As we age, skin tissue regenerates slower and skin-cell turnover slows. The skin cells of a young adult regenerate about every 30 days. This natural process is impossible to stop, but skin-care clinicians can influence the speed at which these changes happen, as well as treat other skin conditions or concerns, with chemicals peels.
A chemical peel is an exfoliation treatment that can improve the health and appearance of the skin by sloughing off old skin cells and bringing new cells to the surface. Chemical peels can be combined with other services such as dermaplaning and microdermabrasion. Dermaplaning is a procedure that involves the use of an instrument to gently scrape away dead skin cells and reveal the youthful cells underneath. It also encourages cellular turnover. Microdermabrasion is a technique that can yield similar results with the use of a machine.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, chemical peels can help improve the appearance and health of sun-damaged skin, as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles, acne and scars. They can also be an effective treatment for melasma, a common skin problem that results in brown patches on the face.
The active ingredients used in chemical peels mostly fall under two categories, alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids. The molecular structure of each of the acids in these categories is unique, and different acids are used for different skin concerns or conditions. What hydroxy acids have in common is their ability to weaken the cellular glue that makes dead skin cells stick together.”
Some of the most common acids that are used in chemical peel treatments at FORME are salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid and mandelic acid. Some treatments consist of a combination of different acids administered in several layers.
Chemical peels vary in depth, from superficial to medium to deep. The stronger the peel, the deeper it penetrates into the layers of the skin.
Superficial peels impact the skin’s outer layers, or epidermis. They are so gentle, that they’re referred to as “lunch-hour peels.” Consistent treatments, every four to eight weeks, will have the greatest impact on the skin’s texture and tone.
Deeper peels penetrate the dermis, a deeper layer of the skin which contains sweat glands, nerve endings, hair follicles, sebaceous glands and blood vessels. It can take a week or two for the new layer of skin to regenerate. The depth of the peel and the type of ingredients in the peel will depend on the skin concern or condition.
At FORME, a clinical esthetician consults with a dermatologist during the consultation appointment. Together, they determine the appropriate therapy for the particular skin concern or condition and ensure there are no skin abnormalities.