Did you know that sun exposure, especially without sunscreen, is one of the fastest ways to age your skin? The cellular damage that occurs when ultraviolet light gets absorbed beneath the epidermis results in brown spots, rough texture, and dryness. It can also contribute to fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging tissue because the collagen strands that firm and support the skin are broken down by sunlight. Plastic surgery can correct some of the signs of aging, but why put yourself in the position of needing surgical procedures sooner than you might otherwise? Here, we discuss how professional chemical peel treatment can help you offset those days in the sun.
What is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a type of treatment that speeds up the cellular turnover of the epidermis. This is necessary because the uppermost layer of cells that sit on the skin’s surface are usually those that are on their last legs. They are unhealthy or even dead. A chemical peel creates an environment on the skin that will cause cells to slough off more quickly. This can immediately improve skin tone and texture and, depending on the treatment and how often peels are performed, also reduce the signs of sun damage and aging.
There are three common categories of chemical peels: light, medium, and deep.
A light chemical peel is often made with lactic acid or a combination of low-strength acids. Though clinical-grade, a light peel is gentle enough even for sensitive skin. The treatment is also so mild that no downtime is needed, except good sun protection. There are minimal side effects noticed, if any, after a gentle peel. That makes it great for the person on the go who is more interested in helping their skin age well than in correcting already visible signs of aging. Light peels can be performed as often as monthly.
Medium chemical peels are very popular. They are made with ingredients like salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol. Because it is more concentrated, a medium peel will affect multiple layers of the skin. This is not painful, but it will likely result in some side effects like redness and flaking or peeling. Affecting more layers of the skin, a medium peel will achieve more profound, visible results, such as a reduction in dark spots, scars, and fine lines.
Deep chemical peels are usually formulated with trichloroacetic acid (TCA). This ingredient has been used for more than 20 years to achieve consistent results in the reduction of scarring, photoaging, enlarged pores, melasma, and more. A deep chemical peel can cause redness and peeling that lasts several days, so some time off from normal activities is necessary. However, this treatment does not need to be repeated very often to maintain the skin.