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3 Types of Chemical Peels: Which Is Right for You?

There’s a reason chemical peels rank among the top five nonsurgical cosmetic procedures: They work! Even better is the fact that you can choose the strength of your peel based on your skin and your goals, revealing fresh, new skin that restores vibrancy to your appearance.

Here at Rejuve Plastic Surgery, we offer a number of terrific anti-aging tools to our clients in McLean, Virginia. A chemical peel is one such tool that literally peels back the layers of your skin to let your inner vitality shine through.

Out with the old

With each passing year, a number of forces combine to age your skin. First, your skin is designed to shield your body against the elements and bacteria, and it does a wonderful job. But in this role, it bears the brunt of everything the world throws at it, and the toll becomes evident in the form of brown spots, scarring, wrinkles, and fine lines.

Next, as you age, your collagen and elastin production naturally begins to slow. Unfortunately, since these proteins provide the underlying structure of your skin, giving it elasticity and tone, the loss leads to wrinkling and sagging skin. This loss of collagen and elastin also displaces the thin layer of fat underneath your skin, leaving hollowed cheeks and sagging jowls behind.

Together, these forces age your skin considerably, often leaving you looking older than you feel. But chemical peels offer an effective way to combat these signs of aging; here’s a look at your three chemical peel options to help you determine which one’s right for you.

In with the new

Depending on the amount of damage to your skin, we offer three different levels of chemical peels:

Superficial peels

Let’s start with scratching the surface. If you’re only beginning to see the effects of aging on your skin, a superficial (or light) peel may be just the ticket for getting rid of dead and damaged skin cells on top of your skin to reveal glowing skin underneath.

A light peel does wonders for mild discolorations and improves your skin’s tone and texture. We use a mild acid — often alpha hydroxy acid — for our superficial peels, which lifts away dirt and dead skin cells. We can perform this peel in under an hour and you can get right back to your day.

Medium peels

If you want to go a little deeper, to tackle fine lines and wrinkles, scarring, and moderate discolorations, a medium peel targets the middle layer of your skin.

For a medium peel, we use a stronger acid — trichloroacetic or glycolic acid — which gets below the surface to destroy tired skin cells, allowing newer, healthier ones to take their place. The peel also spurs a collagen response that tightens your skin.

This type of peel may leave you a little red in the face, but this subsides quickly as your skin recovers and regenerates itself.

Deep peels

If the forces of aging and time have really left their mark, a deep peel, as the name implies, goes deeper into your tissue to destroy old skin cells, allowing new ones to grow in their place. A deep peel can improve the appearance of more intense skin damage, including deep lines and wrinkles, scarring, and age spots.

Your skin can only tolerate one deep peel, which uses a strong acid, such as phenol or trichloroacetic acid. After the peel, you may feel like you’ve been out in the sun too long; over the following week, your old skin will flake away and new, more evenly toned skin will take its place. Renewed collagen production will also become more evident over the following weeks as you’re rewarded with firmer, tighter skin.

If you’re still unsure which chemical peel is right for you or you’d like to schedule one, give us a call to set up a consultation or use the online booking tool.

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