What Are Chemical Peels?
Administered by our Knoxville skincare professionals, chemical peels work by exfoliating the skin’s surface to reduce the appearance of blemishes, smooth skin texture, improve radiance, and restore skin health. They are most effective at enhancing cell turnover and improving the appearance on the surface of the skin.
Chemical peels come in many different strengths and acidic formulations ranging from superficial to higher penetrating peels. Some common acids in chemical peels are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), and trichloroacetic acid (TCA). AHAs are often used to treat signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, and uneven texture. BHAs are often used to treat problematic skin concerns such as blemishes, large pores and uneven texture. TCA is often used to treat more advanced visible signs of aging and discoloration caused by sun damage, acne, or hormones. The SkinCeuticals Smart TCA Peel is formulated with 15% TCA and 3% glycolic acid to improve the look of moderate to advancing fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration.
Why Get a Chemical Peel?
The depth and type of chemical peel used by a skincare professional depends on the condition of the skin, the skin’s Fitzpatrick type (skin color and likelihood to burn), and the skincare habits of the client. In general, the higher the Fitzpatrick skin type, the more caution should be exercised to avoid triggering a pigment response. For extremely sensitive skin and skin experiencing barrier dysfunction (eczema, psoriasis, etc), chemical peels are generally not recommended.
Our skilled Licensed Aestheticians will assess your skin and find the most appropriate type of chemical peel for your specific skin type.
What Type of Chemical Peel is Right for Me?
Chemical peels are categorized by how deeply they penetrate the skin: superficial, medium, or deep. The type and depth of chemical peel administered will depend on your skin type, concern, Fitzpatrick type, and skincare habits.
Superficial peels penetrate only the uppermost layer of the epidermis. They are often performed in a series to treat fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. SkinCeuticals chemical peels, cover a wide array of skin types and concerns and mostly fall into the superficial chemical peels category. SkinCeuticals Micropeel Sensitive is a great introduction to chemical peels. It is formulated to gently exfoliate skin, making it ideal for all skin types, especially those with sensitive skin, and has little-to-no downtime post-procedure. For acne prone skin, SkinCeuticals Micropeel Plus can help to reduce acne blemishes and help prevent future breakouts. For those looking to diminish fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin tone and radiance, SkinCeuticals Micropeel, also known as the red carpet peel, can be customized to suit your skin needs.
A medium-depth peel is more effective for patients with moderate skin damage, including age spots, freckles, and actinic keratoses.
Deep chemical peels are quite aggressive and affect the skin down to the reticular layer of the dermis. Traditionally performed with phenol, deep chemical peels are not very common today, as newer technology can deliver greater results with more control and less post-procedure discomfort.
Consult with our skincare professionals to create a customized treatment plan for your specific skin needs and to understand how to maintain results with advanced homecare.
How Do Chemical Peels Work?
Chemical peels improve the texture and appearance of the skin by sloughing off the outer layers of the skin. They are effective facial treatments for improving blemishes, fine lines, wrinkles, and skin tone. During the treatment, a pre-determined quantity of the peel solution is applied to the skin for a specified amount of time. This is dependent on the type of chemical peel used, the concentration of the solution, skin type, and skin’s reactivity to the treatment. This solution works by reacting with the upper layer of the skin to efficiently dissolve the bonds that bind surface cells to the skin, ultimately revealing smoother, healthier skin underneath. While some peels are self-neutralizing, most formulas need to be neutralized with a buffering solution or water upon completion of the treatment. The goal is to create a controlled, safe injury to the skin, thereby prompting skin to naturally repair itself and reveal newer, brighter skin.
The action of a professional chemical peel far outweighs the effect of an exfoliating scrub or brush. Best of all, chemical peels are appropriate for nearly everyone. It is a matter of knowing which chemical is best for your skin type and concerns.
Our skincare professionals will be able to determine the most appropriate peel formulation for your skin type and the most effective post-procedure regimen.
What Will I Experience During a Chemical Peel?
Even a superficial chemical peel may produce a tingling sensation on the skin. However, this mild discomfort will typically subside once the peel solution has been neutralized.
A superficial peel can produce some redness, similar to a mild sunburn, which may last 3 to 5 days. The more intense medium and deep peels will result in noticeable redness, swelling, blistering (in the case of deep peels), and/or peeling for 7 to 14 days.
Immediately after a chemical peel, skin becomes more photosensitive. It is absolutely necessary that a broad spectrum sunscreen is applied daily post treatment, and that sun exposure is avoided or kept to a minimum.
When Should I Get a Chemical Peel?
When and how frequently a chemical peel is administered will vary according to the depth and concentration of the peel. Superficial peels can become part of an ongoing monthly skin maintenance program. Medium depth peels are generally done in a series of 3-6, while a deep peel may only be done once or twice a year.
Due to the exfoliating nature of chemical peels, skin may become more susceptible to damage from environmental aggressors immediately post treatment. It is essential that a broad spectrum sunscreen is applied daily and diligently. Our skincare professionals might also recommend an at-home skincare regimen to help maintain the results of your chemical peel.
During times of increased UV exposure or activity, deep chemical peels or a series of medium depth peels should be avoided, as they will yield high sun-sensitivity in skin. Superficial chemical peels or lighter exfoliating agents are preferred.