People have long known the powerful effect of acids on the skin, which is why chemical peels are some of the oldest aesthetic facials in the world. Modern chemical peel facials are highly customized to your skin type, skin tone, and skin sensitivity. Learn everything you need to know about this highly effective professional exfoliation technique before you schedule an appointment at Peachtree Dermatology in Atlanta, GA.
How Long Do Chemical Peels Last?
In general, the longevity of your results after a chemical peel facial will be dependent on the depth of your peel treatment. A light peel or superficial peel will usually produce results that can last for one to two months, whereas a medium peel can last for six months. If you need to use a deep peel, such as to target extreme sun damage or address medical dermatology concerns, those results will typically last a lifetime.
Why Aren’t Results Always Permanent?
The results of a chemical peel facial aren’t always permanent for a few reasons. The depth of the peel will directly determine how many layers of skin cells are being removed, and since skin cells are constantly in a state of regeneration, the results of your facial will only last for as long as your next cellular turnover cycle. Even if you are removing several layers of skin cells, the results will usually only be temporary.
However, you can maintain longer-lasting results when you take very good care of your skin after your treatment. People who can avoid developing new sun damage or visible scarring can typically enjoy longer-lasting results, especially when effective skin care products are being used every day at home.
Can You See Results After One Treatment?
Chemical peels are very effective treatments, and many people can see a significant visible improvement in their superficial skin concerns after as little as one treatment. One treatment is generally effective enough to improve the appearance of enlarged pores, mild hyperpigmentation, and some visible scarring. The most noticeable results after a single treatment will be a marked improvement in the overall texture of your skin and the even tone of your complexion.
How Many Treatments Do You Need for Optimal Results?
For optimal results, you will likely need to have several consecutive treatments to address all of your superficial concerns. This is particularly true if you need to address multiple concerns or if your skin concerns are moderate to severe but your skin sensitivity cannot withstand frequent peel treatments. The specific skin condition you are treating will also influence how many treatments you need for optimal results.
To get a handle on acne-prone skin, you will usually need a series of at least two to three consecutive light peels to reduce excessive sebum production, minimize inflammation, and exfoliate skin cells. That said, many people who have acne-prone skin also use chemical peels on an ongoing basis to achieve optimal results. This is because a chemical peel facial can work in tandem with at-home acne skin care to control breakouts.
For age-related skin concerns, such as fine lines and wrinkles, you will usually need at least one or two treatments to achieve a more youthful, radiant visage. Of course, the depth of your peel facial will determine how many treatments you need to minimize visible aging. If your skin can tolerate a medium-depth peel, then you may only need one treatment for optimal results.
Blemishes such as hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and sun damage may need a few treatments to achieve optimal results. Some blemishes, such as post-acne marks, will need to be continually managed as acne flare-ups happen. On the other hand, if you can manage to avoid developing further sun damage, you may not need to have frequent treatment to maintain optimal results.
How Often Do You Need Treatments?
Ultimately, the frequency of your treatment will depend on the type of peel you have and how well you can maintain your results. Because the results of the light peel can last for one to two months, it’s common for people to schedule maintenance treatment every four to eight weeks based on skin condition, skin type, and the rate of natural cellular turnover.
Many people who can maintain results well with at-home skin care and good skin protection may not need to have treatments as frequently. For these people, it may only be necessary to schedule a new appointment when superficial skin concerns develop again.
What Layer of Skin Does a Chemical Peel Remove?
There are two layers of skin cells: the epidermis and the dermis. The dermis is the deepest layer of the skin that contains hair follicles, sweat glands, and nerves. A chemical peel will never remove layers of skin from the dermis.
Instead, a chemical peel will remove various layers from the epidermis, which is the visible layer of the skin. There are several layers of the epidermis, which is why the depth of your peel can be customized to suit the needs of your superficial skin concern.
What Should You Avoid Before Your Treatment?
Before your treatment, it’s imperative to avoid any exfoliating skincare products or exfoliating habits at home for one week. Exfoliating too closely to a professional exfoliation treatment leaves your skin too sensitive and more vulnerable to developing hyperpigmentation.
You should avoid at-home AHAs, BHAs, salicylic acid, azalea acid, and retinol. Even if your skin care products are prescribed by your dermatologist, you should not use them before your appointment.
What Should You Not Do After Chemical Peels?
If you want your results to develop optimally, you will have to follow aftercare instructions closely after chemical peels. In particular, you will need to avoid exposing your skin to excessive sweating and heat, including hot tubs, saunas, hot showers, and hot water when you are cleansing your skin. You should also avoid any exposure to chlorine, as this can cause skin irritation. Other things to avoid after a chemical peel include:
It’s a major mistake to skip out on sunscreen after a chemical peel treatment. While your skin is responding to your facial by exfoliating layers of the epidermis, the new skin cells underneath will be extremely vulnerable to free radicals in UV rays. When your new skin cells are exposed to UVA and UVB rays, skin damage, such as dark spots and fine lines, can develop.
It’s best to wear sunscreen anytime you plan to be outside. For people who have very sensitive skin, SPF 40 to 50 is generally the most effective. As for the type of sunscreen to use, both chemical sunscreen and mineral sunscreen can protect your skin, although mineral sunscreens will be friendlier to your skin immediately after chemical peels.
Use Chemical Exfoliants
You should continue to avoid the use of any chemical exfoliants in your at-home skincare routine for at least one week after your treatment. Although it may be tempting to exfoliate your skin if you notice any peeling or flakiness after your treatment, using chemical exfoliants at home will only damage your skin. In addition to avoiding chemical exfoliants, you should also avoid using any salt or sugar scrubs, cleansers with microbeads, or rushed rough washcloths to exfoliate the skin.
Can You Combine This Treatment?
A chemical peel is highly compatible with many other aesthetic facials. In fact, many people combine this superficial treatment with dermaplaning or microdermabrasion to enhance the success of their results. You can also combine this treatment with hydrating facials, dermal fillers, and neurotoxins.
How Long Does a Chemical Peel Take?
Your appointments usually take 20 to 30 minutes, although if you have any add-on treatments, your appointment may take up to an hour to complete. The depth of your chemical peel treatment will not influence how long your appointment will take.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Most people are generally good candidates for this treatment, except for people who have rosacea and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. A consultation with an aesthetic expert will assess your eligibility for this exfoliation treatment based on your skin type and skin tone.
Enjoy Long-Lasting Results With a Chemical Peel Facial
The results of a chemical peel facial can last for several weeks or months, depending on the depth of your peel treatment and how well you can maintain your results. Some people can enjoy permanent or long-lasting results by following aftercare instructions very closely. Reach out to Peachtree Dermatology in Atlanta, GA to schedule your initial consultation today.