How do you choose if a chemical peel is right for you and your skin?
In our quest to be the best, brightest version of ourselves, we’ll tackle just about any treatment in the hope of maintaining the beauty of our youth.
In our 20’s, we’re lucky if we even wash our face routinely. There’s definitely not an urgency to try to prevent future troubles in the form of changes due to aging. We’re more focused on making sure that giant, red blemish disappears before tomorrow night’s date.
As we get older, we start to notice changes to our skin that seem to be beyond our ability to control. Then we start to pay attention to the articles and beauty spots on the importance of skin care and how the right skin care regimen can not only help to prevent future issues from surfacing, but can also help to lessen or remove some of those signs altogether.
You’ve heard of chemical peels, and may have even thought to get one yourself, but how do you really know that’s the best route for your skin? Should you choose between a good skin care regimen and a chemical peel? How do you really know which peel will work best for your concerns?
What Is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a treatment in which an acid solution is used to remove the damaged outer layers of the skin. They can enhance and smooth the texture of the skin. It can be an effective treatment for facial blemishes, wrinkles, and uneven skin pigmentation. They’ve been around since ancient times, but are popular today because they offer nearly immediate results and can be performed as an outpatient procedure.
They aim to accelerate skin exfoliation by using chemical substances, resulting in renewed, healthier looking skin and a more uniform complexion.
Peels can address visible skin imperfections, so they can likely help your situation if you wish to alleviate acne, smooth wrinkles, improve skin texture, eliminate age spots, or reduce the effects of sun damage.
As they come in a variety of strengths, there are differing results and recovery periods for each.
What Can Skin Care Products Do for Your Skin?
There is an entire industry built around offering you products designed to help you care for your skin. A huge subset revolves around aging skin issues. Some of these are hocus pocus. Some actually pack quite the punch. There’s something to be said for taking good care of your skin on a daily basis.
With aging skin, free radicals cause damage to your cells resulting in wrinkles, dry skin, under-eye circles, dull skin, and more. Choosing products that contain antioxidants can help to combat these signs of aging, especially from the sun. Ingredients known to be especially high in antioxidants include acai oil, alpha-lipoic acid, retinol, green tea extract, caffeine, vitamins C and E, and niacinamide.
Loss of moisture can be a huge contributing factor to sagging skin. Products that contain hyaluronic acid give you an edge that helps to hold moisture.
Collagen is the supportive matrix of your skin. Made up of proteins, it is the network that helps to hold your skin cells together and maintains its structure and shape. This can also be depleted as we age and from oxidative damage. Products designed to help boost collagen levels and aid the body in rebuilding would include ingredients like alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids.
Hydroxy acids (both alpha- and beta- forms) like salicylic acid are also exfoliants, which stimulate the growth of smooth, evenly pigmented new skin. They also can aid in the exfoliation process, though at a slower, more gentle pace than a typical chemical peel performed by your dermatologist.
All of these methods and more can be effective at combating signs of aging, though they take time, and not everyone gets the results they desire.
Why Choose a Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels target your skin by causing the natural renewal process to speed up, usually at a greater rate than what can be done with OTC products.
Typically, while a superficial peel can aid in some minor troubles, where they really shine is in the slightly more advanced department. Medium peels may be a good choice for advanced pigment irregularities, sun damage, deeper wrinkles, and acne scars. Deep peels can be pretty powerful and may provide dramatic facial rejuvenation with long lasting results.
There can be some complications, though, so be sure to have a thorough conversation with your dermatologist before committing, but if you’ve tried multiple over the counter products and haven’t obtained the results you’re looking for, maybe it’s time to consider trying a chemical peel.
The recovery period varies depending upon which type of peel you get. The extent of peeling varies from patient to patient, as well. You may have some redness and irritation through the process. You will be much more susceptible to sunburn, so you should be sure to take extra precautions. Protection in the form of a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher is imperative.