Chemical Peels 101

The words “chemical peel” could make anybody anxious who is unfamiliar with the treatment’s benefits. Peels, however, are really just another form of exfoliation: a minimally invasive, low-cost and quick route to “full-on facial rejuvenation.” Peels always bring about improvement in the health and appearance of the skin, and the good news is, ANY skin type, skin color and age would benefit from having one!

Peels help remove damaged outer layers of skin, allowing a fresh, new layer of skin cells to naturally emerge. This results in both a “renewing” and “therapeutic” experience. Just imagine how amazing we would feel if this renewal process could be achieved for every organ in the body!

What peels do is this: They dissolve the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together, and this triggers new baby skin cells to form and move up to the outer layers of your skin while the old skin sloughs off. It’s a beautiful, natural thing that happens automatically and often when we are young. But when we’re older, we need to give our skin a little nudge, and it’s best achieved with chemical peels.

A chemical peel has dual cosmetic and medical benefits:

  • Cosmetically: skin renewal improves pore size, hyperpigmentation and fine lines.
  • Medically: a chemical peel can improve acne, actinic keratoses and, sometimes, superficial skin cancers.

Chemical peels offer various benefits depending on peel depth:

  1. Light peels are our personal favorite for acne because they don’t make acne “mad” or cause flareups. Light peels are truly no-downtime, meaning at the most, you will have very light flaky skin similar to what you would get after a sunburn. The chemical peels used in the Acne Treatments at POREspective include a low dose of TCA with Mandelic Acid and Jessner’s, which is applied after medical extractions. Additionally, TCA in any strength is magic for anti-aging because it stimulates collagen production (code for “firm and young”) in the lower levels of your skin, which is why our our over 35 acne clients appreciate our treatments. Other light peels include a combination of enzymes and hydroxy acids–either AHAs (lactic acid or the newer mandelic acid) or BHAs (salicylic acid). These are milder treatments that need to be done in a series of six in order to see an improvement in skin tone and texture with a big improvement in mild to moderate cases of acne. A light peel series is a terrific option for those who want to see a big improvement in their skin but aren’t willing or able to take off work.
  2. Medium peels include chemicals used in light peels along with retinoic acid (the same ingredient in Retin-A).  Medium-depth peels cause moderate exfoliation for 2-3 days, leaving the skin rosy, plump, and firm within the week.
  3. Deeper peels are achieved by adding 20% tricholoroacetic acid (TCA) to hydroxy acids and retinoic acid. Deeper peels cause your skin to peel off in sheets, and complete healing can take up to 14 days.

In the end, a POREspective chemical peel with extractions can give you an even more rapid improvement in your acne than you would be able to get with a great acne-home care regimen alone.

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