Youth, while taken for granted by the X and Y generations, is so sought after by those of us who’ve passed that stage of life. Many things cause our facial skin to age, especially UV radiation emitted by the sun. The UV creates free radicals that damage the facial skin cells and destroy the collagen and elastin in the dermis, causing wrinkles and sagging skin. UV rays also accelerate the production of facial skin pigment (melanin), resulting in the appearance of sun spots or age spots.
Nowadays there is a multitude of anti-aging skin care approaches out there. It’s become nearly impossible to decipher them all. One approach that has stood the test of time and has proven to show very clear and visible results is chemical facial skin peeling. All facial skin peels remove the top layer of the skin to exfoliate and speed up cell turnover.
Chemical peel benefits:
A facial chemical peel is performed by applying a chemical solution onto the skin which destroys the cells in contact with the solution and eventually causes the facial skin to peel off. The new skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. With a chemical peel you can achieve the following results:
- Reduce fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth
- Treat wrinkles caused by sun damage and aging
- Improve the appearance of mild scars
- Treat certain types of acne
- Reduce age spots, freckles, and dark patches
After a chemical peel, for a long period, the facial skin is more sensitive to the sun and must be protected by constantly wearing sunscreen and avoiding direct sun exposure.
Light chemical peels for facial skin
Light chemical peels are used to treat fine lines, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne. The solution used for light chemical peels is usually comprised of alphahydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids, such as glycolic, lactic, salicylic, or fruit acids, all known to be quite light. They’re especially good for combating acne or oily facial skin issues because they break down the bonds that hold dead skin cells together, allowing for easier exfoliation. Light chemical peels are ideal for people who want the benefits of a facial peel but do not wish to spend the longer time required to recover from a deeper peel.
Medium chemical peels for facial skin
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels are considered to be more medium depth peels. This chemical peel works well for treating fine surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes, and pigmentation problems.
The downside of these medium chemical peels is that they feel slightly more uncomfortable than the lighter peels, have more side effects, such as swelling and redness, and require more down time. The peeling of the facial skin is very noticeable, so it’s best to perform these treatments over a period of time when you can rest up to a week.
TCA peels are also considered the preferred choice for patients with darker skin.
Deep chemical peels for facial skin
The carbolic acid face peel, also known as a the Phenol peel, is the strongest peeling treatment. Deep peels are used to treat coarse facial wrinkles, blotches caused by aging or sun exposure and pre-cancerous growths.
While the deep chemical peel produces the most dramatic and the longest-lasting results, it take longer to perform (a few hours) and requires the most healing time. The procedure must be performed by qualified cosmetic dermatologist.
After the deep peeling you can expect your facial skin to be very red, and following the procedure you will need downtime of at least 1 week and a healing time of at least 2 months.
Phenol peel is typically used only for facial peels because the deep chemical peel may cause permanent lightening of the skin.