What You Need To Know About The Different Types Of Chemical Peels

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There are many different types of chemical peels that work not only to enhance the appearance of your skin, but also to brighten and smoothen it

Chemical peels. The two words that women either dread or really want to try. No matter which category you fall into, the more you understand about the types of chemical peels or what they are and how they function, the better you’ll be able to incorporate them into your skincare regimen.

Because the fact is that chemical peels, as dreadful as they sound, are actually beneficial for your skin.

How Chemical Peels Benefit Your Skin

They can enhance the appearance of the skin and peel off to reveal a new and smoother-looking complexion. Interestingly, they are not just meant for your face. You can also use them on multiple parts of your body including the neck, face, and/or hands.

Aside from improving the skin appearance and feel, other long term benefits include decreased appearance of fine lines and mild scars. Plus, they can also treat acne, as well as lessen the presence of freckles and improve sun damaged skin.

The only thing you need to bear in mind is that no matter which types of chemical peels you choose, you must protect your skin from sun damage, post treatment. To protect the sun-sensitive skin after a chemical peel, it is advisable that ladies equip themselves with a physical sunscreen preferably every day.

Those that come with the “broad-spectrum” labels will be great to guard against the scorching sun’s UVA and UVB rays, as well as be above SPF 30. Also, limit overall sun exposure and avoid going under the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m, while donning a wide-brimmed hat as extra protection.

types of chemical peels

No matter which types of chemical peels you choose, you must protect your skin from sun damage, post treatment. | Image courtesy: Pxhere

Chemical peels are usually more effective on light-haired and fair-skinned individuals. But depending on the type of treatment being sought for, dark-skinned counterparts may also witness good results. Although, they may expect to experience uneven skin tone as the treatment outcome.

For more challenging skin conditions such as skin sags and bulges, and wrinkles its best to take advise from a dermatologic surgeon. In such cases, other types of cosmetic surgical treatments, such as an eyelid lift, laser resurfacing, or a facelift, may be good for you.

What To Know Before Getting a Chemical Peel

Before you think about getting a chemical peel, there are several things you should tell your doctor. These can range from any past history of recurring cold sores to scarring, or even results of facial X-rays.

In addition to prescribing antibiotics or antiviral drugs, your doctor may also request for you to stop certain drug intake. They may then prep your skin with other medications like Retin-A, or glycolic acid before getting a chemical peel.

Depending upon your skin condition and treatment goals, your doctor can best advise you which type of peel would best suit you.

In addition, a seemingly trivial, but important, question to consider asking your doctor is if there is a need for a companion to drive you home after the treatment. 

How Different Types Chemical Peels Work

While you can do a chemical peel at home (those light cosmetic ones), if you are going in for a strong dose, you will have to get it done from a professional. And since chemical peels are an outpatient procedure with no overnight stay, your treatment will likely be at the dermat’s office. 

The process begins with cleansing of the face. Your doctor will them apply one or more chemical solutions to small areas of the skin. These include trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid. As you allow new skin to grow out, basically a controlled wound will be created.

Your skin might experience a burning sensation that can last between five to 10 minutes. This might be followed by a stinging sensation during a chemical peel. To treat the stinging on the skin, you can try using cold compresses, or use pain medication during or after a deeper peel. Your dermatologist can guide you about this as well, based on the types of chemical peels. 

Which brings us to the most important part: what are the different types of chemical peels? Scroll down to see the exhaustive list of what’s available in the market.  

1. PCA Advanced Skin Care System® – Light to Medium – depth peels

In this treatment, old, dead cells are freed from the surface of your skin, leaving healthier cells. This type of peel employs alpha and beta hydroxyl acids.

2. Modified and Enhanced Jessner’s Peels

This treatment is meant to control oils and soften wrinkles and fine lines. It also brightens the skin, smoothens it and reduces hyperpigmentation. 

3. PCA Peel® Hydroquinone Free

This treatment is great for correcting pigment discoloyration and is ideal for sensitive skin types and ethnic skin. It can also clear pores, eliminate acne, and renew the skin. For this peel a combination of 14 percent lactic acid, 14 percent salicylic acid, 3 percent kojic acid and citric acid are used. 

