chemical peels

Everything You Need To Know About Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure that involves applying a chemical solution to the skin to exfoliate and improve its appearance. It’s used to address various skin concerns such as wrinkles, sun damage, acne, and uneven skin tone. The procedure promotes skin renewal, leading to a smoother and more youthful complexion.

What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a skin treatment that uses chemical solutions to improve the texture and appearance of the facial skin. It works by exfoliating the outer layers of damaged or dead skin cells to reveal smoother, healthier-looking skin underneath.

There are different types of chemical peels based on the strength and depth of exfoliation:

  • Light peels (AHA peels): Use alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid or lactic acid to exfoliate the outer layer of skin. They treat mild skin imperfections like uneven pigmentation, rough texture, and fine lines.
  • Medium peels (TCA peels): Use trichloroacetic acid to penetrate deeper into the skin. They are more effective for reducing fine lines, age spots, freckles, moderate acne scars etc.
  • Deep peels: Use phenol or carbolic acid and penetrate into deeper layers of the skin. They can treat more severe issues like deep wrinkles, severely sun-damaged skin, and deep scars. But they require extensive aftercare as they remove multiple layers of skin.

The procedure involves applying the chemical solution to the face, letting it sit for a few minutes to absorb and dissolve damaged skin, then neutralizing and removing it. The treated skin will be red and raw before it heals over the next few days. Results like improved skin texture and radiance may be seen within a week or two after the peel.

How Much Do Chemical Peels Cost?

Chemical Peels at CJ Aesthetic typically range from R500 to R1300 depending on your requirements.

Chemical Peels For Problematic, Congested, Acne Skin

Beta Plus Peel 15% – LamelleR500
Beta Plus Peel 20% – LamelleR580
Bio Salicylic Peel – BiomedicalR580

Chemical Peels For Hyperpigmented Skin

Beta Peel 15% – LamelleR580
Beta Peel 20% – LamelleR680
Augmented Peel – LamelleR990
Bio Glycolic Peel – BiomedicalR450 – R600 (35% – 70%)

Chemical Peels For Ageing / Aged Skin

Lactifirm Peel – LamelleR580
Rice Bran AO Peel – LamelleR560
Alpha Peel 20% & 30% – LamelleR580 – R700
Retistore Peel – LamelleR1100
Retistore Plus Peel – LamelleR1300
Bio Alkaline Peel – BiomedicalR580
Bio Complexion Peel – BiomedicalR800

Is Chemical Peeling Good For Your Skin?

Chemical peels can have benefits for the skin when done correctly, but there are also risks to consider:

Potential benefits:

  • Removes outer layers of damaged, irregular, or pigmented skin to reveal smoother skin underneath. This can reduce appearance of fine lines, acne scars, age spots, etc.
  • Stimulates collagen production which can make skin appear firmer and more youthful.
  • Clears up blackheads, whiteheads, and clogged pores by exfoliating. Can help improve mild to moderate acne.
  • Brightens skin tone and fades discoloration from sun damage.

Potential risks:

  • Can cause irritation, redness, swelling, pain, and scarring if the chemical is too strong or left on too long.
  • Increased sun sensitivity after peels, requiring diligent sun protection.
  • Deeper peels carry greater risks like infection, pigment changes, and abnormal scarring.
  • Repeated peels can potentially thin the skin over time if not spaced properly.

Overall, light chemical peels done by an experienced dermatologist can be safe for many skin types. But deeper peels require careful assessment of skin condition and realistic outcome expectations. Proper aftercare is crucial to avoid complications. Patients with very sensitive skin may be better suited for gentler exfoliation methods.

How Long Does a Chemical Peel Last?

