With the rise of the anti-aging craze in the past two decades, the cosmetic industry has been abuzz with new, innovative treatments targeted at stopping the clock and reviving the skin to its youthful glory. An early player in the game – chemical peels.
Many swear by this non-invasive treatment as a game-changer in anti-aging, significantly reducing their wrinkles, fine lines and age spots in just a few weeks. And despite receiving its fair share of criticisms for the potential damage it does on the skin, chemical peels continue to stand the test of time (and judgement) for one simple reason – it works! For avid believers that “beauty is pain”, the temporary discomfort post-peel is a no-brainer when it comes to the smooth, youthful skin the treatment promises. But for the rest of you straddling the line between pain and promise, some doubts still remain – do chemical peels really help with wrinkles? And if so, is it worth the pain?
We’re here to set the record straight. Read through our guide on chemical peels and learn everything you need to know about this anti-aging treatment.
How Do Chemical Peels Work?
First thing’s first – knowing the right procedure for your anti-aging needs starts with understanding the science behind it. In simple terms, chemical peels involve a chemical solution that exfoliates your skin to remove old, dead skin cells and reveal a new layer of smoother, flawless, and youthful skin. This type of skin regeneration makes it a go-to treatment for a variety of skin problems like acne scars, dark spots, sun damage, and deep wrinkles.
After thoroughly cleansing your skin, a professional starts the chemical peel by applying a chemical solution. Common peeling acids used are glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, trichloroacetic acid, and carbolic acid, which all vary in benefits and potency. Based on an evaluation of your skin and your targeted trouble spots, you will be given a single-acid solution or a customized combination of these acids. Once the solution is applied, burning and stinging are common sensations that quickly follow. Not to worry, this merely proves that the chemical peel is doing its job. Your skin will undergo peeling and sensitivity in the next few days or weeks, but once you get past the pain, you’ll start to enjoy the results! While some people see immediate improvement after just one session, some are required multiple visits for best results.
Sounds pretty straight-forward, right? Now, this when things get a bit tricky – deciding on what type of chemical peel to get.
Chemical Peels for Wrinkles and Anti-aging
There are three types of chemical peels to choose from, depending on your skin issues and how skin-deep you want to exfoliate.
- Superficial peels target the epidermis or the outermost layer of your skin. This light chemical peel is a safe bet for those with minimal skin problems like shallow sun spots, rough patches, and clogged pores, typically taking 1-7 days to heal.
- Medium-depth peels take a longer period and more maintenance to heal, as it penetrates the second skin layer, the dermis. This targets more deep-rooted problems related to skin tone and texture. 7-14 days is the average downtime, wherein you will need to avoid sun exposure and take additional medication.
- Deep peels are the most intense in nature and only recommended for severe acne scars and skin issues. Surface-level healing can take up to several weeks, but sun exposure must be avoided for as long as 6 months.
If anti-aging is your main skincare goal, we recommend medium chemical peels to effectively reduce fine wrinkles, minor hyperpigmentation, and sun damage. They penetrate deep enough to stimulate collagen production and cell regeneration without harming naturally-aging skin.
During the treatment, the customized solution is concentrated on specific areas prone to wrinkles and other signs of aging, like the eyes and the mouth. Peeling and healing will take 7-14 days, during which aftercare treatment is crucial. Apart from practical tips like sunscreen application, washing your face with cool water and avoiding strenuous activities, some professionals may recommend antiviral medication to be on the safe side. As the healing period comes to an end, you will be rewarded with significant smoothening of wrinkles, a more even skin tone and an over-all radiant glow. Worth the wait? We think so!
Anti-aging is just one of the many wonders chemical peels are capable of. If you want a more in-depth rundown, you can read our article on other chemicals peel benefits here. With your skin aging concerns covered, let’s move on to another important factor to consider – skin age.
Are You Too Old for a Chemical Peel?
This is a question often asked by our customers, and understandably so. It is normal for aging skin to experience more sensitivity and longer recovery time when undergoing skin care treatments. And although chemical peels replenish your skin at a relatively deep level, it is done with a careful concentration of chemicals in a controlled manner that is generally safe for the skin and does not cause permanent damage.
That being said, we still encourage our customers, whatever age or skin issue, to consult our skin therapists before booking any treatment. That way, we will be able to properly assess your skin condition and recommend a safe and suitable treatment for you.
What You Should Know Before Getting a Chemical Peel
Now that you’re more familiar with chemical peels and the possible benefits and effects on your skin, we’ll leave you with a quick list of things to consider before booking your treatment with us.
Pre-Chemical Peel Treatment:
Consult our skin therapist.
Book a consultation with us for a professional assessment of your skin type, issues and goals. Be sure to share your history of past treatments and previous side effects, medications you are currently on, and other relevant information.
Plan your recovery in advance.
Take into account the healing period required after your chemical peel. Once you book your appointment, check your calendar and make sure to set aside time to properly recover.
Avoid certain medications, supplements and skincare products.
If possible, take a break from medications, supplements and skincare products that could cause blood clotting or skin irritation, like AHAs, BHAs, Retinol, Aspirin or Ibuprofen. Do this least one week before your chemical peel, but make sure to consult your doctor being do so.
Post-Chemical Peel Treatment
Keep calm and expect skin reactions.
Manage your expectations and prepare for these common skin reactions after your chemical peel. Don’t panic, these are all temporary signs that prove the treatment is working.
- Redness akin to a sunburn
- Blisters that are crusty to the touch and brown in color
- Patches of discoloration or scarring
Give your skin some TLC.
Follow our aftercare instructions to relieve you from possible pain and discomfort. When in doubt, feel free to consult us anytime post-treatment.
The sun is NOT your friend.
Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day for protection against UVA and UVB rays. Your skin will be very sensitive to the sun after a chemical peel, so if possible, avoid sun exposure as much as possible.
Patience is a virtue – one with great rewards awaiting at the end.
Our Anti-Aging Chemical Peels at Lovoir Skin Body & Beauty
If skin aging is your main concern, we recommend our O Cosmedic peels, which combine natural fruit extracts and potent actives to effectively reduce wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone. Our collection includes different peel variations, so we assure you there’s something for everyone – whether you have sensitive skin or deeper scars. Our skin therapists are well-equipped to recommend the best facial for you and your anti-aging goals.
You can book a chemical peel facial here or give us a call if you have any questions!