Skin care can take many forms. For most of us, a simple or less than simple daily skin care routine is often enough to remain satisfied. The rinsing, cleansing, exfoliating, and nourishing of our skin even becomes a relaxing ritual for some of us. Feeling the cooling touch of the right cream or the pleasant tingle of a particular serum can become a touchstone that grounds us and allows us to move forward with the day. Sometimes we need to take somewhat more potent actions if our skin care isn’t measuring up to the results we desire. We all seek to try to deal with the signs of aging however we can. It is a common goal for people of any age as improper skin care actually accelerates apparent aging. Sometimes it is our genetics though or habits we had before we knew better. The signs of aging start creeping in and you’re left wondering what you can do. That’s where chemical peels come in. They offer a procedure that can help remove these signs, but it does come with a few considerations.
Chemical peels are relatively popular and have been a staple of supervised skin care for decades. The basic principle is that a combination of skin-friendly acids and other ingredients are applied to the face for a set amount of time. This helps to remove unwanted dead skin that can bunch leading to fine lines and wrinkles as well as offering a brightening effect for darker patches of skin. Peels, in short, are a series of treatments that can reduce wrinkles, minimize scars, brighten the skin, and overall lead to a tighter and healthier appearance.
Two kinds of peels exist: home and supervised. Home peels are relatively high concentration products, by comparison to standard chemical exfoliants, that take longer than supervised peels, but are able to be used on a comparatively regular basis. Depending on the concentration, the products can potentially be used every one to two weeks to help diminish the signs of aging regularly instead of all in one go. It makes them an ideal long-term option compared to the large “push back” of supervised peels. Supervised peels are deeper treatments that require a professional to do appropriately. They can have immediate and distinct effects by comparison to home peels. The benefits for these products are clean, but there are some downsides.
Chemical peels, as highlighted, are done by literally applying acid to your skin. Supervised chemical peels require supervision specifically because someone trying to perform a peel without knowing how could cause permanent damage to the skin. At-home peel products are typically less potent when you’re assured of their quality, but lower quality brands might not know to cut the potency enough and lead to hurting their buyer’s skins. You should also be aware that peels leave your skin extra sensitive after the actual treatment. It will be tender to the touch and reddened in most cases, but this will fade over the ensuing days. True to its name, skin will start to peel away from the areas subjected to the treatment as the skin heals as well.
Home peels don’t have any real drawbacks compared to supervised peels because they spread the treatment out. Supervised peels aim for a more dramatic shift that necessarily has a larger impact on the skin overall. There is also a potential for a supervised peel to permanently change your skin’s sensitivity. This makes appropriate aftercare a vital part of a supervised chemical peel.
Aftercare following procedures is something most people are used to and it is always a chore. Chemical peels require you to have a heightened alertness to how your skin feels and what you’re doing. The skin remains sensitized after the peel until it finishes healing. It is more susceptible to any form of inflammation and rough treatment. You absolutely must remember to use sunscreen when going outside as your skin is particularly sensitive to sun damage following a peel. Gentle products also need to be used for the duration of recovery.
Peels expose sensitive layers of the skin. Remember to moisturize routinely and above all else don’t pick at the peeling skin or exfoliate. Supervised chemical peels are among the strongest form of chemical exfoliation. You must let your skin heal properly or it will damage your skin. Peeling skin will fall away naturally once an area is ready. Picking the dead skin away could lead to scarring and extra inflammation.
A chemical peel is a decent way to try to reduce the signs of aging. They have a reliable track record and when performed by a knowledgeable professional are more or less safe. Peels do require an investment of time afterwards and for you to be aware of what you need to do to help your skin heal properly. We only touched on some of the aftercare necessary. Talk to your dermatologist or the professional performing your peel for a more detailed idea of what you specifically will need to worry about for your aftercare.