acids and chemicals are diverse treatments that can address a wide range of superficial skin concerns at one time. For many people, a peel is an integral part of their skincare routine since the purpose of a peel is to exfoliate the skin and accelerate skin cell turnover. As it is, a peel can address virtually all superficial skin concerns and even help manage chronic issues. Some of these concerns include:
Acne is often an issue that involves more than a pimple here or there. For those who suffer from chronic acne, the excessive oil and sebum that creates pimples are just the start. Acne concerns also include whiteheads, blackheads, enlarged pores, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, and cystic forms of acne.
Peels can help manage most, if not all, acne concerns. This is partly because a peel exfoliates dead skin cells that may be trapping oil and bacteria inside pores, and also because most peels use a strong enough chemical to kill acne-causing bacteria on the skin surface. Additionally, by removing dead skin cells, acne-fighting products like benzoyl peroxide can work more effectively to manage acne.
It’s hard to get through life without a scar on your skin. Some of the most common types of scars are acne scars, which can be pigmentation, shallow scars, and deeper scars. Other types of scarring may be the result of injury or skin illness, such as chickenpox, shingles, or repeated psoriasis. Regardless of the type of scar, a peel treatment or a series of treatments can reduce the appearance of scarring, sometimes even permanently depending on the type and severity of the scar.
Age-related concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and sun damage are all superficial concerns that can be resolved with regular peel treatments. For troubles like dark spots and sun damage, the exfoliating nature of a peel treatment helps shed the discolored skin to reveal new, unblemished skin underneath.
For wrinkles and fine lines, on the other hand, a peel treatment has the unique ability to help stimulate some of the body’s natural regenerative abilities, including accelerating skin cell turnover and renewing collagen and elastin levels as skin recovers from the peel. The ability to treat both superficial and minor sub-dermal issues is one reason why peel treatments are popular for those with age-related concerns.
Peels can also be used to treat general skin concerns. For example, if you have dry skin, oily skin, rough skin, or simply an uneven complexion due to redness or skin irritation, a peel can correct these concerns. Sometimes, using a peel for general concerns is an easy way to maintain the health and appearance of your skin, and can even go a long way to preventing future skin concerns.
What Are the Different Peel Levels?
Naturally, because all chemicals used in peels come in different combinations and strengths, different peel levels are appropriate for resolving certain issues. Most peel systems are organized into three classes, including:
Light peels are the most common type of peel and also the peel that can be done most frequently, such as once a month. Light peels use chemicals that only exfoliate the top-most layer of skin, so these peels are usually most appropriate to manage acne breakouts, remove superficial, acne scarring, minimize fine lines, reduce dark marks, and perfect the overall tone and texture of the skin. Light peels are also the peel level that is most compatible with all skin tones and types.
Medium peels use chemicals that are stronger than those used in light peels and are designed to penetrate deeper layers of skin. Medium peels can be done up to three or four times a year, depending on the skin concern that is being treated. This peel level is ideal for treating fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, sun damage, deep acne scarring, and layered dark marks.
Deep peels are the strongest peel level and use chemicals that penetrate several layers of skin for deep, comprehensive exfoliation. Because deep peels exfoliate so many layers of skin, they are sometimes only used in small patches to treat pre-cancerous lesions, deep sun damage, and deep wrinkles. This peel level can only be done once every few years, and many people only ever seek this peel level once.
Which Peel Level Is Right for You?
At our clinic, light and medium peels are the most common, but the type of peel that is used for your treatment will depend on your skin needs and goals. For example, if you need to manage your acne breakouts, then regular light peels may be a better choice than a medium peel, which is more appropriate for age-related concerns. Of course, the severity of your concerns is also a factor, as well as the current health, tone, and quality of your skin
What Are Your Peel Options?
Regardless of the peel level you are using for your skin concerns, you will have two main peel options at DrYoungForever. Each of our peel options will be curated to match your exact skin needs and goals. These peel options include:
Peels from VI Aesthetics are gentle treatments that are designed to perfect overall skin health. These peels are ideal for controlling acne and oil production, light acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, fine lines, enlarged pores, and even rosacea. If you’ve never had a peel before, it may be a good idea to try VI Peels first.
Skin Ceuticals Peel
Skin Ceuticals is a trusted skincare line that matches science with skin wellness. A Skin Ceuticals Peel has several depths and chemical options that make it easy to match your peel treatment to your skin health needs. This peel option is ideal for most skin tones and types and can be used for a range of purposes, including general skin wellness and treating complex age-related concerns.
How Do Peel Treatments Work?
Peel treatments are very similar to a facial and follows many of the same steps. Before your first peel appointment, you will need to attend a consultation appointment so we can examine the condition of your skin to recommend the peel option and depth that is most appropriate for your skin needs and aesthetic goals. We will be sure to walk you through all of your options so you can make an informed decision about your skin wellness.
Step One: Cleanse
The first part of your treatment will be to cleanse your skin of any residual make-up, dirt, or oil. Cleansing the skin is important so the peel treatment can work as intended.
Step Two: Apply Chemical
A chemical serum will be applied to your skin and allowed to sit for several minutes, usually 15 to 20 depending on the peel type and concentration of the chemical.
Step Three: Neutralize
After the peel has been on your skin for a long enough period of time, we will then remove the chemical serum and neutralize any remaining chemical on your face. Sometimes, neutralization is followed-up with a quick cleanse or additional serums, such as moisturizing or healing serums, to encourage faster skin recovery.
How Should You Prepare for a Peel?
To prepare for a peel, all you will really need to do is avoid using any exfoliating products or active skin acids for at least three to five days before your appointment. Because peels are an exfoliating treatment, you may be at higher risk of skin irritation if you exfoliate or use acids beforehand.
What Should You Do After a Peel?
After your peel, you must protect your skin with SPF 30 or higher because peels exfoliate your skin and expose new skin to the environment. If you want to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and get the most out of your treatment, using adequate sun protection is a must.
How Soon Can You See Results?
It may take some time to see the results of your treatment. It’s often the case that different peel levels have different recovery times, but in general, you won’t see the results of your treatment until after your skin is done shedding exfoliated layers of skin. For light peels, you may see results in under a week; for medium peels, you may see results within two weeks; for deep peels, results will be evident after several weeks.
How Long Do Results Last?
Similarly, the results of your peel will also last varying times based on the depth of the peel. The results of light peels, for example, may only last two or three weeks, while the results of medium peels may last a few months. The results of deep peels can last for several months, sometimes even years. How long your results last will also inform how frequently you should have peel treatments.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Most people are good candidates for peel treatments, specifically light peel treatments. Regardless of sex, age, skin type, or skin tone, a peel is a good option to perfect the appearance and texture of your skin. A consultation will further verify your compatibility with one of our peel options.
Perfect Skin Is Possible With Chemical Peels
The key to perfect skin isn’t magic and wishful thinking – it’s a strategic plan that addresses your skin concerns and prioritizes your skin health. If you think chemical peels are a good option for perfecting your skin, please contact DrYoungForever in San Antonio, TX to schedule your first appointment today.