Chemical peels are deeply exfoliating facial treatments, which offer exceptional rejuvenation benefits for your skin, promoting a brighter, more youthful complexion. They can also offer very specific benefits for a number of problematic skin concerns, such as acne and pigmentation. When a chemical peel is done by a trained professional in a clinical environment, they are safe, effective, and exciting.
But, the fact of the matter is, for a very controlled time, there will be a chemical acid on your skin. We harness the power of these chemical acids for results, but their strength also requires us to take certain actions to ensure those results are positive.
Once you and your skin specialist have decided a course of chemical peels will benefit your skin, you must work as team, to give your skin the best chance of maximising on the possible results achievable.
WHAT CAUSES THE CONCERN?
Chemical peels work by deeply exfoliating the surface of your skin so your body is forced to replenish it with new skin cells very quickly. When these peels are done regularly, the body makes new skin regularly and therefore behaves like a younger skin, rejuvenating itself and repairing imperfections. To ensure the body doesn’t think this deep exfoliation is a trauma occurring on the skin, which can cause post inflammatory pigmentation, we must introduce exfoliation gradually so the skin has time to adjust.
Think of a chemical peel as exercise for your skin. Just as when you begin a body work out at the gym, you must warm up first. If you hit the treadmill straight away and sprint, your body wouldn’t cope well and you might cause yourself injury. Same as with peels. In order to avoid causing your skin injury you must slowly introduce the chemical acids to your skin in a lower percentage through home care products at least two weeks before your first peel.
Your skin specialist will complete a very thorough consultation and skin analysis before deciding on a treatment program tailored to suit your concerns and areas requiring improvement. He or she will then create a personalised program of professional in clinic treatments and home care skincare products that you must use at home, morning and night before, during and after your treatment program.
Your home care is without question the most important aspect of your skincare treatment program. As with your tooth care, it is brushing your teeth every day that ensures your teeth are healthy, with check-ups and deep cleans from the dentist to boost your oral health. Same with skin. It is what you feed your skin every day that will give you good skin, and clinical chemical peels are the boost your skin needs to improve on what you’re doing at home.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SKIN?
Improvement of your skin function will have started from your first use of the home care products at home. This means you will have started shedding excessive dead skin within those two weeks and the peel will penetrate further and more evenly ensuring better and positive results from your clinical treatment.
As well as introducing exfoliation to the skin to increase the number of new skin cells being made, we can also improve the quality of the new skin cells being made with hydrators and correctors in the form of serums and highly effective cosmeceutical grade moisturisers. This means the new skin cells being produced will be more hydrated less pigmented and in better health resulting in maximised results from your peels.
All this good work you and your clinician are doing in clinic and at home MUST be protected with a cosmeceutical grade SPF. As the surface skin is exfoliated, you are left more vulnerable to the effects of UVA radian such as to prevent DNA breakdown of the skin cells and permanent pigmentation.
Your skin specialist will match your home care products with the type of chemical acid exfoliator that will be used in your peel. For example if you are going to have glycolic-based peels for anti-aging and skin rejuvenation, you will need to use a milder glycolic-based cleanser at home for a minimum of two weeks before your first treatment. If you are having salicylic-based peels for the improvement of acne and excess oil on the skin, you will be required to use a salicylic based cleanser at home.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
In summary, your personalised home care program will include at least
- One active cleanser containing the chemical acid that will be used in your clinical treatment.
- A skin hydrator or corrector in the form of a serum
- A SPF containing physical protection from UVA radiation
A reputable clinician will not perform a chemical peel for you until you have begun your preparation at home. It is important that you find a clinician your trust and can work together with to ensure you get the results you want from a highly effective and exciting skin treatment program.
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