Everything You Need To Know About Chemical Peels

Chemical peels can be a scary prospect for first-timers, but in most derms’ and doctors’ opinions, they’re just as important for the maintenance of beautiful skin as sleep, water, a healthy diet and a professionally prescribed, medical-grade skincare plan.

As non-invasive treatments go, chemical peels are a ’90s classic – although these days they’re a far cry from the slightly painful procedures that used to be administered back in the day. Formulas have been perfected, techniques have been tweaked and a physician’s goal in 2016 is far more likely to err towards ‘gentle skin refinement’ than ‘total peel melt-down.’

We caught up with Danae Markland, LE, CMLT and VP of education at PCA Skin for her thoughts on the prowess of chemical peels. And yes, we’ve already booked our next appointment at the derm’s office. You might want to think about doing the same…

Q. Why are chemical peels so daunting? Can you dispel the myth that they’re super-harsh on the skin?

Many people believe all peels are aggressive and painful. However, they’re not all the same. Using blended chemical peels reduces the chances of discomfort, plus they’re easy to use for the clinician and are much more comfortable for the patient. Most clients feel a slight tingling sensation but this subsides within minutes of application. Now more than ever patients can receive chemical peels and go about their daily activities with only minor adjustments.”

Q. Are chemical peels suitable for all skin types/ages/concerns or should they be avoided by certain patients?

“PCA Skin’s family of chemical peels offer treatment options for everyone. No matter your skin type, tone or sensitivity level, we have a peel for you. We even recommend our Sensi Peel for rosacea patients.”

Q. What are the major benefits of regular peels at the doctor’s office

“Chemical peels remove surface build-up; increase cellular proliferation by encouraging cell turnover; reduce hyperpigmentation; stimulate collagen production and clear the follicles to help reduce breakouts.”

Q. How often should a patient receive a chemical peel in order to reap the benefits?

“Chemical peel treatments should be applied to the skin based on the condition being treated. Patients with hyperpigmentation or aging concerns should plan to see their clinician every three weeks, anyone with acne should plan for every two weeks and those with sensitive or normal skin should receive a peel every four weeks. Once the skin condition is under control, all patients should follow through with treatments on a monthly basis to maintain balanced, healthy skin.”

Q. Are there at-home skincare requirements to help optimize these results?

“Using high quality skincare between peels is just as important as brushing your teeth between cleanings with your dentist. All patients should use a pH-balanced cleanser; a broad-spectrum SPF and a stable vitamin C product every morning. I always recommend PCA Skin C&E Strength, because it contains 15 percent l-ascorbic acid and 5 percent vitamin E, which does not breakdown, nor lose effectiveness over time. A retinol product is also essential at night and I’m obsessed with our new R-OH Retinol Solutions which come in three variants for acne-prone skin, aging and uneven skin tone.

Q. What are the key points to take into consideration when booking a chemical peel?

1. “Find a trusted clinician to partner with on your journey. You want someone you trust and who is knowledgeable not only about the skin itself, but also on the products they’re using and recommending. Our certified professionals go through intense continuing education, so you know each and every clinician offering PCA Skin treatments is devoted to quality, safety and results. Your clinician should conduct a complete skin analysis prior to recommending products or performing a treatment and this should include a consultation and consent process for the dos and don’ts for pre- and post-treatment. Based on the unique needs of your skin and the level of exfoliation you need or desire, the clinician should then customize the treatment protocol just for you. No two patients are the same.”

2. “Always follow the pre- and post-peel guidelines and use the provided post-peel products to ensure an optimal outcome.”

3. “Make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, 15-20 minutes prior to sun exposure to limit the amount of damage you receive by walking outside. This should be a given at all times but especially before and after a chemical peel, because exfoliation makes the skin much more sensitive to the sun.”

Q. PCA Skin is known for its superior chemical peels, what’s your secret?

“Experience, expertise and variety! We’ve been doing it for over 20 years and we’re the originator of the blended acid chemical peel. PCA Skin is dedicated to the art of chemical peeling and uses the very best combinations of ingredients to create amazing results without downtime and side effects. Our certified professionals also have an advanced knowledge so are able to produce superior results for all skin types and concerns, using our wide range of 16 different, in-office procedures.”

Q. Any other helpful advice or tips?

“Yes, two pieces of important advice: 1. Never try and do a chemical peel yourself. It’s frightening what’s available to purchase online and I’ve seen people with all manner of scarring because they attempted to peel themselves at home. Please leave it to the professionals – it will be worth it! And 2. Don’t be scared. Peels really are a great addition to any skincare plan. You just need to find the one that’s right for you.”

And that’s where your board-certified physician comes in. You may think you know your skin and its needs, but while that’s true to a certain extent, self-prescribing can end disastrously. How to find someone you can trust with your precious skin? Visit pcaskin.com for a full list of their certified professionals in your local area, or check out our guide to finding the perfect physician right here.

No need for thanks, that’s what we’re here for.

Written by: Georgia Gould