An Introduction to Chemical Peels

In the same way you take off a pair of uncomfortable heels after a long day at the office, do you ever wish you could just look in the mirror and take off a layer of dull, aging skin? You can, sort of. That’s the logic behind facial peels, a non-invasive treatment that reacts with your skin, causing a very fine layer of your dermis to peel off, revealing younger, fresher skin.

Sound like magic? It’s really just science. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about this kind of treatment, and truthfully, it can seem a bit extreme, especially if you’ve seen photos of people’s faces peeling in the aftermath. In some cases, it looks like a really bad sunburn.

The best face peels Manhattan offers, however, work simply and effectively. The acid naturally encourages your cells to shed and the enzymes work to digest proteins. Once the top layer of skin has been shed, you’re left with newer, brighter and more elastic skin.

New to the idea? Here’s what to expect:

How does a chemical peel work?
A peel is a liquid solution that is applied to your skin in the same way as a toner. Once it’s been swabbed over your skin, the solution reacts with your skin cells to encourage peeling of the top – and sometimes middle – layer of your skin over the course of several days. Underneath, your skin will be smooth and glowing. This is a great treatment option for those with scarring, sun damage or aging concerns. 

The highest quality face peels Manhattan offers are applied in a skin specialist’s office (you can get drugstore, DIY peeling creams, but they don’t provide the same effect), and the procedure is a short one. The solution is applied, left to absorb, then wiped off. A quality practitioner will often provide you with a specialized cleanser to use the next day, along with a post-peel moisturizer or ointment to use in the days afterward.

What is the peeling process really like?
Immediately after the solution is applied, it’s common to feel a tingling effect. This is usually caused by enzymes, either natural or medical-grade, which is what causes the skin to react. After a few minutes, the skin will adjust, and the peeling will start within a few days. If this all sounds a little science fiction to you, don’t sweat it. While there usually is some degree of redness and peeling – similar to a sunburn effect – the procedure is non-evasive and rarely considered painful.

There are various degrees of peels, ranging from light to deep, and the one you and your specialist ultimately decide on will depend your skin type, your experience with peels and the amount of damage you’re dealing with. Be suspicious of a practitioner who suggests a one-size-fits all peeling treatment. You’ll get the best results with a customized solution that takes into consideration all of these things and the best facial peels Manhattan offers will address the unique needs of your skin and lifestyle.

The peeling can last up to a week, but it’s worth the inconvenience. Underneath, you’ll be left with a fresh layer of skin, that’s smoother, brighter and shows less damage.  

Who would benefit from a chemical peel?
This kind of treatment is a fantastic option for those who have skin that’s sun-damaged or dull and affected by daily pollutants … common for those of us who call New York City home! Because the peel actually removed a fine layer of skin, it’s also a frequent solution for those who deal with pigment issue or scarring, from acne or otherwise. A peel is non-invasive, but still intensive, so it’s excellent for those who want to combat some of the signs of aging, like discolouration or loss of elasticity.

A peel can be given on its own, but it can also be part of a facial, combined with extractions or a hydrating mask to really address all your skincare needs.  

How often should you get a chemical peel?
Unlike a facial, chemical peels really go deep and get at that top layer. While a facial can be booked every four to six weeks, the acid content in a peel means that you can actually damage your skin by undertaking one too often. People who are serious about skincare typically schedule a peel anywhere from once every three months to annually.

Of course, it also depends on the strength of the peel. A deeper peel is very intensive and should be undertaken minimally. Many people choose to book a deep peel to jumpstart the process, and then find they only require a light peel every few months to retain the same youthful look. For the best results, consult with an experienced medical aesthetician who can assess your skin’s needs.

* * *
Don’t be frightened by the idea of your skin sloughing off in layers, prompted by a chemical reaction. The best facial peels Manhattan has to offer have evolved significantly over the years, so the redness is minimal afterwards and the peeling itself, while sometimes intense, is a short-term inconvenience.

 Safe, effective and non-invasive, a chemical peel is one of the best ways to erase damage done by the sun, daily pollutants or scarring. To learn whether a facial peel is right for you, ask your skin care specialist today. 

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