What are chemical peels?
Sun exposure, acne, and aging can leave your skin tone uneven, wrinkled, spotted or scarred. Chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution to smooth the texture of your skin by removing the damaged outer layers.
Superficial chemical peeling is truly an exfoliation of the entire epidermis (outer layer of skin) in order to encourage regrowth with less photo damage and a more youthful appearance.
Scientific studies have shown that superficial chemical peels can produce an increase in epidermal and dermal thickness as well as activation of fibroblasts. This produces a rebuilding of the superficial connective tissue in the dermis with new collagen formation and increase synthesis of hyaluronic acid. Overall, this produces an improvement in the texture and thickness of the skin leading to a more youthful appearance.
Repetetive peeling sessions are typically required to obtain maximal results.
The usual time for healing is from 1 to 4 days depending on the chemical and the concentration.
What are the benefits of Chemical Peels?
- facial rejuvenation
- improvement in tone and texture of the skin
- improvement in inflammatory and comodonal acne (blackheads and whiteheads)
- reduction in unwanted pigmentation
- improvement of melasma
- improvement of very mild acne scars
Types of Peels
The use of alphahydroxy acids (AHA’s) such as glycolic acid have been used in cosmetics for centuries. Some fruit acids were used in their natural state in ancient Greece and Egypt. Glycolic acid, which is derived from sugarcane, became extremely popular in the 1990’s with promises of skin rejuvenation.
Glycolic acid produces “invisible peeling” as opposed to the more obvious peeling of skin seen with other types of superficial chemical peels. Application of glycolic acid will produce a mild stinging sensation during the chemical peel and the acid is neutralized with sodium bicarbonate and water. Mild redness typically develops but resolves within a day. The peeling occurs microscopically and is typically not noticeable to others. Multiple chemical peels are needed to achieve desired effect.
It is recommended to prepare for glycolic acid peels with a 2 week “pre-peel” course of non-prescription strength glycolic acid in order to help the skin become used to a lower pH and also to ensure the person is not overly sensitive to glycolic acid.
Depending upon the patient’s response and tolerability, glycolic acid peels may be performed as often as every 2 weeks. Use of sunscreen and hats are critical to the success of the peel. We do NOT recommend that patients undergo a chemical peel prior to a trip to a sunny climate.
Beta Lift – The Ideal Peel for Acne
Salicylic acid peeling, commonly called the ß-Hydroxy acid peel, is unique in that it is “lipophilic.”- This property enables salicylic acid to target the oil glands, pores, and comedones (AKA blackheads) seen most prominently in acne and rosacea. As the active crystals penetrate the skin surface, they concentrate in the pores and may remain effective for 5 to 7 days after the chemical peel. The ß-LIFTx peel is the least inflammatory of all superficial chemical peels and thus can be safely used on those patients with darker skin. It is also an effective agent used for melasma because there is little risk of post inflammatory pigmentation.
Upon initial application of salicylic acid peel solution, the patient may experience a stinging or burning sensation which may increase over the first 90 seconds which then rapidly decreases as the salicylic acid produces a type of superficial anesthesia. Evaporation of the crystals produces a white precipitate on the skin surface.
Peeling of the skin usually begins 2 to 3 days after the peel and may last for up to seven days. However in certain people, the peeling may be microscopic and invisible. The ß-lift peel can be repeated every four weeks. Like other superficial chemical peels, multiple treatments are needed to see improvement.
Similar to glycolic acid peels, it is recommended that the patient pretreat for maximal benefit. We recommend the use of a retinoid such as Retin-A or adapalene at least 3 to 4 weeks prior to the chemical peel. – This will produce a more effective and even peeling. However, it is important that the patient not have irritation from the Retin-A at the time the peel and therefore We recommend discontinuing the Retin-A product for at least 3 to 4 days prior to the peel.
For patients using the ß-lift peel to treat melasma, the skin must be pretreated and post treated with sunscreen, hydroquinone and tretinoin. Hydroquinone is a chemical agent that blocks melanocytes from producing new melanin pigmentation. It’s use essentially blocks new pigment formation as the new epidermis is healing after a chemical peel. It is therefore necessary to use when peeling for the treatment of pigmentary dyschromia and for the treatment of darker skin types.
The Perfect 10 Peel
Replenix’s Perfect 10 Peel is a medical grade chemical peel that combines proprietary concentrations of both Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s) and ß-hydroxy acids including: Glycolic acid, Salicylic acid, Lactic acid, Mandelic acid, Tartaric acid, Pyruvic acid, Amino Azeleic acid, and Resorcinol. The Perfect 10 peel contains a more robust formulation of chemical peeling agents designed to produce a thorough superficial chemical peel. It’s elegant five-step protocol also includes application of antioxidants to soothe, calm and nourish the skin for extraordinary health.
Unlike other chemical peels, one does not need to stop application of Retin-A or adapalene prior to the chemical peel so long as the patient has no significant irritation from these products.
Replenix Perfect 10 also offers “The Universal” peel for those people with darker skin types.
The Perfect 10 peel is ideal for patients looking for rejuvenation, skin toning, improvement of fine wrinkles, very mild scarring, and overall improvement in the texture of their skin. Like other superficial chemical peels, multiple treatments are needed to see the desired effect. Perfect 10 peels are typically repeated every 4-5 weeks.
We recommend the use of mild cleansers, moisturizers, and pure zinc oxide sunscreen for 10 days after the peel.