How a Chemical Peel Delivers Younger Looking, Glowing Skin
By Kendall Farr, Licensed Esthetician, SPADA Skincare
If brighter, fresher-looking skin is on your list of New Year’s goals, then a chemical peel may be the solution. Your stratum corneum – the outer layer of your skin (also referred to as your barrier) is comprised of dead keratin (the protein that makes up the skin) and expired skin cells all in need of the brush-off. A peel is a fantastic way to sweep it all away to create a new layer of fresh skin. But before you schedule a treatment, here are some important things to know about how a peel acts on the skin.
What Is a Chemical Peel Exactly?
A chemical solution (an acid) is applied to facial skin to remove and exfoliate the outer layers (dead keratin proteins, dead skin cells) so that a clearer, more even-toned layer of skin can surface. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. Peels also stimulate fibroblastic cells – they are the ‘on-switch’ for new collagen and elastin production. In minutes, acids lift away dead cells and trigger a lovely chain reaction. As the topmost layer is shed, signals are sent to the living cells below to multiply and move up, to increase collagen production, to make more hyaluronic acid, essentially to act younger. You’ll see a change in one treatment but for most, it usually takes between 4 and 6 treatments to achieve the desired results.
Who They Suit (Is This You?)
Exfoliating acids suit anyone who has clogged pores, blackheads, breakouts, dryness, flakiness, fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, dullness, discoloration, or rough texture. Almost anyone can safely use exfoliating acids—even those who have sensitive skin!
A Chemical Peel Will Help To:
- Promote exfoliation of the skin’s surface layers.
- Remove dead skin cells.
- Improve the texture of the skin.
- Reduce the visible signs of aging.
- Diminish the appearance of acne scars.
- Brighten the complexion.
- Leave skin feeling silky and soft.
You can peel every 1-to-2 weeks for a 4-to-6 week treatment. Then, wait 2 months before you do another round.
We use G.M. Collin chemical peels with acids derived from alpha hydroxy acids including glycolic (made from sugar), lactic (made from sour milk), and our Derm Renewal Peel (a blend of glycolic, lactic, and arginine) and beta hydroxy acid. AHAs are water-soluble, so they don’t penetrate as far into the pores as BHAs. However, they can be incredibly effective at removing hyper-pigmented cells left behind by breakouts, sun exposure, and age, as well as smoothing the skin’s texture.
BHAs (salicylic acid) are oil-soluble, so they penetrate deep into the pores to prevent clogging and remove dead cells that can lead to blackheads and active acne infection.
The Benefits Light Peeling
At Spada Skincare we perform LIGHT PEELS because they offer effective results without the stinging, redness, and surface peeling of acids that go deeper. In fact, you don’t have to actually peel after a chemical peel to see results. The actual ‘peeling’ is happening at the cellular level. Research supports this: lighter peels performed every 1–2 weeks for 4–6 weeks offer gentler yet visible change. To effect change, the goal is to exfoliate as much as possible, with minimal irritation. Translation: little to no risk of barrier distress. The skin responds to gentle, pulsed exfoliation. Consistent cellular turnover and collagen boosting fool the skin into behaving like younger skin. And a thorough sloughing also offers one very immediate upshot: smoother skin that’s both more radiant and more receptive. Your skin-care products perform better after a peel because there are no dead cells impeding their penetration.
The skin may turn pink, and usually only minimal peeling and flaking occurs (if any). You can use makeup to hide any redness until it fades. Light peels do not require down-time from life – since they are easy on the skin offering mild-to-no side effects. Again, you can have a light peel performed as often as every week depending on your skin type and condition. A consult with your esthetician is the time to establish the frequency your skin can handle comfortably. Treatment peels are also commonly incorporated as the exfoliation step in our facials.
PRO TIP: A tingling sensation may or may not occur when you apply an exfoliating acid. This is not an indication of the peel’s effectiveness. Instead, it’s an indicator of how your skin’s barrier is acting at the time of application. If your skin tingles, it could mean your moisture barrier is compromised. It’s very common for the tingling sensation to stop after a month or so. I’ve had clients ask me if their peel is working when they don’t experience any stinging. Exfoliating acids, when not overused, actually boost the repair of skin’s moisture barrier.
What To Do During and After Peeling
- Stop using retinol, Retin-A, or any other retinoid product for 3–5 days prior to your peel to decrease any sensitivity.
- Wait 5–7 days after your peel to resume any retinoids to give your skin time to recover.
- Use mild cleanser, ample moisturizer, and SPF.
- Avoid direct sun.
- Stay cool after your treatment. No exercising for 24 hours after your peel. A sweat session at the gym will disrupt the healing process and encourage inflammation.
- No waxing or dermabrasion of the face.
The goal for treatment is enhanced penetration of the chemical peel, accelerated healing, and reduced risk of any complications like hyperpigmentation.
- A Derm Renewal Peel Facial: Appropriate for all but the most sensitive skins, the Derm Renewal combines a blend of lactic and glycolic acids along with an arginine complex that minimizes fine lines and deeper wrinkles. Recommended in a series of 4 treatments to smooth and brighten tired and dull-looking skin.
- Lunch Hour Peel: Gentle on the skin but effective enough to brighten and refresh the face in just 30 minutes. While you’ll see results with just one peel, for maximum benefits, a series of 4 treatments carried out at 1-2 week intervals is recommended.
- Add-on: an appropriate peel for your skin type to most of our facials.
While we live in the sun year round, our Southwest Florida ‘winter’ is the best time to add the benefits of peeling to your skin care program. Book your peel today!