How Do Chemical Peels Work?

With so many types of skin rejuvenation available, it can be difficult to decide which one will help you achieve your goals and fit into your lifestyle. Chemical peels are one of the most customizable options for addressing concerns such as lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and even acne. These versatile treatments give you smoother, clearer skin on your schedule and in a way that works for you. 

What is a Chemical Peel or Facial Peel?

The term “chemical peel” or “facial peel” refers to any treatment that is applied to the skin and left on for a period of time to remove dull, damaged layers of skin cells and restore a clearer surface. Most chemical peels use one of several types of acids, but they may also contain many other beneficial ingredients to target specific skincare concerns. With so many different types to choose from, chemical peels are one of the most customizable skin rejuvenation options.

Chemical Peels Manhattan NYC

How Do Chemical Peels Work?

Your outer layers of skin are made up of dead cells tightly locked together to protect you from the outside world. Chemical peels work by separating these interlocked cells, removing layers of dull, damaged skin. This process is called chemical exfoliation. A gentle chemical peel may only address the outermost layers, while other peels address deeper layers where damage, such as lines and wrinkles, are found. 

Chemical peels typically use types of acids. These often include:

  • Salicylic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Glycolic acid
  • Trichloroacetic acid
  • Carbonic acid (phenol)

Peels can also contain ingredients targeted toward brightening, improving skin texture, and addressing signs of aging. Your Specialty Aesthetic Surgery expert will choose the best chemical peel for you based on your skin concerns, schedule, and many other factors. 

When your chemical peel has worked as long as it should, your provider will either neutralize it by applying another chemical or remove it. They may apply a soothing treatment to your skin afterward or may treat it with beneficial serums. While all chemical peels work in a similar way, they vary greatly in how deeply they work and what results they provide.

What Does a Chemical Peel Treat?

Chemical peels are one of the most effective skin rejuvenation treatments, especially for those who want to maintain smooth, youthful skin. They treat a wide range of skin concerns, including:

  • Acne and acne scars
  • Rough skin texture
  • Lines and wrinkles
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Sun damage
  • Age spots
  • Enlarged pores
  • Skin laxity
  • Melasma

Discuss all your skin concerns with your chemical peel expert so they can choose the best peel for you. Chemical peels treat pigmentation and textural issues by rejuvenating the skin’s outer layers. They also help stimulate collagen production to improve your skin’s firmness and reduce signs of aging.

What Types of Chemical Peels are Available?

While each chemical peel offers different benefits, they fall into three general categories. These categories can give you an idea of what you can expect from each type of peel and which one might fit your needs and lifestyle. 

Light Chemical Peels

These gentle peels can be used as needed to brighten and refresh your skin. When used as a series of treatments, they can achieve more significant improvements in texture and tone. Regular use of light peels offers one of the most effective ways to manage acne breakouts by keeping your skin free of pore-clogging dead cells and controlling oil production. 

Medium Chemical Peels

These versatile peels can treat a wide range of skin issues, including skin texture and pigmentation problems. Medium peels work more deeply in the skin than light ones, letting them address more significant concerns with fewer treatments. Medium peels are used to address signs of aging, sun damage, and acne scars, as well as hyperpigmentation 

Deep Chemical Peels

Deep peels are powerful treatments used under general anesthesia. They can address deep wrinkles, severe acne scarring, precancerous lesions, and other significant skin issues. Deep peels are not for everyone but may be the ideal choice for people with certain skin problems. This type of peel has a significant recovery time compared to shallower peels. 

Is There Any Downtime After a Chemical Peel?

Downtime after a chemical peel varies depending on the strength of the peel. Light peels typically require no downtime, allowing you to return to work or other activities looking bright and refreshed. Medium peels often result in a few days of redness, sensitivity, and sometimes peeling skin. Deep peels will result in redness that can last up to a few weeks, as well as significant peeling and flaking. You will receive instructions on how to care for your skin after your facial peel, including consistent use of sunscreen.

Take the Next Step – Request a Consultation

Want to learn more about chemical peels? Schedule your consultation online or by calling Specialty Aesthetic Surgery at (212) 737-8700. We look forward to working with you!

Specialty Aesthetic Surgery serves the greater NYC metro area.

About Our Surgeons

Bruce Moskowitz is an experienced and board-certified oculoplastic surgeon. His practice encompasses all areas of oculoplastic cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. He has a well-known reputation for revision surgery, and a large portion of his practice comes from other colleagues to revise sub-optimal outcomes.

Grigoriy Mashkevich is an experienced and double-board certified facial plastic surgeon. He belongs to a highly select group of surgeons with a focused specialization in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the nose, face, and neck. 

Dr. Anna Frants is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who is experienced in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Her areas of expertise include surgery of the face, neck, nose, eyelids, eyebrows, and ears. 

*Individual results may vary

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