What defines perfect skin? A dewy, radiant, youthful glow? A face free of blemishes with an even tone and texture? Whatever it is that makes perfect skin, and however you define skin perfection, the one constant that is true is this: Perfect skin doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen by magic. At H-MD Medical Spa in Oklahoma City, OK, we know that a chemical peel can help you achieve all of your skin-perfecting goals. It’s all just a matter of finding the right peel for you.
How Often Should I Get a Chemical Peel?
Generally speaking, most people can have a chemical peel once every two to five weeks, although the average person usually schedules regular peels for every four weeks to maintain the desired results. The general two-to-five-week range is something that is determined by factors such as your age, your skin type, your skin concern, and your aesthetic goals.
What Is Skin Cell Turnover and Why Does It Matter?
Age is a huge factor when it comes to determining the ideal frequency for your peel – most notably because your age will determine the rate of your skin cell turnover. Your skin cell turnover is the natural cycle of your skin cells, meaning that this rate dictates how quickly dead skin cells are shed from your skin surface and how long new skin cells can withstand UV rays and pollutants.
As we age, the natural rate of our skin cell turnover slows along with the production of other structural skin supports, such as collagen and elastin. The rate of your skin cell turnover matters for a few reasons, including the moisture balance in your skin, the appearance of skin dullness and fine lines, and even the appearance of blemishes. Your skin cell turnover also matters in terms of skin integrity and health, especially for chronic skin conditions.
How Do You Determine Your Frequency?
Of course, your age is only one factor that will determine the ideal frequency of your peel treatments. Your skin type, particularly if you have sensitive skin, may also suggest you need to space your treatments further apart to better protect your new skin cells.
Naturally, if you have chronic skin condition concerns, such as acne or aging, it may be necessary to keep your treatments regular to stay on top of any breakouts and to prevent worsening of symptoms. Some aesthetic goals, such as maintaining even skin tone and texture, may call for treatments to be closer together.
What Kind of Peels Are There?
There are three main types of chemical peels, but the most commonly used are light and medium peels.
There are three main types of chemical peels, but the most commonly used are light and medium peels. A light chemical peel is one that sloughs off the superficial layer of skin cells, meaning it’s a slightly more advanced exfoliating treatment than using a manual scrub. Light peels are ideal for most patients and can be used to address a number of skin concerns, including:
- Acne and enlarged pores
- Dry skin
- Minor scarring
- Fine lines
- Dull tone
Light peels can be performed the most frequently. When we talk about how often you can have a chemical peel, we are generally referring to how often you can have a light chemical peel. Light chemical peels can be performed more frequently due to the fact that they truly only address and maintain superficial skin concerns. You can think of a light chemical peel as being your go-to exfoliation treatment instead of using something like a scrub.
Medium peels use a stronger acid solution, meaning the peel can penetrate deeper levels of skin cells. Medium peels are typically reserved for mild to moderate skin concerns that can’t be addressed by the lighter acids used in light chemical peels. For example, medium peels are used to address concerns such as:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sun damage
Because medium peels use a stronger acidic element for treatment, it’s generally recommended that medium peels are only done a few times a year. On average, those who use medium peels can have a peel treatment once every three to four months, depending on the condition of the skin and the aesthetic goal.
Deep peels use the strongest level of an acidic element to deeply exfoliate the skin, usually penetrating multiple sub-dermal levels. In general, deep peels are used to treat only the most severe or concerning skin issues, including:
- Deep scarring
- Dynamic deep wrinkles
- Precancerous lesions
Due to the fact that deep peels use such a strong chemical to exfoliate the skin, most aestheticians recommend only having a deep peel once in your life, usually for medical reasons associated with active melanoma or skin cancer. If you are interested in using deep peels to address more troubling skin concerns not related to medical reasons, then we suggest having a deep peel once every two to three years, at most.
Light Peels vs Medium Peels: Which Is Better?
The type of peel that is ideal for your treatment will depend greatly on your skin type and your aesthetic concerns. Some patients prefer to use light peels because they are easier to recover from and produce results more quickly, while other patients prefer medium peels because the treatment does not need to be done as frequently.
