What is a peel?
A chemical peel or enzyme peel is a technique used to help dissolve rough or damaged skin cells in order to improve the overall appearance of skin. They can be done on the face, neck and some can be used on the body for ingrown hairs. They range from light, medium and strong. Light peels can be enzyme peels and lower percentage 10%-20% such as glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid. Medium peels are TCA, Glycolic, Salicylic 30%-40%. Strong peels are anything 50% and stronger (should only be done by a MD.)
Peel can benefit your skin in many way:
- Reduce fine lines
- Diminish mild scaring
- Reduce age spots
- Treat types of acne
There is a myriad of different skin peels on the market today, some can be used at home, such as retinol cream, but most are done in the care of a skincare specialist or dermatologist.
While peels are an excellent way to achieve smoother and better looking skin, they are often misused. Because of this, It is important to know where to get a peel, how to use a peel correctly and how often.
I am going to give a brief overview of just that:
Each peel can be used for different purposes. To insure the best results, it is recommended to go a licensed esthetician or dermatologist who will recommend the right peel regimen for your skin.
When should I get a peel?
Typically, peels are recommended to do during the winter months when there is less sun. It is extremely important to protect your skin from the sun after a skin peel because it is more susceptible to sun damage. A sunscreen 30 + is recommended. For people who are sensitive to sunscreen, I would recommend wearing a hat. For people with vitamin D deficiency, use a hat and use a vitamin c serum or highly concentrated green tea serum.
How often should I get a peel?
Knowing how often someone should get a peel would best be determined by an esthetician or dermatologist. An esthetician or dermatologist will know that each person skin is different and varies in thickness and sensitivity and they will come up with a regimen that best fit each individual. Some people can get a light- medium peel once a month and some can do a light or medium peel every 2 weeks. One of the things that I’ve noticed as an esthetician is that I have clients who have come to me noticing that they have had great results with a peel that they get fixated on it, thinking it is the antidote to all their skin problems. There is such a thing as overdoing a skin peel. Often times overdone skin has a waxy look and is thin or over sensitized. A person with this skin may need to allow their skin to rejuvenate and try other skin treatments. Skin turnover happens every 28 days, so doing a peel once a month is good. Skin is like a healthy diet and it requires balance and time. Sometimes the best to do a series of peels and then give your skin a break to allow the skin to become more resilient and smooth. I usually like to do a series of different treatments such as acid peels, microdermabrasion, enzyme peels with sonophoresis or LED facial and switch them up a bit.
What Kind of peels is right for me?
Generally, for dry flaky skin, I like to do hydroxy acids like kojic, lactic or glycolic acid
For age spots, glycolic, kojic or TCA. And for acne I use glycolic, salicylic acid or enzyme peels.
Enzyme peels are a good light maintenance treatment after you’ve had a medium to strong peel(only after your skin has recovered though)
For more in-depth info on chemical peels check out: