Here's What You Can Expect from Your First Chemical Peel

Chemical peels are a tried-and-true method of exfoliating dry, tired, aging skin and revealing the fresher, brighter skin beneath. In fact, about a million women and men get chemical peels every year as part of their anti-aging skincare routine. 

If you’ve made the decision to join their ranks, you’ve come to the right place.

At Gago Wellness in Brighton, Michigan, our master aestheticians specialize in the most advanced treatments customized to suit your unique skin type, tone, and condition. If this is your first chemical peel ever, you’re probably wondering what to expect. Here, we take a closer look at chemical peels so you know exactly what’s in store.

Chemical peel basics

Every time you use a washcloth or an abrasive product, you strip away the top layer of skin. That’s good because the new cells just below need room to rise to the surface. This process is called exfoliation, and it’s essential for healthy skin.

While daily washing sloughs away dead skin cells on the surface, many of the imperfections you see reside in layers too deep for your washcloth to reach.

That’s where chemical peels come in. We use various acid formulas that react with your skin and cause it to flake and peel. As the skin layers drop off, they take the imperfections with them.

What to expect from a light or superficial chemical peel

A light or superficial chemical peel is perfect if you have only minor skin complaints, such as dryness, light freckling, minor acne, and emerging wrinkles. 

After analyzing your skin, we formulate a solution using mild alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid, fruit acids, or lactic acids. The solution targets the top layer of skin only.

We apply the solution to your skin and wait for several minutes before removing it. While it’s on your skin, the acid causes slight discomfort like a mild burning or tingling sensation, but most people don’t describe it as painful.

Light chemical peels are quick enough to get done on your lunch break. Although you may notice some slight redness, it subsides quickly. In about 3-5 days, you’ll notice some light flakiness as your skin begins to slough off. 

The results of a superficial chemical peel are, well, superficial, so it’s perfect if you only have minor skin issues to resolve. It also means they’re safe enough to schedule weekly and make them part of your skincare routine.

What to expect from a medium chemical peel

When your skin issues run a little deeper, there’s a chemical peel that penetrates a little farther. For a medium-depth chemical peel, we use a stronger acid called trichloroacetic acid or TCA to reach as far as the upper section of your dermis. 

TCA peels cause more discomfort than light peels, so expect the burning and stinging to be a little more intense while the solution is on your skin. Once we remove it, you’ll definitely notice redness, and your face will feel tight for a few days. 

After about 3-4 days, your skin will flake and peel in larger sheets than with a light peel, but it lifts off those annoying spots and wrinkles and reduces the look of scar tissue. 

Because the medium peel uses a stronger acid, you need to wait at least a few months before you get another one.

What to expect from a deep chemical peel

As its name suggests, the deep chemical peel reaches into the deepest layers of your skin to remove the most stubborn issues. It’s also the most painful of the three types of chemical peels and requires the longest downtime.

For the deep chemical peel, we use phenol acid and administer a local anesthetic and/or a sedative before applying it to your skin. 

After we remove the phenol, we cover your skin with a protective ointment to prevent infection and reduce the pain.

It takes about two weeks for the phenol to do its job, and during that time, you can expect your skin to ooze, crust, and peel. 

The redness lasts for up to three months after a deep chemical peel. Fortunately, the pain and downtime are worth it because the results last up to 10 years. 

How to boost your chemical peel results

Chemical peels are just one of your many anti-aging options at Gago Wellness. One of the most effective treatments, and one that complements chemical peels nicely, is BroadBand™ Light (BBL), an innovative, non-invasive, painless light therapy that reduces the look of broken blood vessels, freckles and sunspots, wrinkles, enlarged pores, and acne.

To schedule a chemical peel or any of our other skin rejuvenating services, call our friendly staff or request a consultation using our online booking feature.  

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