As I have mentioned in one of my other articles, I used to go for a facial every 3-4 weeks. I also got some chemical peels done from time to time. My experience with chemical peels was that they did help reduce my acne scars, but only the tiny ones that were very light and almost impossible to see anyway. Also, it required time and patience which most of us with dark acne scars just do not have.
“Beauty knows no pain” I used to tell myself while I was getting a chemical peel put on my face, and clenched my teeth together because the peel was burning so bad. During the process, I often had second thoughts, because it was so painful at some times, that I even wondered how something like this could be beneficial to your skin.
Did I mention that I had to schedule my peels for days on which I was planning not to go out for several days? no? well then continue reading.
I once made the mistake to have a chemical peel done on a Saturday. My bad, because by Monday, when I went back to school, my face was bright reddish-pink and my skin was actually “peeling” as the name gives away in the first place. I had patches of skin that were just falling off like a tangerine peel when you peel it off.
I woke up Monday morning, expecting to have nice glowing skin, maybe take the chance of having most of my dark spots lightened up, but I was lobster red and my skin was very irritated.
So the next time I told my facial lady if there were any creams or etc. that could reduce the hyperpigmentation because the chemical peel was way to harsh on my skin, she just reassured me that that's the way it was sometimes, but that the results would be great after a couple more uses.
A couple of hundred dollars later, and practically no huge improvement, I decided to give my skin a break and I stopped using peels. I haven’t used a peel since and I don’t think that I will. Be careful with peels, and always remember to start off with a very easy going one first.
What is a Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels are basically an acid that is applied to the skin that will help peel or flake off the top layer of your skin which is the epidermis. Certain chemical peels can be painful and they actually can burn your skin and leave you with worse results than what you started with.
What is the purpose?
Chemical Peels help a variety of problems from acne scarring, rosacea, uneven skin tones, photodamage, sun damage, and wrinkles. However, from my knowledge chemical peels are used more often to treat acne scarring and uneven skin tones.
What types of Chemical Peels are out there?
Phenol Acid Peels- These types of peels go deep down into the skin and they are sometimes kept on for an hour or two.
*People have reported getting severe burns from Phenol and TCA Peels, it is best that it is done by a professional.
TCA peels (trichloroacetic acid) – Peels off the top layer of skin completely like a lizard. The time for keeping it on varies.
AHA and (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) Peels –These peels are gentler than TCA peels and much gentler than Phenol peels. They are used more often on patients with acne scarring.
*AHA’s can be diluted with water to make them lesser in strength.
Glycolic acid-This AHA is the most common peeling agent. (Banish has some products made with it). The higher the percentage the more it penetrates the skin.
Mandelic Acid- This is the gentlest AHA of all of them, it has larger molecule content and it takes longer to penetrate the skin. This AHA is also best for people of color.
Salicylic Acid-This is ideal for people with acne-prone oily skin. It penetrates deep into the pores
Lactic Acid (Milk)-Lactic Acid is actually produced in the body and is also gentle and less irritating to the skin, it is moisturizing and treats acne scarring as well.
I would not recommend doing peels at all, because they just strip off the layers of skin for no reason, even the areas that do not have any hyperpigmentation. Trying something like a micro needling treatment is probably cheaper and won't strip the top layers of your skin off.
Have any of you had any successes with peels before? Let me know!