A Successful Skin Peel Requires Thorough, Thoughtful Analysis

‘Tis the season. No. We’re not that close to the Christmas holidays yet. But for many of my clients,  ’tis the season for facial peels after a long, hot summer has taken a toll on their skin. In my world, determining the type of peel that is best as well as the amount of prep time is required for that peel is something I take very seriously before performing the treatment itself. Do I sound like a high strung high school teacher wagging my finger regarding a homework assignment? Good. Because how I am going to tell you a story about how NOT to approach your next peel.

I recently received a call from a potential client who wished to make an appointment for a micro-current treatment as well as a certain type of deep peel on the same day.  It isn’t unusual to have requests for same-day appointments, but in this case I advised her I couldn’t do what she was asking on the same day. I suggested micro-current be done one day, followed by an opportunity to analyze her skin to determine the type of peel best for her the next day.   She stated she had no such time available to her and insisted I consider doing them both in the same appointment. Again, I explained how I needed to gather information that would determine the type of treatment or peel that would be best for her, including learning about her skin care routine, allergic reactions to certain substances and to assess her skin after it had “calmed down” following the micro-current treatment.

What happened next made warning lights go off in my head. She pressed me, citing past same-day peeling sessions with other aestheticians,  challenging my expertise. Still, I didn’t budge and told her that any aesthetician who DOESN’T take the kind of precautions I followed is best avoided. She huffed and then she hung up. True, I may not have landed a new client, but this woman couldn’t know the serious damage that could be done to her face if the skin isn’t prepped or the wrong product is used, including but not limited to an allergic reaction, burning and/or scarring, to name a few. Just imagine her leaving on her trip in a few days with the possibility of any of these complications. I don’t think she would be thanking me afterward.

Okay. I don’t intend to leave you flat-footed here. Whether you come to me or use any other aesthetician, I offer you the steps to a successful peel.

Here they are:

(1)   Make an appointment for a consultation to discuss you concerns, analyze your skin, perform a facial and create a treatment plan.

(2)   Return in approximately two weeks for your peel.

(3)   Follow the instructions offered following your peel, which include:

  • Avoiding direct sunlight for 72 hours.
  • Mandatory sunscreen reapplied every 2 hours
  • No waxing / hair removal for one week
  • Limiting exercise for 24 hours
  • No exfoliating products for five days
  • No picking of the skin
  • No swimming, hot tubs or saunas for 72 hours
  • An invitation to call me (or your practitioner) if any questions or concerns arise.

Keep in mind that aestheticians are skin specialists, whose duty it is to take the time to analyze and design the correct course of skin care for their clients, just as medical professionals take precautions and ask lots of questions before prescribing treatment. Sure – I have a number of services to choose from, but skin care isn’t like ordering a burger off a menu or getting an appointment for a same-day haircut before leaving on a trip or attending a special event. At least it shouldn’t be. Granted, a routine moisturizing or anti-aging facial can be done along with several other mild treatments on the same day. But deep skin-flaking-inducing peels can be serious business, requiring a good deal of study and caution on my part.


Whew! Thanks for letting me vent. And I am happy to take on that role of that nagging school teacher if it results in a thoughtful, successful skin care treatment.  See you soon. And I’ll leave that relaxing low-level treatment light on for you.


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