Chemical Peel Process Day by Day
Day 1: After your chemical peel there might be some tingling on the face as this is normal. After 4-6 hours after your treatment rinse off the peel using only your fingertips and cool water. Do not apply anything else to the skin. Your skin will appear sunburned on the first day and will continue to get more red as the day continue. Towards the end of the first day, your skin will feel tight and you may also experience itching or mild burning as the peel is doing its job by penetrating the skin. Avoid makeup and any other facial products for at least 24 hours.
Day 2: The next day your skin will continue to feel very tight as the top layers of the skin are dehydrating and it will look like you have uneven sunburn. By the end of the day, your skin may begin to flake, usually starting between your eyes and around your mouth and nose. Rise your face with cool water and ensure you do not pick or peel the skin.
Day 3: Your skin will continue to flake, peel, and feel very tight. Make sure you do not peel the skin at any time during the peeling process as this can leave marks on the skin. During this time you can begin to use a cleanser and moisturizer on the face to help with the dry skin. Make sure you avoid sun exposure until the end of the week.
Day 4: This is when the majority of peeling will take place. Some areas will be completely peeled while there might still be some other areas that are not, this is completely normal. Continue cleansing and moisturizing the skin as needed.
Day 5: Your skin may become tender at this point as the new skin is finally exposed. You may begin to gently exfoliate the skin with a scrub to remove any remaining dry skin as well as begin applying a sunblock. Make sure you continue avoiding sun exposure for at least the next two weeks to avoid any risk of discoloration.
Day 6: You will begin to see your skin produce an even skin tone and begin to restore itself after the chemical peel. The skin will still be tender at this point but you can come in for a hydrating facial to help enhance the results.
Popular Chemical Peel Types
There are many different types of chemical peels that are based on different skincare concerns, skin types, and the areas of the body being treated. The different types of chemical peels used include acids such as BHA's (beta hydroxy acids), AHA's (alpha-hydroxy acids), Lactic Acid, TCA's (trichloroacetic acids), Kojic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Malic Acid, and Citric Acid. No matter what your concern is, chemical peels can be customized using just one effective acid or a combination of acids to produce a chemical peel cocktail. Here is a list of the top chemical peels popular with clients:
Lactic Acid Peels: use the AHA family of acids and are recommended for dry, dull, and uneven skin tone. Chemical peels using lactic acid are light and treat the skin at the superficial level while providing a gentle exfoliation to remove your skin's outer layer and dirt buildup.
Salicylic Acid Peels: use the BHA family of acids and are typically used for treating congested, oily, and acne-prone skin. Salicylic peels exfoliate the skin on a superficial level to cleanse pores, reduce oil, and fight acne with its anti-bacterial properties.
Glycolic Acids Peels: use the AHA family of acids and are recommended for treating aging, sun damage, and pigmentation. Glycolic peels are the smallest in size so they are able to penetrate the skin the deepest, delivering a number of benefits, such as dissolving oil, stimulating collagen, exfoliating dead skin cells, and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles.
Trichloroacetic (TCA) Peels: use a type of chemical peel compound that treats a wide range of skin concerns including signs of aging, sun damage, and scarring. TCA breaks up keratin, a protein found in the skin. This causes the keratin to stop functioning properly, lighten in color and peel away from the skin over the course of several days.
PCA Chemical Peel Types:
PCA® Chemical Peels are customizable peel cocktails with advanced peeling ingredients that are suited for all skin types. PCA SKIN® is the leader in chemical peels with more than 25 years of formulating the best and most innovative professional treatments in the industry with formulations for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin. PCA peels treat skincare concerns, including hyperpigmentation and aging skin. The following are PCA's Top-Rated chemical peels that we carry at our office:
Sensi Peel: This is a unique peeling option that was formulated for all patients, including those with highly sensitive skin. This gentle 6% TCA solution peel helps to improve surface texture while 12% Lactic Acid brightens the skin and evens skin tone. Customized to suit each individual's needs, this multi-acid skin brightening treatment is an excellent option for sensitive skin and those with dark skin tones.
Ultra Peel: This peel was specifically formulated to treat maturing skin while promoting even skin tone and clear complexion for all skin types, conditions, and sensitivities. PCA uses 10% TCA solution for superficial and medium-depth peeling to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 20% Lactic Acid is also used as part of the skin's natural moisturizing factor to moisturize the skin as well as exfoliate. Alzeaic Acid and Kojic Acid help to promote a clear complexion and even skin tone.
