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Chemical Peels 101

Peel Years Off Your Skin

Dermatologists use chemical peels to ‘peel’ away the aging process from the skin. Chemical peels are also used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne, age spots, uneven skin tone, fine lines, melasma (excess pigmentation on the skin) and sun damage, which can result in rough skin or pre-cancerous spots.

Not all peels are created equal…

Chemical peels come in a variety of strengths.

  1. ‘Lunchtime’ or what’s known as mild to medium strength peels may be performed by our esthetician and involve no downtime, but may result in some mild redness and peeling over the following one to five days.

  2. High-strength/deep peels (performed by a dermatologist) may result in significant short-term redness and peeling, but ultimately will have more dramatic results than a lower-strength peel.

What to expect from a chemical peel

On the day of your peel, we will clean your skin thoroughly and then prep it before the acid peel is applied. The acid may be glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and or retinoic acid, and any of these may result in some mild stinging or a burning sensation.

After a few minutes, we will neutralize the peel and apply sunscreen, and then we’ll thoroughly explain post-procedure skin care. To get the best results, you should plan to do several peels if you choose the low or medium-strength peels. To get optimal results from a refreshing peel or lunchtime peel, most patients get three to five peels over several months.

Your skin will have a nice glow after your peel, and soon you’ll start to see the results. Healing time ranges from one to five days for a refreshing or lunchtime peel (which usually causes mild peeling skin comparable to a mild sunburn), and can take 14 days or longer for a high-strength peel. It is very important to avoid the sun after a peel and to avoid picking at the skin. Side effects of the lower-strength peels tend to be mild and may include skin discoloration or redness.

All About Our Chemical Peels

Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) Glycolic Acid Peels

The glycolic acid peel is one of the mildest peels available, and can be performed on your lunch hour, since after effects tend to be less drastic than with the higher-strength peels. Glycolic acid peels stimulate natural collagen production and help to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time.

AHA Glycolic Acid Procedures and Post Care

We apply a 30-70 percent concentration of glycolic acid, which we leave on the skin for only a few minutes. You might feel some tingling, but there is little discomfort or burning. Immediately after the peel, you should expect to feel some tightness and the skin will be reddened. By two or three days after your procedure, your skin may begin to slough and shed. The total effects of your peel should be obvious within seven days. During this period, you’ll want to treat your skin gently, using a broad spectrum sunscreen and avoiding any kind of exfoliation.

Vitalize Peel and Jan Marini Transform Peel

These are two of the medium-strength peels we offer, containing resorcinol, lactic, salicylic and retinoic acid. These peels help smooth the skin, diminishing the appearance of most imperfections, spots, and fine lines. Some patients see a noticeable difference with just one peel, while many opt to do anywhere between three and six peels over a period of time.

Vitalize amd Jan Marini Procedure and Post Care

The Vitalize or Jan Marini Peel is applied in several layers, and the entire process takes about twenty minutes. There is no pain, though some patients mention feeling a tingling sensation, which goes away quickly. The final layer of the peel is the acid neutralizing layer.

When the peel is over, your skin may become a little red, but this effect will go away quickly. Two to three days after your peel, your skin will begin to slough and peel, and it will be critical to moisturize generously and avoid the sun during this time. The total healing process usually takes about seven days.

TCA chemical peels

TCA peels are a good option for patients seeking a more aggressive chemical peel. The process is very similar to the application of our lower-strength peels, but the active ingredient used, trichloroacetic acid, gives a much deeper peel resulting in a more aggressive treatment and more noticeable results. The TCA peel can be used as an alternative to laser resurfacing with the fully ablative CO2 laser or the fractional CO2 laser.

TCA Procedure & Post Care

We apply the TCA peel evenly to the face, usually after a topical numbing agent has been applied. You are likely to feel a slight warming or tingling sensation, and within a matter of minutes, the skin will become “frosted” and have a very white appearance.

The TCA peel is then neutralized and we will apply a topical ointment. Over the next few days, you should expect the top layers of skin to slough off, leaving fresher, healthier appearing skin. The resulting healing and new collagen then produces a younger, smoother appearance. You’ll need approximately a week and a half of downtime or recovery during which time you may prefer to avoid public appearances. Your skin will tend to be a little pink or splotchy for several weeks before gradually fading. If you have concerns, you’ll want to discuss these with your doctor prior to receiving treatment.

Glycolic Acid Peel

Cost: $80 / treatment OR $216 / 3 treatments

Alpha hydroxy acid peeling solutions in varying strengths improve texture, fine lines, scarring and pigment abnormalities from photodamage, acne, or melasma.

Vitalize Peel

Cost: $130 / treatment OR $350 / 3 treatments

A potent combination of salicylic acid and retinoic acid fights the effects of time, pigmentation, and damage from acne or sun.

Jan Marini Transform Peel

Cost: $195/ treatment or $497 / 3 treatments

A potent combination of salicylic acid and retinoic acid, lactic acid and Resorcinol fights the effects of time, pigmentation, and damage from acne or sun

TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid) Peels

Cost: $2000

The most aggressive peel we offer. Active ingredient used is trichloroacetic acid providing a deep peel as an alternative to an ablative laser.


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