From rough, uneven skin texture to pigmentation concerns that have you reaching for your favorite concealer, everyone has a skin concern that can make them feel self-conscious. But you shouldn’t feel like you have to hide your skin and imperfections – particularly when there are aesthetic treatments that can perfect your skin appearance and refine your skin health. At Precision MD in Elk Grove, CA, we know one of the best and most practical aesthetic treatments is a chemical peel.
A chemical peel is one of the oldest aesthetic treatments in the world, with some historians suggesting the first peels date back to Ancient Egypt and Cleopatra, who reportedly applied sour milk to her skin as part of her beauty regimen. These days, the peels that are used in clinics are more advanced than natural lactic acid peels, and that means they can help you quickly accomplish all of your aesthetic goals.
Can You See Results After One Chemical Peel?
Yes! Many people can see a significant improvement in the appearance of their skin tone and texture in as little as one peel treatment. This is because a peel functions as an exfoliant, which can drastically improve the superficial quality of your skin. Naturally, those who have mild appearance concerns may find it easier to improve their skin health in one treatment.
For those who have moderate to severe concerns, and for those who have chronic concerns like acne, it may take more than one peel to produce your desired results. As a point of note, the strength of the peel that is used also plays an important role in how effective a single treatment is. Additionally, some patients find that certain chemicals or acids are more effective than others, so your skin type and tone will also be a factor in determining how quickly you will see results.
10 Common Questions About Chemical Peel Treatments
1. How Long Do Results Last?
The results of a peel will last for varying lengths of time depending on the strength of the peel used for your treatment. For example, some peels only exfoliate the top layers of your skin and produce results that will last for four to six weeks. Other peels can produce results that last for three to four months, and sometimes even years.
Of course, how long your results will last may also depend on other factors, such as how well you take care of your skin after your treatment. The results of your treatment may also last longer depending on what you are treating. For instance, treatment for acne scars may last longer than treatment for acne, depending on your skin condition, skincare, and skin type.
2. Do Results Get Better With More Peels?
Yes! Like many other aesthetic treatments, more appointments tends to equal better results. When you have consecutive peel treatments, you can better manage the condition of your skin to prevent any further issues. A good example of this is using peels to control acne breakouts; the first treatment will exfoliate the skin and kill acne-causing bacteria, while the subsequent treatments will help maintain this condition.
More profoundly, repeated peels can alter the health and appearance of your skin over time. By regularly exfoliating and resurfacing the skin, you will be able to essentially reprogram some of your common skin concerns, like oil production, dryness, and redness. And for peels that stimulate the natural production of collagen and skin healing, repeated peels will help results last longer and be more comprehensive.
3. How Frequently Should You Have This Aesthetic Treatment?
The frequency of this treatment will be determined by the strength of the peel being used. Light peels can be used as often as four to six weeks, medium peels can be used every three to six months, and deep peels can be used once every two years. Sometimes deep peels are only used once in a lifetime since they can be exclusively medical-grade treatments rather than aesthetic treatments.
If you aren’t sure how frequently you should have a peel, then you should be sure to pay attention to your skin. Most often for light and medium peels, you will notice the results of the peels within seven to 10 days; over time, as your new skin cells acclimate to environmental exposure, your results will fade. When you notice your results are fading, then it’s time to schedule another peel appointment. Since everyone has different skin and different skin needs, your treatments may be more or less frequently than others.
4. What Can This Treatment Help With?
Peel treatments are some of the most versatile treatments available and are generally an appropriate option for almost any skin concern. Typically, these treatments are considered exfoliating and skin resurfacing treatments, which means they are a preferred option for treating superficial skin concerns. A superficial skin concern is one that appears on the visible layer of the skin and includes a vast assortment of concerns, including:
- Active acne
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
- Atrophic acne scarring
- Clogged pores
- Enlarged pores
- Blackheads and whiteheads
- Oil overproduction
- Dry and rough skin
- Uneven skin tone
- Dark spots
- Sun damage
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Skin laxity
Sometimes, a peel is used as a medical treatment to remove pre-cancerous skin lesions or benign signs of skin cancer. Usually, a peel used for this purpose is performed by a medical dermatologist, rather than a certified aesthetician or cosmetic dermatologist.
