Have you ever imagined giving your skin a fresh start and seeing cosmetic concerns like wrinkles, acne scarring, and hyperpigmentation improve in a short amount of time? Do you want a quick, painless, and proven way to visibly soften lines and fade dark spots in just one treatment for most patients? If so, you’ll want to learn more about the chemical peels proudly offered at Dr. Park Avenue in Franklin Lakes, NJ. These versatile treatments can help you achieve the glowing, balanced skin you’re always wanted without invasive procedures or extended recovery times.
What Are Chemical Peels?
Once a favorite treatment of the 1990s, chemical peels have burst back onto the skincare scene thanks to their success in addressing a variety of skin issues, including wrinkles and fine lines, acne scarring, uneven skin tone and texture, hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores, and even current acne issues. There is a whole range of peels available, many including AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) like glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acid. Your doctor will help you choose the peel that’s best for your skin type, sensitivity, and target issues.
Designed to rejuvenate your skin through chemical exfoliation, peels resurface the top layers of your skin to reveal fresh, youthful skin over a relatively short period of time. A peel treatment can be combined with other skin-refining treatments, like microdermabrasion, depending on your goals, and it can help address more stubborn skin concerns such as pitted acne scarring.
With a history dating back to ancient Egypt, the main benefit of the chemical peel has always been its ability to reveal bright new skin and decrease the appearance of signs of aging, blemishes, and uneven skin tone. Today, peels are scientifically advanced, safe for almost every patient, and considered an excellent alternative to treatment options with longer recovery times and higher risks of hyperpigmentation for darker skin tones.
Best of all, peels are customizable for each patient. It’s common for doctors to add regenerative factors like vitamin C to chemical peel treatments to give your skin an extra boost and personalize your peel experience. Besides stunning and almost-instant results, the chemical peel offers patients convenience. It requires no invasive procedures and allows you to return to your normal schedule with no downtime. It can easily fit into any schedule or lifestyle and is a classic, easy fix for all of your skincare needs.
How Do They Work?
Chemical peels penetrate the top layers of your skin to stimulate collagen production and increase cell turnover, resulting in the exfoliation of the top layer of skin and the reveal of a brand-new layer. Depending on the chemical strength of your peel, you’ll see your old skin shed over the days after your session, leaving you with an instantly improved complexion and a major boost in confidence.
Before your session, you’ll have an initial consultation with your doctor to assess your current skin, discuss your general cosmetic concerns, and determine your ideal results. This is the perfect time to ask your doctor any questions you may have about the chemical peel process. Once your doctor has talked through your expectations and evaluated your skin, they will recommend the best chemical peel, including any skin-rejuvenating additives which may benefit your complexion, and the best treatment plan for your unique situation.
At this time, you should disclose any medications you take regularly to your doctor; you should also tell them if you’ve used Accutane in the last six months as this product may not be compatible with some chemicals. Finally, your doctor may ask you about your skincare routine and ask you to stop using some products prior to your appointment to ensure best results.
You should continue to care for your skin as normal in the days leading up to your appointment. The only products to avoid are those with acid ingredients, such as retinoids or acne-clearing cleansers. Check the ingredient list and stop using these products 4-5 days before your session. This will ensure that you don’t over-treat your skin with acids.
You may also want to wait to schedule any intense skincare appointments or new treatments until after your chemical peel. Too many treatments in a short amount of time can overwhelm your skin and cause irritation and poor results.
You should always be sure to protect your skin from the sun. UV rays are responsible for over 90% of skin-related issues, including wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and skin cancer. Always wear sunscreen, especially on your face, and consider swapping your tanning sessions on the tanning bed or outside for skin-friendly alternatives like self-tanner or spray tans.
Be especially cautious the week before your appointment since a sunburn can increase your chances of experiencing irritation during and after treatment. Be sure to follow your doctor’s specific instructions before treatment.
Plan to arrive to your appointment with a bare face. Your doctor will prepare your skin with a gentle cleanser, then apply the chemical peel. You’ll likely feel a tingling sensation as the peel penetrates your pores and begins the process of resurfacing your skin. A peel is left on your skin for approximately 5-10 minutes.
After this, your doctor will remove the peel and, depending on the strength of the chemicals, neutralize your skin to stop the chemical process. The final steps are moisturizer and, for most patients, a layer of sunscreen to protect their skin as they leave the office.
