How far have you gone in studying the different skin care treatments? You probably know the basics: clean your makeup before going to bed, moisturize regularly, exfoliate once a week and pamper your skin with a cleansing or nourishing mask, depending on your skin’s needs in that particular moment. However, the beauty industry has developed a lot and innovations appear quite frequently. Have you heard about chemical peels and do you know what they are? Here is some information on the topic and advice on whether to consider it:
A chemical peel is not as scary as it sounds. Even though right now the main trend is to live naturally and limit the chemicals in your beauty routine, it can actually be quite a beneficial treatment. Do not jump to conclusions that a chemical peel looks definitely like Samantha’s terrible disaster in Sex and the City! Chemical peels have developed a lot in recent years and can be done quickly, without leaving noticeable marks or pigmentation on the skin. Dermatologists have learned from their experience and are much more careful about which treatment suits which type of skin. They tend to avoid performing very deep peels, so that they can avoid the possibility of complications. On the contrary, they practice superficial peels as they are much gentler to the skin and you can run to the doctor’s office and have one even during your lunch break. The downside to superficial peels is that you need to be consistent for them to show results: they will not be really beneficial if it is just a one time thing. However, after months of visiting a dermatologist and using the right products, you will enjoy brighter and better skin!
In its essence, a chemical peel is a substance that can be used for treating a variety of skin conditions: sun damage, photo-aging, fine lines and wrinkles, superficial scarring, pre-cancerous lesions, acne, etc. Basically, they are the “big league” of skin care. They can also contribute to the decreasing of discoloration that might have occurred following post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or melasma. Chemical peels produce limited and controlled injury to the skin and the result of this is that the growth of new skin increases. The purpose is to achieve new skin with an improved appearance.
The main difference between superficial peels and the deeper ones that are usually followed by scary redness and shedding is in the strength of damaging the skin. Superficial peels are mainly aimed at the most upper layers of the epidermis of the skin and are usually composed of glycoloic or salicylic acid.
Then, there are medium depth peels. They are made up of Trichloracetic acid or TCA at different concentration levels, mainly between 20 and 35%. They can also consist of combination agents such as the Jessner’s solution, which consists of 70% glycolic acid, and solid carbon dioxide to 35% TCA. The medium depth peels can be very beneficial as they achieve increased penetration and thus better effects without too much side-effect. They can reduce freckles, pigmentation and some pre-skin cancers known as actinic keratosis. However, they do not improve deep wrinkles, for instance.
Deep peels are composed of an ingredient called phenol. Phenols injure the deeper layers of the dermis. Deep peels have the ability to treat moderate to severe photo-aging and wrinkles. Deep peels offer the biggest improvement, but they require long recovery after the treatment, as they can lead to complications such as scarring and hyperpigmentation.
So if you are slightly frightened and asking whether peels are safe, we can assure you that they are. Of course, you need to rely on a good professional, especially you have a history of skin problems. You need to know your skin and its characteristics: how prone it is to scarring, does it irritate easily, origin and essence of pigmentation, etc. Superficial peels suit more darkly pigmented skin, for example. Peels can be performed every 3-4 weeks, for about five times, in order for you to see the results. Whether you want to correct hyperpigmentation, sun damage, fine lines or appearance of pores, you can rely on a chemical peel to do that.
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