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Chemical Peels – What Does It Do and Who Needs It?

Chemical peels have become the latest skincare phenomenon, but what is it actually doing for your skin?

A chemical peel is a treatment used to remove the top layers of your skin, to reveal a new, smoother layer of skin. The treatment itself is used to target a number of skin concerns, such as hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, uneven skin tone and texture, etc. The idea of chemicals on your face may sound a bit scary, but chemical peels are 100% safe, and are an effective way to maintain healthy, radiant-looking skin! The procedure uses a mixture of different chemicals (hence the name), which vary depending on the intensity type of the treatment. We can understand these chemical peel procedures as: light, medium, and deep, however, in Canada, only light chemical peels are permitted, so we will shift our focus to that type of treatment!

What is a Light Chemical Peel?

A light chemical peel is considered fairly mild, using acids such as salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, mandelic acid and/ or alpha-hydroxy to exfoliate the skin gently. This treatment is recommended for skin concerns varying from fine wrinkles and dryness, to acne and sun damage, all of which can be treated by a chemical peel. This treatment has a relatively quick healing time ( between 1 to 7 days), as the chemicals only penetrate the outermost layer of the skin (otherwise known as the epidermis).

It is also worth noting that, since this treatment only penetrates into the epidermis layer of your skin, light chemical peels may require multiple procedures to obtain the full effect (approx. every 2-5 weeks).

PRO TIP: After getting a chemical peel, throughout the treatment’s healing process , it is important that you apply sunscreen daily for the duration of the skin’s healing period post-procedure to ensure your skin is safe and healthy as it rejuvenates!

When Should I start?

Chemical peels do not have an age limit, but it is recommended to start using light chemical peels around your late teens to early 20s, and to continue using them consistently, especially once you have more mature skin and/or more visible signs of aging (anywhere from your early 30s onwards). Nevertheless, it is worth noting that chemical peels are not recommended for those who take medication to make the skin more sensitive, have specific skin conditions, those who are pregnant, and/or those who cannot stay out of the sun for the healing period.

Main takeaway point: Chemical peels are a safe and sure way to improve skin concerns regarding tone, colour, and texture. Chemical peels may be suitable for anyone, from the late teens to ages 50+. Doing a light chemical peel treatment can therefore create a lasting difference in your skin’s health!

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