If you’ve never tried a chemical peel, we can forgive you for feeling a little bit scared. It’s the combination of those two words, ‘chemical’ and ‘peel’, isn’t it?

“You want me to have chemicals applied to my face and you tell me it’s going to peel off my skin?”

Well, no. That’s not what’s going to happen. Relax. Take a breath and let us explain why this could be a really transformative addition to your skincare regime.

Does exfoliating frighten you? No? OK. So, try thinking of a chemical peel as an upgraded and super-effective exfoliation session. You probably know that exfoliating regularly gets rid of dead skin cells, lingering dirt and any excess oil to leave behind fresh, glowing skin. So let’s take a look at how peels go a step further and why that is important.

What is in a chemical peel and what does it do?

A chemical peel goes deeper than a normal exfoliator BUT, they can often be gentler for sensitive skin than rough, abrasive scrubs. A lot of work and research has gone into today’s chemical peels. At Avance Clinic we are BIG fans of the products from AlumierMD, which we use in our treatments and also supply for home use between appointments.

Using a chemical peel will encourage your skin cells to renew and, as a result, other skincare products you use – such as serums and hydrating compounds – can work more effectively to give you the results you want.

There isn’t just one type or one strength of chemical peel and it is important to get advice from an expert on the best type for your skin.

An AHA chemical peel (using Alpha Hydroxy Acids) is often recommended for people whose skin is showing signs of ageing. AHAs are water-loving acids. Many of them are extracted from fruits, milk and sugar cane. They can dissolve the bond that keeps dead cells attached to the skin, bringing new cells to the surface. Over time, they can gradually retexture skin that has an uneven tone or minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

A BHA peel (using Beta Hydroxy Acids) is likely to be recommended if your skin is very oily, if you have acne, blocked pores or sun damage. BHAs love oil and they can get deeper into the pores than the AHAs can. Salicylic acid is the most common BHA. It is a well-known treatment for acne and can soothe redness and inflammation.

There are some combination products that contain both AHAs and BHAs.

Who should use a chemical peel?

If you suffer from acne or skin breakouts, a chemical peel can give your pores a thorough, deep clean and ease any inflammation. Chemical peels can be used from your early 20s onwards as a way of combating the first signs of ageing, fine lines and wrinkles by boosting the renewal of skin cells and retexturing the skin. They can also combat uneven skin tone and improve the appearance of skin that has been damaged by the sun.

What happens during a chemical peel?

Most chemical peel solutions are simply applied to freshly-cleansed skin. After that, the instructions vary according to the type of product. Some have to be rinsed off after a few minutes while others stay on for longer. You may be recommended to use a moisturiser afterwards or just leave the skin alone so that the ingredients can work their magic.

What can I expect after a chemical peel?

Your skin will definitely be more sun-sensitive. If you don’t already use a sunscreen product daily, and you really should, then you must do while your skin is being treated. Choose a product with at least a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30.

Any redness after your peel should only last a few minutes. You may see some slight shedding in some areas of the skin (usually 3-5 days after the treatment), a bit like minor peeling after a tan. In some cases, exfoliation only occurs within the cells and you won’t see any surface peeling.

The amount of exfoliation that happens will depend on both the strength of the peel and your own, personal skin profile. The AlumierMD chemical peels that we use are light to medium-depth and specially formulated to reduce any irritation and redness.

How can Avance Clinic help?

We are AlumierMD skincare professionals and we use this science-backed, medical grade skincare brand in our treatments and supply it to our clients to use at home between appointments.

Contact us for a consultation and we can design a unique skincare plan for you and recommend the best products for any issues that you want to treat.

AlumierMD professional treatments and their home care products are specifically designed to complement one another and boost results.