Chemical skin peels are becoming more and more popular as an aesthetics treatment due to their success at restoring skin health. But you might be reasonably concerned about putting chemicals on your skin. What’s in them? Are they safe?

The following article will explore these questions in more depth.

What are Skin Peels and How do they Work?

Skin peels are a fast and painless way of reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, treating various skin conditions and rejuvenating your overall complexion.

Skin peels are most commonly used on the face as a type of exfoliation treatment.

A liquid solution of chemicals is put on the skin to remove cells on the surface layer.

This reveals the underlying, healthier layer of skin cells and stimulates new cell growth, as well as the production of collagen.

Collagen is a protein that makes the skin firm and flexible. Its production in the body decreases as we age. The more collagen you have in your skin, the more youthful you appear.

When the skin peel is removed, your skin will be smooth, soft and radiant. Little to no downtime is required after treatment.

Types of Skin Peel

There are three types of skin peel: superficial, medium and deep.

Superficial skin peels will remove the top layer of skin (epidermis). Medium peels reach to the middle layers of skin, and deep peels affect deeper dermal layers.

The type of peel you opt for will depend on what you want to achieve.

Superficial and medium skin peels can be delivered safely by a trained aesthetic therapist. They are not permanent and further treatments will be needed for results to be maintained.

Deep skin peels carry a greater risk, as the chemicals used are stronger and longer-lasting. These types of peels should only be performed by a medical professional.

Deep skin peels are more effective at treating skin conditions.

Superficial and medium skin peels are suitable for any skin type and tone. Deep peels may lighten the skin, which is something to bear in mind if you have a darker skin tone.

What’s in Skin Peels and are they Safe?

The chemicals used in superficial and medium skin peels contain acids and enzymes that are often found in cosmetic products you buy off the shelves. These substances are more concentrated in chemical peels.

Some of these substances are:

  • Salicylic acid
  • Mandelic acid
  • Citric acid
  • Resorcinol
  • Glycolic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Trichloroacetic acid
  • Retinoic acid
  • Hydroquinone

Deep skin peels, however, normally use phenol, which is more potent. This chemical can affect the heart and kidneys, so it is important to discuss your medical history with your treatment provider. Your heart and blood pressure will need to be monitored throughout treatment and recovery.

What Can Skin Peels Treat?

Superficial skin peels can treat:

  • Ageing skin (lines, wrinkles, age spots and sagging)
  • Rough skin
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Large pores
  • Active acne and acne scars
  • Pigmentation

Deep skin peels can treat:

  • Deep acne scars
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Rosacea

What is Skin Peel Treatment Like?

Skin peel treatment takes under 60 minutes to perform and you will be able to go straight home post-procedure.

When the chemical solution is applied, it may cause a tingling or burning sensation as it works on your face. Deep peels are usually performed under a local anaesthetic, to numb any potential pain.

Over the next several days, your skin will begin to flake as the old skin falls away to reveal the new.

The deeper the peel, the more discomforting the side effects, as might be expected.

Superficial peels may make your face feel tight and sore for a couple of hours, but this can be relieved with simple moisturiser. These side-effects may last longer after medium peels and your face may go brown or red for a few days, as if you have sunburn.

Deep skin peels may cause some peeling, redness and discomfort, with swelling lasting up to 2 weeks, and redness up to 3 months.

Please feel free to get in touch with MySkyn Clinic online or on 01274 921121 if you have any questions or would like to learn more about how skin peels work. We are a CQC registered, all-female-run clinic and speak both Urdu and Punjabi if you require.