Face Peels

Face Peels, also known as chemical peels, are well known for their ability to restore the texture and appearance of skin. Peels are achieved by applying a solution to the surface of the skin that removes the outer layer, revealing healthy new skin underneath. The depth of the peel is dependant on the chemical used, the concentration of the chemical, the time allowed before the agent is neutralised, and the number of coats applied. Taking these factors into consideration, your cosmetic surgeon will provide a face peel that targets your unique requirements.

Peels are often the first cosmetic improvement that clients undertake and are especially favoured by people who are reluctant to undergo more aggressive surgical procedures. They are suitable for all skin types and are used to treat a broad range of conditions. Face peel solutions can treat:

  • fine lines and wrinkles
  • sun damage
  • skin discolouration and age spots (hyper-pigmentation)
  • mild scarring
  • freckling
  • acne
  • rough and scaly skin

Face peels work in a number of ways. They restore pH and moisture levels, remove dead skin cells, combat dryness and provide antioxidant properties.

Types of face peels

Depending on the skin condition targeted, a face peel will remove surface skin to the appropriate depth.

  • Superficial peel: This is the mildest chemical peel, and is useful for all skin types. A diluted acid solution is applied that acts on the outer skin layer. The agent is applied gently to the skin and left on for several minutes before being neutralised and wiped off. A slight burning sensation will be noticeable. The exfoliation will result in a healthier looking glow.
  • Medium peel: Penetrating more deeply than a superficial peel, these peels will remove a greater amount of skin blemishes. The chemical agent used may be slightly stronger, and remains on the skin for a longer time. Pain relief medication may be used during the procedure, although there is minimal pain once the peel is complete.
  • Deep peel: Several layers of the skin are removed by a peel that causes a harmless but aggressive second-degree burn. Deep peels are not usually suited to darker skin types due to the tendency of the peel to bleach the skin. A deep peel takes longer and is also more painful, with general anaesthesia and intravenous injections used in some situations. Healing ointment or tape may be applied to assist with recovery after the deep peel is complete.

Preparation for a face peel

The first step is a consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. Once a course of action has been agreed upon, preparation will begin several weeks before the peel itself. Cleansing the skin several times a day, applying cream, moisturiser and sunscreen, and the application of a topical medicine may be suggested. For deeper face peels, a medication might be prescribed to combat any potential infection.

Recovery after a face peel

A couple of days after treatment, your skin will begin to peel, and careful attention is required to speed up healing and attain the best long-lasting results. Post-surgery care will be dependent on the depth of the peel, but typical care involves:

  • Frequent cleaning of the skin with water or a solution as prescribed by your surgeon.
  • Daily moisturising
  • Avoiding exposure to the sun while peeling, followed by use of sunscreen on a daily basis. New skin is more sensitive to negative affects of harsh sun.
  • Changing dressings and reapplying ointment (for deep and medium peels)
  • Using any other solutions, creams or pain relievers recommended by your surgeon.

Chemical face peels are sometimes performed along with laser resurfacing or dermabrasion for enhanced results. Face peels are not a permanent solution for ongoing skin changes that result from natural aging and exposure to the sun, but are a valuable tool in restoring appearance, removing skin blemishes, and providing a healthy soft glow to the skin.