FAQ – Chemical Peels

A Chemical Skin Peel: What is it, how does it work and is it right for you?

It is what it says: a chemical solution that harnesses your body’s natural processes of renewal, which can largely be summed up as “discard old skin cells to make space for new ones.”

The idea of peeling away small amounts of skin might sound scary initially, but chemical peels are one of the most common treatments for correcting skin and achieving visible results – especially in winter, when skin needs a bit of a lift – simply because they have proven so very effective in rectifying damage and renewing skin.

How do chemical peels work?

Chemical peel acids penetrate the skin and break the bonds between the layers of skin, so the top layers will start peeling off. The type of peel, its concentration and the exact chemical composition will determine how deep it penetrates. Have a peel done by your expertly trained and trusted skincare therapist.

Regenerating Skin

We shed a lot skin, constantly. In fact, your skin seems to completely renew itself every 30 days or so (ideally). Why? Because you skin there to protect the rest of your body – it is designed to grow quickly from the deepest layers through to the uppermost, so that it can shed. This process allows your skin to keep impurities out of your body.

Your skin has to fend off a barrage of attacks from pollutants, chemical, ultra violet rays,  climate, bacteria and a host of potential infections and your skin is there to save the day. Fending off these elements has an impact on your skin.
This “impact” (damage) can show up in a few ways, from wrinkles, lines and sagging to hyper-pigmentation and even acne.

How much skin do we shed?

It’s estimated that we have around 1,6 trillion skin cells on our bodies. And we shed around 30 000 to 40 000 of them every hour – that’s around a million a day, or 3,6 kg per year.

The purpose of chemical Peels
  • Erase imperfections
  • Remove damaged skin
  • Improve skin tone and texture
  • Allow new skin to grow
What conditions are treated with chemical peels?
  • Acne
  • Ageing
  • Hyper-pigmentation
  • Firming and tightening
  • Rejuvenation
Peels and Concentrations

You might have heard or seen certain percentages used in conduction with peels: Glycolic Acid 20% or 30%, for example. These denote the concentration of the key ingredient (Alpha-Hydroxy in the case of this example) in the peel’s chemical make-up.
According to Dr Bradley Wagemaker, “The actual chemicals used and the way the entire chemical cocktail is combined in the product plays a huge part in the strength and effectiveness of the peel,” he says. “So you’ll find that a 15% concentration in the same type of peel from two different sources might not be equally effective.”

Another important factor is the person performing the treatment: a skincare therapist or medical aesthetic doctor who is trained and well versed in the particular protocols of a product.

How long does a treatment take?

The peel itself is usually no longer than five minutes. But there is usually prepping and care involved, so bank on  at least 15 minutes.

We at Done’s incorporate a peel in our facials so it takes longer, about 1 and a  1/2 hours

What does it feel like?

It depends on the product used. Alpha and Beta peels cause only some tingling, while a TCA peel is slightly more intense.

What about after the treatment?

On average, with Alpha and Beta peels, your skin will look youthful and glowing. It may be a little red, but that will subside very quickly. With a TCA peel, some recovery time will be needed.

What to expect when considering a skin peel

If you want to give your skin a bit of a pick-me-up, your first port of call should be your trusted skincare therapist.

  1. Your therapist will do an assessment beforehand, and make recommendations based on your skin and your requirements.
  2. More than one type of peel may be required to achieve results.
  3. A home-care and post-treatment regimen will be recommended for optimal results.
  4. Several treatments over an extended period of time may be needed to achieve results safely.
  5. The peel is only part of the treatment: the entire treatment includes  products to prep and boost your skin.