So how do chemical peels work?
The process is really quite straight-forward. A chemical is applied to the skin to bring about a peeling of the skin's top layer. This not only prompts a new, healthier-looking layer of skin to surface, but it also stimulates additional collagen production beneath the skin.
The longer the peel is left on the skin, the deeper the treatment and the more pronounced its effects will be. Be aware, however, that very deep peels can damage the skin; at best this may be a reddening of the treated area; at worst the skin can be permanently discoloured or even scarred.
How do I know which type of skin peel is best for me?
Your dermatologist or skin therapist should discuss all the options with you in depth, taking your skin type, sensitivity and desired results into consideration.
There are a number of different peels available to clients, and the one you choose really depends on the depth of peel and resurfacing that you require. Deeper peels like the beta-hydroxy acid peels are recommended for very wrinkled and sun-damaged skin, whilst more superficial peels, such as those using lactic acid or glycolic acid which are non-toxic are better suited to those that require less dramatic results.
If you have some very deep wrinkles along side some fairly mild lines, it is possible to choose a chemical peel that can remedy both. Jessner's peel, for example, can be used in varying amounts for different areas of the face, neck or chest. So if you have more need for anti-wrinkle treatment on your forehead than around your eyes, your therapist will apply fewer coats to the eye area and more to the deeper lines on your forehead.
What if you need an anti wrinkle treatment for another area of the body besides the face?
Some chemical peels can be used on other areas of the body prone to wrinkles. The most common areas tend to be the neck, chest and hands, although more and more people are starting to have sun-damaged skin on their arms and legs treated too.