A few weeks ago I shared that I got a chemical peel on Instagram stories and the consensus was that y’all wanted to know more about them! As promised, today I’m sharing more about what they do and why I get them. Although I used to work in dermatology and got to learn a little about these types of skin treatments, I’m no expert on peels and estheticians are the ones who learn the ins & outs of peels. There are so many different types out there, but today we’re mostly going to talk about mild peels and sharing the benefits they can give your skin!
WHAT ARE CHEMICAL PEELS?
A chemical peel is a type of skin treatment where a solution is applied to the skin (usually a type of acid) which later causes the skin to exfoliate or peel. This improves the appearance of skin by removing dead skin and allowing skin cell turnover which results in a new, healthy top layer of skin. There are so many types that range from mild peels that produce a little flaking to strong, deeper peels that have a little more downtime. The one I recently got had a combination of lactic/salicylic/citric acids, retinol, and several anti-aging peptides, good for all skin types!
WHY DO I GET THEM?
I recently started getting peels to help my melasma, which is a type of hyperpigmentation that can result in patchy brown spots on the face. They’re not sun spots but the sun definitely makes it stand out and it can also be related to hormones (thanks, birth control!). Mine is pretty mild but I’ve definitely noticed it creep up over the past few years so along with sun protection and using Retin-A and glycolic pads at home, I decided to add peels into my skincare regimen.
WHAT BENEFITS DO THEY HAVE?
Chemical peels can help many skincare concerns including fine lines/wrinkles, uneven skin tone/texture, acne, melasma, mild acne scares and sun damage. By exfoliating the top layer of skin, that also helps your daily skincare products penetrate the skin more efficiently- if you’re wanting to prevent aging skin your should definitely be using a Vitamin C serum (I just started this one and it’s amazing!) and retinol product.
See my nighttime skincare routine here.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?
Most recently I had the Jan Marini Refine peel and I was very happy with the results! At my appointments usually I start off with a cleanse and some extractions and the peel is put on at the end. You have to prep the skin with an alcohol/acetone solution and that was probably the worst part! When the peel solution is applied it usually feels a little warm/tingly, like a stinging sensation. It shouldn’t be painful though! Depending on the peel, you will get a mini fan to cool off your face.
WHAT DO I EXPECT AFTERWARDS?
When you leave the office you will look red and splotchy but it will calm down over the next few hours. You will need to leave the peel on for a certain amount of hours, depending on the peel, before you wash it off. Your skin will feel tight and you can’t wear makeup the first day… and no sweating. You can usually wear makeup the next day but I don’t until I’m almost done peeling, which lasts about 3-5 days on average. It will start around the mouth because you move that part of your face the most and eventually work it’s way up. It may be temping but DON’T pick or peel off your skin, this can lead to scarring if you skin isn’t ready to be exfoliated.
HOW MUCH ARE THEY?
This varies on the type of peel and where you get it done but I would say anywhere from $100 to $300 (with some of the deeper peels getting even pricier). The ones I’ve gotten are about $110-$120 so they’re pretty reasonable if you’re only doing it a few times a year.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THEM/ WHAT TIME OF YEAR IS BEST?
Personally, I go when I notice my discoloration is getting worse. Estheticians usually recommend getting them in a series of 2 or 3 depending on the damage but it’s all up to you. Note that you have to wait about 4-6 weeks between treatments.
I would recommend going during fall & winter, maybe spring. Fall is great because you can peel away some of the damage from the summertime and start working on healthy, glowing skin for the holiday season. You should avoid direct sun exposure for at least a week after a peel, so summer is not ideal. If you get a lot of sun right after when your skin is still healing, it can sometimes make hyperpigmentation worse so just don’t do it! SPF will be your best friend.
If you knew nothing about peels I hope at least you have a better understanding of them and the benefits they can offer you skin! If y’all have any other specific questions, please feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org OR shoot me a DM on Instagram. Thanks for reading!