What happens to your skin during a chemical peel?

What happens to your skin during a chemical peel?

So you’ve decided to get a chemical peel. You visit your friendly Trouve Medspa in Beachwood and find yourself lying face up, not quite sure of what’s about to happen next. Sure, your esthetician, Anna, may have advised you on the type of peel you need and how it works, but nothing eases the anxiety like having first-hand information on how exactly the treatment goes.

What happens to your skin during a chemical peel depends largely on your skin condition and the type of peel the medspa uses. These factors will also dictate how long it takes for the dried skin to peel off, which typically begins around three days after the treatment. And when it’s fully healed, you’re left with smooth, radiant skin, and a realization that what initially terrified you was actually a simple procedure that only takes an hour, give or take.

Prepping the skin

Like a facial, a chemical peel starts with an esthetician thoroughly cleansing and toning your skin. They will wash your face to remove dirt, makeup, sunscreen, or oil to make sure the chemical agents adhere. Substances like oil, especially, act like a barrier, preventing the acid from penetrating deep into your skin. To prewash the skin, estheticians use a medical degreaser.

Some estheticians apply ointment to areas where the patient doesn’t want the peel to pool, such as around the eyes and nose. A special lip balm is applied to protect the mouth area.

Applying the solution

Once your face is free of dirt, your esthetician will apply the chemical solution using a brush, sponge, gauze, cotton ball, or cotton-tipped applicator. No matter which type of acid is used, it will be applied in such a way that its active ingredients will work their way into superficial or deeper layers of your skin. Then, the treated skin will begin to whiten. You might feel some mild, temporary tingling during a light chemical peel as the solution works its magic on your skin.

The solution will stay on your skin for a few minutes, sometimes a little longer. But contrary to popular opinion, these peels don’t have to sting. In fact, even people with sensitive skin can find a suitable chemical peel. The experience varies from one person to another and the intensity of the treatment depends on which chemicals are used. So a chemical peel that one person described as having a burning sensation could be a walk in the park for you. It all depends on your medspa and esthetician.

For example, your esthetician might ask how strong the solution feels on your skin. Be honest with your answer so the treatment and the number of layers can be adjusted. Finally, your esthetician will apply a neutralizing agent to remove the solution from your skin.

Mild vs. Strong chemical peels

During a mild chemical peel, you will feel a slight tingling sensation that will quickly subside. Skin peeling might not even occur with a light chemical peel. With a medium to a deep peel, you will experience skin peeling which could be light shedding to sheet peeling. A handheld fan may be offered to soothe the affected skin. If you’re up for something of that caliber, procedures will usually take place in 15-30 minute intervals to limit your exposure to chemicals like phenol.

During any peel, chemicals are reacting with your skin, effectively dissolving outer layers of dead skin to even up tone and texture. This promotes a buildup of collagen and skin elasticity.

Still on the fence about getting a chemical peel treatment? Our experienced estheticians will make sure you feel at ease the entire time. Consult us today! We will be more than happy to answer any question you may have.