A guide to the skin benefits of chemical peels

Published 01st Dec 2020 by PB Admin
A guide to the skin benefits of chemical peels

"Recently, there has been an explosion in the choice of chemical peels and, as skin experts, it's really important that we understand the different types of peels in order to be able to make an informed decision about which ones should be used for different skin indications and skin types," says Sarah Whitehead, a nurse who has specialised e in aesthetics for 16 years.

What skin issues can chemical skin peels treat?

"Chemical peels can improve a lot of different skin issues. They can lighten unwanted pigment, even out skin tone and help with surgical scarring. When skin grows back after a chemical peel, it triggers the production of collagen and elastin," says Whitehead.

"So, they can diminish signs of ageing including wrinkles, fine lines, ageing spots, uneven skin tone, roughness and dryness. They can also lighten acne blemishes and prevent future outbreaks as the ingredients in a lot of peels decrease oil production and kill the p.acnes bacteria then reduce inflammation."

What are the different types of chemical peel available? 

"Chemical peels are generally divided into three groups based on the depth of penetration," says Whitehead.

"A superficial peel will remove the outer layer of the epidermis, medium-depth peels will remove the skin cells from the epidermis and the mid dermis level, and deep chemical peels are far more aggressive, penetrating skin to the reticular dermis.

"Superficial peels are commonly known as a lunchtime peel because there's rarely any downtime. They are a great introduction for skin peels, particularly for clients that are new to aesthetics and feel quite nervous. They'll find that they'll experience mild to moderate tingling when the peel is applied and they tend to get a light shedding of skin for three to five days, but they can return to normal life immediately really.

"Superficial peels tend to have ingredients like alphahydroxy acids like glycolic, lactic, mandelic acid tartaric acids, and betahydroxy acids like salicylic so it's usually really safe to get these chemical peels every two to four weeks but I always think it's really important to keep in mind that, because they are so superficial, even with the course of three to six treatments spaced three to four weeks apart, we're not going to remove really deep lines or really deep pigmentation.

"Then we come onto our medium depth peels. TCA (tryichloracetic acid)  is one of the most common ingredients used in a medium peel. There are different strengths and combinations; they can be blended with other acids, dependent on skin type and the results that we're looking for. TCAs often feel very hot when on the skin so your client might liken it to having sunburn.

"We have to neutralise these peels and when the peel is removed you'll find the skin looks quite red and the patient is quite sore so there's a bit more downtime with a medium peel. People often have a few days off work and you'll find that they get complete healing of the skin within about 10 days. Medium peels are not suitable for darker skin types.

Who can perform deep chemical peels?

"Deep chemical peels should only be applied by a medical professional as they are much more aggressive. Finel is the most common ingredient used and most people who have these need a local anaesthetic.

"Downtime and redness can last for up to a month – the patient can get swelling, crusting and a bit of oozing. But the effects are fantastic and can last up to 10 years so it's often a once-in-a-lifetime type peel. This is definitely not the type of peel that is suitable for darker skin types."

For more about contraindications to chemical peels and the characteristics of BioRePeel, which is suitable for all skin types, watch our PB Webinar with Sarah Whitehead above.

Watch all the webinars on the Professional Beauty YouTube channel here

For more about skin resurfacing treatments, check out our guide on everything you need to know about dermaplaning


PB Admin

PB Admin

Published 01st Dec 2020

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