Hey, gorgeous – yes you! You may not want to admit it, or even to think about it, but the fact is, your skin has changed as you’ve gotten older. These days, your skin may seem ashier, or less radiant, or more dry, and makeup doesn’t seem to cover it up as well as it once did. Gone are the days of tight, supple, dewy, flawless skin… or are they?
Shave Years Off Your Look
Thankfully, it’s now possible to shave months and even years off your face in under an hour with a professional chemical peel, a relatively simple process which works by removing the damaged top layers of the skin. That’s extremely good news for us ladies (and for men too, though the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that of the nearly 400,000 chemical peels performed in the United States in 2011, 94 percent of them were to women). If you’ve haven’t noticed, many of Hollywood’s hottest female celebs have sailed right past the 40-mark – think Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, or Nicole Kidman — and yet somehow have kept their gorgeous and youthful complexions despite their years. Exfoliating chemically, such as with a chemical peel, is an effective method for keeping your skin as glowing and youthful-looking as possible, and even turning back the clock on aging.
Speed Up Your Rejuvenation
“A chemical peel won’t erase deep wrinkles or huge areas of dark pigmentation. What it does is speed up the cellular cycle, getting dead cells off the skin and speeding up new cell growth beneath the skin’s surface,” says Corry Jennison, licensed aesthetician and owner of Skin Health Medi-Spa in Dover, N.H. It’s a great treatment for women over 40, says Jennison, “since as we get older, our cell cycle slows down.”
Consult a Professional
Of course, for best results, chemical peels and other anti-aging skincare habits – sunscreen application, deep exfoliations, daily moisturizing – should begin in one’s 20s and 30s, but you knew that! And that doesn’t mean it’s too late for you. Be sure to consult with a dermatologist or aesthetician who performs peels; there are dozens of different types – ranging from glycolic to trichloroacetic acid to phenol peels, all with varying pH levels — so you definitely want professional guidance. Your skin and hair type – are you blonde with pale skin? Darker, thicker-skinned? Probe to acne or rosacea? – are all factors. A typical series will include 4 to 6 six peels done every 4 to 6 weeks, give or take. After that, you’ll be looking younger and hotter – and the maintenance can be as little as once a year, or once a season, as many people’s skin changes dramatically from season to season.
Remember, you don’t have to be a celebrity to look like one – age-defying, youthful skin and all. If you’re in your 40s and are using chemical peels to reinvigorate your skin, you’re in good company: ASAPS reports that the majority of people getting peels — about 37 percent – are women aged 35 to 50. And if you don’t plan to stop with just the peels, note that regular peels help allow your topical skincare products to penetrate better, will increase collagen production, and help render any laser treatments you decide to undergo more effective, since they’ll be hitting fresher, newer skin. If the price of peels deters you – the ASAPS reports an average cost of $588 last year — it may be time to take out a loan from your shoe and clothing budget. Could anything be more splurge-worthy than your face?!