Chemical Peels: The Ideal Winter Skin Treatment

With the new year approaching, many people are starting to think about resolutions, goals, and changes they want to make. The new year is all about self-improvement so it’s a great time to help your clients get better skin. Chemical peels are a great treatment to do in the winter to reveal healthy new skin for the rest of the year.

Why do chemical peels in the winter?

Chemical peels remove layers of the skin which causes it to be extra sensitive to heat and UV damage while it heals. In the winter, we spend more time indoors and there are fewer hours of daylight so there’s less opportunity for sun exposure.

What levels of chemical peels are available?

Chemical peels come in three different strengths: light, medium, and deep. The level of chemical peel your client needs will depend on the results they want and whether they have sensitive skin.

Light or superficial peels remove only the outer layer (epidermis) of the skin and have the least amount of recovering time. New skin forms in about 4-7 days.

Medium peels work on the epidermis and the upper layers of the dermis. New skin forms in 1-2 weeks but redness may last longer.

Deep peels work on the lower layers of the dermis and cause significant redness and swelling. New skin forms in about 2 weeks, but redness can last for up to a few months. Depending on the type of chemical used, a deep peel may need to be done by a physician.

What are the most common types of chemical peels?

Different chemical peels use specific chemicals or enzymes to achieve certain results. It’s not a one size fits all treatment.

Glycolic acid penetrates the deepest but is available in different strengths. It exfoliates and rejuvenates the skin to help improve skin texture and reduce signs of aging.

Lactic acid is derived from milk and works well for sensitive skin. It hydrates and brightens the skin.

Salicylic acid is ideal for acne and inflammation. It helps with oil control and works to remove the bacteria that causes breakouts.

Jessner peels are good for most skin types, especially for clients who want to even out skin tone, get rid of dark spots, or treat fine lines. Deep peels of this type must be done by a physician to prevent damage.

TCA (trichloroacetic) acid can be used as an overall peel or as a spot treatment for specific areas of concern. It works to exfoliate and renew the skin. Deep TCA peels must also be done by a physician.

Retinol peels are a great option for clients looking to reduce signs of aging. It rejuvenates, hydrates, and refreshes the skin for a younger looking appearance and texture.

Mandelic acid is another anti-aging option that helps to soften wrinkles, improve texture, and strengthen collagen.

Who shouldn’t get a chemical peel?

While chemical peels can be a helpful treatment for many, there are some clients who should avoid this option because it can cause serious damage. Anyone with the following conditions should steer clear of chemical peels:

  • Severe acne or rosacea
  • Pregnant (always check with a doctor first)
  • Breastfeeding
  • Diabetes
  • Open sores or lesions
  • Sunburnt or irritated skin
  • High blood pressure or heart disease
  • Active Herpes simplex
  • Infectious diseases
  • Recent cosmetic surgery, dermabrasion, or laser resurfacing
  • Permanent cosmetics (wait at least one week & cover to protect from damage)
  • Those using Accutane ®, Retin-A ® or other medications that thin the skin in the last 6 months

It’s also important to make all clients aware of recovery time and estimated time of potential redness or swelling before performing a chemical peel.

The Bottom Line

Winter is a great time for most people (apart from the list above) to get a chemical peel so that the skin has time to properly heal and recover. Both results and recovery time will depend on the level of peel so be sure your client has the right expectations. There are so many options for types of chemical peels that there’s definitely one to suit each of your client’s needs.