The words “chemical peel” for many of us can sound scary and may even conjure up a famous scene from sex and the city of Samantha’s unimpressed face resembling a tomato with her skin literally peeling off.
Well at least I know it does for me but I might just be showing my age.
Let’s get one thing straight, you don’t need to peel to peel.
There are many different types and strengths of peels available today and a trained dermal therapist can recommend the right one for not only your skin type but for your specific skin concerns as well.
What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is essentially a form of exfoliation using alpha and beta hydroxy acids, better known as AHA’S and BHA’s. AHA’s and BHA’s are naturally occurring substances found in fruit, sour milk and sugar cane.
They break the bonds which hold our skin cells together causing them to either shed away without being noticed or peel away depending on the depth of the peel.
As the skin regenerates, it is rejuvenated. Whilst an AHA has the capacity to increase the natural moisture levels in your skin, a BHA’s special talent is dissolving sebum trapped in pores making it great for combating acne.
These little acid molecules really pack a punch and get our skin cells turning over at quicker pace which replace dull, lack-lustre skin with healthy new skin for weeks to come.
Sounds too good to be true right? Do not underestimate the power of a peel.
Chemical Exfoliation when done correctly is the key to keeping your skin not only functioning at its best but also looking amazing.
What skin concerns can peels treat?
Well apart from just making your skin have those “new skin feels” peels can treat –
acne and post inflammatory scaring, fine lines and wrinkles, pore size (yes they can refine pores omg!) pigmentation and uneven skin tone and texture.
How often can I have a chemical peel?
Depending on the type of peel being used, often referred to as a light or medium depth, you can either have one every two weeks or every four weeks.
If I am treating a specific skin concern I will often prescribe in a series of 3 for best results.
Does a chemical peel hurt?
I like to describe it as feeling similar to a sunburn.
Hot and tight. During the treatment you may experience tingling and heat which is the peel working its magic.
What is the recovery time for a chemical peel?
A light peel will have minimal down time with only slight redness to the skin which will subside over a few hours.
A medium depth peel will cause flaking or peeling anywhere from 4-6 days.
I personally love the feeling of my old damaged skin shedding away to reveal new healthy skin.
How should I care for my skin after a peel?
A gentle skincare routine is to be followed after your chemical peel for 3 days.
A gentle cleanser, a hydrating serum and/or moisturiser and a SPF 50. Do not exfoliate your new resurfaced skin for 3 days.
Heat induced activities and heavy sweating should also be avoided for 3 days.
Some medium depth peels require not wetting your skin for 12 hours however your therapist will let you know on the day the specific after care instructions for your peel.
So now you know the power of a peel.
When it comes to peels, one size does not fit all.
At envisage we offer a selection of peels which greatly vary depending on your skin type, skin goals and the acid being used.
Mandelic peel –
My absolute favourite peel would have to be the mandelic peel. Mandelic acid is the multi tasking queen of the alpha hydroxy acids .
It is derived from none other than the humble and also delicious almond.
As well as exfoliating the skin and unclogging pores it also has potent antibacterial properties making it perfect for acneic skin types.
It has a larger molecular structure than other AHAs which means it doesn’t penetrate as deeply so it is less likely to cause irritation.
It is an anti-inflammatory and melanin inhibitor which means it will help reduce redness and post imflamitory scaring.
With little to no down time this peel can be added on to your next microdermabrasion.
Lactic acid peel –
This peel is my go to peel when someone has a special event that they want their skin to be glowing for. Lactic is derived from (yep you guessed it) milk, sour milk to be exact.
Whilst it doesn’t smell very nice this peel leaves the skin feeling hydrated, smooth and much clearer with clarity being one of its best attributes.
You won’t get any peeling making the lactic peel a great “pre party peel” Your makeup will go on flawless the next day and you won’t be able to stop touching your skin for the next week because it just feels so good.
Which I like to call “post peel feels”
Jesner peel –
The Jesner peel has been around for a long time and is a well used peel in the medi-aesthetic industry.
Created by Dr Jesner originally for his acne patients, this medium depth peel will literally remove the superficial layers of the skin (hello skin shedding)
The Jesner peel will not only dry out active acne and dislodge blackheads, it is also amazing for reducing fine lines, skin texture and tone, lightening pigmentation and acne scaring.
There is a little bit of down time involved with a Jesner peel, (you will literally shed like a snake) and will need to follow post care instructions carefully however it is well worth it for the amazing results.
TCA peel –
Trichloracetic acid or better known as the TCA peel is a derivative of acetic acid (vinegar) Like the jesner peel it is considered a medium depth peel and will literally remove the top layer of your skin.
The TCA peel is predominantly used for sun damage, actinic keratoses, lentigos, texture and rhytides making it the perfect peel for sun bunnies left with brown, age spots and melasma.
Be prepared to be out of action for a few days though after a TCA with a lot of shedding and sometimes darkening of the sun damaged skin before it eventually peels away to reveal new, healthy skin and a much clearer complexion.
Azyme peel –
Unlike our other peels the azyme peel utilises the powder of vitamin A.
Dubbed the power house of all treatments, this fast acting, non-invasive skin rejuvenation treatment provides proven anti-ageing ingredients retinol and bromelain to refresh, hydrate and plump the skin.
It works quickly to dramatically diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, even skin time and texture and improve overall skin luminously.
Article by Meghan Jovancay, Dermal Therapist at Envisage Clinic
|Meghan Jovancay – Dermal Therapist.Meghan is an experienced Dermal Therapist who has 5 years’ experience in the Cosmetic Industry.Before starting at Envisage Clinic she was a trainer and assessor for dermal and laser treatments.With her broad knowledge in advanced skin treatments, inclusive of skincare product knowledge, skin needling, IPL skin rejuvenation, skin peels, laser/ IPL hair removal & pigmentation removal.|
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