It’s easy to feel despair when cataloging the changes rendered to your face over time. But it’s equally easy to take a stand and undo some of those changes. A chemical peel from True Skin Care Center in Chicago, IL, is safe for most skin types and can gently restore a more youthful appearance. And because each peel builds upon the last, your results will continue to reveal fresher, newer skin after each session.
Is a Chemical Peel Good for Skin?
This treatment is entirely worthy of the hype it receives. Peels as we know them have been used since the 1990s, but that doesn’t mean they’re outdated. These therapies have evolved just as other cosmetic treatments have – think laser and new injectables – to refine and refurbish your appearance more effectively than ever.
Peels have, in fact, been used throughout history to soften skin. Ancient Egyptians applied ointments of salt, oils, and acids. The Greeks and Romans similarly opted for sulfur, while experiments by Gypsy populations paved the way for the phenol peel – a medical-grade resurfacing treatment. Studying these early techniques has encouraged researchers to incorporate natural ingredients like fruit acids into today’s treatments.
As you might have guessed, peels are formulated in ways that target specific concerns. In general, they’re classified by their ingredients; salicylic acid peels, for instance, work to reduce acne and clarify the complexion, whereas enzyme peels restore hydration and luminosity. The point of all treatments is to rejuvenate the skin, but choosing one that most closely matches your needs will provide the greatest benefit.
That brings us to our next point, which is why patients choose chemical peels in the first place. We could sum this answer by saying they’re versatile, but these treatments deserve a closer look. Let’s start with perhaps the most obvious, and that is peels smooth away rough patches to give you the silkiest skin possible. It lifts dead layers to reveal fresh, healthy cells that give you a flawless canvas.
Erases and Minimizes
Lines are often the first signs of aging, but peels whisk them away. By removing skin’s damaged outer layer, peels can permanently remove lines and soften wrinkles. This is as close to turning back the hands of time as you can get without surgery.
Peels also minimize pores, a concern faced by many. Strips that promise to shrink pores actually do nothing more than tear skin and pull away essential oils that help you stay moisturized. But peels remove dead cells and debris in a way that is beneficial for your tissues rather than traumatizing.
Fades and Lifts
Among the most frustrating skin concerns are spots of discoloration. Bleaching treatments aren’t safe because you have no way of measuring how much lighter your skin will become until it’s too late. In addition, only people with certain skin tones can use these treatments. A much more predictable alternative is a peel that can fade discoloration for good.
Peels additionally deliver the surprising benefit of lifting the skin. This is ideal for those with signs of aging who don’t want a facelift. Not only are such procedures costly, but they require lengthy recoveries as well. A peel allows you to return to work much more quickly and with similarly sculpted results.
Soothes and Balances
Scars form permanently when damage penetrates deep enough to reach the skin’s second layer, the dermis. New collagen fibers then form to mend the tissues, resulting in a spot markedly different from the surrounding skin. Chemicals contained within a peel, however, force many scars – including those caused by acne – to recede.
Any number of treatments strive to whisk away wrinkles, brighten complexions, or soften rough patches, but few focus on overall tone. We’re talking about redness and lighter or darker patches caused by hormonal fluctuations, lifestyle choices, and sun exposure. Peels restore balance to skin tone so you look completely refreshed.
We saved the best for last because any patient who’s ever had acne knows getting rid of it is no small feat. Topical ointments only go so far and, if they work at all, produce results very slowly. Peels cleanse skin much more thoroughly and provide deep exfoliation to reveal new, healthy tissues.
As acne treatments, peels often work best when delivered as a series of therapies. The best part is you’ll see results much more quickly than topical serums can provide.
How Peels Work
During a chemical peel, an acid-based solution is applied to your face. The solution causes a controlled, surface-level injury to skin that triggers your natural healing response. As part of this process, your skin will shed its damaged layer and replace it with younger tissues. From there, collagen and elastin production increase to restore bounce and volume.
What to Expect
Treatment typically takes about an hour so you can get on with your day. We start by cleansing your skin, followed by covering your hair and eyes. We then apply the water-like solution to your face in an even layer. That solution contains an exfoliating agent, such as glycolic acid, to “unglue” clusters of dead skin cells.
After leaving the solution in place for a specific length of time, usually around 10 minutes, we neutralize and remove it. Depending on the exact treatment recommended for you, we may finish by applying soothing ointments that lock in moisture.
A chemical peel doesn’t provide dramatic results immediately. Instead, it works to progressively grow new skin cells that balance your complexion. We’ll craft a treatment plan once we assess your appearance to help deliver the changes you seek. For some people, we’ll recommend treatments every three to four weeks to fight the signs of aging. For other patients, we’ll recommend a peel every four to six weeks.
Some of the results you can expect include:
- Softer skin texture
- Purged bacteria to reduce acne
- Tighter, firmer skin
- Smaller pores
- Reduced discoloration
- Increased collagen production
- Improved absorption of skincare products
How To Prepare for Treatment
You won’t need to do much in preparing for treatment, but a few self-care steps will help you realize the most from a peel. For instance, you’ll likely need to discontinue all products containing such ingredients as benzoyl peroxide and retinoids five days before your appointment. We may also recommend you stop using products like:
- Facial scrubs
- Products containing glycolic acid and salicylic acid
You’ll want your skin in the best condition possible so it responds appropriately to the chemical peel solution; this means safeguarding yourself from sun damage by applying sunscreen every day. You can take this one step further and additionally wear a wide brim hat if you plan to be outside for an extended time.
A key rule in aftercare is keeping your hands off your face. This means no scratching, picking, or touching skin for any reason but to apply a gentle cleanser and moisturizer. You should also keep your hair tied back so it can’t irritate skin and contribute to breakouts. It’s nearly impossible to not touch your face when you’re repeatedly pushing hair away. Securing it with a headband or other accessories will ensure your skin recovers without incident.
Remember To Moisturize
Moisturizing is equally key. Certain skincare products will be off-limits after treatment because they contain harsh ingredients. But a neutral moisturizer is essential to nourishing new cells. Just make sure it doesn’t contain perfumes or alcohol; if you need help in choosing one right for your skin type, let us know.
When applying moisturizer, place a thin layer across your face as many times as needed throughout the day. You’ll be able to resume your normal skincare routine with the products you know and love after about a week.
Use SPF Every Day
A peel eliminates sun damage – you don’t want to undo this benefit by once more exposing your skin to the sun. It is therefore important to continue protecting it with a daily layer of sunscreen. Whether you’re spending time outside, sitting in front of any kind of screen, or lounging by a window, sunscreen is a must. Look for one with an SPF of at least 30 for the most benefit.
A Few Final Notes
If you have any of the concerns mentioned here – including lines, wrinkles, acne, discoloration, and visible pores – you’re probably a great candidate for a peel. No age limit is in place, and we treat patients from 20 to 65 years old. However, we do not recommend peels for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Oral antibiotics used to treat acne can be continued with a chemical peel. Topical prescription medications, however, should be delayed until we tell you otherwise. The same is true of over-the-counter acne remedies; we’ll let you know when it’s safe to resume such treatments.
An Easy Treatment with Beautiful Results
While we all undergo some visible changes with the passing of time, we don’t have to sit helplessly and let those changes erode our confidence. Chemical peels can be the key to softer, smoother, and more youthful-looking skin. Schedule your consultation today by calling True Skin Care Center in Chicago, IL.