What is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a skin-resurfacing procedure in which a chemical solution, which includes natural fruit sugars, enzymes or vitamins, is applied to the skin to peel away the accumulation of dead cells on the surface of the skin. This encourages the skin regeneration process by stimulating collagen and elastin and giving the skin a radiant glow. The most popular peels are superficial peels and medium depth TCA peels.
What to Expect
Topical Numbing Cream: No
Sensation: Mild burning, prickling or heat or a combination but depends on pain tolerance levels.
Discomfort Levels: No pain, minimal discomfort but will depend on the depth of peel – can be minimized by using a fan.
Superficial Peel Side Effects: Mild redness, sensitivity, tightness – usually resolves between 12-24 hours. The skin barrier temporarily disrupted with some dryness and tightness.
Medium Depth (TCA) Side Effects: Redness, mild swelling, tightness between 24-48 hours. Active flaking follows.
Post Chemical Peel Tips
- Dryness due a temporarily disrupted skin barrier can be minimized by using a rich post-peel skin barrier repair cream until the barrier normalizes.
- Flaking is a side-effect of a peel especially at TCA – resist the urge to use an exfoliant or harsh scrub to speed up the process. Let the skin heal naturally.
- Resist the urge to peel, pick or scratch treated skin as this can cause scarring or pigmentation.
- Skin normalizes between 5-10 days depending on the peel.
- Deeper TCA peels can take longer with tightness, sunburn sensation, swelling & active peeling.
- Do not re-introduce Retinol, AHAs or other actives until skin has settled.
- Use a melanin-inhibiting product if you are prone to pigmentation.
- Stay out of direct sunlight for at least a week after peel and then use a high factor, broad-spectrum sunscreen if you need to be outdoors.
- Avoid any other facial aesthetic treatment for 3-4 weeks.
Pre & Post Chemical Peel Products
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is a proven topical antioxidant that promotes collagen synthesis, encourages healing whilst providing protection against free-radical damage.
NeoStrata Bionic Face Cream is a rich, hydrating and mildly exfoliating moisturiser developed by the original founders of the first glycolic peel. It helps to restore skin barrier functioning, improving resilience of skin back to optimal levels.
pHformula VITA B Vibrant Boost Mask is a radiance-boosting mask that encourages cellular renewal, skin recovery whilst providing antioxidant protection.
SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Serum (normal, combo or oily) helps to reduce redness and discomfort whilst moisturising the skin.
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore (dry skin) is an ultra-rich lipid-replenishing anti-ageing moisturiser that is suitable for dry, mature skin post-peel treatment.
Dermaceutic K Ceutic is a barrier supporting post-treatment product that includes an SPF50, antioxidants as soothing agents essential for reducing inflammation.
Lamelle Nourish Rescue Repair Gel is a lightweight gel that helps to reduce redness and inflammation.
pHformula MD POST Recovery is an ever-popular post skincare treatment choice thanks to it’s superior skin hydration properties as well as mild-exfoliating ingredients.
Heliocare 360 sunscreen (skin type dependent) is a range of advanced sun protection that protects against all four spectrums of light UVA/UVB /invisible light and infra-red). In addition, they contain antioxidant properties as well as DNA-repair enzymes.
Important to note
Medical-grade chemical peels should always be carried out by a trained professional (qualified skin therapist or doctor), ideally in a medical environment where there is practicing Dermatologist, Plastic Surgeon or doctor. Experience in recommending the correct peel for the patient profile is essential, especially when it comes to performing deeper types of resurfacing peels.