The word “peel” brings to mind images of orange, tangerine and lemon skins—and not something that we’d want to slather on our faces. But a skin peel actually refers to removing the top layer of your skin using acids or other chemicals.
Peels are an effective means of combating acne and smoothing out the texture of your skin, as well as reducing brown spots, minimizing pores and preventing breakouts from returning. There are many types of peels available, each with different benefits.
A skin peel is a type of non-invasive chemical exfoliation procedure that removes the outermost layers of dead skin cells and exposes new, brighter skin underneath. The primary goal is to reduce blemishes, oils and imperfections by removing layers of dead cells through natural processes like fermentation or lactic acid application.
What is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a non-invasive procedure that uses a chemical solution to exfoliate the outermost layer of skin. The peel solution works by removing the dead skin cells and revealing a brighter, smoother complexion.
The best part about a chemical peel is that it can be customized based on each person’s needs, and is usually a safe treatment for all skin types. A chemical peel may sound painful, but it is actually a very gentle process.
There are different types of chemical peels, and each one is designed to treat specific skin issues such as uneven skin tone, blackheads, wrinkles and acne. A chemical peel is a great example of how cosmetics have evolved over the years. In the past, it was common to use harsh chemicals on the skin. Now, there are gentler alternatives that are just as effective.
Types of Skin Peels
- Glycolic Peel – Glycolic acid is derived from sugarcane. It is a naturally-occurring alpha-hydroxy acid that is commonly used in chemical peels. Glycolic peels are often used to treat acne and blackheads, as well as other skin issues.
- Lactic Acid Peel – Lactic acid is used to treat acne and hyperpigmentation, as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Salicylic Acid Peel – Salicylic acid is derived from the bark of the willow tree and is often used to treat acne.
- Resorcinol Peel – Resorcinol is a synthetic molecule that is effective in treating wrinkles, acne and hyperpigmentation.
Side Effects of a Skin Peel
There are very few side effects of a chemical peel. Some people may experience redness, a burning sensation, swelling, itching and tenderness at the site of application.
These side effects generally subside within a few hours after the procedure. Other possible side effects include irritation, dryness, pigmentation and an increase in the number of pimples.
How Does a Peel Work?
A chemical peel is applied to the skin and allowed to work for a few minutes or until it dries. Once it has fully dried, the skin will be removed from the surface and another layer of skin will be revealed.
The depth of peeling will depend on how strong the peel solution is. A chemical peel can be applied on dry or wet skin, depending on the type of peel used. The skin will then flake off after a few days with the help of mild exfoliation.
There are also chemical peels that are applied to the skin as a mist which can be left on the skin for as long as 10 minutes. The amount of time the peel solution is left on the skin will vary based on what is being treated.
For example, a chemical peel applied to treat fine lines and wrinkles should be left on the skin for about 20 minutes, whereas a chemical peel used for acne should be left on for about 3 minutes.
The Benefits of Using an Exfoliant on Your Skin
Exfoliants are one of the best ways to rejuvenate your skin. There are many types of exfoliants such as chemical, mechanical or manual. Chemical exfoliants usually contain AHA and BHA. Which gently remove dead skin cells and leave behind more vibrant and healthy looking skin.
However, not all of us can afford to see a dermatologist for professional exfoliation every few weeks. So chemical exfoliants you can use at home might be a better option for you.
Whenever trying skincare products for the first time. It’s always recommended that you do a patch test before use. But that’s even more important with active ingredients such as peels, to test how your skin reacts to the product.
In order for you to make sure that you are getting the best and most desirable results from this process. You should first do some research on what kind of peel is right for your skin type and what kind of chemical peel will best suit your needs.