When you want to rejuvenate your skin, chemical peels are a great treatment for overall skin health and rejuvenation. They are a customizable treatment that removes layers of aged, dry, and damaged skin and stimulates new skin production.
Depending on the level of results you’re looking for and the specific conditions you want your dermatologist to address, chemical peels come in three different strengths:
Light peels are ideal for the surface-level refreshment of the epidermis and can reduce fine lines, mild acne, sun spots, and uneven texture. It requires almost no downtime, apart from protecting your sensitive skin from additional damage as it heals.
Medium peels penetrate past the epidermis into the papillary dermis, the upper part of the middle layer of skin. It’s best for removing moderate wrinkles, acne scars, and moderate skin discoloration, and your skin will be sensitive, red, dry, and flaky for up to a week following treatment.
Deep peels offer the most dramatic results by penetrating the reticular dermis, the lower part of the middle layer of skin. Typically, this potency is reserved for deep wrinkles and scars, extreme sun damage, and actinic keratosis. For your safety, a strict pre-treatment regimen involving several less-intensive peels is necessary, as well as significant downtime to allow your skin time to recover and regrow lost layers of skin.
Common Actives: Glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid
AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) peels are the most popular peels and are organic, fruit acid peels. They have a specific exfoliation effect at the level of the stratum granulosum to stimulate new collagen and elastin tissue in the dermal matrix renewing the skin.
AHA is a highly desirable peel and can be used on all skin types and ages for treatment of wrinkles, acne, keratosis pilaris, hyperpigmentation and even rosacea.
Common Actives: Sodium salicylate, willow bark extract, tropic acid, beta-hydroxybutyric acid
BHAs offer exfoliation while also being effective at attracting built-up sebum in the pores. This makes it an excellent solution for reducing the appearance of large pores, treating areas with frequent breakouts, and, with regular use, can prevent pores from clogging altogether.
TCA, or trichloroacetic acid, makes acne scars, sun damage, and hyperpigmentation vanish by breaking up the skin protein keratin. It causes protein necrosis, that exfoliates the skin. As the keratin breaks down, it lightens and peels away to reveal fresh, radiant skin underneath.
While it can be used for light peels, it’s a prevalent option for medium-depth penetration. This helps in targeting acne-causing bacteria below the surface of the skin and can correct melasma, sun-related hyperpigmentation, and uneven texture.
Common Actives: Lactobionic acid, galactose, gluconolactone
PHAs are even more effective against built-up sebum and provide antioxidant benefits to help the skin build up a barrier of protection against free radical damage. However, they do not penetrate as deeply as AHAs, BHAs, or TCAs, so they can help remove skin impurities on those with even the most temperamental of skin.
Prepare your skin for or augment your professional peel efforts with weekly at home treatments using NeoStrata Perfecting Peels. The high strength solution delivers advanced, anti-aging benefits to visually improve skin imperfections.
Are Chemical Peels Right for Me?
The best way to learn about the right chemical peel for your skin type and condition is to speak with your dermatologist. Skincare experts like Dr. Briden can help you understand the right strength to address your specific skin concerns.