Chemical peels are a form of exfoliation that can improve a variety of skin conditions. Peels can reduce fine lines and wrinkles; improve the appearance of mild scars; treat acne; and reduce age spots, freckles and dark patches (melasma) caused by fluctuations in hormone levels.
Peels work by removing skin on the surface layer, either exposing fresh skin beneath or prompting the body to regenerate new surface skin. Chemical peels are classified by their depth of penetration — superficial, moderate, and deep. Lighter peels exfoliate the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis. These peels simply present fresher, healthier skin, and don’t require any downtime. Moderate and deep peels penetrate below the epidermis into the second layer, called the dermis. They cause more discomfort and require a period of healing time. Moderate to deep peels usually create anywhere from three to 10 days of facial peeling.
With any depth peel, your skin will look smoother, softer, and brighter. More aggressive peels can address aging issues such as wrinkles and creases. Most peels are most effective with repeat treatments, usually from three to six. The treatments are spaced apart based on the depth of the peel and necessary recovery time.