Chemical peels were “a thing” in the late ‘90s. But they hurt like hell and weren’t quite gentle on the skin, so for a while they were associated only with that episode of Sex and the City when Samantha ends up horrendously red and flaky after a treatment. In the early 2000’s they were replaced by skin-resurfacing lasers. Fast-forward to 2018 and you will find that they’re the Number one skin treatment and they’re even more popular than they were back in the ‘90s. As are all recent ‘90s revivals, the chemical peels of today are better and more refined. They’re gentle and we have much more knowledge on how they work, plus they are proven to be even more effective than treatments with high-tech devices, and for only a fraction of the price.
Chemical peels (as opposed to mechanical peels, or rather scrubs, which we use to exfoliate at home) aren’t really just peeling off dead skin cells, but rather infusing the skin with ingredients that will interact with its cells. Some peels contain AHA’s like lactic and glycolic acid, which help break down the intercellular glue that binds the skin, so they boost natural skin exfoliation and stimulate cell growth. Peels that use salicylic acid (which is a BHA) penetrate the pores and reduce oil production, plus they have anti-inflammatory properties so they’re best used on oily or acne-prone skin. Regardless of what type of peel, dermatologists make chemical cocktails of various strengths depending on the patient’s specific needs, and the benefits are plentiful.
Rejuvenating the skin
The top layer is made up of dead skin cells, but as these cells build up, your complexion is left appearing duller. Chemical exfoliation helps resurface the skin, improving its texture and giving it a glow.
But the process goes beyond that and triggers a number of positive reactions. As the upper layer is shed, signals are sent to increase cellular proliferation and move the new, healthy cells to the upper layer. Thus, your skin acts younger, producing more collagen and hyaluronic acid. Increased collagen production results in filling in fine lines and reducing the appearance of pores.
Making your skin more receptive to skin-care products
The sloughing doesn’t just make your skin more radiant and smooth. Dead cells partly block the penetration of skin-care products, and once you get rid of that layer with a light chemical peel, your skin is ready to properly absorb all the good stuff.
Modern chemical peels are gentle, low-risk, and professionals make sure they adjust the strength of the applied mixture to your specific skin type – and skin color also, because darker complexions risk developing dark spots. “While superficial peels can be used on darker skin types, less aggressive treatments are advised to reduce the risks of hyperpigmentation”, experts from Silkwood Medical warn. Chemical peels that use low percentages of various acids rather than a higher percentage of a single acid are used to eliminate dark spots, reduce possible irritation and create an even skin tone. That’s why chemical peels are the best treatment for melasma.
Helping reduce breakouts
Chemical peels clear out follicles and provide antibacterial treatment to the deeper layers of your skin, keeping it clear and free of blemishes. The ones that use salicylic acid unclog pores, get rid of blackheads and even fade the marks from pimples, but it doesn’t stop there – the acid stays lingering in the pores, thus keeping them clean over time. So, the adequate peel, conducted by a certified professional, can actually be the ultimate solution to acne and even soften acne scars. Methods and mixtures have been developed and proven to be safe for all skin colors.
Getting rid of undereye circles
If you’re annoyed by the dark circles under your eyes that are there even when you’re not tired, you’re definitely not the only one. For many people they are hereditary and they’re actually created by piled-up pigment. Brightening peel systems that are safe to use in the area around the eyes have been developed by professionals. Namely, the acid enters the deeper skin layers, bypassing the epidermis so that irritation is reduced.
Doctors suggest that the best time to have a peel is in the winter, when it’s easiest to avoid the sun. But superficial peels can be done any time of the year, provided, of course, that you rigorously apply SPF creams afterwards. Whatever you opt, make sure to consult professionals first and go to a trusted clinic. Luckily, there are many of them out there as the demand is growing. Chemical peels are surely not going away anywhere, just getting better each year!
About The Author
Nina is a digital nomad, yoga aficionado and a travel enthusiast with a distinctive taste for home decor and fashion design. She’s passionate about learning new things and sharing meaningful ideas. If you wanna see what she’s up to you can find her on Twitter.