Absolutely get chemical peels for acne! As an esthetician, chemical peels were a favorite go-to treatment for patients wanting to avoid harsh prescription medications. Chemical peels are a great way to help reduce pimples and oil production. Let’s take a deeper look at chemical peel information.
What are the most common types of chemical peels
|Glycolic Acid||Removes excess dead cells, treats melasma, improves the appearance of fine lines, stimulates collagen, acne treatment||Considered safe for all skin types.|
|Salicylic Acid||Unclogs pores, exfoliates dead cells, anti-inflammatory, shrink pores reducing oil production.||Do not get if pregnant, allergic to aspirin or on Accutane.|
|Lactic Acid||Smooths skin texture, brightens skin appearance, softens fine lines.||Most gentle of peels. The sensitive skin peel.|
|Retinoic Acid||The anti-aging peel. Helps to stimulate collagen, increases skin elasticity, softens fine lines and wrinkles.||Safe for all skin types|
|Trichloroacetic Acid||Deeper peel that is only done by professionals. Some patients require mild sedation. Used for treatment of scars, sun damage skin, hyperpigmentation.||Not for pregnant or breastfeeding, any history of skin disorders, are on or recently finished Accutane.|
Which chemical peel is best for acne?
The best chemical peel for acne is the Salicylic Acid peel. Salicylic acid peels are able to exfoliate the skin like other peels, but it has an added benefit. These peels are able to reach down and penetrate the pores, breaking up the clog causing pimples.
You can get a Salicylic Acid peel every two to four weeks. These are not “one and done” peels. After a few peels, you may notice the time needed between peels begins to lengthen. This is in part to the shrinking of pores and less oil production. Less oil means fewer clogs!
Can chemical peels make acne worse?
Yes, for a short time, you may see more acne after a peel. This is from the inflammation of the peel, and the dead skin it creates as it is exfoliating. These new pimples should only last a few days, however. The peel is not making your acne condition worse.
If you have an important event coming up, do not schedule your first peel just a few days before the event. Try to schedule your first peel at least a month out, to see how your skin reacts. And give your skin a good five days to finish exfoliating before the actual event. You want to make sure your skin is smooth and flawless if you plan to wear foundation!
Are acne peels painful?
At home salicylic acid “peels” can cause mild to no tingling whatsoever. These peels are not peels in the true sense. While they help to exfoliate, they do not remove the surface skin, as a professional peel does.
Professional peels can range in the discomfort they cause depending on the strength. The most common strength I used for mild to moderate acne was a 20% salicylic acid peel. I would use 30% for more severe acne. Anything stronger than 30% was done by the doctors.
The peel would only take a few seconds to apply but then would sit on the skin for five minutes at the most. It starts with a slight tingle that increases and hits a peak around 2 minutes. Some patients found it very tolerable, while others found a fan aimed at their skin soothing. Washing the peel off reactivates the sensation, but briefly. No one ever jumped out of my chair in pain!
How do I know if a peel is for me?
Meet with a medical professional to help decide if a peel is right for you. A dermatologist or Medical Estheticians is the way to go. These professionals can access your skin condition and review your medical history to help with your decision process.
Peels sound scary but they really aren’t. I loved treating acne patients the most, especially with chemical peels. The results produced a confidence boost for many patients while giving me the satisfaction and joy of helping people feel better about their skin.