The Benefits of Chemical Peels

Peels are used to treat a wide array of skin issues and concerns. Acne, anti-aging, hyperpigmentation, rosacea and improving overall appearance and texture are just some of the most common issues addressed by peels. There are different levels of peels, but many these days do not require any downtime as your face does not actually peel. Stronger peels can be used for more serious concerns and drastic results, but you can expect to spend several days waiting for your face to recover from the procedure and stop peeling.

A lot of people hear the words ‘acid’ and ‘peel,’ and their skin automatically begins to crawl, but the experts say peels are actually one of the best and least invasive ways to improve your skin. Forget about the days when getting a peel meant sheets of skin falling off your face, the after-effects of many peels that are now available here at Revitalizemaui Center for Longevity Medicine and Aesthetics, are nowhere near as invasive, and will not leave you with scorched, raw skin for days after. In fact, with many milder peels, you can expect shiny, ultra-clean skin post peel and a radiant glow for a few days afterward.

Why Chemical Peels

Chemical peeling is a procedure that accelerates exfoliation of the skin with the use of chemical substances. This provides healthy-looking, renewed skin and helps to even out your complexion.

With these types of peels, most people will see benefits from both the exfoliation as well as the rejuvenation, which help with things like fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone and blemishes.

The majority of people have the best results with a series of chemical peels. This way you can continue to improve on the results from the previous peel. Even if you don’t have a specific issue you would like to work on, chemical peels can make your skin look its best – fresher, plumper and more glowing.

One thing you have to be careful of after a peel is sun damage. Post peel your skin is sensitive to UV light, so make sure you avoid direct sunlight if possible and use a high SPF on your face (which you should be doing daily anyway)!

What to expect

Most people will look very glowy for three days or so after getting a chemical peel. Then on day four or five after the peel, you shed the individual skin cells which can make the skin look slightly dryer. With many peels, you may have some mild flaking from day three to day five, but your face will not “peel off.”

The results you get from a chemical peel are noticeable, but they’re still subtle. You should see more even skin tone, that your pores are smaller, breakouts are fewer and fine lines are barely there.


Peels at RevitalizeMaui

At RevitalizeMaui we see many patients who have never had any cosmetic treatments before. Because of this, a lot of times the words “chemical peel” can cause them to become uneasy and ask questions like, “Am I going to look like Samantha from Sex and the City after she had a peel and her skin looked raw and she couldn’t go out for weeks?”  The answer is NO!

There are many different types of chemical peels, as well as levels of peels. There are light, medium and strong peels, and then still varying strengths within each of those. Different types of chemical peels can address different issues such as acne, scars, wrinkles, sun damage, fine lines, Melasma, pore size and texture. Below you will find more information about the most common types of peels.


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Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)

AHA peels are often referred to as “lunchtime” peels and are popular because they result in minimal irritation and downtime. AHAs are mild, organic acids that are derived from things like fruit, sugar cane and milk. These peels promote increased epidermal sloughing and are great for those who are looking to improve skin tone, as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines, acne scars and other dark marks. The most commonly used AHAs are glycolic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid and malic acid. Also, many hybrid AHAs have more recently emerged in the aesthetic marketplace. AHAs work by exfoliating dead skin cells in order to reveal a brighter, fresher and younger-looking complexion.

Beta hydroxy acid (BHA)

BHA, also known as salicylic acid, is found in wintergreen leaves and birch bark. It has been used for decades to treat conditions including acne, warts, and psoriasis. In peels, BHA treats the same conditions as AHAs do, but it is able to penetrate the epidermis more deeply. BHA peels are considered to be antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, and they are good for sensitive, oily and acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid has properties that are similar to aspirin, so it is important to note that these peels should not be used on people with aspirin allergies.

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The Jessner’s peel is stronger than an AHA or BHA peel and is also good for treating oily skin, acne, and fine lines. Even though it is stronger, it is still considered a light peel (unless several layers are applied, which would make it a deep peel). Jessner’s peels are different depending on who manufactures them, but they often combine salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol in an ethanol solution. Jessner’s peels remove the top layers of dead skin over a period of six to ten days. This treatment is especially great for people who want to correct pigment irregularities, including melasma.

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Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)

TCA is a standard agent that is used in medium-depth chemical peels. Because TCA peels are deeper than Jessner’s, they must be performed under a physician’s supervision in cases where the peel is more than 10% TCA. This type of peel works by coagulating skin protein in order to treat skin imperfections, fine lines and wrinkles and discoloration. Peels of this strength need to be used with caution when it comes to treating darker skin tones, due to a risk of the peel causing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

After Your Chemical Peel

After a chemical peel procedure, there may be some redness and/or skin irritation. The treated skin should be carefully protected from the sun for several weeks to reduce the risk of discoloration.

At RevitalizeMaui Center for Longevity Medicine and Aesthetics, we’ll work with you to determine the safest and most effective chemical peel for your skin type and condition. We will carefully review the issues you’d like to address and recommend the treatments that are best suited to your needs.

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