The results and longevity of a chemical peel depends on several factors:

  • Depth of the peel – Deeper peels have longer-lasting results than lighter peels, but require more recovery time. Light peels exfoliate only the outermost layer of skin and provide temporary brightening for a week or two. Medium peels reach the epidermis and can last 2-3 months. Deep peels reach the dermis and can last 6 months or longer.
  • Type of chemical – Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid provide shorter-term effects while trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels offer longer-lasting results. Phenol peels are the deepest and longest-lasting.
  • Condition of skin – Results tend to last longer on younger, healthier skin compared to sun-damaged skin. The peel may not be as effective on thicker, oilier skin types.
  • Lifestyle factors – Sun exposure, smoking, and not following aftercare instructions can impact results. Using sunscreen and skin-nourishing products helps maintain the benefits.
  • Repeated treatments – Getting periodic touch-up peels (every 4-6 weeks for lighter peels or 4-6 months for deeper peels) helps sustain the anti-aging and clearing effects.

In general, lighter peels may last 1-2 weeks, medium peels 2-3 months, and deep peels 6 months or longer. But the skin and lifestyle factors above play a big role in outcomes. Working with an experienced dermatologist helps set realistic expectations.

Is Chemical Peeling Painful?

Chemical peels involve some degree of pain and discomfort, ranging from mild to severe depending on the strength and depth of the peel:

  • Light peels – Light peels using alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic or lactic acid typically cause minor stinging, burning, redness, and tightness during application. The discomfort is usually mild and temporary.
  • Medium peels – Medium-depth peels with trichloroacetic acid (TCA) cause more intense stinging and burning as they penetrate deeper. Pain medication may be given beforehand. Swelling, redness and skin tightness may last for several days after.
  • Deep peels – Deep phenol or carbolic acid peels are very painful during application and require pain management. They can cause severe burning, stinging and throbbing, followed by several days of significant pain, swelling and raw skin during recovery. Patients are given sedation or pain medication.
  • Sensitive skin – Those with sensitive skin often experience more irritation and discomfort from chemical peels.

To help minimize pain, a numbing cream, cool air, pain relievers, or for deeper peels – nerve blocks, local anaesthesia or sedation may be used. Letting the doctor know about your pain tolerance allows them to take measures to reduce discomfort during the procedure. Staying well-hydrated and using soothing creams afterwards aids healing.

Who Should Avoid Chemical Peels?

Chemical peels may not be suitable for everyone, and certain individuals should exercise caution or avoid them altogether. It’s important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or dermatologist to assess your specific situation. However, here are some general considerations for people who may need to avoid chemical peels:

  1. Pregnant or breastfeeding women: The safety of chemical peels during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not well-established, and it’s generally recommended to avoid such procedures during this time.
  2. Individuals with a history of keloid scarring: People who have a tendency to develop keloid scars may be at an increased risk of developing abnormal scars after a chemical peel.
  3. Active skin infections or conditions: Individuals with active skin infections, such as herpes, or certain skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, should avoid chemical peels as they may exacerbate these conditions.
  4. Recent use of certain medications: Some medications, such as oral isotretinoin (commonly used for acne), may affect skin healing and increase the risk of complications from chemical peels. It’s important to disclose all medications to your healthcare provider.
  5. Individuals with a history of skin reactions: People who have a history of adverse reactions to chemical peels or other skin treatments may need to avoid them.
  6. Dark skin tones: Individuals with darker skin tones may be at a higher risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation after a chemical peel. Care should be taken to use appropriate peeling agents and concentrations for darker skin types.
  7. Sunburned or excessively tanned skin: Chemical peels should be avoided on sunburned or excessively tanned skin as this can increase the risk of complications and uneven pigmentation.
  8. Allergies: Individuals with allergies to specific chemicals or ingredients used in the peel should avoid the procedure.

Always consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist to determine if a chemical peel is appropriate for your skin type and condition. They can assess your medical history, skin type, and any potential risk factors to provide personalized advice.

Can A Chemical Peel Damage Your Face?

