If you have never heard of chemical peels, it is exactly like the title mentions- peeling your face off with chemicals.
Now this sounds like a terrible idea, right? So wrong. It is to this day, one of the best things I have ever done -and continue to do- to my skin. The procedure is quick and comfortable and depending upon the type of peel used, you can achieve some pretty insane results in a matter of days.
Chemical Peels range in depth from superficial to deep, dependent upon the peeling agent(s) and concentrations the peel contains. The most common types of chemical peels found in day spas are light and medium depth peels typically containing Trichloroacetic Acid, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid or a blend of those. Each of these acids serves a specific purpose when layered onto the skin's surface. We will cover those purposes later on ;)
Let's cover why you would sign up to peel your face off in the first place. Chemical peels can reverse damage caused by acne, sun exposure and just plain crappy genes. It peels off upper layers containing built up pigmentation, scabbed pustules and pimples, wrinkles and scarring. This can leave you with a more even texture and tone! So if you are struggling with any of these problems:
-Active Acne (Even Cystic!)
-Uneven Skin Tone
-Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Here is my recommendation:
Vi Peel. Vi Peel Purify.
And here is why:
If those photos aren't convincing enough, let's cover the ingredients in this specific type of peel and what it is actually doing for you.
- Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA): TCA is a chemical cauterant, dissolving cells at a controlled level dependent upon it's percentage. The dissolved cells are then replaced by healthy, new ones.
- Phenol: Phenol also is a chemical cauterant that dissolves cells to make way for new. Phenol also numbs the skin allowing for pain-free medium depth peeling. Remember that nasty medication spray that would offer such sweet relief to a sore throbbing throat? Thank phenol.
- Salicylic Acid: Digests surface cells allowing the TCA, Phenol and retinoic acid to penetrate and work more effectively. Salicylic is notorious for digesting unwanted oils and sebum to help unclog pores and help prevent breakouts.
- Retinoic Acid: Retinoic acid is able to bind to your cell's DNA, affecting it in a way that is able to repair damage and produce cellular renewal.
- L-Ascorbic Acid (Vit C): Adds brightening and antioxidant benefits.
- Proprietary Mineral Blend: Includes minerals that act as antioxidants and catalysts to activate the chemicals in the formulation for optimal results.
If you have active acne, they added a few more ingredients to the list above in order to be more effective in clearing existing bacteria and inflammation. They added:
- Kojic Acid: Fights discoloration and brightens the complexion. It is able to decrease brown pigment build up and prevent it! A notorious acne accomplice for darker skin tones.
- Benzoyl Peroxide (BPO): Reduces surface bacteria and acts as an oxidizing agent, attacking p.acnes bacteria. BPO easily enters follicles wiping out p.acnes.
- Hydrocortisone: Calming and soothing to tender, broken or inflammed skin. Reduces redness.
Now they also have options for added boost affect. You can add one of two boosters, both of which make the concentrated blend 20% stronger. This can allow for deeper repair and can target stubborn pigmentation.
You come in with a freshly cleansed face (or else your makeup is removed for you). The prep for the Vi Peel or Vi Peel Purify is a wipe down with 100% acetone. Ouch. It's a nice quick fumigation that actually serves a purpose: to remove the surface layer of the skin and degrease for better absorption. Once cleansed and degreased, the application begins with a light pass using gauze or a fan brush to swipe a thin layer of chemical peel over the treatment area. That first pass allows the phenol to penetrate and start numbing, although it tends to sting a tiny bit. Passes of the peel are continued until all 5 cc's of solution are used up. Patients leave the office with the peel on and allow it to penetrate and take affect for a minimum of 5 hours before rinsing it off with water or a gentle cleanser. These peels come with a handy little take home kit including everything you need to take care of your flaky self throughout the process. The kit contains: a post-peel moisturizer to help you stay hydrated with 1% hydrocortisone to help with itchiness and redness once you start to peel, an SPF 50 for maximum protection from UV, 2 small samples of cleanser in case yours is too aggressive, and a few chemical towelettes that help to continue the penetration for 48 hours. No worries, it has instructions on when/how to use it all.
Peeling starts about 2 days following the application. Skin feels dry and tight, starts to crack and flake in areas of movement (around mouth, eyes). The entire peeling stage takes roughly 2-3 days. Once peeling has completed, you are left with silky-soft, even-toned skin that will last months.
This procedure is safe for ALL SKIN TYPES AND CONCERNS. Which is huge. Most people go to the well-known "Jessner's" peel for a deeper result, which has limits on the skin types and ethnicity it is safe for.
Below is a video of our friend from Oregon, Dr. Rajani explaining the Vi Peel application:
Mention this blog post and get a Vi Peel in our office for just $99! ($325 value)
To conclude: Chemical peels come in a variety of depths and concoctions, choose your peel based on your skin concerns and skin type. Medium to deep peels result in a more aggressive therapy delivering more dramatic results. Superficial peels tend to be mild and results vary. The Vi Peel is one I have personally tried, and fell in love with. If you have scarring, pigment or wrinkles to address- my recommendation is do 3 peels about 3-4 weeks apart during non-summer months. If you are just looking for a healthy anti-aging treatment I recommend 1 a year.