Skin Care: Peeling Away the Time

Who wouldn’t want a spotless, flawless complexion? Did you know that it may be lying just beneath the surface of your skin? Skin peels are classic treatments and are the fastest way there.

Chemical peels began their popularity in the ‘90s and ebbed from view for a while after being eclipsed in the early 2000s by new skin-resurfacing lasers. But the classic skin peel treatments that date back to ancient-Egypt are back on top in aesthetician and dermatologists’ offices nationwide. In fact, more people are getting them now than in 1997, when peels were the number-one cosmetic procedure in the country, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.  Why? It turns out that according to skin experts, good old chemical peels can actually deliver certain skin benefits—like reversing melasma and breakouts—better than high-tech devices.

By casting off dull surface cells, a peel improves fine lines, acne, discoloration, and more, and it won’t discriminate according to skin types or skin color.  Another bonus is that a peel is usually a fraction of the cost of flashier (mechanized) options. The types of peels I do here in my studio take some consistent effort on your part, applying serums to your face twice a day after my initial and subsequent treatments. This means changes happen over time, with 2-3 peel sessions required. But today’s today’s peels aren’t retreads from the old days, when glycolic peels hurt like crazy and left the skin raw. Acid formulas have now been refined, as have aestheticians’  approaches to using them.  Although there is some visible peeling, I also infuse the skin with ingredients that diminish lines, build collagen, and improve tone.

Here are a few more reasons to get a peel:

Peels can make your skin—and skin-care products—work better, since acids lift away dead cells and trigger a lovely chain reaction. The sloughing also offers smoother skin that’s both more radiant and more receptive.

They’re low-risk and customizable. There are chemical peels that are safe to use on every skin color without risking hyper-pigmentation (usually a worry with darker complexions). For tenacious brown spots, I add a pinch of brightening vitamin C .

Peels aid in the eradication of acne, softening  the scars that come with it. Salicylic acid peels dive deep into skin to unclog pores while also skimming the surface to erode blackheads and fade post-pimple marks. Another advantage of salicylic acid: It lingers in the pores, where it continues to keep them clear over time.

Got melasma? A number of my clients do, including those who scorched their teenage faces in the sun back when tanning was a must every summer. While there is no permanent cure for the recurring sun-triggered dark patches brought on by hormonal surges or sun damage, chemical peels paired with at-home bleaching serums, high-SPF sunscreen, and strict sun avoidance offer the best fighting chance.

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