Why you don’t need into hiding after a chemical peel – and other chemical peel myths
A flawless, poreless, blemish-free complexion is lying just beneath the surface of your skin – and a well-known, classic treatment is the fastest way there. A chemical peel is an enhanced version of exfoliating. It lifts away the accumulated layers of dirt, grime and oil that the skincare on your bathroom shelf can’t shift alone and it polishes away the build-up of dead skin cells that block pores and cling to your skin, making it look dull. Really, it’s a fresher face in a bottle.
Chemical Peels have come a long way since they were first introduced to clinics in the ‘90s. The goal now isn’t so much to cause visible peeling as it is to infuse the skin with ingredients that diminish lines, build collagen and improve overall skin tone. Still, there is a lot of misinformation and chemical peel myths out there, so read on to separate the facts from fiction – and learn how chemical peels can help your skin make a radical comeback.
Myth 1: Chemical peels hurt
When chemical peels were first popular in the ‘90s, they hurt like hell and left the skin raw. But, 30 years on, acid formulas have been refined, and so have doctors’ and therapists’ approaches to using them.
These days, whilst chemical peels may cause some tingling, tightness or a change in temperature, when used in the right hands, this is controlled, pain-free and patients can continue their usual daily activities afterwards.
Myth 2: You have to hide your face after a chemical peel
Forget shedding like a snake and think more along the lines of skincare acids – like glycolic, salicylic and mandelic – that we’ve been using in our daily skincare regimes for years. Chemical peels are formulated with a combination of these acids to provide an enhanced form of exfoliation which goes one step further than any at-home scrub, cleanser or acid-based toner to boost cell renewal whilst also maximising the benefits of your usual skincare products.
Chemical peels come in a variety of strengths, each catering to a different skincare concern, from acne to dullness, to pigmentation. Mild, advanced chemical peels provide controlled penetration throughout the epidermis to detoxify, soothe and hydrate so your skin won’t be red or uncomfortable when you leave the treatment couch.
Myth 3: You only need one chemical peel to see results
Chemical peels are always more effective when a course of treatments is performed. While a patient is likely to see results after their initial treatment, a course of treatments is guaranteed to provide more robust, longer-lasting results. Usually, a series of 4-6 treatments spaced four weeks apart is a typical treatment plan for most skin concerns.
Myth 4: It only works if your skin physically flakes and peels off
An effective treatment doesn’t necessarily mean that your skin will visibly peel. In fact, depending on the condition of your skin, most mild to moderate formulas result in very mild flaking at most.
These days, the goal of treatment is to lift away dead cells and trigger a chain reaction of events within the skin. As that topmost layer is shed, signals are sent to the cells below to multiply and move up to increase collagen production, hydration levels and radiance levels. The result? Skin that is smoother, brighter and more receptive. Products also perform better as there are no dead skin cells impeding their penetration.
Myth 5: All chemical peels are the same
Chemical peels are not a one-size-fits-all treatment. Your practitioner will tailor your peel to your individual skin type and concerns. Salicylic acid peels dive deep into the skin to unclog pores whilst also skimming the surface to erode blackheads and fade post-acne marks. However, if you’re more concerned with radiance and anti-ageing, a retinol peel is likely to be a better fit.
Thinking about getting a chemical peel? Click here to find out which type of peel is best for your skin type and concern.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.