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Chemical Peels – “Is this going to hurt?”

Posted on: May 29th, 2015 by California Skin Institute

Chemical peels are one of the many treatment options available for exfoliating the skin, healing acne, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and much more.* This is an amazing procedure that can deliver great outcomes – but only if performed properly.*

Here at California Skin Institute, our licensed Aestheticians utilize chemical peels on a regular basis to help clients achieve healthy, radiant skin.* To do this effectively, our Aestheticians go to great lengths to understand your skin and your unique needs to devise a specialized treatment plan.* This is important, because every peel has its own, unique attributes and will affect your skin in a special way.* To better understand how chemical peels work, here’s a quick overview of this amazing procedure and what it has to offer.*

History of Chemical Peels – They’re Older than You Think!

The idea of chemical exfoliation goes back thousands of years! Ancient Greeks and Romans used formulations with various milk products (which contain lactic acid) to treat their skin by chemically exfoliating it. Of course, these weren’t anywhere close to the strength of today’s chemical peels, but they were one of the earliest in a series of such treatments (lactic acid and other alpha hydroxy acids are still used in skin care products today!).

Thereafter, a variety of other substances, like resins and myrrh, were also used for exfoliation. Turks are even believed to have gone a step further; using fire to lightly singe skin on the surface, so that it would peel off!

However, the more modern practice of using chemical peels started around the mid 1800’s, when the Austrian dermatologist, Ferdinand Hebra, began using chemicals like iodine, sulfuric acid, and hydrochloric acid (among many others) to help patients lighten skin and brighten hyperpigmentation.

Since then, chemical peels have grown significantly in popularity, leading to a large number of peels being available on the market.* For example, at California Skin Institute we offer a number of treatments, including glycolic acid, Jessner, TCA, and kojic acid peels, just to name a few.*

What Does a Chemical Peel Treat?

There are many chemical peels out there, and although they all work in a similar manner – by causing top layers of skin to peel off – some are more effective than others at treating certain skin problems.* This makes it very important to work with a licensed and experienced Aesthetician who understands the nuances of each peel and how it will affect your skin.*

For example, if you’re dealing with acne, a Jessner peel may be an appropriate treatment option, as this peel contains an ingredient called Resorcinol.* This chemical has anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which help with acne healing.* The lactic acid in this peel also helps exfoliate damaged skin and lighten acne scars.* Lastly, the salicylic acid in the Jessner peel is helpful because it can help cleanse pores.*

A glycolic acid peel, on the other hand, is used more commonly to reduce the appearance of scars and wrinkles.* Glycolic acid is quite effective at removing damaged skin cells, which helps create the appearance of smoother, healthy skin.*

For clients who would like to brighten skin, a kojic acid peel may be a viable option, as it can exfoliate damaged skin cells by facilitating peeling, while at the same time brightening the skin.*

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the unique needs of your skin.* For example, California Skin Institute Aestheticians take great care to understand the needs of your skin and recommend a chemical peel that will be most likely to exfoliate the skin while addressing other issues like acne, hyperpigmentation and wrinkles.*

Planning for a Successful Peel

Chemical peels can be very effective and provide excellent outcomes – however, the downside of this treatment is the associated peeling and redness that can sometimes last for over a week.* The severity of this peeling will depend on three things; 1) the sensitivity of your skin, 2) the concentration of the peel, and 3) your natural skin tone.*

For example, if you have sensitive skin, a peel can cause the blistering and flaking to be more severe.* Therefore, it’s a good idea for individuals with this skin type to plan their peels around time off from work or school, so that the peeling process can take place while they are at home.* Further, California Skin Institute Aestheticians will often use a weaker concentration for clients with sensitive skin, to make the peeling less severe.*

Individuals with darker skin tones may also benefit from lower concentration peels, as this will create a more even final outcome.* Whether you have oily, dry or combination skin can also affect how your skin will react to some of the peels.*

Lastly, it is vital to consider your plans after the peel. California Skin Institute Aestheticians always talk to their clients to understand this aspect.* For example, if you are taking a week off from work, a stronger peel may be a great option because all the flaking and peeling will take place while you are at home.* On the other hand, if you have an important meeting or an event in a few days, then our Aestheticians may suggest using a weaker concentration that will give your skin an added boost – but without excessive peeling afterwards.*

Such customization is absolutely vital for a chemical peel to give you the desired outcomes.*

If you’d like to learn more about how we perform chemical peels, please visit our Aestheticians page, or use either the scheduling link or the Contact Form below to set up your consultation!

*Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.