Remember Samantha’s chemical peel disaster on Sex in the City? The one that had Samantha hiding under a black veil and matching hat, hoping to shield the world from her irritated, red, peeling face? Yes, that scene. Just hearing the words “chemical peel” can be a little intimidating for most, and can stop people from exploring this amazing skincare option. It’s time to demystify the “scary” chemical peel and learn the true benefits of this treatment.

A chemical peel is a form of chemical exfoliation, which can benefit almost all skin types. Chemical exfoliation is a very effective treatment for creating beautiful skin anywhere on the body including the face, hands, neck, chest, back and arms. It removes dead skin cells, reduces uneven pigmentation, increases hydration, diminishes large pores and softens the appearance of fine lines and rough texture. Our skin’s surface, known as the stratum corneum, naturally renews itself approximately every 28 days by replacing dead cells on the surface of our skin. This process slows over time due to the normal aging process, as well as environmental damage. Chemical exfoliation is performed using a variety of solutions to loosen the dead layer of skin, causing it to shed. This controlled injury stimulates cells to produce more collagen and elastin restoring the skins texture, improving tone and evening out color. Our collagen and elastin is what gives our skin a full, youthful appearance.

There are many different types of exfoliating and peeling agents ranging from fruit acid enzymes, such as papaya which decompose dead skin, to commonly used acids like Alpha Hydroxy and Beta Hydroxy Acids such as lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acid. All peels come in varying potency and PH which increases or decreases penetration and irritation.

To see the best results—and keep those results—consistency and commitment are very important. It is recommended to have a series of a minimum of six peels performed to start, every 2-3 weeks, depending on personal skin conditions. While you work your way through the series of peels, your esthetician will provide constant consultation, evaluation and customization of the solutions based on your results. Once your series of peels are completed, maintenance should be done every 4-6 weeks. This can include incorporating fruit enzymes into a facial treatment to help provide long lasting results.

You will experience minimal irritation and virtually no down time while seeing maximum results. Your skin will look more radiant, luminous, and less likely to show signs of discoloration and other imperfections.

To further the results and success of your chemical peel, a physical exfoliate can be used in conjunction with a chemical exfoliant. Physical exfoliants include Dermaplaning and Microdermabrasion. Adding a physical exfoliant into your treatment regimen can increase the penetration of your chemical peel, thus making is more effective.

One of the most important factors to achieving successful results, with any type of treatment, is to work with an experienced, well-trained esthetician. Estheticians help you get the most out of your chemical peel by providing a thorough consultation. Your esthetician needs to know your goals, your current skincare routine and any other procedures that you’ve had done. Telling your esthetician this background information is essential; they will assess all these factors, and then decide what peel is right for you, and how deep that peel should penetrate. Estheticians perform light to medium penetrative peels, while deeper peels that reach the dermal layer should be performed by a medical doctor.

Don’t end up like Samantha – call today for your clinical consultation and have the beautiful skin you’ve been dreaming of.