There are plenty of facial peels out there and in this blog, I will break down the different types of chemical peels on the market, what skin conditions they target and the overall benefits and possible side effects of chemical peel treatments. Through this, I hope to be able to provide you with a comprehensive range of face peels so that you can discover the best chemical peels for you!
Types of chemical peels
There are three different types of chemical peels. The first is a superficial peel and can be found in the form of AHAs. Such peels remove skin cells from the top epidermis layer of the skin, providing mild exfoliating and encouraging the skin to produce new fresh skin and collagen, healing superficial scarring and wounds on the skin’s surface.
The second is known as a medium peel which can contain ingredients such as glycolic acid, capable of penetrating past the epidermis to the surface of the dermis, therefore providing deeper exfoliation and suitable for more severe scarring and shedding damaged skin.
The third, and most potent, is known as a deep peel. This peel has the ability to penetrate into the dermis, a middle layer of the skin and can contain ingredients such as phenol a derivative of trichloroacetic acid, which has been scientifically proven to get rid of old, damaged, dead skin and promote overall regeneration at a deeper cellular level.
Are facial peels good for my face?
Yes, chemical peels from a licensed, trained aesthetician or dermatologist are great for those dealing with more severe or prominent skin concerns and wish to have extra help in resolving or healing them. These can include, for example, deep acne scars, discolouration and hyperpigmentation, sun damage, persistent acne breakouts, fine lines and wrinkles.
Therefore, there is a type of chemical peel for each and every skin concern.
A superficial or medium peel can aid in providing epidermis and dermis exfoliation with ingredients such as retinol, glycolic and lactic acid which not only work to heal superficial, surface layer skin concerns but also encourage the skin to promote new, fresh, healthy skin cells. Thus, facial peels are great for those seeking to tackle the immediate issue short term, but also ensure that new skin is healthier and refreshed in the long term.
Is peeling treatment bad for my face? Should I be careful?
Superficial and medium peels are safe when done correctly and by a professional. As the saying goes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and thus it is important to keep in mind when considering and using chemical peels.
Chemical peels are safe and mild peeling after treatments such as medium and deep peels are completely normal, expected and the aesthetician or dermatologist should make you aware of this before going forward with any type of chemical peel treatment. However, these peels should be spaced out, depending on the treatment and the strength of the peel, it could be, on average, anywhere between 4-12 weeks. Anymore frequent and there are possible risks and side effects, due to over-exfoliation, which could cause a reversal effect and actually damage the skin instead of healing it over time.
Signs to look out for if you think you are suffering from over exfoliation could be, but are not limited to, burning and peeling skin, redness, breakouts and sensitivity to products. All of these could be symptoms of over exfoliation and a cry for help from your body to either reduce the number of chemical peels you are getting, perhaps spacing them out as it gives the body enough time to resume regular bodily function and replenish with new layers of skin, or reduce the strength/change the type of peel. This is due to the fact that sensitised, damaged skin is the result of a weakened skin barrier, and a weakened skin barrier can lead you more susceptible to external environmental aggressors such as the sun or air pollution, which unfortunately lead to even more damage to the skin.
If you feel you are dealing with over exfoliated skin as a consequence of chemical peels then there are some simple steps you can do on a personal level to aid your skin in recovery. Stripping your skincare routine to the bare essentials is a great step, a gentle cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen and try to ween off any exfoliation, physical or chemical, for the time being. In this way, your skin has some time to breathe and resume regular skin regeneration, healing and function without any ‘harsher’ products stripping natural oils or layers of skin. Keeping it simple is the key to allow your skin the time to heal itself.
This does not mean you have to be scared off of chemical peels forever. If you wish to indulge in chemical peels once again, a dermatologist or aesthetician will usually guide and recommend you to start slowly, adding acids and other extra products into your routine over time. It is important to listen to your skin, pay attention when it is reacting differently to a treatment or products and if concerned, consult with a professional who will be able to recommend a routine and treatment plan which can help you heal your skin from the inside out.
What are the benefits of a chemical peel?
There is a multitude of benefits to the skin upon getting a chemical peel. This can also depend on the type of peel, the ingredients and your skin goals. Generally, chemical peels boast the ability to improve overall tone, texture whilst calming and reducing redness or inflammation over a course of treatments.
Which chemical peel is best for my skin?
Chemical Peel for acne-prone skin and acne scars:
The PCA perfecting peel is a great choice for those seeking to rejuvenate and brighten skin complexion. If you are dealing with persistent acne, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, signs of sun damage (which can include brown spots and uneven skin tone), then the combination of mandelic acid and retinoid, vitamin A, will work to exfoliate the surface layer of the skin, declogging pores of excess oil, dirt and dead skin, to ensure an overall clearer complexion as well as promoting collagen production and cell renewal at a deeper dermis level. Thus, making this treatment a great choice for those suffering from uneven texture and tone, seeking to even out the skin and get brighter, healthier, clearer skin.
Chemical peel for antiageing, skin rejuvenation:
There are plenty of chemical peels which can target signs of ageing, sun damage and an overall dull complexion. Ingredients to look out for are things such as retinol, lactic acid and glycolic acid, all of which boast the ability to heal wounds, fine lines or wrinkles, resurface the skin and encourage collagen production.
Chemical peels such as the iS Clinical Fire & Ice Facial Treatment with its inclusion of ingredients such as lactic acid and retinol work in harmony to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and pores as well as reintroduce hydration and moisture back into the skin with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and aloe vera. The best chemical peel which is both regenerative, soothing and healing, caring for the skin, protecting the moisture barrier whilst ridding the skin of excess dead skin, making way for a fresher, glowing appearance.
What are the results?
The results of chemical peels are dependent on which peel you have opted for but overall, the philosophy and function of chemical peels is to promote a more even toned skin complexion, which is brighter and aiding the skin in deep cell renewal and collagen production to aid in healing prominent acne scars, hyperpigmentation and signs of premature ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles.
So is it worth it? Overall, a medical-grade chemical peel can be a great addition to your current skincare routine to aid in providing an even, less congested, brighter complexion. If you are looking to aid your skin in speeding up the process of healing damaged skin, then chemical peels are a great option for you to promote deeper cellular healing and rejuvination which is not possible with regular drugstore products. A chemical peel is the best option for you which goes that step further in rejuvenating and enhancing your appearance, resolving deeper skincare conditions and concerns.
Author: Katherine Nagato