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Chemical peels even though it has been around for some time are still misunderstood. The name is scary as we associate anything ‘chemical’ to be evil by default. There are also, practitioners who might not have the knowledge or the skill to perform the procedure safely, which give it a bad name. I went to see Dr Pamela Benito at her London clinic for a chemical peel session. Today, I will provide you with an inside to the procedure and what happens to the skin afterwards. Finally, I will share Dr Pams answers to the most frequently asked questions about the chemical peels.
Preferably, don’t use any exfoliator or enzyme peel products a day or two before having a treatment. Dr Pam has cleansed my skin using a foaming wash that contained Glycolic Acid, which helped to exfoliate my skin gently, preparing it better for the treatment. I get skin flare-ups which makes treatments like this a little trickier to perform. This day my skin wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t perfect either.
How does it feel when the chemical peel goes on the skin?
There are various types of peels so each can feel a little bit different. However, you feel some stinging, itching sensation. This sensation in my case was intense and immediate. The first few moments after Dr Pam applied the peel to my skin I wanted to itch my entire face. After a couple of minutes, the sensation disappeared. Dr Pam advised keeping the peel on for 7 minutes, so she set the timer. Depending on how you are reacting to it, sometimes she will remove the peel sooner. I lasted the entire seven minutes.
What to expect immediately after the procedure?
Overall, the skin on my face looked instantly smoother. My skin was red. It was very red, but you should expect that with every chemical peel. I had a small wound on the right side of my face next to my mouth, where I had a flare-up. Because my skin was compromised in those areas, the product was able to penetrate much deeper than it would on the healthy skin creating mini wounds. Overall, I thought my skin didn’t look too bad until I Faced Timed my dad. He asked why do I look like I’ve been bitten up!? Love the honesty.
Chemical Peel Aftercare:
After the chemical peel, your skin will be more sensitive to the sun; therefore, it is essential to protect your skin in several ways.
Firstly, use sunscreen. You should use a broad-spectrum factor 50 SPF which provides broad-spectrum protection. It means that your product protects against UVA and UVB.
Secondly, if you can avoid sun exposure for two weeks after the peel. It could be as simple as wearing a hat or choosing to sit in the shade. Autumn and winter
Chemical Peel Diary – Day one.
On day one, my skin didn’t look great. I was full of cold which made me look all washed out and then I was healing from the peel. The redness wasn’t too prominent, but it wasn’t gone entirely. All the areas where I had skin flare-ups were red, so I used a soothing gel to calm down the redness.
Better, much better as most of the redness was gone. I had only one area near my mouth, which was still healing. The skin was flaky on my forehead and my chin. I was expecting more peeling, which never happened. I only experienced that flakiness.
The chin was still flakey, but the rest of the face started to look smooth again. My complexion was still a little dull and missing the healthy glow, but I was still feeling ill. At this point, I could notice the improvement in my skin texture. It looked beautifully smooth.
Others noticed my skin looked healthy and sooth!!! For me, the difference in my skin’s texture was the most significant. That was the first thing I was noticing when I looked in the mirror. Next, was that healthy inner glow.
During the visit, Dr Pamela answered some of the questions you send me on Instagram. For those how missed it here are the answers.
SB -Is it dangerous?
Dr Pam – It’s not dangerous at all as long as it is performed by a practitioner or doctor who is trained.
SB- What is the difference between an enzyme and a chemical peel?
Dr Pam – They are pretty much the same thing. When we talk about chemical peels, we refer to those done in the clinic by a doctor. They both work on the same principle. When you have an enzymatic peel, you still have an acid applied to the skin. E.G. Papaya peel. They just not as strong as those in the clinic.
SB -When is the best time to perform chemical peel?
Dr Pam – The best time is winter time or when you are not going to be exposed to the sun. Your skin post peel will be more sensitive to the sun, and then you have a higher risk of having pigmentation or age spots. I always advise having two weeks completely off the sun after the peel.
SB- Who can have a chemical peel?
Dr Pam – Everyone can have a chemical peel done, but I recommend having a consultation first to decide on the type of the peel which would be suitable for your skin type and skin condition.
SB – Is there anything else we should be aware of before having a chemical peel?
Dr Pam – I’d advise thinking what are you going to be doing after due to peeling and redness you might not want to be socialising that much. Avoid sauna and steam rooms — any other facial after two weeks from the procedure.
It was my second chemical peel. I had one last year, and I will do it again. I don’t have scaring or pigmentation so in my case; I do it to keep my skin looking smooth and fresh. Have you ever tried a chemical peel, what were your results?