As we say goodbye to summer and transition into fall, we enter what is known in the aesthetic medical world as peel season. Why? Fall and winter, the cooler seasons, mark the best time to get a chemical peel treatment as we tend to spend less time in the sun, lowering the amount of UV exposure to the skin. Getting into an annual routine of chemical peels during “peel season” is something we recommend for those wanting to combat sun damage, pigment changes, texture, and a dull complexion.
We have about 19 million skin cells on every inch of our body, with the uppermost layers composed of dead skin cells. Cell turnover is the body’s natural process of constantly shedding dead skin cells and replacing them with new, healthy skin cells. As we age, cell turnover slows, creating a build-up of dead skin cells. This, combined with repeated sun exposure and environmental factors, explain why most people notice the skin losing its luminosity and becoming dull and uneven in pigmentation with age.
The words, “chemical peel”, might be intimidating to some. Let’s address the elephant in the room: you don’t have to search on the internet very long to find chemical peel horror stories and images. But to ease your mind, there are different depths of peels ranging from superficial to deep. These peels are formulated with different acids and unique potencies to provide optimal results depending on your goals and specific skin concerns. In fact, there are even peels that don’t make you “peel” at all. Depending on the depth of the peel you choose, pain relievers like medical-grade numbing creams and Bronx are available to make the experience comfortable. Your provider will review your goals, assess your skin, and talk through your options with you. You can still achieve the benefits of a chemical peel without choosing an aggressive peel route.
Following a chemical peel, the skin on the treated area will begin the process of creating new layers of healthy skin to replace those that have been destroyed by the acids in the treatment. Whether the skin noticeably peels and to what extent, depends on the depth and strength of the selected peel treatment. This process usually takes place over the course of a few days to weeks. During the recovery period, sun exposure should be limited as exposure to the sun has the potential to cause hyperpigmentation. A sunscreen with an SPF 50 should be worn consistently over the next 72 hours and reapplied every 2 hours. Of course, we recommend this daily anyway, whether you’ve received a peel or not. We recommend our medical-grade Topix Pharmaceutical Broad Spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen post-treatment because it’s gentle, and is mineral-based, so it won’t clog your pores.
Your aesthetician may recommend a monthly peel during peel season. As always, we recommend following a professional skincare regime to protect your overall skin health and to combat present and future signs of aging. If you view receiving a chemical peel like purchasing a car, professional skincare is your insurance.