If you’ve ever wondered how some of your favorite celebrities seem to look so flawless all the time – whether they’re shopping at Whole Foods, picking up their kids from school or attending an awards show – they likely owe their glow to chemical peels.
While they’ll never tell, everyone from Vanessa Williams and Renee Zellweger to Halle Berry and Cameron Diaz are known to be fans. And we don’t blame them. According to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, chemical peels were in the top five minimally invasive procedures in 2011, with 1.1 million people opting for the skin revitalizing treatment.
Chemical peels: Are They for You?
Chemical peels work well for both men and women, at any age and are the ideal treatment for anyone who wants to restore a more youthful, healthy glow to their skin.
Everything from sun exposure and aging to acne and clogged pores can leave you with uneven skin tone, fine lines, scarring and a lacklustre complexion. If you want your skin to look smoother, younger and most importantly, vibrant, a chemical peel can make a significant difference. “Mild chemical peels exfoliate and give a nice appearance to the surface of the skin,” says Dr. Eric Bernstein, director of the Main Line Center for Laser Surgery. “These increase cell turnover, improve hyperpigmentation and help improve melasma, a really tough problem to fix,” he explains.
Chemical peels: How They Work
Although the word “chemical” might sound scary, fear not. Nothing is actually “peeled off.” A chemical solution is applied to the skin and works by dissolving the upper layers of the skin. As the tissue is dissolved and skin heals itself, new tissue emerges and fresher, smoother skin is revealed.
The depth and strength of the peel used varies based on the strength of the chemicals used and the length of time the solution is applied. The formula used by your doctor will be adjusted based on your needs and skin type.
Chemical Peels: Biggest Benefits
One of the least invasive ways to improve the look of your skin, chemical peels offer a whole host of beauty benefits. Some of the biggest are listed below.
- Diminishes fine lines, wrinkles: Creams, serums and lotions can only do so much. Chemical peels offer a fast-track to smoother, line-free skin.
- Confidence booster: There’s no quicker path to confidence than a smooth, glowing complexion.
- Minimal cost: Unlike spending hundreds of dollars on the newest anti-aging products, chemical peels offer concrete results at a reasonable price.
- Fast: Sometimes referred to as the “lunch time peel” chemical peels requires minimal down time, i.e. you can get one, and get back to your life without worrying about recovery.
- Reduced appearance of sun damage and melasma: Sun damage and melasma are two of the hardest skin concerns to treat, but chemical peels stimulate the skin to heal itself by dissolving the surface layers of skin. Through this process you trade damaged skin and dark spots for even tone and a smooth appearance.
- Improves texture: Chemical peels gently exfoliate the skin, increasing cell turnover, which leads to improved texture.
- Enhances collagen growth: Through the exfoliation process brought on by chemical peels, collagen production and cell renewal are stimulated, resulting in younger-looking, healthy skin.
- Vibrant skin: One of the fastest routes to a brighter, glowing complexion is a chemical peel.
- Acne and acne scarring: A mild chemical peel can help reduce the effects of acne on the skin and even minimize blemishes themselves.
Chemical Peels: The Breakdown
Depending on what you want to achieve – a clearer complexion, smoother skin, minimized scarring, etc. there’s a perfect peel to suit your needs.
Peels formulated with Alphahydroxy acids (AHA) and Betahydroxy acids (BHA) are the mildest form of peel (referred to as superficial peels). “Superficial peels are great for improving the appearance of sun-damaged skin or acne-prone skin, especially before big events,” Dr. Bernstein says.
Medium peels are stronger and treat skin with surface wrinkles and uneven skin tone or pigment problems. Varying strengths are used to adjust the depth of the peel, depending on what complexion concerns you have.
Deep peels require use of the strongest solution, but achieve the most dramatic results – think deeper wrinkles smoothed out and blotchiness banished. Do note though, that the stronger the peel, the higher the chances for discomfort, redness and recovery time.
Your doctor will work with you to find the perfect complexion perfecting concoction for you.
The desire for smooth, healthy, vibrant skin is universal, but achieving it doesn’t have to be daunting (or seem like a lost cause). Say yes to a chemical peel. Trust us; you won’t be sorry you did.