Clinical peels (also known as chemical peels) are one of the oldest cosmetic procedures in the world. They have been used since the days of Cleopatra to exfoliate the skin and produce a refreshed and more youthful appearance. A highly underappreciated anti-aging technique, regular skin exfoliation is one of the easiest ways to stave off the aging process and regular clinical peels provide everything you need to keep looking younger, longer.
Chemical peels can sound scary (and carry a certain negative connotation), which is why many skin centres are replacing the term ‘chemical’ with ‘clinical’. We understand why some patients are wary of a clinical peel and we want to take this opportunity to help explain and demystify the clinical peel treatment.
Chemical peel formulations have come a long way in recent years. They are gentler and more customizable than ever before. Recommended for most skin types, clinical peels offer an unmatched exfoliation experience. They have been shown to improve skin tone and texture, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, repair sun damage and help reduce acne breakouts and blemishes.
What is exfoliation?
There are two types of exfoliation: manual and chemical. Manual exfoliation involves buffing the skin through mechanical (manual) methods: scrub or microdermabrasion. Chemical exfoliation involves the application of a solution, which weakens the binding properties that hold the dead skin cells together. Unlike manual exfoliation, which can leave skin uneven from imbalanced application, chemical exfoliation allows the effective and even removal of the outer layer of dead skin cells.
Why is regular exfoliation so important?
Regular exfoliation stimulates the cell renewal process. When a thick layer of dead skin cells builds up, the skin lacks luster and radiance. Build-up can result in the appearance of hyperpigmentation, fine lines, acne and flaking. It also contributes to a rough and uneven skin texture. Regular chemical exfoliation penetrates beneath the skin’s surface. This not only removes the surface dead skin cells but also boosts collagen synthesis in the deeper skin layers – leading to firmer and younger-looking skin over time.
What can a clinical peel do for my skin?
Customized clinical peels can address a myriad of common skin conditions including:
- Acne and blemishes
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sun damage
- Uneven skin texture and tone
What kind of clinical peels are offered at Oakville Plastic Surgery?
Our clinical peel treatments utilize customizable formulations of glycolic (AHA) and salicylic (BHA) acids. Depending on your unique skin concern, we offer customizable DermaQuest, VivierSkin®, Biophora™ and ZO® peels.
How do clinical peels work?
Peels are specially formulated and concentrated to literally peel away the outer layers of dead or damaged skin cells. The applied acid weakens the binding properties that hold the dead skin cells together and helps speed up the exfoliation (or sloughing) process. Peels lift skin congestion and clear the skin follicle, resulting in smoother, clearer and more radiant skin.
What is a clinical peel treatment like?
The treatment begins with a thorough cleansing of the skin. Next, the eyes, lips and nostrils are protected with a shielding petroleum. The customized chemical peel formulation is gently applied to the skin using a fan brush. As the peel goes to work, the skin will begin to feel warm and tingly. Many patients describe the sensation as “itchy” and “annoying” rather than painful. After three to five minutes, the acid is then neutralized and washed off. Immediately following a clinical peel treatment, skin will feel instantly fresh and appear slightly flushed. Depending on the peel’s strength, mild redness, swelling and skin irritation can occur. Patients are advised to discontinue topical retinoid applications and acne treatments seven to 10 days prior to a clinical peel treatment. These may be resumed after a minimum of five days post-treatment.
Will I be flaky after treatment?
Mild skin dryness is commonly experienced two to three days after a clinical peel treatment; however, this can be greatly reduced by practicing regular skin exfoliation at home prior to a peel. Flaking mainly occurs when there is a large build-up of dead skin cells. When the skin is poorly prepared for a chemical peel treatment (poor at-home exfoliation practices), the outermost layer of the skin absorbs the majority of the acid, rather than the deeper layers that drive your desired results. This leads to dry, flaky skin and reduced efficacy of the treatment. Regularly scheduled clinical peel treatments will produce little to no flaking and continuously improve both skin health and appearance.
If you enjoy regular spa facials but have never experienced the skin-boosting benefits of a clinical peel treatment, we invite you to request a complimentary consultation with our medical aesthetician. She will build a customized treatment formulation by thoroughly discussing your skin concerns and desired outcomes. Contact us today to book your appointment.