At the age of 47, I am very familiar with things like sun spots, fine lines & under eye wrinkles. Over the years I have tried many different things but found chemical peels to be more effective compared to others.
My dermatologist plans out a rotation of medium as well as superficial depth peels at an interval of six to eight weeks. The results are quite good and give my skin a fresh look. Let me share my experience with you of how chemical peel treatments are to be planned to get a clear glowing skin.
Point 1 – Get in touch with a dermatologist
It is important to consult a dermatologist since only he can evaluate the different skin conditions, whether it is melasma, sun spots or freckle. Dermatologist will check your skin type to tell if chemical peels would be the right option for your skin condition.
Doctor will find out the strength required for your skin type and also the frequency of application. Normally a licensed aesthetician will apply the chemical peel but you must see to it that the person has minimum five years experience in application of chemical peels since only with experience they can know how long it should be kept and which areas on the face need more attention.
Point 2 – Be aware of chemical peel’s strength
It is necessary that you know chemical peel’s strength so that you can plan your work accordingly. As for example, if peeling is performed on Thursday and you have to go to a big function on Sunday then stronger peels are to be avoided. Similarly, you don’t have to wait for a month to schedule any excursion after application of medium ones.
There are 3 basic types of peels:
Medium depth peels
Superficial Peels – These work on skin’s top layer called as epidermis and you can get it done during your lunchtime. You will see instant effects such as a luminous complexion and practically no downtime. However, skin may feel dry and tight for the first few days. These are useful for problems such as acne spots, fine lines, mild hyper-pigmentation and dry skin and considered safe for all types of skin. Common ingredients used consist of salicylic acid (for stronger exfoliation), glycolic acid and TCA in very low strength. You will require a series of treatments to get the desired result and these are also less effective in providing anti-aging results of longer duration that are gained from some of the stronger peels.
Medium Depth Peels– As the name suggests, these have deeper penetration and reach the dermis where they remove skin’s deep layers in which several blemishes such as sun spots are present. These develop a wound which can be like sunburn which lets new skin to form and some amount of downtime is involved to let the new skin grow. As these go deeper into the skin and stimulate collagen, you will find them effective in curing sun damage. Common ingredients include TCA of 25-35% concentration and glycolic acid. Scarring risk is possible if TCA of higher than 35% concentration is used. Normally, I go for two to three medium peels every year during the months of March & October when it is much less warmer.
Deep Peels– These consist of carbolic acid and are used to treat sun damage as well as deep wrinkles with a downtime of around 2 weeks to let your skin recover. You will need sedation before application and risk of hypo-pigmentation is present so you need to consult your doctor first.
Point 3 – Changes in Skin Care Routine
You will have to follow specific skin care routine before as well as after the chemical peel treatment. Generally, try to avoid waxing and also use of retinol a week before the treatment date as well as for 2 weeks after the treatment. Additionally, if you suffer from fever blisters then consult doctor to get anti-viral drugs which can stop outbreak of blisters. After the treatment your skin care routine should include soft cleansers and highly emollient moisturizers. Anything that exfoliates the skin needs to be avoided for a week’s time after the treatment and if have to go out then sunscreen is a must.
Point 4 – Use of Sunscreen and Going Out
After the treatment avoid going out for about 2 weeks but if you must, then apply good amount of sunscreen to prevent any sun damage to the recovering skin. You need to be aware of the fact that extreme temperatures can result in hyper-pigmentation while the skin is healing, so avoid places like saunas for around a month during the chemical peel treatment and only schedule a vacation in the snows or on a sunny beach at least one month after taking a second level peel.
Point 5 – Exercises and Alternating the Peels
My doctor tells me not to exercise for about 48 hours after the treatment to avoid sweating and it would be same for you as well. During the healing period it is also better not to venture into swimming pools as chlorine in the water can make the skin dry out. Additionally, alternating different type of peels is advised so that skin tolerance does not develop for any particular type.