A chemical skin peel removes the upper layers of the skin which can be damaged by sun, wind, and stress. When the upper layers of the skin are removed, the overall skin texture becomes much smoother with a fresher appearance.
A chemical peel is designed to exfoliate the skin, removing the dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin and stimulating and revealing new skin cells. Light chemical peels can reduce the appearance of fine lines, scars, hyperpigmentation, age spots and blemishes while more intensive chemical peels can work to reverse sun damage and reduce wrinkles. Although they’re most often used on the face, they can also be used on the chest, neck, hands and forearms.
What’s involved in a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel takes between 5 and 30 minutes. First, your skin will be cleansed and then the peel is carefully applied. You may feel some stinging as acids in the peel work to exfoliate and loosen dead and damaged skin cells. The stinging will not last long, and after a specified time appropriate for the type of peel a neutralising agent may be applied to neutralise the acidic action. The peel will then be gently removed.
Some chemical peels are one off treatments, while others need to be repeated.
How long will it take me to recover from a Chemical Peel?
Recovery time for chemical peels depends on the type of peel. If you have a light peel, your skin may just feel a little sensitive for a few hours and you should be able to return to your normal activities straight away. Intensive peels may require a few days to recover and there may be swelling and redness. You will need to wear sunscreen to protect your newly revealed, vulnerable skin.
Some peels will cause layers of skin to flake and you will need to treat your skin gently after treatment.
What are the risks of a Chemical Peel?
Superficial or light chemical peels are virtually risk free and unless you have a very sensitive skin, there should be no complications. Medium depth peels, which normally contain Trichloroacetic Acid, do carry a small risk of allergic reaction, changes in pigmentation and skin redness that may last a few months. Deep peels (usually phenol based) are associated with far more substantial risks and it’s important to go to an experienced practitioner and follow aftercare directions carefully. You may experience a loss of pigment, which may be permanent, as well as hyperpigmentation. Deep intensive peels also carry a risk of scarring.
How much will a Chemical Peel cost?
Prices for chemical peels vary widely depending on the intensity and ingredients. Fees for light glycolic peels start from around £50 and prices can be as high as £350, while deep peels start at around £125 but can cost up to £1600. Medium peels, which are usually TCA peels cost around £500 - £700 for a course of 4 treatments.