4. PCA Peel® with Hydroquinone

With the ability to lighten any kind of pigment discoloration, this treatment is great for those looking to even skin tone. Your dermat will use a peel that is essentially made of 2 percent hydroquinone, 14 percent lactic acid, 14 percent salicylic acid, 3 percent kojic acid and citric acid.

5. PCA Peel® with Hydroquinone & Resorcinol

This peel is great for sun-damaged and thickened skin. It is a potent treatment that can even skin tone and provide more exfoliation for oilier skin types. Your dermat will use a peel that is essentially made of 2 percent hydroquinone, 14 percent lactic acid, 14 percent salicylic acid, 3 percent kojic acid, resorcinol, and citric acid.

6. Blended TCA Peels

This treatment offers plumper and more hydrated skin with a variety of beneficial ingredients to treat acne and hyperpigmentation.

7. Sensi Peel®

This peel is great for skin brightening. It essentially treats sun-damaged skin while working on other skin conditions such as rosacea.

8. Ultra Peel® I

Guaranteed to result in hydrated and luminous skin, this peel treats typical skin conditions like acne, wrinkles and fine lines, as well as sun damaged skin. It is made up of 20 percent lactic acid, 10 percent trichloroacetic acid, kojic acid, azelaic acid, and L-Ascorbic acid.

9. Ultra Peel® Forte

Expect smooth and hydrated skin, as this treatment decreases wrinkling, sun damage and acne scarring. It uses a peel that is made from 20 percent trichloroacetic acid, and 10 percent lactic acid, among others.

10. Retinoid Treatments

This retinoid treatment improves vitamin and antioxidants absorption into the skin as well as rich actives for maximum benefits.

11. Ultra Peel® II

Great for normal to dry and mature skin, this treatment can be used in combination with any other PCA SKIN® chemical peel to improve skin tone and texture, while hydrating and increasing exfoliation.

12. Esthetique Peel

This treatment treats ageing skin and other skin conditions like acne and rosacea, while resulting in smooth, bright and firm skin.

13. Obagi™ Blue Peel Radiance

You can expect your skin to look tighter, smoother, and brighter after only one session with the Obagi blue peel. But before you take the plunge ask your doctor if it would suit your skin type.

14. DiamondTome™ Peel

This treatment offers a gentle exfoliating feel as it eliminates superficial layers of skin. It is a bit expensive and therefore, its best to first consult and then go for it. 

15. HydroPlus+

A deeper product penetration is allowed when combined with the DiamondTome and corrective serums. This means you might not be given this on its own. 

16. Ultrasonic Infusion Anti-ageing Therapy

As the name suggests this treatment uses ultrasonic infusion and therefore, results in a deep penetration and absorption of topical serums. These types of chemical peels will be based on your skin texture and need. 

17. VascuTouch

This type of chemical peel is great to effectively eliminate ugly blemishes and skin tags quickly. Again, another expensive treatment but great if it recommended by your doctor. 

What To Expect After Chemical Peel Treatment

The outcome of your chemical peel may vary from others. It mostly depends on your treatment. You can expect something similar to sunburn after peeling, with redness followed by scaling lasting anywhere between three to seven days.

If you are not content with your look, get routine mild peels at one to four-week intervals.

Swelling and blisters that peel off over a duration of seven to 14 days may be expected from medium-depth and deep peeling. Consider if it is necessary to repeat the medium-depth peels in six to 12 months too.

In addition, bandages may be needed after treatment over several days on treated areas, or all skin. Most importantly, avoid several months of sun exposure after treatment since the new skin is now vulnerable and all fragile.

Your Skin May Experience These Complications Too

After a chemical peel, certain skin types may result in a temporary or permanent skin colour change. Other factors may influence the outcome as well. These include consuming birth control pills, or even a family history of face discolouration.

Other complications such as scarring in certain areas of the face may have a lower risk, but not impossible. Fortunately, it can effectively be treated if it does happen.

In addition, those with a history of herpes outbreak may harbour a small risk by reactivating cold sores, which can, fortunately, be prevented or treated with medication prescribed by your doctor.

Our recommendation would be to consult with your dermatologist or skin specialist before you try any types of chemical peels. 

Also read: How Derma Rolling Transformed My Skin And Cleared My Acne Scars

(All images courtesy: Pxhere) 

Written by

Melia Widjaja