What’s the Deal with a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels are a great step to add to your anti-aging skincare routine. They reduce skin spots, minor flaws and improve skin tone. Regular chemical peels encourage collagen production. Collagen is responsible for firmer, more youthful skin.

How a Chemical Peel Works

Chemical peels are a heavy-duty exfoliator. A chemical like alpha hydroxy acid, trichloroacetic acid or beta hydroxy acid is applied to the skin and helps tired, damaged skin resurface by creating a reaction that causes the skin’s upper layers to shed. The shedding encouraged by the acid stimulates collagen production for firmer skin. The more concentrated the acid, the more exfoliation occurs, which leads to bigger improvement of your skin’s quality. The process works much like a facial and can be completed in as little as half an hour.

What Can a Chemical Peel Do for the Skin?

Peels smooth the skin, help fade dark spots, clear up acne and reverse sun damage. A reduction in fine lines and wrinkles as well as clearer, blackhead-free skin are also possible. If a chemical peel is performed regularly (every 6-8 weeks), collagen production is increased, further reducing fine wrinkles and firming the skin overall. 

What Are the Drawbacks to a Chemical Peel?

During the application process of the solution, an uncomfortable burning and stinging sensation may occur. This may last for just a few minutes and can be relieved with a cool compress on the skin.

Other drawbacks depend on how intense the chemical peel is. After any chemical peel, sunscreen must be applied frequently to protect the new, sensitive skin. Because the new skin is more sensitive to UV and the sun, avoid chemical peels before a beach vacation or the most active, outdoor months.

Temporary redness, peeling and swelling can occur as the skin is replaced with fresh new skin. The sensitive, sunburned-feeling skin should clear up within a week after a mild chemical peel, while deeper peels take longer (2 weeks or more) to heal.

Should an Expert Perform a Chemical Peel?

While there are many at-home peel kits available, they are not as concentrated or effective as a chemical peel performed by a professional. But even an at-home mild peel can be dangerous, causing serious damage to your skin. A chemical peel should be left to a professional and performed at scheduled intervals. Having peels too often can damage or burn your skin.

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