Chemical Peel For Acne
Chemical Peels don't really peel the skin, despite the name. What they actually do is rapidly exfoliate the skin, allowing dead skin cells to shed off. By keeping dead skin cells and excess oil from clogging the skin, dirty pores and pimples can be drastically reduced. More advanced forms of chemical peels can also be used to reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Beta Hydrody Acids (BHAs), such as Salicylic Acid, are specifically helpful for acne in chemical peels are they work to dissolve excess oil buildup within the pores and are an effective-acne ingredient most commonly used for chemical peel treatments for acne.
Chemical Peel for Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation, such as dark spots or age spots, regers to patches of the skin that are darker than the surrounding tissue. It is caused by the overproduction of melanin, the pigmentat that gives your skin its color.
A chemical peel works to help hyperpigmentation by removing the top layers of the skin, which allows for new healthy skin to form in its place. This helps to reduce the appearance of darks pots by removing unwanted melanin from the skin. When the newly formed skin heals it is more even and there is a uniform skin tone.
Chemical Peels on Dark Skin
There is a common misunderstanding that people with dark ski cannot get chemical peels. While everyon's skin looks different on the outside, the genetic makeup of skin is about the same on the inside for everyone no matter how dark the skin is.
We all have the same melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin and give our skin and hair color. However, people with darker skin tones produce more melanin at the surface level which also protect the skin from harmful UV rays of sunlight.
People of all sades can get chemical peels, however, darker skin needs the right peel to effectively tackle their skin concerns while being safe and effective to use. That is why it is recommended that people with darker skin tones get superficial peels to prevent further discoloration and uneven skin ton as they are the best options for dark skin. Therefore, light chemical peels for darker skin tones, such as low levels of glycolic acids and salicylic acid, are the ideal option to treat pigmentation.
How Many Chemical Peel Treatments Do You Need?
The number of sessions you will need varies as this depends on the condition being treated and how your skin responds to the chemical peel treatment. On average 3-6 treatments are recommended once a month to work with the skin's natural renewal cycle of 3-days. Once you complete a series of treatments to achieve your desired effect it is recommended to come back quarterly for maintenance and upkeep. It is also recommended to start the chemical peel treatment after the sun to reduce the chance of sun damage.
How Long Will I Peel For?
Chemical Peels deliver excellent visible results whether or not actually visible peeling occurs. Exfoliation and cellular turnover are at the cellular level and not apparent to the naked eye, which is why some people might believe a chemical peel did not work for them. You may experience peeling or flaking for a couple of days and visible exfoliation may vary each treatment depending on the current state of your skin.
Preparing for a Chemical Peel
Chemical peels cannot be performed on skin that is tan or burned from sun exposure. It is also highly recommended to not self-tan 2 weeks prior to your peel as well as discontinue the use of any topical prescription medications one week before the treatment.
Chemical Peel Aftercare
Chemical Peels are maximum-strength exfoliants, so you do not need to use a separate exfoliant such as a brush or cleanser within 3-4 days of your peel. Over-exfoliating can lead to more redness or sensitivity, so wait until your skin fully heals and naturally renews.
Since peels temporarily compromise your skin's protective barrier it's important to rebuild and protect that barrier with a proper lightweight moisturizer as well as a minimum SPF 30 sunblock to reduce the chance of sun damage from UV rays.
Avoid heavy workouts, dry saunas, and steam rooms. Increased blood flow to the face can intensify the itching and redness from the peeling of your skin from the chemical peel. Skin such activities on the day you get a peel as this is the moment your skin is most sensitive. Once your skin feels normal, it is safe and okay to resume your normal skincare regimen and daily activities.
In rare cases, for those with the herpes virus, cold sores might be triggered to appear due to minor stress on the skin. If this happens, simply apply Abreva or L-Lysine. It is common and expected that your skin will be red and possibly itchy and or irritated.
When Do You See Chemical Peel Results
After the side effects wear off, you will see glowing fresh skin revealed-usually about a week to ten days after your chemical peel treatment.
Many clients see chemical peel before and after photos and want to get theirs done right away and expect similar rapid results. However, this depends on your kin type and many other factors, some clients have to get multiple treatments for best results while some only need one. We recommend getting up to three treatments to achieve the full benefits of a chemical peel with repeated treatments followed as needed.
Are Chemical Peels Safe?
Chemical Peel techniques and solutions are FDA-approved and are considered a safe and effective procedure when done by an experienced and qualified professional. Chemical peel procedures have been around for many years and therefore have undergone rigorous testing and improvements over the years resulting in a trusted and effective non-invasive facial treatment.