The Ultimate Guide to Chemical Peels

The Ultimate Guide to Chemical Peels

Chemical Peels sound like an amazing dream come true! You go to a spa or your dermatologist, lay down on a comfy chair and have someone gently brush a fresh mask on your face to wake up with the ultimate glow-y look and a smooth skin! 

If you want to get rid of fine lines, there’s a chemical peel for that! Need to combat acne? There’s another peel for that too! But which one do you choose for your specific skin type? 

There are also a ton of horror stories online of chemical peels gone wrong, so how do you ensure that you get the optimal result?

The most important thing is making sure that your dermatologist or aesthetician is reputable and experienced at using chemical peels. There are a lot of hair salons and certain spas that offer chemical peels, but with over a decade of treating all skin types, I definitely know expertise is of the utmost importance.

You also want a very thorough consultation. You want all your questions answered, and you want to have your dermatologist or aesthetician talk about your goals with your skin and what type of peel would be appropriate. You also want to talk about your expectations and ultimately, the results you can expect to achieve. You want to gather as much information as you can during your consultation. 

The number of different peels that are available on the market are almost infinite. With so many acids and in different combinations in peels, peels can be customized to address a wide array of different skin concerns. Chemical peels differ in strength as well. The main difference would be superficial peels, which have little to no downtime; medium-depth peels include stronger acids for specific skincare issues and have more peeling time. There are so many options! For example, there’s a peel that can be done on a bride the day before her wedding that will make her skin look great. There is also a peel that will leave you not wanting to leave the house for a week!

Some of the most popular peels are for acne-prone skin, skin that has suffered discoloration from acne, and for dry skin. 

With acne-prone skin, normally what we recommend is beta hydroxy acid, and there’s really only one, which is salicylic acid. It has certain advantages for oily or acne-prone skin because it reduces inflammation. Because salicylic acid is an acid that’s closely related to aspirin, it contains those aspirin-like properties, so irritation and inflammation are kept to a minimum. The other nice thing about salicylic acid is that it’s oil soluble, which means it’s a really good peeling agent for oily, acne-prone skin. Skin types with rosacea are really good candidates for peels containing salicylic acid as well. 

Once your acne clears up, and you’re only dealing with scarring, you might want to try a type of chemical peel that improves hyperpigmentation and scarring. And for that, we’re going to treat you with different types of acids. Primarily, we would use a combination of TCA (trichloroacetic acid), which is really good for scarring and we’ll alternate that with a combination of alpha hydroxy acids and retinoic acid. Those are peels that you’ll have to have a physician order, so you’ll have to do it with your medical esthetician or us at Skin Specialists. Treating scarring with a more aggressive approach is mostly recommended, as long as you don’t have any active acne.

But what if you have a dry skin type? Our go-to is usually lactic acid. It’s in the alpha hydroxy acid family, and it is a lot gentler than the rest of the acids, so it’s better for drier or sensitive skin. It’s a natural acid, so there’s less of an allergic reaction with it as well. 

We work not only with a lot of different skin types, but also all skin colors. And it is very important to do your research when you have darker skin or more pigmentation, especially if you want to have a deeper peel done. About 90% of chemical peels are superficial, so there is a low probability of having any issues there. But, if you are looking to get rid of scarring, and a deeper chemical peel is needed, make sure you go to a specialist that has experience with working with your skin tone. Not that it cannot be done, but in some cases, all you need is several lighter treatments instead. 

If you have been thinking about getting a chemical peel and getting that smooth and glowy-skin everyone keeps talking about, give us a call at 972-649-6644 or schedule a free consultation online and we will assess your skin type, your goals and ultimately, which chemical peel will be best for you!