A chemical peel is now a fairly common skincare procedure. It has become so common that it has gone from a purely supervised procedure to a potential at-home option for some of us. Admittedly, the at-home peels are typically far less potent than the supervised peels, but they are still chemical peels. Most of us have heard stories about peels that have gone wrong or the aftermath of the actual peel being not what one expected. These days many of those stories are holdovers from an earlier time when people were still perfecting the modern version of the chemical peel. In many ways the entire thing is far easier now than it was even a decade ago. Knowing that doesn’t necessarily help to soothe the fears of lobster skin and similar problems though. A good cure for worries about something is to properly learn about it. That’s why we’ve put together a quick overview on what all you should expect before, during, and after a chemical peel. This will help you make an informed decision and hopefully worry a bit less about considering the procedure.
The lead up to a peel isn’t always the most exciting thing on the planet. In truth, good skincare tends yo be the biggest requirement in most cases. You need to be moisturizing your skin and nourishing it regularly to help it keep doing its job properly. The only precaution your doctor may give you for the least potent form of peel is to ensure that you don’t exfoliate for a few weeks before the treatment to ensure that your skin won’t be thinner than expected when it comes time for the peels. However, this does depend on the potency of the peel. Stronger peels may come with very specific instructions from your dermatologist beforehand. They may even have specific products that they want you to use to help properly prepare your skin to help minimize the chances of any adverse effects. Just make sure to talk to your dermatologist about all skincare steps you’re taking as you move towards a peel and everything should generally be fine.
As with before, your experience during a chemical peel is generally going to vary greatly depending on the exact potency of the peel you’re undergoing. This determines a great deal about the experience overall. A lighter peel is a relatively simple process with a minimal amount of discomfort. You will be asked to stay in one place while the person in charge of the procedure applies the peeling agent to your face and can expect, at most, a relatively light tingling or burning sensation as the compound begins to chemically exfoliate your skin. You can expect to lay there for roughly ten to fifteen minutes depending on the particular peels. After this time has passed, the person administering the treatment will neutralize the compound on your face and rinse everything off. Time and exact sensation during the process of a peel depend on the potency. Stronger peels can hurt and as a result that’s why some of them include a light numbing agent to the area. This tends to be reserved for only the most potent peels though.
True to the name of the procedure, you can expect your skin to begin peeling within the following days. It is important you never forget the biggest rule of aftercare: don’t pick. Let the peeling happen naturally. All of it will fall of eventually and safely. Trying to pick at and peel away the skin will only irritate it and potentially permanently damage the skin. This is the last thing that any of us want. You can also expect to be moisturizing your skin regularly. Remember that a peel is, in essence, exfoliating your skin incredibly deeply. You’ll have given your skin just a bit more oil control than necessary with a peel and as a result you’ll need to help make up for the dryness the peel causes by helping your skin along. Proper moisturizing should minimize most issues that can occur after a peel too. Additionally, you’ll want to minimize sun exposure for a week or so after the peel to help give your skin time to build itself back up. Your dermatologist will likely have other instructions that you should follow as well.
A chemical peel only seem daunting when you’re left with relatively little information about the actual experience. There’s nothing terribly unnerving about them. They are simple, routine procedures with relatively little chance for a problem apart from in the most potent peels. If you’ve previously been too unsettled to contemplate a peel, consider looking into getting one again now that you know what to expect. A good peel may be just what your skin has been looking for for a while.