Chemical peels are a great skin boosting treatment to really polish the skin of dead skin cells leaving you with a luminous and glowing complexion. When performed correctly, these in-salon treatments are incredibly gentle. Much like we’ve learned that chemical exfoliators such as AHAs, BHAs and PHAs are often very delicate options for removing dead skin cells, in-salon chemical peels are likewise worthy of our attention.
My favourite thing about peels is that they’re highly customisable, there’s one for nearly every skin concern, from fine lines, wrinkles, congestion and acne to dullness, dehydration and pigmentation. I love to incorporate a gentle custom peel of some sort into a treatment to refine and prep the skin ahead of other treatments. Many of our facials use customised AHA, botanical antioxidant or enzymatic peels, which nourish as they gently resurface the skin for a refreshed and rejuvenated glow. As an added bonus, your at-home skincare products are able to better penetrate the skin post-peel as the dead epidermal layer of skin has been exfoliated and cleared away and is no longer restricting their efficacy.
To start a peel treatment a chemical solution tailored to your needs is applied to the topmost layer of the face and decolletage, there are also peels for your body. These chemicals work as a potent exfoliator, dissolving the glue that holds dead skin cells together. There are three strengths of peels – superficial, medium and deep – measured by the depth of penetration. This allows us to customise the result and control the downtime.
Superficial and medium peels cause little to no discomfort and minimal if not no visible peeling, while still giving off that beautiful glow. Deep peels are more serious; as the name suggests, these go deep into the dermis (the layer of skin below the epidermis) and generally involve considerable downtime and after-care. Your therapist should always consult with you prior to performing a peel so that you’re equipped with all information in advance. Depending on the strength of your peel, you may experience visible skin peeling afterwards, only to reveal fresh, new layers beneath. The result is a smooth, retexturised and refined complexion.
I’ve witnessed fantastic results from peels for those with hyperpigmentation. In these instances, I’d usually recommend Cosmelan for those with mild to moderate pigmentation or Dermamelan, a much more intense version, for those with notably significant or severe pigmentation. Both of these involve downtime and after-care at home.
Regardless of the strength of peel you’ve received as part of your facial, it’s best to avoid potent acids or retinol for at least three days after your treatment. Apply hydrating and nourishing products as well as a broad-spectrum SPF50 each morning as the skin can be photosensitive after treatment.