The Mass Appeal of the Chemical Peel

Mass appeal. It’s having a “generally appealing or popular quality”…. But what gives something mass appeal? Typically it’s something that’s interesting, beneficial, exciting, approachable, attainable or simply easy to like. And in the world of aesthetics, chemical peels are just that. Quick, beneficial and affordable with noticeable (and glowing) results, you could say they have mass ap-peel.

So let’s talk about why we at W love a good chemical peel. First and foremost, they give great results with minimal discomfort or downtime. They’re great for all skin tones and textures, including acne-prone skin, and address many skin concerns including fine lines, enlarged pores, uneven tone, scarring and skin congestion. And the best part is that they are practically universal….good for all complexions and all ages, from teens to those with mature skin. What’s not to love?

Yes we love them, but how do they work? In basic terms, chemical peels are intense exfoliants, relying on a topical solution applied to the skin. The chemical (typically trichloracidic, glycolic, salicylic and/or malic acids) peel solution is applied to the skin (usually on the face, neck and/or back) with a gentle brush and is left on for the desired amount of time and then neutralized. As the solution absorbs into the skin it causes controlled injury, prompting the skin to begin a wound-healing process, peeling off old dead skin cells and regenerating fresh new ones to reveal a smoother, brighter complexion. The whole process takes up to a week, and by seven days post-peel most patients see that extra smoothness and glow!

When it comes to your peel appointment at W, here’s what you can expect. We will begin by cleansing and prepping the skin and one of our skilled aesthetic providers will apply the recommended peel solution. At W, we offer three strengths intended to address different concerns and levels of skin damage. Our universal peel works on any skin tone and type and is designed to comfortably address fine lines, more minimal texture concerns and offers an overall easy glow. Our intermediate peel works to treat slightly deeper lines, more enlarged pores or shallow acne scars, while our advanced peel is great for treating deeper wrinkles and scarring or active acne. Your provider will look at your skin, discuss the options with you and recommend a peel to give you optimal results. Your whole appointment should take approximately 30 minutes and, because there is little to no downtime, you can return to work or daily activities immediately. You may experience some minimal redness (like a slight sunburn) but this should fade quickly. Most patients begin peeling around day 2-3 (the first place to peel is usually around the mouth while the forehead is typically the last) and peeling should be complete by around day seven post-treatment.

Another beauty of a chemical peel treatment (besides the glow of course!) is that there is almost nothing you need to do to prep for it. Because they are very mild in terms of discomfort and downtime and offer an easy recovery on the skin, you can go about your daily life before and after with little to no change. All we ask is that you avoid sun exposure and retinol products for a couple of days prior to your treatment and moisturize after with the complimentary moisturizer we will send home with you. There is no need to stop any medications before and, following treatment, simply avoid retinol while your skin is peeling and try not to over moisturize as this can cause skin congestion and little whiteheads or milia. But otherwise, no lifestyle changes need to be made. Chemical peels are a simple and attainable way to give skin a refresh without any hassle or changes to your schedule or daily routine.

So now that you want one (don’t we all?), when is the best time for a chemical peel? We often recommend them in the fall and winter months as it’s a little easier to stay out of the sun and dry winter skin often peels regardless, so peeling doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. However, if you’re wanting a little extra “holiday bright” we do suggest planning ahead and scheduling your peel at least a week prior to any big events or vacations. Peels are also a great option for those averse to laser treatments and are a great addition to injectables to give that overall smooth, youthful, glowing skin. And while you should notice results after one peel, we do recommend a series of three, spaced four weeks apart, for best results.

If you’re new to aesthetic treatments or just looking for an easy skin fix to brighten, exfoliate and discover a little extra youthfulness and glow, we’ve got the solution (literally!). If you have additional questions about chemical peels or are interested in scheduling yours before the holidays, give us a call. We’re happy to show you why these peels really do have mass appeal.