Once, a chemical peel was a treatment that was only done by licensed estheticians and dermatologists, chemical peels were not common and were very expensive. This is no longer the case because chemical peels are now being used as treatments for any and every skin problem.
A chemical peel refers to the use of chemical solutions (usually an acid) to remove the damaged top layer of skin. It cannot be denied that these peels are beneficial to those that need them but they are now being abused by individuals who see these peels as an all-round solution to any skin problem that arises.
Chemical peels are now being taken as a fast route to clearer skin whereas in some cases, a change of lifestyle and skincare routine would ensure long lasting results. The part that induces a cringe from me is the fact that most of the people applying these peels have done little proper research.
In the last 3 years I have read about chemical peels, watched tutorials on these peels and have applied peels on myself for a year now. This has enlightened me further on the use of chemical peels. Below are tips for you if you wish to get a chemical peel.
Do your research
It is very important to read about chemical peels before getting one or applying one on yourself. Research is not watching a few YouTube videos because a lot of these YouTube videos only show the process but do not explain the important points in detail.
The subject of chemical peels should be researched properly to help you to determine what peel would best suit your skin tone and to ascertain what would be best suited for the skin issue you wish to tackle.
Doing proper research will also help to determine what strength of your chosen chemical peel to use and which doctor to use or esthetician to see. By doing research, you will also be prepared for the healing process. Research is very important especially if you wish to apply the peel yourself. If you are not confident in your abilities to apply the chemical peel, please do not take the risk. It may be expensive but go to a dermatologist or esthetician.
In almost all cases, multiple chemical peels spaced over a period of time will be needed to get rid of hyperpigmentation, aging, acne etc., The reason why the chemical peels are spaced weeks or months apart is to give the skin time to heal after the chemical peel. Having chemical peels done too close together especially when they are high percentage acid peels increases the chances of chemical burn and skin thinning.
Furthermore, start with a low percentage acid when getting chemical peel. By starting with a low percentage, you know how your skin reacts to the peel and it will reduce your chances of having a chemical bun. Start low and work your way up to higher percentage acids when you are ready for it.
Buy your chemical peels from the appropriate source
While these chemical peels cannot be purchased from any pharmacist that I know off, it is very important that you purchase your peel from a reputable spa, store or medical facility. It is very important that you purchase chemical peels from trustworthy places.
If purchased from any random place, there is always the risk that the peel has been wrongly diluted. A wrongly diluted peel could mean the chemical peel being too weak or too strong (both of which are dangerous to use. Once again, if you are unable to find a reputable place to purchase a chemical peel, see a dermatologist or an esthetician.
After-peel care is key
Getting a chemical peel is the easy part, the more involved part is practicing proper aftercare. By aftercare, I refer to using the appropriate products, avoiding products with exfoliating qualities and making sunscreen your new best friend. If you have thinning or very sensitive skin, you will benefit greatly from after-peel care.
Knowledge on how to care for your skin after getting a chemical peel can be acquired by doing research (See the first point). It is very important to take care of your skin after getting a chemical peel to ensure you get the results you want and to maintain the results that have been gotten.
The 4 tips above are very important, but it is necessary to note that a chemical peel is not the answer to all skin related problems; if a need arises that necessitates the use of a chemical peel, great results may require a repeated use of chemical peels.
If you are not knowledgeable on the use of chemical peels, do not apply them on yourself or anyone else. Please keep them away from the reach of children and be careful. Wrong use of a chemical peel could create larger skin problems than what previously existed. Be safe.
Photo Credit: Andrey Popov | Dreamstime