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We talk about chemical peels an awful lot, but you might be surprised to know that clients often don’t realise that there is more than one chemical peel and that they can be used to treat multiple skin issues; from the most sensitive rosacea skins through to those who have deep wrinkles and sunspots.
So, I thought I’d give a bit of an insight with the first in the series about chemical peels and get going with a very popular facial peel… Glycolic acid (GA).
This skin treatment is popular at our skin clinic with clients who have dull skin, early signs of skin ageing (or hoping to slow these signs down) and those who want to have a great exfoliation.
How is a chemical peel is done?
When you have a glycolic chemical peel, your practitioner will clean and prepare your skin and then gently and methodically apply the glycolic acid solution to your skin with a small brush or swab. They will be watching your skin throughout to see how your skin responds, some peoples skin becomes a little pink during the treatment, some not so much.
Usually, your practitioner will ask for feedback during the skin treatment which will help they gauge how long to keep the solution on your skin-some people need less time than others. The amount of time the solution is left on your skin will also depend on the strength on the glycolic acid peel.
After the required amount of time has passed, your practitioner will neutralise the solution and clean your skin.
What does a Glycolic chemical peel feel like?
You may feel some tingling on your skin during the peel which is normal. The intensity of the tingling may very between different treatment sessions.
Are glycolic peels worth it?
That very much depends on you and what you would like to achieve. If you’re considering a glycolic acid peel for deep acne scars, for example, you’ll be disappointed but there are other chemical peels and medical-aesthetic skin treatments that can help that problem.
The best thing you could do is have a professional consultation so they can assess your skin and talk about what you’d like to achieve, then they can discuss all the treatment options for you to consider.
Glycolic peel benefits
This chemical peel offers a strong exfoliation to brighten skin, make your skin feel and look smooth and healthy.
I remember that one of our clients had a glycolic peel to refresh her skin and she came out of the treatment raving about how great it is because it’s improved her forehead wrinkles; what would have happened is that she had lots of old, dead skin cells sitting on the surface of her skin making any imperfection, such as a wrinkle, look worse.
Glycolic can have an anti-ageing effect on the skin as it improves skin cell turn over, much like retinol, which helps to soften lines and wrinkles, as well as superficial marks on the skin. Not only that, but GA triggers collagen production so there is a long-term improvement to your skin.
Are chemical peels permanent?
This depends on what chemical peel you have and what you use it for, for example, if you have chemical peels to treat acne scars then the scars will not reappear once improved. But as a rule, no peel is permanent-deeper peels such as TCA offer long-lasting results, lighter peels (such as GA) will need repeating more frequently.
If you have a chemical peel for signs of ageing, it’s super important to bear in mind that the ageing process will continue, so you’ll need repeat sessions should you wish, as the treatment doesn’t stop the ageing process.
How long between glycolic peels?
This will depend on you and your needs and should be discussed with your practitioner, however our clients come every 4-6 weeks.
How long to recover from glycolic peel?
You may or may not have some light peeling or flaking after your glycolic peel which can last 3 or 4 days. If you experience any pinkness in your skin, most of our clients recover from this within 24 hours
During your course of treatments, the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin have been removed so your skin beneath becomes more vulnerable to the suns UV rays, even in winter. We strongly recommend using a daily SPF as a result.
We also recommend that you stop using any retinol products and any exfoliating products for 10 days post treatment.
Nurse Jane Lewis from our facial peel clinic, St. Albans, comments: “Glycolic chemical peels are great to refresh and brighten your skin, as well as providing some anti-aging benefits too. In most cases, there is very little recovery time following this peel which really suits a lot of people. If a client requires help with deep wrinkles or scars, I wouldn’t recommend this peel but there are good alternative peels that can target those problems.”
If you would like help improving your skin and are interested in seeing if there’s a chemical peel that would suit your needs, we would be please to discuss this and assess your skin during a non-obligation consultation at our facial peel clinic, St. Albans. Contact us here.
Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. We are all unique which means that our results, recovery and suitability for any type of treatment will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns or to discuss treatments specifically for you.