WHAT IS A CHEMICAL PEEL?
Get the most out of your chemical peel procedure with our guide of tips for pre and post care. Learn more about the benefits of integrated skincare today.
Chemical peels are a type of facial that removes skin cells from the outer layers of the skin to reveal a fresh layer of skin underneath. Some milder chemical peels can be performed at home, however most chemical peels are performed by dermatologists or skincare professionals. In fact, chemical peels are one of the most commonly performed cosmetic clinical procedures around the world.
Chemical peels may result in benefits targeting skin discolouration, acne scars or fine lines and wrinkles. However, knowing what to expect and what to do after a chemical peel is crucial to minimising side effects and achieving optimal benefits from your procedure.
Read on for an informative guide to the details, benefits and aftercare process for this professional procedure.
WHAT IS A CHEMICAL PEEL?
Chemical peels utilise powerful chemical exfoliant acids to dissolve the outer layer(s) of the skin, effectively targeting several skin concerns that are concentrated on the skin’s surface. After the peeling process is complete, a fresh layer of skin is revealed that tends to be softer, smoother and brighter.
Chemical peels vary from superficial to deeper and the process and results depend on the concentration of the peel used in your procedure.
Light chemical peels are also known as superficial peels. This type of peel removes the outermost layer of skin, also known as the stratum corneum. Light chemical peels work best to target fine lines, acne-prone skin, dryness and skin discolouration.
Medium chemical peels are somewhat more intense, dissolving skin cells from the epidermis. This type of peel can target wrinkles and mild to moderate acne scarring.
Deep chemical peels are the most intense, exfoliating cells deep in the epidermis. This type of chemical peel can produce the most dramatic visible results, however deep peels also have the longest downtime and can cause more side effects. Deep peels can target scarring, wrinkles or precancerous growths on the skin.
SkinCeuticals offers light and medium chemical peels, including the Gel Peel GL for first time candidates and the Pigment Balancing Peel for those experienced with peels.
WHAT DOES A CHEMICAL PEEL DO?
As outlined above, different formulas and depths of chemical peels have varied benefits. Nonetheless, chemical peels in general can reduce the occurrence of acne-prone skin, discolouration, superficial fine lines and wrinkles. After a chemical peel, skin typically feels softer and appears more radiant and even toned.
Depending on the type of peel and your skin type and concerns, it may take a regime of several sessions to see optimal benefits. This professional procedure can deliver powerful visible results, but chemical peels are not suitable for all skin types and are not effective at targeting deep wrinkles. We recommend consulting your dermatologist regarding your suitability for a chemical peel.
WHAT TO AVOID BEFORE A CHEMICAL PEEL
There are a few things to avoid in the days before your chemical peel. Take care to always avoid excessive sun exposure and don’t schedule any other clinical procedures such as laser hair removal to the face or injectables. We also recommend seeking advice from the dermatologist or skincare professional performing your peel, regarding adjustments to your skincare routine before the procedure.
POSSIBLE CHEMICAL PEEL SIDE EFFECTS
Knowing what to expect after a chemical peel is an important element of preparation for the aftercare process. Redness, dryness, slight swelling and sensitivity are all common side effects to expect. Additionally, as per the name, mild to intense peeling and flaking may also occur from 2-3 days after your appointment.
Always avoid touching your face or ensure your hands are freshly washed if you must do so. It’s also important to note that recovery times are highly dependent on the individual.
CHEMICAL PEEL AFTERCARE
Following optimal aftercare procedures after your chemical peel is essential to ensuring optimal benefits and minimising the risk of adverse side effects. Follow our simple recommendations to take care of your skin following a chemical peel.
CLEANSE WITH COOL WATER
Hot water can exacerbate discomfort post-peel, so we recommend washing your face with cool water only and keeping showers and baths lukewarm rather than hot.
MINIMISE SUN EXPOSURE
As well as your skin having increased photosensitivity after a chemical peel, there is also a risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Minimise this risk by avoiding sun exposure in the days and weeks after your procedure and wearing a sunscreen like our Ultra Facial Defense SPF 50+.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling and perspiring in accordance with directions.
AVOID EXCESSIVE EXERISE
Flushing can also exacerbate discomfort, so avoid exercise or any other activities that may cause flushed skin.
DON'T OVER EXFOLIATE
Unless directed by your dermatologist, there’s no need to physically or chemically exfoliate in the week following your chemical peel because your skin is already undergoing a chemical exfoliation process.
DON'T PICK AT YOUR FACE
Once the peeling process kicks in, it can be tempting to pick at flaky skin. Avoiding this is a essential as it can lead to scarring or infection.
APPLY A GENTLE SKINCARE ROUTINE WITH SKINCEUTICALS PRODUCTS
Adjusting your regular routine after a chemical peel will aid the repair process. You may be wondering can I use niacinamide after a chemical peel? Or can you use retinol after a chemical peel? Niacinamide supports the skin barrier, so is okay to use, however retinol, glycolic acid and vitamin C should all be avoided while you have sensitised feeling skin.
Instead, SkinCeuticals recommends implementing a gentle skincare routine. Start with our a soap-free cleanser such as our Soothing Cleanser, then tone with our Phyto Corrective Essence Hydrating Mist. Finish up with a moisturiser such as Emollience to comfort dry, sensitive feeling skin.
If you’re wondering whether chemical peels are suited to your skin concerns or skin type, consult your dermatologist. Our SkinCeuticals skincare professionals are also available to tailor a personalised aftercare plan. Always consult with your Local Clinic for individual at-home advice.