What really happens when you get a chemical peel?
Chemical peels can improve the skin’s appearance. In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, which makes it ” blister ” and eventually peel off. The new skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. Chemical peels can be done on the face, neck, or hands.
How Chemical Peels Can Improve Your Skin
- Soften wrinkles and fine lines around mouth and mouth.
- Smooth away rough skin.
- Help uneven pigmentation appear more even.
- Minimize the appearance of sun damage.
- Reduce the appearance of age spots.
- Go to a pro.
“Chemical peels use a chemical agent to dissolve cellular bonds and excess skin cells,” explains ELEMIS VP of Global Education Annet King. Although professional peels vary in strength, you don’t want to try using pro peels at home. King adds, “Always consult a well-trained professional to see what they recommend, to evaluate your response and possible contraindications. Never try this at home!” A professional can also assess what peel would be best to treat certain skin issues such as acne or hyperpigmentation.
- You don’t really peel.
When you think about chemical peels, you likely picture your face shedding like a snake. But in reality, t’s actually not that intense. “One misnomer about peels is that you peel,” says King. “Sometimes you can’t see the peeling, as it’s not in sheets [of skin], but you are peeling and have successfully exfoliated your skin.”
- Don’t book your appointment before a big event.
Want to look fresh-faced for a big event? Be very careful about booking a peel too close to the big day. (Remember that scene in Sex and the City when Samantha was forced to wear a veil post-peel? Yeah, let’s avoid that!) It’s especially important if you’ve never had a peel and don’t know how your skin is going to react. Although a lot of peels require zero downtime, it’s a chance you still don’t want to take.
- It’s not extremely painful.
Just the word “peel” might have you cringing as you imagine layers of skin being blasted, but because a lot of peels today are focused on minimizing downtime, the actual procedure won’t be as harsh. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about shrieking out in pain. It’s actually post-peel when you might find your skin to be most tender.
- Complications are the most common post-peel.
Are you worried something could go wrong during the procedure? Although there is always that possibility with any procedure, King states that the majority of complications happen post-peel. And they’re usually caused by a lack of compliance from the person who received the peel. Whoops! So, if your dermatologist gives you instructions, make sure you follow them closely!
- Be careful of what products you use after your peel.
One thing that can cause problems after a chemical peel is using any old product on your face. Even the products that you normally use in your skincare routine could irritate your face post peel. This is especially true if they contain harsh ingredients. Ask your derm what gentle products you should use on your face post-peel to reduce the likelihood of irritation.