Your skin will most likely be redder than usual at the end of your treatment: this is a normal reaction to the peel process and will begin to fade over the next day or so. The average appointment takes between 30-45 minutes and you’re able to return to your normal activities with no downtime required. When your treatment is finished, you should see a visible improvement in your skin’s glow and clarity that will continue to increase over time.
Unlike the peels of the 1990s, which were painful to apply and left skin raw and flaking during recovery, today’s skin-friendly balance of chemicals and nourishing additives aren’t designed to cause excessive peeling. Instead, the regeneration process is at a cellular level as your skin cells shed away on a smaller scale, leaving your skin soft, shining, and healthy at the end of the process.
If you do notice some minimal peeling, it’s important to let it proceed naturally and not try to speed the process by scrubbing or pulling the skin, which could lead to uneven healing and hyperpigmentation.
Your skin, which may have become redder in reaction to the peel process, will return to its normal tone 2-3 days after treatment as your skin continues to heal. Apply moisturizer often and take extra care to shield your sensitive new skin from the sun by applying sunscreen and avoiding prolonged sun exposure, especially the first few days after your chemical peel treatment.
Products to Avoid
While your skin is healing, your doctor will give you instructions on which products to avoid. These often include any skincare products with acid, which could prolong the healing process. In addition, you should avoid using exfoliating face wash and at-home treatments during the first few days of healing. These products could strip away skin cells too early and negatively impact the healing process. Instead, use gentle cleansers without acids or exfoliants and pat your face dry with a clean towel.
Your doctor will also recommend that you avoid wearing makeup for a few days depending on the strength of your chemical peel and the average healing time. If your peel was a mild strength, you should be able to begin wearing makeup again 4-7 days after treatment.
Once your skin is completely healed–typically between 6-10 days after treatment–you’ll see improved appearance of wrinkles, faded scarring and dark spots, and an overall healthier complexion. Your old skin will be completely gone, along with your insecurities about your skin’s lackluster appearance. Most patients report noticing better, brighter skin after their very first chemical peel treatment.
In the weeks after your treatment, you’ll likely notice your other skincare products delivering better, faster results. This is because your peel has removed dead skin cells impeding the ingredients of your favorite face cleansers, creams, and oils. Once you have a new layer of skin, it’s able to better absorb the nutrients you apply and will respond better to future treatments.
Our skin regenerates completely approximately every 27 days, which means that no resurfacing treatment can ever be permanent. However, the chemical peel can give you a new start by erasing minor issues and reducing the appearance of larger issues like scarring over the course of a personalized treatment plan. With dedicated skincare, regular use of sunscreen, and repeated treatments as desired, your skin will remain healthy and refreshed.
Your doctor can discuss a treatment plan to maintain your healthy glow. Mild chemical peels can be used approximately once a month or can be used as an as-needed treatment to rejuvenate your skin when you see it begin to look dull. More intense peels to target acne or acne scarring will need to be spaced out and may require several appointments, but once you are satisfied with results, you can select a milder peel to encourage skin regeneration as needed.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate?
If you’re a man or woman of any age who wants a new beginning for your skin, a chemical peel is the perfect place to start. This exfoliating treatment offers faster results than other skin resurfacing options and, thanks to its chemical properties, is able to achieve a deeper exfoliation than surface-level treatments like microdermabrasion. It’s able to address a wide range of cosmetic concerns from teenage and adult acne to wrinkles and fine lines.
There’s a chemical peel for every skin tone and color. In addition, even those with sensitive skin can benefit from a mild peel specifically tailored to their skin type. Peels are almost endlessly customizable, giving doctors the freedom to create the perfect combination for each patient. Only those who smoke or who are prone to severe allergic reactions are advised to discuss their options with their doctor as they may not be the ideal candidate for a chemical peel.
Skin imperfections like wrinkles, dark spots, acne, and scarring can make you feel uncomfortable and unhappy in your own skin. When you don’t like what you see in the mirror, it can be difficult to think about anything else in your day-to-day life. Fortunately, you don’t need to live with common cosmetic concerns–a chemical peel designed for you can be the first step in your journey to healthy, radiant skin.
If you’re ready to learn more about chemical peels, reach out to the professionals at Dr. Park Avenue in Franklin Lakes, NJ today. We look forward to serving you and helping you reach your skin goals!