Chemical peels are treatment techniques that are used primarily to help to improve the quality of and produce a smoother texture in facial skin. Chemical treatments employ the use of chemical solutions that cause dead skin to slough and peel off of the facial epidermis. Some chemical peels can be done at home and others require medical supervision. Typically the breakdown of strength goes like this: 70% strength can be administered by doctors, 30% strength can be provided by estheticians (spa and salon professionals) and anything under 30% strength can be administered at home.
There are several types of chemical peels available. They range from light penetration to deep penetration and employ the use of different penetration agents and chemicals. Alpha and beta hydroxy acid peels are used as light peeling treatments. Beta hydroxy acid peels are able to penetrate deeper within pores and, thus, are often used in lieu of using stronger alpha hydroxy acid peels. Jessner’s peel is a chemical peel solution developed by Dr. Max Jessner and uses lactic acid, an ethanol base, and salicylic acid. It is also considered a light peel due primarily to the fact that the chemicals used are not very strong. Retinoic acid peels are medium strength peels and are often done in the office of a dermatologist. Trichloroacetic acid peels are intermediate to deep peels. They are often only used at 35% and below due to an increased risk of scarring as a result of the treatment. Phenol peels are the deepest and strongest that are used. They go somewhat deep into the epidermis and often only require one treatment.
The treatment itself should be done following the exact directions on the package or should be administered by a professional. Note that there is a risk of applying too much of the chemical solution when self-administered. In addition, it’s always good to have someone around to help in case something goes wrong with the application. Another important tip to remember is that a person needs to space out their chemical peel treatments to give the skin a chance to heal.
Best At Home Chemical Peel
Perfect Images makes some of the best products on the market. They are professionally formulated and come in a variety of different strengths. I recommend starting with the 20% solution. Besides quality, this brand is more affordable than others if you shop online. Each bottle will give you 15-20 peels- that’s much more affordable than going in to see a professional. Buying this product is an easy way to see if this treatment is right for you.
Should I Use Them?
You should use them if you believe that they will help. Start off with some of the mildest treatments available and work your way up. This type of treatment is certainly not for everyone. Studies have shown that there is around a fifty percent reduction in acne scars after five or so treatments. The problem, for the most part, is the cost. At between $100 and $300 for a professional treatment it becomes very expensive to treat acne in this way. Fortunately you can always start out with the at-home solution. It’s not as strong but it’s still effective.
Overall, this method works fairly well. It can be an expensive solution, but it’s one that works. It works particularly well when used on conjunction with other acne treatment techniques such as tea tree oil, face masks, and other over the counter acne solutions.