I’m sure you have popped into your local supermarket or pharmacy and stood in the skincare isles reading the benefits of different face masks, overnight creams and exfoliators before finally deciding to pick one up and take it to the till, in hope you receive some amazing results. With so many brands offering so many products it’s hard to know exactly what your skin needs to achieve the perfect skin complexion. 

Does the thought of having smooth, even skin tone, no scars and no acne marks seem like just a dream to you? With the development of chemical skin peels this may actually be a dream come true.

If you’ve decided to take the next step into skincare and are debating going to get a chemical skin peel treatment then continue to read this article. We will be answering all your questions!

What Are Chemical Peels and How Do They Work?

Over time, as our natural turnover of skin cells decreases, dead cells begin to build up on ou skin surface. This gives rise to dull, irregular, weathered skin. There are two ways to perform an exfoliation of this surface layer of skin cells, physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation. 

The physical exfoliation is the one you’ve been doing for years at home with a microbead face wash which removes the dead, old skin cells so that the new layer of skin underneath can take its place. However, many of these microbead products are now banned in the UK due to having an awful effect on marine life and damaging the water supplies.

The second way to remove that dull layer of skin is by chemical exfoliation, which can be done using a chemical peel. The acidic substance embedded within the peel exfoliates the top layers of dead cells on your skin surface which causes the skin to dissolve and peel off. So essentially these peels leave you with a fresh new layer of healthy, glowing, fresh skin cells. 

What to Expect From A Chemical Peel? 

When deciding to go for a chemical peel, its important you do your research into where you go to get the treatment. Read reviews, check out their work on their website or social media and confirm they have the qualifications to perform the treatment. 

There are tonnes of chemical peels, for different skin types and concerns. When you go for your chemical peel, the practitioner will ask you about your skin concerns and what you would like to get out of the treatment. They will assess your skin and find a peel that best suits you and the results you would like to achieve. It is always best to start with a consultation to allow you and your practitioner to create a treatment plan that suits you and your skin. 

There are different strengths of chemical peels, this is determined by the pH of the peel. The pH determines the depth of penetration with more acidic peels penetrating deeper beneath the skin surface. It is always best to ease you skin into the process by starting with a mild peel and working up in terms of strength. They vary in recovery time, opting for a light peel will mean your skin takes less time to recover. Whereas a medium or a deep peel could mean it take up to two weeks before your skin fully recovers. Your practitioner can go through a post treatment skin care routine with you, and you may be asked to stop using certain products or apply more of certain products.  

The treatment needs to be performed on a clean, dry, make up free face. It is recommended that you remove you make up prior to attending the clinic, if not the practitioner will be able to take it off for you. The treatment should be completed with thirty minutes to an hour. 

When the peel is spread around your face you may feel a tingly sensation. This is the chemicals diving into top layer of your skin preparing to dissolve it. The side effects of the skin peels vary between people and their skin types. You may feel dryness, swelling, redness and you may physically be able to see the skin peeling or flaking off. 

Are there any side effects with chemical peels?

It’s important to be aware of the side effects with chemical peels, they are strong chemicals and everyone’s skin reacts in different ways. The chemicals sitting on your skin are working to remove the dead skin cells, these chemicals will also come into contact with your healthy skin cells too and may cause minor damage to them which will be self resolving. It is unusual but if you have a darker skin complexion, the treatment could leave you with light spots on your face. This would be something to discuss with your practitioner during the consultation. 

Don’t be too put off by the side effects as they are rare, and your practitioner should conduct a patch test and apply the best suited peel for your skin type. 

Make your practitioner aware of how many skin peels you’ve had as this may cause sensitive skin for a few days. Always be sure to wear SPF on your skin and avoid sun exposure if you can during recovery days. 

What will it do for my skin and do I need one? 

1. Smoother skin – A fresh new layer of skin will appear, reduced open pores, tighter less wrinkled skin and a new set of skin cells allowing you a smooth complexion. 

2. Reduction of fine lines and wrinkles – As the peel reveals a new layer of skin the fine lines and wrinkles are no longer as prominent. Therefore, this is a great anti-aging treatment. However, if your main skin concern is the ageing process and deep wrinkles, then a chemical peel treatment is not best suited to target those issues. Speak to you practitioner for other solutions. 

3. Evening out skin tone- The peel will brighten the facial complexion and will reduce acne scarring, age spots and pigmentation giving you a healthy glow. 

4) To rejuvenate skin and stimulate collagen production – At the age of 25 we begin to lose collagen in our skin, this is the protein in the skin that keeps it tight, plump and youthful. The peel can unclog pores and trigger the production of collagen.