Chemical peels may seem like an “old school” beauty treatment compared to resurfacing lasers and other beauty breakthroughs, but the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery say they’re still popular – mainly because they really work.
1. Chemical peels are affordable.
They take off dead, dull surface cells and improve acne, discoloration, and fine lines. And they can be cheaper than fractional which often require several sessions, and can cost up to three times more.
2. Modern chemical peels don’t hurt as much as they used to.
If you flinch at the memories of the glycolic peels that left your skin raw, red and shedding like a snake’s, be assured that they’re much gentler. Acid formulas have been improved and refined, and instead of using a strong percentage of a particular chemical, now combine low percentages of multiple acids. This means less irritation, higher strength, and usually multiple skin benefits. For example, your doctor may select a peel that contains trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and lactic acid to remove dull skin and also jumpstart collagen.
3. Chemical peels prompt your skin to act younger.
The acids dissolve dead skin cells, which prompts your skin to send living cells to move up. At the same time, your skin produces more collagen and hyaluronic acid.
4. Chemical peels help make your skincare regimen more effective.
Your everyday skincare products are able to penetrate deeper into the skin, thus helping them perform better. Just tell your dermatologist or facialist about your usual skincare regimen, and mention any key ingredients – your skin may be sensitive after a peel, and you may need to avoid stronger ingredients for a few days. (Read our article on important information that you need to give your dermatologist.)
5. Chemical peels can help reduce acne and acne scars.
Struggling with adult acne? Some chemical peels that contain salicylic acid and lactic acid can help unclog pores and break down blackheads and acne scars. They are particularly effected on pitted scars. Dermatologists sometimes prefer chemical peels as a way of controlling mild acne breakouts and scars especially for people who don’t want the down time of procedures like Fraxel or resurfacing lasers.
6. Chemical peels can help with melasma and pigmentation issues
Dark pigmentation spots caused by sun exposure or hormonal issues, or dark circles around the eyes caused by hyperpigmentation, can be controlled by certain kinds of chemical peels delivered via pen applicator. Your facialist or dermatologist may use a low concentration of lactic acid in a gel formula that won’t drip into the eyes.