Peels are one those interesting skincare options that people tend to have clear opinions on whether they’ve had one or not. People used to mock the aftereffects of a peel while others were nervous about them because it meant applying acid to their skin. As a result, there’s a kind of air around peels that you don’t find in many other things in skincare. Many people don’t know what to think when they’re about to try one for the first time whether it is at home or a supervised peel. Peels, for the most part, are relatively routine things even when they’re being supervised. They are little more than products or procedures using particularly potent chemical exfoliants to help clear up the skin. Those of us who prefer to use a chemical exfoliating product are used to doing this every few days. The ingredients are even often the same in some cases. With that in mind, let’s try to disrupt some of the negative air or any apprehension you may have about getting your first peel by looking at what you can expect.
Little to No Pain
At-home peeling products and supervised peels both share in the fact that the compounds involved are carefully measured to ensure they do their job without hurting the skin. Potency is the only real difference. If you’re using an at-home product, be sure to read the instructions on the peeling products carefully before applying it. The instructions will tell you how long you need to let the peel rest on your skin before removing it. Stick to these instructions and the worst you’ll likely experience is a slight tingle or light burn much as you would be any other chemical exfoliant. Supervised peels are even better about this. The lowest level of peel typically doesn’t even require any pain relief during the procedure. Anything higher will involve an injection to deaden any pain and let you simply relax through the experience. As a result, you can generally expect the actual peel to be relatively pleasant or, at worst, slightly dull as you wait for the product to do its job.
No Picking the Peel
Right after the peel is done, don’t actually expect there to be peeling. That takes a few days during which you’ll want to take good care of your skin. Keep it happy and healthy while you wait for it to start to peel away. Once the skin starts flaking away, leave it alone. You want the skin to come off naturally instead of you tugging it away. Trying to pull off the peeling skin can end up opening wounds in the skin that will make it even harder to take care of while you’re waiting for the skin to recover. Wounds you give yourself in this way will also end up a little deeper than they otherwise would and you may cause permanent harm to your skin. In general, you should expect the peeling to start within two to three days depending on your skin’s strength. It could take slightly longer in some rarer cases, but the important point is not to pick at it once it starts or exfoliate again while you’re waiting.
Care for Your Skin
If you get a supervised peel, your dermatologist or specialist will likely tell you what you need to do to take care of your skin after a peel. Listen to their instructions and follow them very carefully. At-home peels don’t come with aftercare instructions though despite needing them. You want to restrain yourself from constantly applying moisturizer. Yes, you do need to apply it, but applying it too frequently will reduce the effectiveness of the peel. Your normal moisturizer at the usual times is enough. You may want to invest in products that will help calm and soothe your skin through. Peeling skin is typically red and irritated just as you’d expect from a sunburn. Be gentle when applying such products, though. You’ll also want to ensure you’re not going outside much until your peel is done. You should especially try to remember to apply sunscreen consistently. The peeling area has less defense against the sun until the skin finishes peeling and has time to recover. Sunscreen will help ensure the area doesn’t get sunburned quickly and will protect against other effects of sun damage as well.
The first peel is always a little daunting for all of us. You’re never quite certain what to expect even when someone explains it to you step-by-step. There’s nothing to be ashamed of about that, though. It is a new experience and those are always just a little nerve-wracking. You’ll be fine, though. The only word of caution that really needs to be said is to ensure that any at-home peeling product you use is of high quality as lower quality peeling products can hurt your skin due to improper formulas. Try to relax and enjoy the way to more beautiful and vibrant skin, though.