The tone and texture of your skin may be highly reliant on how well you can regularly exfoliate. Unfortunately, at-home exfoliation products may not be effective enough to help you achieve your goals, particularly when it comes to scarring, acne, and visible signs of aging. At the Restore Center for Aesthetics in Munster, IN, we know that chemical peels can be an excellent option for people who want to improve their overall skin appearance and health.
How Does a Chemical Peel Work?
A chemical peel is a non-invasive facial treatment that exfoliates the upper dermal layers of the skin to improve the tone and texture of the skin. Like many other facials, the way this treatment works is by applying a specialized chemical or acid to the skin, allowing that chemical to soak into the skin for several minutes, and then removing the chemical from your skin with a neutralizing cleanser.
As your skin recovers from this treatment, it will gradually shed skin cells and improve your blemishes or other concerns. The strength of the peel may affect how quickly the treatment can work, but light, medium, and deep peels all work similarly.
The Science of a Peel
This facial treatment is used for exfoliation, but the science of how it works is related to the pH balance of your skin. The pH of your skin is usually around 5.5, which is a slightly acidic state that allows the health of your skin to thrive. However, when the pH balance of your skin is thrown off by cleansers and environmental pollutants, it can interfere with the normal cellular function of your skin.
The chemicals used in a peel will change the acidity of your skin to about 3.5, which is the ideal acidity level to eliminate acne-causing bacteria, slow down oil production, and shed dead skin cells. Because a peel will affect the pH balance of your skin, it’s important to follow up your treatment with a neutralizing cleanser and other products that will lower the acidity of your skin.
Why Exfoliating Is Important
Exfoliation is essential for the overall health of your skin. Exfoliation is so important that there is a natural process that focuses on regulating the turnover of dead skin cells. Also known as the cellular turnover cycle, this cycle takes 28 to 40 days to complete, based on your age.
The natural cycle is meant to maintain the moisture barrier and overall protection of your skin, but as you age or if you have underlying skin conditions, this natural cycle may become disrupted. At this point, an exfoliation treatment can be a good tool to use to regulate your cellular turnover and improve your skin health.
What Chemical Peels Can Help With
Although the strength of your peel treatment will determine the precise concerns the facial can help with, there are a few main issues that all peels can address. Concerns such as blemishes, aging, active acne, and scarring can all be addressed with light and medium peels. Deep peels, on the other hand, are more appropriate for severe signs of aging and the treatment of precancerous skin lesions.
Blemishes interfere with the even tone of your skin. For example, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, post-inflammatory erythema, sun damage, freckles, and other types of dark spots such as melasma can all be addressed with regular peel treatments. Blemishes can sometimes go away on their own, but you can resolve blemishes much more quickly with exfoliation treatments.
This is particularly true for people who have skin that is prone to certain types of superficial scarring. Some people may develop dark spots or other blemishes that can last for several years, thanks to a combination of sun exposure and genetics. A facial treatment such as this can be an excellent option for them.
Age-related concerns, such as fine lines, wrinkles, some types of dark spots, and moderate skin laxity can also be addressed with this facial. Simply exfoliating your skin will soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles, while deeper peels may be able to generate moderate collagen production to improve the overall texture of the skin. People dealing with age-related concerns can see a significant improvement in their overall appearance with regular treatments.
Peels can be used to address acne in two ways. The first is by eliminating acne-causing bacteria that may be on the surface of the skin and within the pores of the skin. When you can use a peel to eliminate the bacteria that causes acne, you can greatly reduce your breakouts.
This treatment can also be used to regulate oil production. If you have a naturally oily skin type, and you’re also dealing with active acne, a facial treatment such as this can regulate the oil production in your skin, which may reduce breakouts over time. You can also reduce the appearance of whiteheads and blackheads with this treatment.
Finally, peels are also good options for various types of scars. For example, atrophic scarring and pigmented scars can all be addressed with regular exfoliation treatments. Scars that affect the texture of your skin can improve with this facial because several layers of affected skin cells will be removed, and moderate collagen production will restore the texture of your skin.
How Frequently Should You Have Treatments?
The frequency of your treatment will be based on the degree of the peel you are using for your treatment. For example, you can use light peels as often as once a month, while medium peels may be performed a few times a year to maintain your desired results.
Sometimes, your age may factor into how often you can have your treatments, particularly because the natural cellular turnover cycle slows down as you get older. Another factor to consider may be your skin sensitivity; people who have very sensitive skin may need to use this treatment less frequently.
What Should You Do Before Treatment?
Before a chemical exfoliation treatment, you will need to stop using at-home exfoliating products that contain ingredients such as retinol, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and other acids. By discontinuing at-home products, you will be able to avoid over-exfoliating your skin. You should stop the use of home exfoliation at least one week before your appointment.
What Should You Do After Treatment?
After your treatment, it’s very important to continue avoiding at-home exfoliation products, as well as exfoliating your skin with harsh scrubs, cleansers, and even washcloths. Instead, if you’re experiencing dry skin after your treatment, you should focus on increasing the moisture retention of your skin. Using products with hyaluronic acid and other deeply hydrating ingredients can be incredibly beneficial.
How Soon Will You See Results?
You will generally be able to see the results of your treatment in only a few days. As your skin sheds dead skin cells, you will notice the tone and texture of your skin improve. It may take up to two weeks to see optimal results for light peels, and four or more weeks to see optimal results for medium to deep peels.
Are Results Long-Lasting?
The results of this facial are generally temporary, which means that your results may only last for a few weeks or months. Although the immediate results are short-term, over time and with enough treatments, you’ll be able to significantly improve the appearance of your skin. For example, repeated treatments can permanently reduce some types of scars and pigmented lesions.
Is This Treatment Right for You?
This treatment can be used year-round and at any age to address a variety of concerns. To determine whether this treatment is a good option for you, you’ll need to schedule a consultation appointment to assess your skin type and identify the level of peel that is most appropriate for you.
People who are not a good match for this facial treatment include those who have active inflamed acne, sunburns, eczema, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and people who have taken Accutane in the last six months.
Schedule Your First Chemical Peel Today
If you want to improve the overall tone, texture, and health of your skin, then you may want to use a treatment such as a chemical peel to exfoliate your skin. This treatment works by increasing the acidity in your skin to exfoliate dead skin cells. Most people are good candidates for its treatment. Please contact the Restore Center for Aesthetics in Munster, IN to schedule your first appointment today.