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What Is A Chemical Peel And How Does It Work?

To the uninitiated chemical peels can sound rather barbaric. After all…this is your face we’re talking about here! The thought of adding chemicals which cause peeling to your facial area can sound rather frightening but in fact, chemical peels are highly effective and surprisingly non-painful to undergo.

If you’re concerned about the effects of time and the environment on your face but you’re not quite in plastic surgery territory, then a chemical peel can be just what the doctor ordered. Chemical peels can not only take years off you but they can also improve the appearance of sun spots and uneven freckles which sometimes make your skin look less than fresh.

The idea behind chemical peels is a perfectly natural one…our skin regularly sheds and renews itself after all…what a chemical peel does is hurry that process up a little! As we constantly expose our skin to the elements, it can fall victim to its surroundings and look lacklustre. Undergoing a chemical peel hurries away those damaged, upper layers of skin and reveals the tighter, brighter skin beneath.

There are a few different types of chemical peel and to better understand which type might be right for you and your skin, keep reading and arm yourself with the facts.

Glycolic Acid Peel

This is considered to be the mildest and most natural of all chemical peels because it has its base in sugar cane from which it is derived. Natural fruit acids are pretty strong stuff all the same though and during treatment, the formula will be applied to your skin by a careful and qualified professional who will have taken care to get the strength of the mixture exactly right for your skin.

Depending on the percentage used in your peel, the mixture will be left on your skin to work its magic for a set amount of time many peels are set at 50% but that’s not for everyone and you may have a weaker solution if it is your first peel.

The solution penetrates your skin and breaks up the bonds which hold the layers together…loosening the upper layers from those deeper and less damaged ones. The mixture will then be neutralised and removed.

Once your treatment is over, your skin may be red and sensitive for a few days…but again this depends on how strong your solution was. Further layers of skin will peel off over the coming days and the fresh skin beneath will emerge. Many people who have undergone one chemical peel return for a subsequent peel to get an even better result…it takes time to get the desired effect when you’re new to the treatment.

AHA Peel

An AHA peel is based on a solution of Alpha Hydroxy Acids which most people know as fruit acids. These peels are also gentle and are excellent for first timers or those who don’t have very damaged skin. They can help minimise minor acne scars especially if more than one treatment is undergone.

If your skin is sensitive an AHA Peel could be the right choice for you…especially if you’re nervous of affecting your skin in a negative way.

Phenol Peel

This is the Daddy of all the chemical peels. They used to be referred to as “deep peels” for obvious reasons as they’re very strong and remove a lot of layers of skin in one sitting. When you’re recovering from a Phenol Peel you will need some downtime as your skin will probably be red, sore and scabbed over.

The recovery period can be up to three weeks and the final results are said to be really visible after 2 months when the skin has totally recovered.

Phenol Peels are highly effective for fine lines and scars as well as general blemishes and the results can last for years to come.

Recovery from Chemical Peels

Depending on the strength of the peel which you opt for you should find that you are recovered in between 1 and 3 weeks after the peel has been administered. Of course this may vary as no two people have the same skin; you will be advised to stay make-up free for a certain time after your peel and possibly to wear a good sun block too.

If you’re interested in brightening your skin and in getting rid of some of your least favourite blemishes then a skin peel could be just what you’re looking for.


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