Home Chemical Peels vs Professional Peels
After years of damaging exposure from the sun and tanning booths, men and women alike are noticing a face of time, one that has become discolored, wrinkled or even leathery. And the sad thing for many, not that much time has passed. I see 30 year olds with skin that looks 60! You want a younger look – you want to remove that build-up of dead skin. With so much information passed around, what to do can be confusing and misleading. The lure of quick fixes and easy do it yourself treatments are appealing.
Chemical peels are a popular choice for stimulating your skin’s regeneration process to regain a fresher, healthier skin. The question is “Are home chemical peels an option, are they the wise choice?” Below are my thoughts about home chemical peels.
What is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a procedure where a blend of active, chemical solutions is administered to the skin to remove the outer layer of dead skin cells. There are several types of peels and when done by a properly trained professional, dramatic results can be achieved when treating skin suffering from photo aging, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, acne and rosacea. In addition, you will see marked improvement in the appearance of fine lines as well as in the texture and tone of the skin. Pore size is reduced, blemishes clear and the skin exhibits a healthier, rejuvenating glow. I make an extremely important point above that any peel you choose should be done by a properly trained professional. The majority of consumers are largely in the dark about the differences between various peels and the potential dangers. Here are two major myths when it comes to peels.
“Anyone can administer a chemical peel.”
The best peels use acids and very active ingredients that may burn and scar the skin if applied incorrectly. A peel causes a deliberate injury to the skin and can cause real damage when performed by an inexperienced person or administered to the wrong skin type. Caution must always be taken when doing a peel, being careful to not go too deeply or over-stimulate causing hyper or hypo pigmentation.
"All skin peels are the same."
Just as skin issues and skin types are very individualized, so are skin peels!
Are you AHA sensitive? Do you have aspirin sensitivity? What is your Fitzpatrick? Glycolic acid and lactic acid must be timed and neutralized and not all skins tolerate it as well. Salicylic acid is a form of the same ingredient that is in aspirin. Dark skins will easily hyperpigment if an incorrect acid strength is used - fair skin could burn too much. Take time to make sure your aesthetician considers your individual skin challenges prior to any procedure.
Your Best Option: Professional Chemical Peels
As mentioned above, there are important considerations to take into account before applying chemical acids to your skin. A true professional will make sure all these considerations are discussed and assessed in advance. Your skin is worth it!
The Three Main Types of Chemical Peels
There are an assortment of peels with varying active ingredients, but overall there are three main types. Progressive Peels do not cause immediate exfoliation and remove only the outer layer of skin. There is no down time with this peel and with repeated treatments, the skin begins to experience mild sloughing (shedding), resulting in a more youthful glow. Mid-Depth Peels affect the skin to a deeper level with exfoliation occurring within two to three days and light flaking similar to the peeling seen after mild sunburn. There are often instant results and very little down time with a mid-depth peel. Deep Peels affect the deepest intra epidermal layers. The skin will peel in large segments instead of flaking and after three to four days, the skin may become brown and crusty before peeling. Results are the most dramatic with deep peels and the overall process usually only takes seven to 10 days.
Who Can Benefit?
Almost everyone can find marked improvements in their skin’s tone and texture after a chemical peel. By using chemical peels to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the process of cell regeneration, you’ll see new, fresher and healthier skin. Plus, results can be further magnified and last longer when followed with good home corrective care. These professional peels are a great option because they are easy, convenient and affordable. Just be sure to work with an experienced professional who can give you your best outcome based on your individual needs (please note: women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or who have been prescribed Accutane in the last 12 months should avoid chemical peels).
So What Can You Do At Home?
With so many sophisticated cosmeceutical prepartations formulated at modified strengths, much can be done on a daily basis to literally transform your skin. Many of the same cautions apply though, such as skin color/Fitzpatrick, skin condition, sensitivities, allergies, and lifestyle. Using preparations that contain AHAs, Salicylic Acid, Kojic Acid for lightening, anti-bacterials, such as Totarol, important rejuvenators like peptides, epidermal growth factor, L-Ascorbic Acid, and D-Alpha Tocopherol will bring about renewed skin. Do a skin assessment with a professional and get guidance for the best home regimen for your skin. It will be worth the time and investment when you see your skin’s natural beauty revealed.