Even though chemical peels can be one of the most effective forms of skin regeneration, many patients are still scared of them. Perhaps the scene in Sex and the City where Samantha has to hide her sore red face springs to mind? Whatever the reason, you really shouldn’t be put off because with the right doctor advising you, a chemical peel can be the answer to many skin and ageing issues.
In this post I’ll explain which chemical peels I use, what skin and ageing concerns I use them for and how the process works. As ever, if you have any questions please get in contact (details at bottom of this post).
Chemical peels are not a new development. Various chemical agents have been used to resurface the skin since Cleopatra’s day, though of course they’ve been refined since then! Peels are based on the skin’s capacity to regenerate itself. So they do exactly what their name implies – they literally ‘peel’ the skin.
A chemical solution (an exfoliating agent or acid) is applied to the skin to achieve destruction and then regeneration of the dermis and/or epidermis. The solution removes the surface layers of the skin, which is replaced by newer, healthier, more youthful-looking layers. This new, regenerated skin is usually smoother, a more even colour, and less wrinkled than the old skin.
Peels are often used to treat fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth. Wrinkles caused by sun damage, ageing and hereditary factors can often be reduced or even eliminated with this procedure.
Mild scarring and certain types of acne can be treated with chemical peels. In addition, pigmentation of the skin such as sun spots, age spots, liver spots and freckles, blotchiness due to taking birth control pills, and even skin that is dull in texture and colour may be improved with chemical peeling.
To remove outer layer of the epidermis, alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) are the mildest option and can be used on most skin types without sensitivity.
They use lactic, fruit or glycolic acids to treat and improve skin texture. Citric and malic combined with glycolic acid act as antioxidants, while lactic and hyaluronic acids dramatically increase the skins water holding capacity. Beta hydroxy acid (BHA) peels use salicylic acid to speed the skin cell shedding process and improve blemished skin.
Superficial peels are not a medical procedure and can therefore be performed by a beautician.
Medium to deep peels
It used to be the case that deeper peels were more painful, had more downtime, but gave better results. However the introduction of the VIPeel has changed things. It’s the first of the next generation of peels; it is painless, yet produces dramatic visible results in just days with little downtime.
- Improves the tone, texture and clarity of your skin
- Reduces or eliminates age spots, freckles, and hyper-pigmentation, including melasma
- Softens lines and wrinkles
- Clears acne skin conditions and reduces or eliminates acne scars
- Stimulates the production of collagen and elastin for firmer, more youthful skin
It’s also the first peel that can be used on African and other dark skin types such as Asian and Latin skins.
As with any peel, some dryness, redness and peeling can be expected after the treatment. This is similar to sunburn and it is absolutely imperative that the peeling skin is not picked at or rubbed as it may scar.
I’d recommend the VIPeel if you are looking to correct skin pigmentation and/or scars and are also looking for better radiance. Of course as it generally only requires one appointment it’s also great for people who are looking for fast results.
One of the most common reason’s I use a peel on a patient is to tackle melanoma. There’s more information plus before and after photos in this post detailing how I use the VI Precision Peel – as you will see it really can help those with sun damage.