Look & Feel Your Best With a Chemical Peel in San Francisco
I include a chemical peel in 99% of our All-Inclusive Facials at The Skin Clinic for one reason: I am a firm believer that it is one of the best anti-aging skin care treatments available. Having given thousands of facials over the last 25 years, this is THE method to slow down the aging process and restore damaged skin back to a healthy glow. Depending on the type of skin being treated, it can effectively “resurface” the skin in as little as 2-3 treatments with minimal downtime and at a fraction of the cost of more invasive skin treatments like facelifts or micro-needling. Those who suffer from acne scarring, rosacea, and hyper-pigmentation from too much time in the sun are able to have all the old, dull, dead dermal cells removed from the surface of their skin to allow for lighter, brighter, new cells to grow. Those looking to simply reduce the effects of father time are able to see a reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, and blemishes almost immediately. Needless to say, with prolonged use of chemical peels, you can actually turn back the clock on your skin to reveal a fresher, healthier, and radiant complexion. Read my blog on healthier complexions with a chemical peel here.
How Chemical Peels Work
Chemical peels work by removing the outermost layers of the skin, repairing damage done by age, sun exposure and skin conditions like acne. This chemical process allows smooth, healthy new skin to grow! Chemical peels can lighten skin affected by hyper-pigmentation or improve the appearance of wrinkles and scars for younger, healthier looking skin, too.
Superficial or Mild Chemical Peels
Mild chemical peels are most often used to improve the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, mild acne scarring and mild hyper-pigmentation. They remove only a small part of the epidermis, or outer layer of skin.
You will need to have a mild skin peel repeated four to six times over a period of two to three months. The results of a mild peel last about one month, but you can have maintenance peels performed monthly.
Superficial peels typically use alphahydroxy acids (AHA) like glycolic acid or salicylic acid to remove the epidermis, or uppermost layer of skin. Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) are the gentlest acids used in skin peels.
Medium-Depth Chemical Peels
Medium-depth skin peels penetrate further to remove the epidermis and some of the dermis, or underlying middle layer of skin. Some dermatologists may perform a mild peel before a medium-depth peel, in order to give you a more effective skin treatment. Medium-depth peels are used to treat wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, sun damage, and precancerous skin growths. Medium-depth chemical peels usually take between 30 and 60 minutes to administer during a facial.
Side effects include moderate pain for the first few hours following the procedure. Medium-depth peels also cause excessive pinkness of the skin, which may not completely fade away until the skin has healed in 1-2 weeks. New skin should appear within the first 2 weeks after treatment, though it can sometimes take as long as three months before the pinkness completely fades and the skin can be considered fully healed. The results of this chemical peel can last several months or years, depending on the acids used to perform the peel and recovery time ranges from 24 hours to two weeks.
Medium-depth peels typically use trichloroacetic acid, or TCA, as a main ingredient. Some dermatologists first perform a mild peel using AHAs, in order to make TCA more effective as a medium-depth peel agent. The Jessner solution, a popular chemical peel solution, contains a combination of resorcinol, salicylic acid and glycolic acid to clear pores, treat acne, and improve the appearance of wrinkles and sun damage. The Jessner solution can be used for medium-depth peels, or layered to create deep peels.
Deep Chemical Peels
Deep skin peels penetrate all the way to the subcutaneous, or third and deepest, layer of skin. They are used to treat melasma, deep wrinkles, scarring, sun damage, and precancerous growths of the skin. TCA is the ingredient of choice for most deep peels, but the Jessner solution can be applied in layers to effectively create a deep chemical peel. Phenol is more caustic than other chemical peel ingredients and carries risk of permanent pigmentation changes, demarcation lines and sensitivity to sunlight. Petroleum jelly or another ointment may be applied after a phenol peel to protect the skin. Recovery time for deep peels can range from a 2 weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the skin condition treated and type of skin.