5. Why Is Exfoliation Important?
Exfoliation is an essential step of any skincare routine and should ideally be done up to three times a week if you are exfoliating at home. In a skincare routine, exfoliation would be placed after cleansing and before moisturizing. Exfoliating the skin regularly helps regulate your natural skin cell turnover cycle, encourages blood flow to the surface of the face, and allows for better product absorption.
All skin goes through a natural cycle of shedding called skin cell turnover, which usually happens every 28 to 40 days, depending on your age and skin condition. However, many people experience irregular skin shedding, which is what contributes to problems such as acne and uneven skin tone. A peel treatment produces results that are far more effective than at-home exfoliation.
6. Which Peel Option Is Right for You?
The peel strength that is right for you depends entirely on your aesthetic goals and your skin condition. In general, we use peel strengths and chemicals that are customized to your needs. For example, some people do better with glycolic acid peels than lactic acid peels. The main three peel strengths are:
Light peels are the most common and can be used the most frequently. A light peel can be used to address concerns such as uneven tone, acne, minor acne scarring, and rough or dry skin texture. Light peels only exfoliate the topmost layers of skin cells and are compatible with most people.
Medium peels are stronger peels that are most often used to address age-related concerns, such as fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, sun damage, dark spots, moderate scarring. Medium peels are ideal for those who have moderate to severe age-related concerns, as well as those who would like to improve the overall tone and texture of the skin.
While deep peels are often used for medical circumstances, they can also be used for cosmetic purposes. In particular, deep peels can reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles and severe scarring, and can often produce permanent results. Sometimes, deep peels are used to treat sun damage that penetrates multiple layers of skin.
7. What Should You Do Before Your Treatment?
Before your treatment, you should do your best to avoid any skin irritation from new products, waxing, tweezing, or sun exposure, including tanning beds. You can still attend your treatment appointment if you are having a mild acne breakout, but you should reschedule in the case of fever blisters, cold sores, eczema, or psoriasis.
8. Will You Have Aftercare Instructions?
Yes, you will have aftercare instructions. Although there is no recovery time associated with this treatment, you will still need to follow a set of instructions to ensure that your skin recovers well from this treatment. Some of the aftercare instructions will tell you how to wash your face with gentle cleansers and tepid water, as well as the best type of moisturizer to use.
Other important parts of your aftercare instructions will be to avoid scrubbing or exfoliating the skin, including with acid exfoliants. You will not be able to use Retinol or retinoids for several days. You should also avoid excessive sweating and direct sunlight, as well as hot water on or near the face.
9. How Can You Maintain Your Results?
Maintaining the results of your treatment is all about adopting a preventative attitude for your skincare. The goal of maintaining your results should be to prevent any further skin damage, irritation, or breakouts. The better you are at maintaining the health of your skin, the longer your results will last. Some methods to maintain your results will include:
Protecting your skin from the sun should be part of your skin routine anyway, but it’s especially important after a chemical peel. Unprotected exposure to UV rays can damage your skin, which will make it easier to develop signs of sun damage as you age. Ideally, you should wear sunscreen with a high SPF strength. SPF 30 to 40 is usually adequate for most skin types.
Using the right skincare products is also important to maintain your results. The skincare products you use should support your skincare goals, so that means using acne-fighting products against acne and anti-aging products against aging. You can use over-the-counter products, special prescription-strength dermatology brands, or even topical medications – just be sure to stay consistent on your use of these products as this is the best way to achieve your desired results.
10. Who Are Good Candidates?
The vast majority of patients are good candidates for this treatment. A chemical peel is generally a good option regardless of gender, age, skin tone, or skin type. If you want to improve the appearance and health of your skin, as well as tackle specific skin concerns, then you are likely a good candidate.
Refine Your Skin Health With Chemical Peels
You don’t need to hide your skin – you just need to find a treatment that helps you restore the health and appearance of your skin. If you believe that a chemical peel is an ideal treatment for you, please contact Precision MD in Elk Grove, CA to schedule your initial appointment today.