Different Kinds of Chemical Peels (and Their Uses)

Different Kinds of Chemical Peels | RefinedMD, Los Gatos

Different Kinds of Chemical Peels (and Their Uses)

Technically, chemical peels have been around for thousands of years—there is evidence of ancient cultures using things like citric acid concoctions to brighten the skin. Fortunately, we have come a long way in terms of peel technology, and RefinedMD is home to some of the best, safest, and most effective chemical peels available. By definition, a “peel” is any treatment that peels away the top layer or layers of skin. It doubles down on results by removing dull, damaged skin to reveal younger-looking skin below the surface while simultaneously stimulating collagen production. The collagen production aspect is going to take some time.

Peels can treat a myriad of skin issues ranging from fine lines and wrinkles to dullness, sagging, and even scarring or hyperpigmentation. They all use a chemical solution that is applied to the skin by a professional. There are three categories of peels including light/superficial, medium, and deep. It is very rare that a deep peel is used these days because scarring can occur if aftercare isn’t closely followed and both the pain and downtime are intense. Instead, light and medium peels are the norm with many people opting for lighter peels so that there is little to no downtime. In fact, with some light peels, you might not even notice a literal peeling of the skin. But don’t worry, it’s still doing its job.

Why In-Office Peels are Important

In recent years, there have been an influx of chemical peels on the market that are at-home DIY solutions. Steer clear of these. The best-case scenario is that they don’t do much. In the worst cases, they can damage your skin permanently. Applying and removing a proper, medical-grade chemical peel is going to require a professional. Plus, professional peels are strongest and are going to give you the best results. These peels feature ingredients like salicylic acid as an exfoliant. Exactly how much skin is removed is going to depend on the ingredients, how long the peel is allowed to be active, and the quality of the application and removal process.

Today, chemical peels are one of the most common non-invasive treatments in the U.S. There are peels safe and suitable for any skin tone, including those with more melanin. Previously, peels were not recommended for darker skin tones as they could cause hypopigmentation, but that’s no longer the case. Still, the best peel for you should be determined by an expert.

Different Peels

Light peels remove just the epidermis, or the topmost layer of skin. They are made of mild acidic ingredients, often alpha hydroxy acid, which provides a gentle exfoliation. You may notice light peeling, flaking, or nothing after undergoing this treatment. Medium peels go deeper, into the middle layer of skin or the dermis. There are more acidic solutions used here, typically glycolic or trichloroacetic acid, in order to get rid of damaged cells. For deep peels, the bottom part of the dermis is affected. Phenol is a common ingredient in these peels.

One factor in determining which peel is best for you is to figure out what you want to treat. Acne is well treated with a light peel, and some hyperpigmentation can be removed with this, too. However, lines, freckles, age spots, and wrinkles will call for a medium peel. Both light and medium peels can be repeated in order to improve or sustain results. A deep peel is usually reserved for severe cases and should only be repeated after several months.

Prepping for a Peel

On average, a light peels takes just 1 – 7 days for full recovery while a medium peel can take up to two weeks. Most people feel comfortable going about their daily lives during this time, but the varying degrees of flaking or peeling (as well as redness) can have some clients avoid unnecessary social obligations during this time. It is not uncommon for swelling, crusting, and even blisters to occur (especially with medium peels).

We have many light and medium peels available to address all of your skin concerns. To find out more, schedule a consultation with RefinedMD skin care specialists today. Call the office during business hours or, for the fastest response, complete the online contact form right now.