We will help you decide which peel – and which peel frequency – is right for your aesthetic goals at the time of your consultation. It may be the case that you will be able to combine these peels in your treatment plan. For example, many patients begin by using a medium peel to address deeper concerns and then use light peels to maintain results and stay on top of overall skin health.
Will You Ever Need a Deep Peel?
It might be the case that you will never need to use a deep peel because a medium peel can address your aesthetic concerns. Deep peels are more extreme, which is why they are considered a last-resort option if repeated medium peels do no resolve scarring or fundamentally lighten the appearance of wrinkles or other skin damage.
How Long Do Results Last?
The results of this treatment greatly depend on the type of peel being used. In general, you can expect the results of a light peel to last for at least two to four weeks, while the results of a medium peel will last for about two to three months after the skin is fully healed. For deep peels, the results of the treatment can be expected to last for over one year or more.
Why Should You Consider a Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels have been around for a long time. In fact, one common anecdote about this treatment is the fact that Cleopatra is rumored to have used sour milk as the earliest form of a lactic acid chemical peel. With a history like that and an endorsement from one of the world’s most beautiful women, there are several reasons why you might also want to consider peels as part of your beauty treatment plan.
Peels are a non-invasive aesthetic treatment, which means they do not require any instruments to breach your skin barrier and it is not necessary to use sedatives or anesthesia to complete the treatment. Non-invasive treatments are more gentle for the skin and reduce recovery times. In fact, the recovery time associated with a peel treatment is less than one week for light and medium peels.
The treatment process for a peel is much simpler than some other cosmetic treatments. Similar to a simple facial, a peel treatment involves cleansing the skin of any excess dirt or oil, applying the acidic element, allowing the acid to soak into the skin for about twenty minutes, and then rinsing the acid off the skin. The treatment is typically followed up with a moisturizing cream or serum to protect the skin barrier.
The use of a skin protectant after the treatment will extend to the three to seven days of your recovery period. We encourage patients to wear SPF 30 or greater and to avoid any direct sunlight, excess heat or sweating, and any manual exfoliation. Keeping the skin moisturized during recovery is essential to obtaining your desired results.
A peel treatment can be easily customized to your exact skin type, tone, and concern. This is ideal for patients who have sensitive skin, combination skin, or a variety of skin-related concerns. Your aesthetician will select the best acid for your skin needs.
As a facial and exfoliating treatment, a peel can be easily combined with many other treatments. For example, injectable treatments, microneedling, and laser treatments can all mix-and-match very well with a peel to produce your desired aesthetic results.
Easy to Maintain
Maintaining the results of this treatment is also easy to do, as your maintenance really boils down to having a regular skincare routine consisting of adequate cleansing and moisturizing. By taking care of your skin between peel treatments, you can ensure that the results of your treatment will last for as long as possible and produce the results you want.
Good for Overall Skin Health
Many patients use peel treatments as a way to manage overall skin health. Although we have a natural skin cell turnover cycle, our skin’s innate ability to exfoliate itself can sometimes be flawed and require a helping hand. By regularly having peel treatments, you can balance your skin cell turnover and oil production to manage skin health.
Target Chronic Acne
Those who have acne, whether it’s cystic or hormonal, can easily manage breakouts by using peel treatments. This is because the acid exfoliant of a peel treatment will kill acne-causing bacteria, as well as rebalance oil production, shrink enlarged pores, and treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Reduce Visible Aging
Both light and medium peels are also ideal options for those who have mild-to-moderate age-related concerns, such as fine lines and wrinkles. The exfoliating power of a peel can reduce visible fine lines, while the collagen-stimulating boost of acidic elements can diminish the appearance of wrinkles.
Who Are Ideal Candidates for This Treatment?
Almost all people are good candidates for this treatment, as peels are ideal skincare options for people of all ages, skin types, and skin tones. You may be ideally suited to chemical peel treatments if you have at least one skin-related concern that is not being addressed by your regular skincare routine.
Achieve Skin Perfection With Chemical Peels!
What is perfect skin? At the end of the day, perfect skin can be your skin when you allow the right treatment to give your skin the boost it needs to be happy and healthy. To schedule your initial appointment, contact H-MD Medical Spa in Oklahoma City, OK today!