A chemical peel can target a specific issue with your skin, like fine lines and wrinkles, or sun spots after a long summer outdoors under the sun’s damaging UV rays. But the trick is to choose the right type of chemical peel with ingredients that work for your skin type.

If you get the wrong peel, you may end up doing more harm than good, especially if you have sensitive skin. On the flip side, choosing a chemical peel that’s too mild may fall short of the results you want and leave you feeling frustrated.

At Ashburn Laser & Skincare Clinic in Ashburn, Virginia, our medical director, Nasrin Ejtemaee, MD, leads our team of master aestheticians in offering cosmetic treatments for the face and body.

Understanding the different types of chemicals used in peels

Chemical peels are designed to target a number of common skin problems. They remove dead and damaged skin cells in order to trigger the production of healthy new cells so that your skin looks clearer, softer, and more youthful.

There are mild, medium, and deep chemical peels designed to deliver mild to more dramatic results. Each one contains a different combination of chemicals to treat specific issues like acne or sun damage.

You’ve probably already heard of some or most of the chemicals in each type of peel. Some of the skin care products you use at home to cleanse and moisturize your skin usually contain one or more of these chemicals in smaller doses.

The main chemicals used in different types of peels include:

  • Glycolic acid/alpha-hydroxy acid
  • Trichloroacetic acid
  • Phenol (carbolic)
  • Retinoids
  • Salicylic acid/beta-hydroxy acid

So which type of chemical peel should you get? It depends on several factors such as the condition or skin problem you’d like to target, your skin type, and how strong of a chemical peel you need.

Chemical peels are excellent treatments for conditions like sun damage, acne, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines and wrinkles. They also provide deep exfoliation for cell turnover and to leave your skin looking younger and healthier.

Like all cosmetic treatments and aesthetic procedures, chemical peels should always be applied by a licensed and experienced master aesthetician. Depending on the type of chemical peel you get, your skin may be red, irritated, and experience blistering for several days to a week after the procedure.

Mild chemical peels usually don’t require bandaging in most cases, but you’ll want to allow enough time for your skin to heal and recover after your treatment.

If you’re getting a chemical peel before a special event like a wedding, a vacation, or a job interview, schedule it a few weeks or more ahead of time for the best results.

Mild chemical peels use alpha-hydroxy acids and target the top layer of your skin for a superficial peel. Mild and deep peels penetrate to the middle layer of your skin and consist of glycolic and trichloroacetic acid for deep exfoliation.

At Ashburn Laser & Skincare Clinic, we provide topical anesthesia to help keep you comfortable during stronger chemical peels.

At your consultation, we evaluate your skin and recommend the best chemical peel for your needs.

For more information about chemical peels and the cosmetic treatments we offer for your face and body, contact us today to request an appointment at our office in Ashburn or McLean, Virginia.

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