When performed by a trained and experienced professional, a chemical peel is generally a safe and effective cosmetic procedure. However, there is always a risk of complications, and in some cases, a chemical peel can lead to damage to the skin if not done properly or if the individual undergoing the peel has certain risk factors. Potential risks and complications include:

  1. Hyperpigmentation or Hypopigmentation: Chemical peels, especially in individuals with darker skin tones, may sometimes lead to changes in pigmentation. This can manifest as darkening (hyperpigmentation) or lightening (hypopigmentation) of the skin. Proper pre-peel assessment and post-peel care can help minimize these risks.
  2. Scarring: While chemical peels are generally safe, improper application or use of peeling agents at concentrations that are too high can result in scarring. Individuals with a history of keloid scarring may be at a higher risk.
  3. Infection: Any procedure that disrupts the skin barrier can potentially lead to infection. It’s crucial to follow post-peel care instructions, including keeping the treated area clean and avoiding sun exposure.
  4. Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to the chemicals used in the peel, leading to adverse reactions. A patch test is sometimes done prior to a full-face peel to assess for potential allergies.
  5. Herpes Reactivation: Chemical peels can trigger the reactivation of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) in individuals who carry the virus. Precautions, such as antiviral medications, may be recommended for those with a history of cold sores.
  6. Persistent Redness or Swelling: In some cases, individuals may experience prolonged redness or swelling after a chemical peel. This is usually temporary, but it’s important to follow post-peel care instructions to minimize these effects.

It’s crucial to have a thorough consultation with a qualified healthcare professional or dermatologist before undergoing a chemical peel. They can assess your skin type, medical history, and potential risk factors to determine the most appropriate peel for your needs. Additionally, following post-peel care instructions, including the use of sun protection, is essential to promote proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.

Care Instructions After a Chemical Peel?

After a chemical peel, proper care is essential to ensure optimal healing and minimize the risk of complications. The specific instructions may vary depending on the type and depth of the peel performed, as well as individual skin characteristics. Always follow the guidance provided by your healthcare professional or dermatologist. Here are some general care instructions that may be recommended after a chemical peel:

  1. Follow Post-Peel Instructions: Your healthcare professional will provide specific instructions tailored to your peel. Follow these instructions carefully to promote proper healing and minimize complications.
  2. Avoid Sun Exposure: Protect your skin from direct sunlight, as the treated skin will be more susceptible to damage. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, and reapply as directed. Sun exposure can lead to hyperpigmentation and other complications.
  3. Moisturize: Keep the treated area well-moisturized to help soothe the skin and support the healing process. Use a gentle, hypoallergenic moisturizer recommended by your healthcare professional.
  4. Avoid Picking or Peeling: Do not pick at any flaking or peeling skin. Let the skin naturally exfoliate, and use a mild cleanser as instructed by your healthcare provider.
  5. Limit Physical Activity: Avoid vigorous exercise and activities that may cause excessive sweating for a few days after the peel. Sweating can irritate the treated skin.
  6. Use Gentle Cleansers: Cleanse your face with a mild, non-abrasive cleanser. Avoid using harsh or abrasive products that could further irritate the skin.
  7. Avoid Harsh Skincare Products: Steer clear of products containing harsh chemicals, retinoids, or exfoliating agents for the duration recommended by your healthcare professional. Introduce products gradually after healing.
  8. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.
  9. Avoid Hot Water: Use lukewarm water when washing your face, as hot water can exacerbate irritation.
  10. Follow-Up Appointments: Attend any scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare professional to assess the progress of your skin and address any concerns.
  11. Antiviral Medications (if prescribed): If you have a history of cold sores, your healthcare professional may prescribe antiviral medications to reduce the risk of reactivation.

Remember that recovery time and specific care instructions can vary based on the type and depth of the chemical peel. If you experience severe or prolonged redness, swelling, pain, or other unexpected symptoms, contact your healthcare professional promptly. They can provide guidance and ensure that your recovery is progressing as expected.

Conclusion to Chemical Peels

Embark on a journey to radiant skin with CJ Aesthetics’ chemical peel services. Our expertise, coupled with a personalized approach, ensures a rejuvenating experience that brings out the best in your skin. Contact us today for a free skin assessment, and let your natural beauty shine through the transformative power of chemical peels. Your radiant skin awaits!

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Chantelee Joubert

Chantelee Joubert

I am a beauty, cosmetic & personal care specialist. I am also a qualified dermal aesthetician & somatologists with a clinic located in centurion. Feel free to contact me for a free skin assessment.